Abubakar Idris: Running for governorship has nothing to do with my father
• I Have Passion To Serve Kogi
• My Brother Backs Another Aspirant, That’s Democracy
Eldest son of the state leader of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Kogi, and two-time governor, Alhaji Ibrahim Idris, Abubakar Idris is in contention for the PDP governorship ticket But his father’s name haunts him. Yet, he is undeterred.There are 13 aspirants in the race for the PDP ticket.
His father was governor of the state for nearly nine years and indeed the only governor of the state to have succeeded himself. And that seems to be the younger Idris’ drawback, not because his father was not popular with the masses. He is indeed one of the few former governors who have remained relevant in their states many years after leaving office. He is a member of the PDP Board of Trustees and the undisputed state leader of the party. But he is accused of gifting the PDP ticket to a member of the Idris family so soon and wanting to entrench a political dynasty.
Abubakar said though his father was governor, Kogi is not a personal estate and should have no room for encouraging a dynasty.“History is replete with examples of parents who have successfully mentored their children to follow in their footsteps. In fact, the tradition dates to the beginning of times. It is not unusual therefore to hear of a family of lawyers, generation of politicians, lineage of priests etc. The prayer of every parent is to have children that will surpass one in success. Since Abubakar’s ambition is lawful and he is competent, then he should be encouraged,” William Ochaja, a political analyst said.
At a media parley, Abubakar said: “I am more than 50 years and some are still saying someone wants to impose me. That is insulting to me and more so, to the Kogi people.“Over the years I have seen my state go down in terms of human capital and infrastructure development. I mean here we are faced with a state where salaries are not regular. Some haven’t been paid ranging from five to 30 months, not to talk about the pensioners that have put in more than 35 years of their lives serving a state. The educational system is in bad shape with arbitrary sack of teachers and lecturers in our institutions. The health and infrastructure are all going down the drift. Should one just sit back and say this is how it’s meant to be? No. I believe somebody has to come in and effect that change. If that is the case I decided to offer my self in order to change the narrative and give my people a better life.”
He admitted that he has a job to do, to convince Kogi people that his birth to his father is a great advantage, rather than the burden opponents take it for. “I have heard it many times that my dad is trying to bring me in through the back door, that he is looking for a third term. Let me say categorically, it is not true. My dad is not looking for any third term. But I, Abubakar Ibrahim is looking for a first term. Secondly our people are not that shallow minded not to distinguish between a father and a son or a daughter. We have different destinies. When I conceived the aspiration of wanting to run for the election, I told my dad the way I told other stakeholders in the state. At my age, I am above 50 years. People are not being fair when they describe me as a stooge. That my dad has been governor before shouldn’t mean I can’t be governor. My political activities are not only legal they are part of my fundamental human rights.
“But let me tell you the truth about this. Nobody has ever found me wanting and so help me God, nobody will. I have not been found wanting even with my fellow human beings. Now my greatest problem is being Ibro’s son. If that is my crime I am proud of it. That is all about that on the dynasty issue. Now back to my brother supporting another candidate, that is the beauty of politics. Nobody says you can’t have it anyway; it’s really about choice, interests. Have you not seen a family where the husband is in a different political party from the wife? For example our former PDP party chairman’s wife was in a different party. She even contested for a seat in the Senate in a different party. That didn’t stop them from being husband and wife. No. Also, the late Abubakar Audu and his former wife contested for the governorship office in the 2011 governorship election. It’s really about interests”.