Friday, 8th December 2023

Kogi 2019: Puzzles, as wada brothers vie for PDP ticket

By Omololu Ralph Agbana, Lokoja
01 September 2019   |   3:43 am
The race for the governorship ticket of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Kogi State got a boost with the entry of Dr. Musa Wada, an engineer, who is a younger brother to former governor Idris Wada.

Musa Wada

• Kogi Is Sick, Needs Urgent Help — Engr. Wada
The race for the governorship ticket of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Kogi State got a boost with the entry of Dr. Musa Wada, an engineer, who is a younger brother to former governor Idris Wada. Incidentally, Wada, the former governor is also in the race, seeking another term on the same PDP platform, making the September 3 PDP primary one to behold.

But the younger Wada has not just newly indicated interest in the governorship of Kogi State. According to him, it is an idea nurtured over the years of which planning towards its execution had commenced over two years ago.

Wada who was in Odo-Ere, Yagba West Local Council, where he addressed PDP delegates and stakeholders had on his entourage, Alhaji Suleiman Idris, whose elder brother, Abubakar Idris is also a governorship aspirant of the PDP. To add to the puzzles, both Abubakar Idris and Suleiman Idris are sons of former Governor Ibrahim Idris. 

Interestingly, Engr. Wada married the former governor Idris’s daughter. Musa Wada said he had been a professional man all his life. He has been with the Engineering Division of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) and rose to become the Chief Port Engineer, Tin-Can Island Port between 2004 and 2007, where he was in charge of the general monitoring, overseeing and maintenance of the Tin-Can Island Port facilities and equipment. His overwhelming performance, show of trust and display of true patriotism while at Tin-Can Island Port Complex, he said, led to the NPA management board entrusting him with the responsibility of overseeing the Capital Project of NPA Headquarters, with his appointment as a Principal Manager, Capital Project of the NPA headquarters in Lagos. 

Wada told PDP delegates and stakeholders that he was vying for the governorship “to restore the values of our people.”
According to him, Kogi State presently is in the hands of people who got to power by accident, lack of ideas, and as a result the state is terribly ill and is like a patient lying in a hospital’s emergency unit, requiring the intervention of a physician.

“Kogi State is in the emergency ward now and behind the emergency ward is the mortuary. If you are in the emergency ward with a good doctor, you move back to the normal patients’ ward. At the normal ward you get well and return to your family. If you have a bad doctor, see emergency ward, see mortuary. Now who are the doctors in this case? The governorship aspirants, including the incumbent. Let me caution that if you have a fake doctor and you continue to engage him, your sickness will never be healed. Now you have a fake doctor in Kogi State Government House called governor. You have a few days for you to decide whether to tell him to go or he remains to your detriment. 

“Tough times don’t last but tough people do. The way to change the narrative is to look at what you have gone through in the last three and a half years and have a covenant with your God. You ask yourself: “Am I ready for a change?” The money a politician pays you on election day in two days the money is finished and you return to the emergency ward for another four years. 

“I have long years experience in the public sector, and if you do government work you know the pain of not being paid salary at the end of the month. In the case of Kogi under the present government we are not taking about one month or two months unpaid salaries, we are talking about workers owed between 30 to 38 months.  If we come in by the special grace of God and through you mandate, salary delay will become a thing of the past. 

“Infrastructure, look at the road from Kabba to Egbe, I did not know that a road like this exists in the 21st century where you have a governor. Don’t worry, your suffering as a result of the bad road is going to be over very soon. They call it federal road but if you have a governor who feels for his people, what it takes is synergy with the federal ministry works, by the time you give them little pressure you could have seen construction equipment on this road by now. If you give me your mandate you will see the difference. As a government, you do not just depend on money you take from the federal government. You have to think out of the box to generate money, to raise your IGR, block leakage, fight corruption. 

“When you are a governor of a state, you are holding power in trust for the people, you are not their ruler, you are their servant, you are supposed to be transparent, you are supposed to be accountable, they are supposed to know what you use their resources for. That is democracy.  What you have today are people who got to power accidentally, unfortunately they feel they are your masters and you are their servants. It can never be your portion again with me as governor. 

“You can see hunger on the faces of every Kogites everywhere you go. When we come in, within the first one month, we will declare a state-of- emergency in every sector of the economy. Offsetting salary arrears will be our focus; instant payment of salaries, not percentage payment, so that the hunger and pressure can go down a bit. After that, we will bring in the private sector marshalling us to carrying out serious investment and infrastructure development.  In advanced climes, developing infrastructure is within private sector participation. When we come in, the decay in our health institutions will be addressed. 

“For two years, we have been planning how to place Kogi State on a stable foundation. I am not like aspirants who just woke up and came into the race just two or four months ago. It is not about personal interest.  It is not about printing posters.  It is about understanding the terrain, about understanding the problems of the people of Kogi State. Before you consider taking money from a governorship aspirant, look at the character giving you money; how much of the problems of the state does he know? If you vote because of the money you are killing your future.”

Adding his voice, Suleiman Idris, son of former governor Ibrahim Idris and younger brother to one of Wada’s opponent, Abubakar Idris, urged PDP delegates to cast their votes for Wada. He explained that his support for Wada dated back to two years, long before his own brother decided to run. He said the struggle for leadership change in the state should not be by family sentiments.  He described Wada as one who is well connected and capable of influencing investment opportunities to the state, leading to creation of job opportunities for idle youths and women, thereby reducing dependability on government jobs. He however assured that as loyal party men, whoever clinches the PDP ticket at the end of the primaries will have the support of all and sundry at the general election. 

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