The Many Kogi State Political Wailers in the Borrowed Robe of Activism by Odih Daniel N.

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The fall of PDP birthed a group of gourmands who trade their hunger for activism, for when the state was passing through the furnace of reckless impunity under PDP, no single activist was seen and heard of. The current group of activists in Kogi State is only but a bundle of distraught political devotees who were pushed into oblivion by a more forceful APC. I am not holding brief for the current party or government, and I am not attacking the dissenting voices. The truth must always be told – not minding whose ox is gored.

A friend and an erstwhile colleague of mine, on the Campus of the University of Ibadan, asked me why I had been quiet in the face of many happenings in Kogi State, and prominent among which was the non-payment of workers’ salaries by the current government of Governor Yahaya Bello, knowing fully well that I almost brought the government of Idris Wada, my own brother, down with many articles against its tepid and the impotent governance. My answer to him was simple and straightforward: “That if salary payment is the only problem of this government, then, there is a lot of hope”.

I refuse to join forces with the wailing devotees of PDP who fell from power and are today as hurtful as jilted lovers because when we were fighting the PDP for all the people of Kogi State to benefit, we neither saw the current crop of activists nor took sides with those that were criticising the government. Our mission was simple: ‘do what is right’.Where the government did well (when it started the drainage system in Lokoja and started the medical college at the Kogi State University, Anyigba), we celebrated and praised it; and where it failed, we raised voices against it. It was that simple! But today, the concept of activism in Kogi State is to attack the government with puerile arguments, write debasing posts to curry the praises and admiration of the people, and most lamentably, to celebrate (questionable) men who are challenging the government to a duel. Which activist will celebrate the enemies of the government? Which activist will take side in a battle between a citizen and the government? Femi Falana has been an established activist, and has from time to time, criticised the government of President Muhammadu Buhari, especially on the court orders PresidentBuhari withheld from El-Zakzakky. He never celebrates Fayose for attacking Buhari. That is a true activist.

For some of us that are far from the land, and read posts on social media, our activists were quick to announce the non-payment of salaries, but they never told us the security measures in the state designed to combatthe internal, disturbing insecurities in Lokoja and its adjoining parts. We only heard the government demolished roundabouts in Lokoja, but we never told of the construction work going on in Ganaja Village on Nyama-Nyama Road, and in other places lamentably abandoned by the previous governments of PDP for 12 years. We only heard then that the government owed 15, 16 and 17 months salaries, but when the salaries were eventually recently paid, every loud activist went into hiding, and had perhaps buried their only source of complaint in frustration and disappointment. The activists several times made us know that the government was fighting Dino, but they never said Dino was also fighting the government.

I wonder why people have short political and historical memory. They forget so quick the path of dirt they themselves threaded yesterday, and tend to cry out loud when they see the current governmentseeminglythreading the same path. They fail to realise that government is a continuum, and that legacies are built on legacies. If Yahaya Bello threads a wrong path in his attempt to learn the rope of governance, the PDP loyalists should know that their party established the edifice which the current government inherited.  Where were the loud criers against Yahaya Bello’s government of today when, between 2003 and 2015, PDP held us to ransom?If, I said ‘if’,Yahaya Bello treats the state to a despicable meal of negligence and abandonment (?), PDP started it first.

In 2003, the most potent, functional Audu Abubakar, though hardworking and effective, was removed, and “Changi Dole” of Ibrahim Idris, popularly called Ibro, was installed. Ibro of PDP held the government with heavy inflow of cash for 8 years. He lived a reckless life and threw some few cash into the state for the goons to benefit. Ibro allowed blatant corruption and thuggery, and many millionaires were made under his nose. To help cleanse his path of dirt, Ibro brought in Idris Wada. Wada became the bane of development in Kogi State. Wada was stingy, and every door of success and cash outflow for social and infrastructural development was blocked. There were insecurities and no infrastructural development, and the wailers did not rise to challenge them.

I rose into action in 2013 when Sahara Reporters published my article on February 19th, 2013, entitled My State Has No Governor. Where were the wailing activists of today then? You can follow this link to read the full article

When for years, Wada was without any sense of direction and the state was rudderless, where were the wailers of today when I wrote this article against his government:

When I was advocating power shift as the only sure way of attaining development in Kogi State from the cursed grip of the Igala PDP governors, where were the wailers?

When Wada charged his political appointees to either deliver their wards or lose their appointments in the local government election of 2015, where were the wailers of today when I wrote then that “Wada has come to kill the electoral system of the state” as shown in this link  ?


If the PDP set a dangerous legacy for a new entrant to copy, then, the PDP supporters have no reason whatsoever to complain; unless they are lamenting the shameful lose of power pathetically to a new comer.

If Wada and Ibro had done what was right, we would have today not got a situation where the current government would have to start from the scratch.The Lagos State’s example should teach us what it is to maintain a continuous legacy. If Bola Ahmed Tinubu had messed Lagos State up, Fashola and, subsequently,Ambode would not have had any structure to build on. Every succeeding government is trying to outshine the preceding one. That is continuum; that is good legacy!

If the wailing activists want us to take them seriously and join forces with them from outside the state, they should first stop celebrating the enemies of the state, the enemies of the government, and they should criticise the government constructively, and should also praise the government where the government does well. They should put the people first by acknowledging good gestures where the government or anybody in power meets the demands and the aspirations of the people.


– Odih Daniel N.


University of Ibadan,

Ibadan, Oyo State, Nigeria.

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