Barely three months to the Kogi state governorship election, scheduled to hold on November 11, 2023, political activities in the state has heightened, as the candidates strives to win the support of the electorates…..CONTINUE READING…CONTINUE READING
No doubt the 2033 governorship election in the state is going to be a three horse race between the three major tribes in Kogi state. They are the Igalas in Kogi East, the Ebira in Kogi central and the Okun people from West.
The election this time is a direct confrontation between the three major ethnic nationalities in the state. This is totally new to Kogi politics. Since the creation of the state in 1991, there has always been ethnic contests between two major tribes while the third tribe and minorities become beautiful brides
Aside the issues of ethnicity power power of incumbency, another major factor which to a very large extent will influence the outcome of the election according to some citizens who spoke with our correspondent is the performance of the Governor, Yahaya Bello.
There are eighteen political parties and their candidates that will be participating in the race to succeed Governor Yahaya Bello in Lugard House who was sworn into office in January 2016. The candidates are; Usman Ododo of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC); Senator Dino Melaye of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP); Muritala Ajaka of Social Democratic Party (SDP); Leke Abejide of African Democratic Congress (ADC) and Olayinka Braimoh of Action Alliance (AA).
Others are Kingsley Idoko Ilonah of All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA); Dr. Samson Agada Omale of Young Progressives Party (YPP) and Admiral Usman Jibrin of Accord (A) party amongst others.
At the moment, pundits believed that aside the APC candidate, Alhaji Ododo Ahmed Usman who may be favoured by the power of incumbency, Governor Bello’s impressive performance, through infrastructure, social development and spread of the APC in terms of structure, none of the candidates can honestly boast of such advantage.
How Governor Yahaya Bello’s impressive performance boosts Ododo’s chances
Asides the above factors, supporters across party line, have said that Governor Yahaya Bello’s impressive performance, particularly in his second term, will boost the chances of the APC candidate, Alhaji Ododo Ahmed Usman in the November election.
Core achievements of Governor Bello.
Speaking recently in Lokoja, the national chairman of APC, Dr. Umar Ganduje, said the governor has done very well in area of human capital development, empowerment, infrastructure growth in the education and health sectors of the state’s economy and confident that the people of Kogi state will vote the APC again for sustainability.
He said “The commissioning of impactful and first-of-their-kind projects such as Muhammadu Buhari Civic Center located in Lokoja was an eye opener to the extent of development in Kogi State in seven years. Also the construction of the Ganager Fly over bridge in the state capita, which is the first in Kogi state to ease traffic jam is also another plus for the party.
Speaking with our correspondent, a
Former Acting Governor and Speaker of Kogi State house of Assembly, Rt Hon Abdullahi Bello said “I am confident of our victory without any iota of doubts. My party, the APC has done well in terms of holding the State together united and in peace. There are so many great achievements cutting across the three Senatorial Districts that the current Governor has put in place, that will enhance our chances towards attaining total victory in November.
“And these achievements are in the areas of infrastructures, education, health and rural development among others. Salaries have been paid as at when due. What the government did in the area of staff Salaries in the Local government is novel. Instead of retrenchment, the government decided to pay what is available to cover all civil servants instead of few. And thus retrenchment was avoided in the last 7 years of Yahaya Bello’s administration. And Ododo will do better. He has learned governance and it’s critical ethics and demands.
The House of Representatives member, representing Ajaokuta Federal Constituency, Barr. Sanni Egidi Abdulraheem, told our correspondent in an interview that the Governor has Consistently stood out from the crowd in the World Bank’s States Fiscal Transparency, Accountability and Sustainability programme, among other first-time feats of the state under Governor Yahaya Bello.
Speaking further, he said Governor Yahaya Bello has delivered landmark projects, including the Reference Hospital that boasts of equipment, many of which are debuting in in Nigeria and Africa for the first time.
Another Stakeholders in Kogi politics and a former governorship Candidate of Zenith Labour Party, (ZLP) and the only female in the contest, Fatima Taiye Suleiman, noted that she dumped her party for the candidate of the ruling APC because of what she described as the impressive performance of the Governor in the last seven years.
She listed the areas the governor hs excelled to include, the World Class Model Science Secondary Schools, Health Institutions and other critical infrastructure such as roads, marked a year of incredible performance by the phenomenal Architect of a New Confluence State. “Also Bello Care Programme, which has offered near-free medicare to the people is also gradually improving life expectancy in the state. She stressed.
The proposed Payment of BECE, Junior, Senior WAEC, NECO, JAMB fees in all Public Schools beginning from next academic session, will cub out of school children in the state, while the establishment of the Confluence University of Science and Technology in Osara, has helped greatly in solving the admission challenges often encountered by Kogi students who want to venture into science and technical courses.
The establishment of Kogi state university Kabba, is also another landmark achievement of the Governor in the education sector, this observers said will attract the votes of the people of Kogi west who have desired a university in their area since the creation of the state in 1991.
The renovation and equipping of the School of Nursing, Obangede with modern medical equipment was also seen by many as one project that will help and ease the campaign of the APC in the state.
The well over 1000 teachers employed by the APC led government in Kogi for various secondary schools across the state, was also seen as a master stroke by the administration of Governor Yahaya Bello, as these teachers and their family will galvanized votes for the APC candidate, so as to keep their jobs.
The Governor, understanding that the youths are the driving force in any election, has consistently embarked on youth and women empowerment since he assumed power in 2016. He is the first governor in the country to ensure the emergency of women as local government vice chairpersons and council leaders across 21 LGAs of the state. He also ensure that over 90 percent of his cabinet was made up of youths and women.
In the area of security, the governor was able to curtail crimes and all forms of criminality in the state by making sure that he empowered various security agents in the state. This according to his supporters had earned him various national and international awards. Today the activities of criminals has been reduced to the bearest minimum.
Stakeholders assures of credible violence free election
In an effort to ensure a free, transparent and credible election, stakeholders have been putting measures in place to have a smooth exercise.
On his part, Governor Bello said that everything will be done to make the state peaceful and by extension the campaigns and the election. The Governor while addressing the APC national campaign council in Lokoja warned those who may want to achieve power through violence to desist, insisting that his administration has done well to guarantee the victory of his party in the November poll.
He therefore called on the security agencies to ensure the protection of the rights of parties to a peaceful electioneering process.
Similarly, the Kogi State Command of the Nigerian Police also restated its commitment in collaboration with other sister security agencies towards ensuring that the November Governorship Election is violent free, even as it expressed optimism that trouble makers who are bent on causing trouble during the election would be dealt with in accordance with the law.
This assurance was given by Police Public Relations Office, (PPRO), SP Williams Ayah, at the two day Media Roundtable/Engagement on the Kogi Governorship Election organized for Journalists in Kogi State, by the International Press Council, (IPC).
Interestingly, Events of the last few weeks has seen the governor and security agencies keeping to their promises, as candidates of all the parties are seen carrying on with their campaigns without any hindrance. This is a plus and a major departure from the past.
By and large, the security agencies have a huge role to play in ensuring the election is peaceful, while the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), must step up its game and ensure the processes are free, fair and credible…..CONTINUE READING
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