As the November 2, 2019 date set by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for the governorship election in Kogi state draws nearer, there has been a lot of interest on who governs the North-central state in the next four years.
The interest shown in the forthcoming gubernatorial election stems from the fact that Kogi state had been in the news for all the negatives in the past four years. If indeed democracy is the means to achieve purposeful development, then democracy has woefully failed the people of Kogi state in the last four years.
Therefore, all the lovers of democracy in Nigeria are on the edge as the D-Day for the governorship election draws nearer in Kogi state.
There have been numerous commentaries on the political gladiators, who had so far thrown their hat in the ring of the political contest in Kogi state, but one outstanding name that has dominated the entire discourse is that of Abubakar Ibrahim Idris, the son of former Governor Ibrahim Idris who governed Kogi between 2003 and 2008.
His ambition is not opportunistic but borne out of the burning desire and the patriotic intention to deliver Kogi state from the doldrums occasioned by inept leadership and bad governance over the years, especially the present government in the confluence state.
For those who know and work with Abubakar, they will confess to you that he has the innate ability and immense competence and capacity to change the sad and unfortunate story in Kogi state for the better.
He is educationally qualified and possesses the acumen and experience required to govern Kogi state, having understudied his father from a very close quarter.
Abubakar is not a noise maker and was not overbearing during his father’s reign but a lot of people believe and strongly too that Abubakar is just a chip off the old block.
Remember his father defeated an incumbent, the Late Prince Abubakar Audu, to ascend the seat of the governorship and till date, his record of service and achievements have remained unparalleled in the history of Kogi state.
Therefore, Abubakar Idris enjoys enormous goodwill within the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) stakeholders in Kogi state in particular and all over the country in general.
In a recent interview with Daily Trust newspaper, Abubakar Idris depicts the picture of a man who is well grounded and vast in governance and is prepared to offer purposeful leadership for the good people of Kogi state.
In the interview the gubernatorial hopeful said: “God has been good to us through natural endowments in Kogi state. With over 27 solid mineral resources in commercial quantity; if given the opportunity, the immediate task of my administration will be how to harness all these solid minerals for the betterment of our people.
“We will create a conducive environment that will attract the influx of investors. We shall create industrial zones. We shall also try and give tax cuts to investors to enable them stabilise. By so doing, the economy of the state will flourish while thousands of our unemployed citizens can be gainfully employed.
“Insha Allah, we shall take a holistic look at the case of the events of the last few years, particularly the reform of the civil service. We intend to revisit, re-engineer and restore the dignity of civil service in the state.
“We shall ensure that we return the civil service to the glorious days where each worker will find fulfilment in his career while at the same time, making sure that the ministries and parastatals perform the traditional and legitimate responsibilities.”
The good people of Kogi state are yearning for good governance after swallowing the bitter pill of bad governance in the last four years where the state in practically backward in all the indices of development.
The pauperisation of the state’s civil servants, pensioners and the populace in general gives a clear picture of what the citizens are going through under the present administration in Kogi state.
The dearth of infrastructure, rising cases of insecurity and absence of social services have remained a permanent feature in the state.
There are many heartrending stories that came out of Kogi state in the last four years and the time has come for the people of Kogi state to take their destiny in their own hands.
Musa writes from Abuja.