KOGI 2023 GOVERNORSHIP ELECTION: UNHEALTHY POLITICAL ETHNIC STRANGULATION.
By: Idris Abdul Isah
Arewa Trust Newspaper, Abuja.
As we approach the 2023 governorship election in Kogi state, that would enable the good people of Kogi state exercise their franchise and maturity to elect their next governor. The available indication has shown that one outstanding candidate, Alhaji Ahmed Usman Ododo, of the All Progressive Party, APC, will no doubt win the election, based on his wide and spread acceptance across the breathe and length of the state.
Ododo, is loved by the Kogites, much as the people now desirable to appreciate his commitment to their course even when he was in the office as Local Government Auditor-General. The people equally desirous that he should contest the governorship election and lead the state as the next Executive Governor of the Confluence State come February 2024, to continue to give them a touch of the good stuff is made of and continue the good work of his political master, governor Yahaya Bello, to the next level.
It is expected that the giant strides of governor Yahaya Bello, no doubt, will pave smooth ride for his victory at the poll come November 11, election.
What will equally determine the winner at the end of the day is ones score card and political goodwill and not ethnic or religious sentiments and social media bravado that some candidates has considered to be a useful materials to win an election.
It is a fact that in every democratic election, religion and ethnic coronations is an easy vehicle to mobilize people to achieve their inordinate ambition because the weak candidates believe that he or she can not only win the election contest but through appeals to a narrow ethnic and religious campaign.
Before i further go deep into the forthcoming election and pinpoint favourite winner, let us beam into the past political leadership in the stste since its inception, 1991 to-date, and why the Kogi Central and the good people of Kogi state are now agitating the retanance of power and the deserved continuity in the Central, for the next four and eight years in office.
PREAMBLE: Kogi state was created on August 27, 1991, by the Military government under General Ibrahim Babangida (GCFN).
Before the divined emergence of Alhaji Yahaya Bello, as the 4th civilian elected governor of the state, who is an Ebira man, from Kogi Central, the state was previously governed by politicians from Igala axis of the state for 19years uninterrupted.
The first civilian Governor of the state was Late Prince Abubakar Audu, of Blessed Memory, who ruled the state between January 1992 to November 1993, again May 29 1999 to May 29, 2003, (6years), respectively, hailed from Igala land of the state.
The baton of the leadership was subsequently passed to another Igala politician, Alhaji Ibrahim Idris from same Kogi East, Igala land, who was in office from May 29, 2003 to January, 2011 (9 years).
Similarly, the third Executive Governor of the state, son in-law to Alhaji Ibrahim Idris, was Capt. Idris Ichalla Wada, who governed the state from January 2012 to January 2016 (4 years), also from Kogi East, Igala land. Accumulatively, Igalas have unfairly and injusticely enjoyed 19 years respectively.
This unhealthy scenario now prompted the people of Kogi Central, Ebira people and the good people of Kogi state, in particular, appealing and agitating for Central to produce the next governor of the state in order to at least close the gap for 16 years of tenure in the office before magnanimously and fairly shift power to other senatorial district that never produced the political leadership in the state, Kogi West, in particular. (Although, this might be my personal view and opinion, please).
It is interesting to note that Alhaji Ahmed Usman Ododo, has shown himself over time to be an upcoming young energetic and brilliant politician, as he has established strong political relationship with political stakeholders, mover and shakers, vibrant youths, women of substance, and grassroot mobilizers in the state. His equal political credentials also influenced political pundits in the state, willing to stand solidly behind him for the 2023 forthcoming governorship election, because of the desire of the people to partner with a leader of vision, vigour and fortune to further pilot the indelible political space that his predecessor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello, must have left behind.
One thing that may also likely to favour the APC candidate, Ododo at the poll, is the monumental achievement of the incumbent governor in the state. Governor Yahaya Bello, who had been over time, misunderstood and misconceived about his administrative policies, seen to be trending on media than the numerous achievements he had recorded in the last seven-and-half years in the state. One major credible and commendable achievements of governor Yahaya Bello is that he was able to break the usual tribal rivalry which was the order of the day in the state before he took the mantle of leadership as the Fourth Executive Governor. It is a known fact that the
Igalas and Ebiras were always at loggerhead and known for their long time political enmity, suspicious and distrust, but since the coming of governor Yahaya Bello on board, the ethnic sentiment and hatred has been thrown out to dog. He has successfully entrenched the spirit of unity and peaceful co-existence amongst the ethnic groups.
I strongly hope and believe that undecided voters can now find some truth in the credibility of the APC candidate, Alhaji Ahmed Usman Ododo, to help them, the voters, shift their votes and entrust their mandate for the APC candidate in the for thcoming governorship election in the state.