#KogiGovRace: @CaptWada, a significant risky gamble for PDP – Thomas John
Since 1999, for many citizens of Kogi State, stasis has been a constant denominator in most actions of all its past leaders in government. From Governor Audu Abubakar to Ibrahim Idris and now, Idris Wada, nothing seems to have changed. The leadership of the state have been clouded by allegations of corruption and poor performance.
The November governorship election therefore presents a fresh opportunity and high possibility for the revival of the fortunes of the state provided a set of quality leadership is introduced into Kogi politics.
Luckily, for Kogi citizens, the problem and pains of having an Audu Abubakar as their next governor seems delightfully settled. This is so because the present political power tussle in the Kogi APC makes it very unlikely that an Audu Abubakar will emerge victorious against the wishes of many party heavy weights that are assumed to have already taken their case to the ears of President Muhammadu Buhari, a no nonsense man on corruption.
Presently, the expectation is that President Buhari will neither be too deaf nor blind to the long list of Audu Abubakar’s alleged past atrocities. Already, the red signals from the National leadership of APC are pointing towards Audu Abubakar’s direction in line with President Buhari’s recent declaration to the world that his fight against corruption is not a respecter of political affiliation.
On the other side of the political divide, is the incommodious intention of the incumbent governor, Idris Wada to seek a second tenure under the PDP. The reality on ground reveals that Wada’s desperation for a second term in office has already given rise to a revolt within the PDP as witnessed by the cancellation of the conducted state PDP ward congress which he was accused of manipulating and most recently, the imposition of his ‘men’ in the rescheduled election under the watchful eyes of Olisa Metuh – the National Publicity secretary of the PDP.
Within the PDP party and in general, the Kogi electorate, Governor Idris Wada seems to have lost on both fronts. Recently, he has come under intense criticism from majority of Kogi citizens due to his compromised credibility and underperformance rating in governance. All these negative attributes have combined to be huge minus for his aspiration and the desires of Kogi people. Even though Wada and his inner circle have made various efforts to project him as a viable candidate in the elections, unfortunately, scandals being churned out on him appear endless and attempts by his lean supporters in the PDP to protect him from criticisms have not been successful because the voices of his critics appear to have grown too loud to be subdued and the facts in their hands on Wada’s inappropriateness cum mismanagement are enough to send even a strong politician to the gulag or political oblivion.
To many analysts, Wada has not succeeded in providing appropriate leadership in both government and his party. Specifically, at the party level, under Wada the PDP has been fractured. In fact, since the elections of 2011which ushered him into office, a lot of PDP members have left the party because they felt aggrieved by his imposition on them and many more are still questioning whether they should leave the party if Wada gets the PDP ticket for the November poll. Indeed, if this happens, it will be a very deep dilemma for the PDP. As such, with Wada, it has become obvious that PDP has a very scary prospect in the forthcoming governorship election. Furthermore, the ousting of major PDP members from their seats at the National Assembly in the last 2015 general elections has been the lowest point and stark moment of failure for the PDP under Wada. Again, at the state level, in many respects, Governor Wada has failed and his inability to sustain the confidence of the
Kogi people has also become a major problem for his leadership of the state. Thus, Wada’s continued stay in office will be akin to keeping a Captain that is taking its passengers to a crash destination. This is where many focused analysts believe that the eyes of the national leadership of PDP must be opened to the retrogressive purported decision of making Wada its candidate in the November election, otherwise, the party will be doomed.
Contrastingly, in the past few months, Wada’s priority in the state has been on his political survival through the use of the state PDP structure and enforcers to manipulate the upcoming primaries rather than focusing on the implementation of projects that will reverse his unpopularity in the state. At the party level he seems to have made considerable inroad by installing his cronies in various party leadership positions. However, with a bad record card of governance under the PDP, the ready question herein is of what worth will another PDP governorship ticket be in hands Wada? For many sympathizers of the Kogi PDP, removing Wada on the contenders list is the most credible option because the governorship contest in Kogi State is beyond just producing a candidate from a party but more about projecting the candidate of choice.
A quick recall of history shows that in the past three years, Idris Wada has made headlines in the media for all the negative reasons and there is no indication that his continued occupancy of the highest political position in Kogi State will restore normalcy, hope and appropriate life for Kogi citizens. Any other choice aside asking Wada to step down will spell doom for the PDP because it will be a mountainous task to convince the majority of Kogi voters that PDP means well for them with Wada on the ballot. Simply put, politics of party destruction leaves the individual with no platform and the PDP cannot afford to hang on to any form of mediocrity that will give room to chances of losing such an important election. Wada has shown that he neither understands politics properly nor does he have capacity for proper governance. So where lies his potentials for good governance? A PDP governorship ticket to Idris Wada will further split the party and guarantee a bleak future as it will have a very long grim journey to comeback as a viable political party after a highly predictable electoral loss.
For the greater good of the Kogi people, the best advice for the PDP is to pressure Wada to relinquish power and allow someone else that is competent and popular to take over in order to rebuild a united and peaceful party. This may even provide a very good soft landing for Governor Idris Wada as he will still be accorded a leadership status in the party and by extension in the state. In all, the selection of a next Kogi State governor will depend more on voters’ choice than party sentiments and impunity. Nevertheless, the final decider remains God.
‘Any other choice aside asking Wada to step down will spell doom for the PDP because it will be a mountainous task to convince the majority of Kogi voters that PDP means well for them with Wada on the ballot’
Thomas wrote from Kabba, Kogi State.