A development advocacy group, Grassroots Arise for Growth and Development (GAGaD) has appealed to the governor of Kogi state, Dr Yahaya Bello, to be strategic in the choice of his successor, so that the monumental gains of the last eight years would not be lost.
National coordinator of group, Mr Osasona Omoleye, stated this Wednesday during in press briefing in Abuja, stressing that the sheer number of aspirants jostling for Lugard House signified the health of democracy in Kogi state.
He, however, cautioned that politics was not an end in itself, rather, but a means to an end, which is better life for the people.
The group suggested that he should throw his weight behind a competent candidate and a person of unquestionable character like himself so as to ensure that his legacies are not squandered and ongoing projects are left to rot.
“It amounts to taking a step forward and ten steps backward, if after the brilliant performance of the last eight years is handed over to a slack hand. Besides, the ruling APC in the Confluence State cannot afford a ‘hard to sell’ candidate.”
Osasona stated that the governor’s astounding performance and leadership acumen in the areas of infrastructural development, security and social mobilisation, the party under his watch can only be sustained by a winning streak.
He said: “We want that to continue. And the only way that can be sustained is by Governor Yahaya Bello beaming a searchlight on his inner circle, pick a competent, credible and charismatic candidate and support him or her. Because in the final analysis, winning the next election is the utmost target of every political party” he added.
The group further advised the governor to look in the direction of the Chief of Staff, Pharmacist Mohammed Jamiu Asuku, who they described as the astute administrator and competent leader whose track record distinguished him from the packs of contenders.
“He has proven to be one of the best heads a among the contenders who enjoys the people goodwill across ethnic and religious line in the state. He calmed, composed and smart”, he said.
While addressing the agitation for zoning, he described it as legitimate but comes far less as far as the safety, growth, prosperity and general well-being of the people is concerned.
“Look, we can’t be probating and reprobation at the same time. We have subscribed democracy, hence we must keep to democratic ethos of fair debates, open contest and level playing fields for interested parties. Obsession with zoning engenders mediocrity, breed incompetence and, ultimately, it is the people bear the brunt.
“Kogi cannot operate in isolation. Let it be done the way it’s being done in other states of Nigeria. Let every aspirant be free to test their popularity. Those canvassing for zoning are ethnic champions, who don’t have anything to offer the people, except clinging to some primordial sentiments like religion and ethnicity.
The group through its leadership listed conditions for the next governor of Kogi State, which is the willingness to sustain the current momentum orchestrated by the Bello administration, carry everybody along to ensure equity peace and harmony.
Mr Osasona further revealed that the incoming president, Bola Ahmed Tinubu will surpass the expectations of Nigerians. This according to him is against the backdrop of Tinubu’s track record as a problem solver.
“I know him as well as Nigerians know that Tinubu will go to the end of the earth to bring eggheads to form his cabinet. He has done that before. That’s the basis of the confidence Nigerians have in him. We are in for better days. You can take that to the bank,” he said