Kogi State since its creation experienced both military and civilian rules. The tragedy of political incursion of the military and by their own record in Nigeria, has overwhelmingly proven a case of aberration and mutilation of political powers.
Pretended to be a political messiah and helping to build a corrective system, the military ventured into politics in Nigeria. But like a lucifer in our political garden, they destroyed all the seeds of good governance; leaving behind the legacies of avaricious politics and prodigality, nepotism and maladministration of all kinds.
Realizing their destructive roles in politics and bowing not only to self-convicted judgment, but also with an intense internally and external pressure, the military saw themselves shamelessly leaving the political arena more destroyed than they met it. Today, history has confined them to a more permanent political abyss, at least for now, or many years to come.
However, the question clearly begging for an answer in (Nigeria) Kogi State is this: if the civil rule we clamoured for, and got for nearly 18 years ago uninterruptedly, is still manifesting all kinds of militaristic problems, where then do we go from here? Or put differently, if all the successive civilian regimes in Kogi State, are so far guilty of nepotism, corruption, politics of personal vendetta and ruling through the power of bullets rather than the expected civility, why then should we have clamoured for democracy and not allowing the military to remain in power?
For instance, the Late Governor Abubakar Audu (may his soul continue to Rest In Peace), did achieve unparalleled infrastructural development fit and repositioning of Kogi State in the comity of other states in Nigeria. But even at that, history does not exempt his administration from the evils of authoritarianism, poor human capital development, politics of personal vendetta and those egregious power drunk related high-handedness, that made him lose power to the then relatively unknown political quantity in Kogi politics, former Governor Ibrahim Idris.
With the Late Prince, losing out political power to Ibrahim Idris, one would have thought that the succeeding administration will build on the weaknesses of his predecessor. But that was not to be. Instead, the regime had compounded governance in Kogi State, as it allegedly resorted to the promotion of political thuggery and recruitment of highly marginalized youths as desperate weapons of winning state and local government elections. This, together with allegations of corruption, squandermania, among others, ruined the chances of delivering quality leadership as the governor of the state.
With the state battling to cope with the growing problems of political thuggery and avalanche of socio-economic and political underdevelopment, Capt. Idris Wada’s administration was born under the anointing of Alhaji Ibrahim Idris. With the dwindling income of the state due to the fall of crude oil prices at the international market, Governor Wada had many issues to battle with, including the usual problems of prebendal politics and misdirected state policies for personal gain.
Putting together all of these challenges, and the growing impatience of the electorates, Capt. Wada obviously manifested sameness of clear absence of leadership credentials to manage the lean income through innovative thinking, and ways of raising revenue profile of the state by blocking all sorts of leakages due to corruption.
Bereft of ideas on what to do to redeem his electioneering promises and thus restoring public confidence in his government, it was certain Wada’s reelection project was a failure from the very start. As time tickles down the line, the electorates across all the geo-politics of the state became more apprehensive of the regime’s ability to make any meaningful impact in Kogi State. So in unison, more than half of the electorates in Kogi State had embraced the call to change the status quo.
With the state deeply enmeshed in economic and political comatose, it was only a matter of time Wada’s administration will be swept away by the blowing wind of ‘change’ in the country’s polity. Minus the death of Prince Abubakar Audu, who inconclusively won the election, plus an act of predestination (which renders every other thing inconsequential), Yahaya Bello emerged from the political blues to become the Governor of the state.
With high hopes and expectations built on campaign promises of “change”, GYB did not disappoint his listeners when in his inaugural speech, re-echoed what President Muhammadu Buhari said in his celebrated Swearing-In Speech on May 29, 2015: “I belong to everybody and I belong to nobody!”. He assured Kogites he was aware salaries have not been paid to some of the Civil Servants for some months and propose to commence paying as promptly as possible, including the gradual payment of arrears, among other assurances. But it’s only a matter of time the old problem will soon rear its ugly head in the self acclaimed “new direction government”.
His Excellency, GYB, who promises to provide exceptional leadership, is himself granite-like in its immobility. All the promises are fast witnessing contradictions. But here we are dealing with a particular kind of system that ignores its own system-error messages: Intolerance of opposition/critics of government, continuous delay/refusal to pay salaries/pensions, the lingering closure of state’s own higher institutions, among others.
In fact, it’s like this regime is more interested in making enemies, instead of converting them to supporters -using feedback mechanisms and showing flexibility. Here we found ourselves in a system that insists that everyone must change, but does not itself showing enough capacity to change the old system (of authoritarianism, largely to due to absence of leadership credentials). This is a failing that must not be allowed to continue.
The current cries and agonies here and there, are indicative the present system, like the old order, is itself falling prey to dark troubles. It is even starting to reach some confused awareness that it is under accusation — and perhaps even under threat?
Let the truth be told, a system that has no any or lacks restorative power, or any internal regulation, or any capacity coolly to guide the way through a real problem, deserves only to disappear. So far, the myriad socio-political and economic problems of Kogi State is not too different from the poverty of leadership!!
– Simeon Anyebe
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