Kogi 2016: The untold performances of Wada & re-election chances, by Ilani Yusuf

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For some time now, obviously timed to discredit and make unpopular Governor Idris Wada ahead of the forthcoming governorship election in Kogi State, the media has been abuzz with unsubstantiated and often hollow anti-government allegations pelted by the opposition. A thin section of the media who finds a convenient ally in the opposition, including paid columnists and politically inclined and bias public affairs analysts have joined in the spread of falsehood, trying to malign the personality of the governor and in the process deliberately misinforming the public.

By the desperate estimation of the inventors of the lies, Governor Idris Wada has really done nothing since he assumed office in January 2012, is corrupt or has done little to curb corruption or just a lame duck governor who sits back while nothing happens. At best, there may have been no presence of governance these past three years! Over time, authors of anti-Wada comments in the Diaspora appear to have keyed into the blame job without anyone taking their time to do an appraisal of the true situation of in the state.

With the Kogi State Governorship Election around the corner, yes the election will be an isolated one on doubt, but it is very safe to say that Kogi State by every political parameter is a PDP controlled state with solid structures at the grassroots. Analysts have also agreed that the 2015 Presidential election result is never a yardstick to gauge the strength of the APC victory describing that victory as a flash in the pan.

There seem to also be these frantic efforts, to discredit and portray Captain Idris Wada as clueless and an unpopular choice in some section of the media by certain person(s), especially those having an eye on the governor’s seat and their agents. It is sad that we live in a society where people live in some fools paradise to think that they can
misinform the public and sale to them a bad product using propaganda.

Amidst the several efforts to build human and critical infrastructures in the state in the last three years, within the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the opposition, there has been unfounded, baseless and hate campaign tailored towards casting aspersion on the person of the Governor, about under performance, and his acceptability.

As a bonafide member of the PDP, it important to place on record that Capt Wada in 2011 won the party’s ticket in a free and fair primaries. It is also unfortunate to talk about the membership a man whose membership of the party have since been validated by the Supreme Court.

A look at where the state was when he assumed office, shows that remarkable progress in all spheres has also been made. Capt Wada in a clean and clear PDP primaries will a several times emerge victorious and go ahead to win the general election.

Talking about credibility, the PDP in Kogi when compared with the opposition party APC has no rival in its quality and quantity. The party therefore remains the party to beat in any election because of the appropriate leadership style offered the state by Capt Wada.

A look at the credentials of those who aspired to govern the state in 2011, aside Capt Wada, the only person who could also be adjudged as one with the right qualities to also govern the state then was Alh Abdulrazaq Isa Kutepa. The others lacked the capacity, capability, are inept and had corruption charges hanging on their necks. Thankgod the state came out the better for it after January 2011 primaries as the national party discovered the gross mistake and irregularities that characterized the process.

Albeit, since the creation of Kogi State, the credentials of Captain Idris Wada, the present Governor’s, as a world class aviator, a refined gentleman, the first graduate Governor, and a holder of a complimentary Master’s degree to have govern the State has no doubt made the difference in governance. As governor, Capt Wada introduced a scientific approach, tailored towards creating the environment for unlocking the natural and human potentials of the state.

The Governor’s finesse, prudent use of resources, a departure from the norm where money is shared to thugs, with the governor preferring to invest in positive youth development, are reasons behind the dislike, and the smear campaign to run him down.

Amidst several challenge Captain Wada met on assumption of office, three years down the line, and taking stock, it is safe to say that by the available records, the verdict has been that of good performance, devoid of noise making by the Wada administration.

The governor’s desire for quality work in the execution of projects across the state has ensured the putting in place of a vigorous procurement process devoid of the usual undercurrent for contract award to unqualified contractors and for political patronage. Another reason he is at logger heads with some persons. Realizing the nature of revenue accruing to the State, Captain Idris Wada made the payment of salaries a priority. It is important to state that the State is one among states in the federation that is not indebted to its workforce. As at time of this report, the salaries for May 2015, has been paid.

Averagely and since 2012 when he assumed office, the state receives between N3.5billion to N3.7billion as allocation. The wage bill of the state is put at N3.2billion, a figure that barely leaves the government with a little above N200million to run the state after salaries have been paid.

Presently the Staff strength of Teachers in the state is put at 33,000 with an expected wage bill put at N1.3 billion. More than that amount is however required to pay the N18000 minimum wage. Unfortunately, what the Teachers got to pay salaries for the month of March and April, 2015 was N1billion. Aside certain technical challenge to teachers in some Local government Areas, salaries of all teachers in the State would have been paid till date.

Similarly, The total staff strength of the entire Kogi State Council workers stands at 26,542 as at March end. The expected Monthly wage bill needed to offset the workers salaries at that level of government is put at about N1.6billion. Unfortunately the councils do not get up to that. But in all, all councils are up to date in salary payment, despite the complain of percentage payment.

The administration has since assumption of office ensured that funds are committed to the completion of inherited projects. At the last counts, the administration has not only completed payment for the greater lokoja water project, the confluence stadium, the phase two of the state secretariat, confluence beach hotels, several roads it inherited have been completed. For record, the Capt Wada administration he administration has so far completed 58 road projects across the state. Others are still on going.

It would therefore be wrong when commentators, out of mischief, to satisfy their pay masters write on the forth coming Kogi Governorship election, with the overwhelming control the PDP has over the APC and the Labour or Accord Parties, a Party Alhaji Jibrin Isah would have no choice but to adopt as an alternative platform to achieve his ambition since his desperation to be governor is insatiable.

The race to occupy Lugard House, the seat of government for another four years from January 2016 in Kogi State, leaves Capt Wada as the man to beat. Though he is yet to indicate his interest to run as stipulated by the constitution, political analyst have without conjecture or for wanting to be sensational, understand that the incumbent governor has the ability and what it takes to bring about the desired result in a governorship election.
Recall that he defeated Prince Abubakar Audu who today is the best candidate of the APC in the 2011 governorship election.

Ilani Yusuf wrote this article from Dekina, Kogi State.

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