In this interview with newsmen, Omoluabi Olabode Adeyemi, a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Kogi State provides reasons for his assertion that Governor Idris Wada will floor Audu Abubakar of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in November governorship election.
There are a lot of contradictory comments about the performance of Captain Idris Wada as the governor of Kogi State. What is your opinion about this?
I like to say this with every sense of responsibility and humility that the Governor Wada-led government has emerged as the most prudent, responsive and responsible democratic government since the creation of Kogi State.
Talking about his level of performance, I will also say that he has also emerged the best, given the amount of resources available to the government. His is one of the few governments in Nigeria that paid N18,000 minimum wage to civil servants.
Wada pays Kogi civil servants in the same amount the federal government is paying its staff. As of today I heard the government is about paying the August 2015 salary. Despite the fall in revenue and allocation accruable to the state, the government still keeps faith with the civil servants.
But how come he is being accused of non-performance if it is indeed true that he did all you mentioned?
Wada is not one of the governors that believe you should spend several millions of naira that could do other projects on what I call unnecessary media jamboree where money will be spent to showcase projects. But I can tell you that the masses of Kogi who benefit from these laudable projects are very much aware and are grateful for the achievements.
How would you rate the chances of the governor in the forthcoming election given the fact that PDP is divided and he is contesting with a former governor that is seen as popular?
Let me first of all say that PDP is intact, united and focused in Kogi. After the primary election, Alhaji Jibrin Isah, a fine gentleman, congratulated the governor and I believe all his supporters are committed party faithful. Hence, they will surely unite with the governor. On the issue of his challenger and former governor Prince Abubakar Audu, I want to say this unequivocally and very emphatically that Audu belongs to Kogi of the past and I can tell you that this is a new Kogi. Popularity, like you said, is a relative term depending on which angle you look at it from. For me, Audu represents a section of Kogi while Wada represents the true face of Kogi.
I am from Kabba the provincial headquarters of what is now known as Kogi State. In the almost six years of Audu’s government, we cannot point to anything in Kabba or any part of Okun land as achievements. I also make bold to say that we could not point to any Kabba man that was a commissioner or special adviser or special assistant throughout the six years of Audu. Can we now say such a person should be governor in Kogi today? It is also laughable that a man that is currently facing corruption charges of billions of Naira before the court as accused by Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) should also be the governor of Kogi, particularly under a government of zero tolerance for corruption as championed by President Mohammadu Buhari. For me, APC has insulted the sensibility of the people of Kogi by electing him as its candidate. For instance what do you expect the Kogi civil servants that suffered untold hardship in his hands during his inglorious reign when their salaries were being denied them and very many people sacked along ethnic line? How do you expect the pensioners that he once described as dead wood to feel about his second coming? What do you expect the people of Obangede and Kabba whose specialist hospitals were stripped of their medical equipment and their hospitals downgraded to mere clinics? I want to believe it will be an easy ride for Wada who has demonstrated fairness, equity and justice to all the tribes of the state.