Over the past months I have consulted with leaders and the rank and file of the All Progressives Congress, APC in Kogi State, the national leadership of our party, as well as other Kogites across the political divide.
The feedback from these efforts and the huge support I received has encouraged me to embark on this journey to rescue Kogi State from state capture that has impoverished the majority of our people and made the state a huge joke.
If you have a conscience and you watch a people live a fate worse than death, then your spirit must verge on being broken. Being a witness to crushing poverty lived by people across a confluence with huge mineral platforms, and being a witness and also a recipient of complaints from various quarters that family members die due to non payment of salaries and poor medical facilities leaves me with a feeling of despondence. However.
The infrastructure challenges in Kogi State dehumanizes our people, such that there is a plague of hunger insecurity across Kogi State.
As I travel across the State, my pain at the misery index has been heightened. It is easy to say philosophically that I am diminished by the death of any human being and the misery of our people. In Kogi State, my conscience kills me some more with the death from avoidable causes of every man, woman or child, due partly to poor healthcare in the State. Sadly, such diminishing of the dignity of man is commonplace in our State, and this may be what propelled various groups and individuals to urge me to join the race in order to restore hope to our people.
Why is Kogi State the domain of poverty in spite of such incredible endowments, human and material resources? How does a state position to be the shining light of the middle belt turns to one where poverty rules and desperation is etched unto the faces of citizens?
Our state has since lost its way, and it has no excuse being the home of many poor people. Kogi has lost its glory and its dignity, and it is now literally on its knees begging to be rescued from the rot of many years, which is the result of poor governance, leadership failure and the incompetence of this present administration that turned its back on our people.
Kogi State receives allocations from the federation account, yet extreme poverty exists in the State. Little of these fiscal transfers from the federation account that enter the state circulate in the state. Studies show that the monies enter state coffers and bolt out. If the velocity of the money is such that it touches a few more people even briefly, prosperity will visit many presently poor and it will consolidate with the thriving few.
What is more, Kogi state is already hugely indebted, thus mortgaging its future generations. And the state acts as though it is unaware of our level of indebtedness. Worse still, the state’s infrastructure is evidently in shambles.
The state has also become barren of corporate life. Most businesses collapsed or moved away from Kogi.
The education sector faces numerous challenges resulting, in the average, on poor educational outcomes especially in WAEC examinations. We have also lost our top position in sports and youth development.
This continuing decay must stop. Nothing stops Kogi from becoming a network of Industrial Parks linked by world-class physical and social infrastructure.
With our current population growth rates, not creating job opportunities for our youths could mean that we would reap a whirlwind of anarchy. God forbid. But prayer is not enough. We must work as we pray. We must all take action now to free our state from bondage.
We are being given a new opportunity by our democratic process to have a new management that can transform Kogi and bring happy days back to all; rich and poor, male and female, urban and rural; young and old. We must seize this opportunity.
We all will be judged surely. We will be judged by our children. We will be judged by history. And ultimately, we will be judged by God.
Anybody who remembers judgment and is not moved to do something positive about our situation in Kogi State should probably never have been born.
My decision to contest for Kogi governorship election on the platform of our party, the All Progressives Congress. This course of action became imperative because Kogi State must be rescued.
I have since taken up that challenge. And I took this step because many people of goodwill urged that I have a duty to do the needful for what they think is a legacy that should be fuller and more fulfilling. These selfless patriots include Professionals, Civil servants, Businessmen, Elites, Students, Traders, Market women, Taxi drivers and Artisans.
I am motivated to join this race in order to rescue Kogi State from the rot it has been experiencing; not for personal interests nor for the interest of a few but for the interest of all Kogites. I will be Governor for all.
Our party must create a level playing field for all who are seeking the governorship ticket of our great party. It must allow party members to make informed decisions during the Primaries.
I want to indicate that when elected, our administration will provide Quality Education to citizens of the State. We will also ensure accessible quality health to our people. Pregnant women will have access to improved quality of ante- and post-natal healthcare services in order to reduce maternal and infant mortality.
I am committed to promoting and instituting good governance, fighting against corruption and I will run an inclusive government. Our youths are not the leaders of tomorrow, but of today, and they are our future. They will be appointed to play key roles in our administration. Creating job opportunities for our youths will be a priority of our administration. Our civil servants, local government employees, teachers and pensioners deserve that their wages and emoluments be paid in due time so that they can live a fuller life, and not one of misery.
We must end the era of self-serving leaders and bring about an undiluted focus on Purpose being the essence of public life, and not Power, as has been the case. Our people must be the reason for public service, and they must be at the heart of governance in Kogi State. As has been evident in the journey of my life, my joining this race is about service to the people of Kogi State.
When elected, my growth and development plans will focus on:
• Ending Poverty
• Infrastructure development, and
• Empowering our Communities.
We shall work hard to unite and build our party towards better inclusiveness, mutual trust and a cohesiveness that endures to serve a greater purpose and that benefits all in common; not one being defined by excessive partisanship.
It is time to restore hope and dignity back to our people; and as we look to a better future with new and brighter possibilities, I commit to providing the required leadership that will inspire all Kogites to be the best they can be, and in a manner that will enable each and everyone to pursue their legitimate individual and group interests and achieve their set goals with peace of mind and security assured. This is my new deal to all Kogites for a new Kogi.
I want to assure you that hope is on the way, and the future that we wish for now beckons. I have the much-needed experience and I will be bringing all of it to serve Kogi state as Governor and will begin to deliver from Day one in office. What is left is for all of us, Kogites and residents alike, to work collectively towards that new future with zeal and determination, and to bring about a change of the present administration in the state to one with sincerity of purpose, a commitment to the common good of our people and a government that will always put our people first. The time for that change starts now.
Kogi must rise up again! Let us arise and push to redeem Kogi State for ourselves, our children and for generations unborn.
May God bless Kogi State, and may God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria!!!
Let The Court Decide El-Zakzaky’s Fate – Presidency
The Presidency appeals to El-Zakzaky-led Shiite members to desist from needless violent street protests and await the decision of the court in Kaduna where their leader is currently being tried.
The issue of El-ZakZaky is before the court in Kaduna and his supporters should focus on his on-going trial instead of causing daily damages, disruptions and public nuisance in Abuja.
It is wrong to be in court and resort to violence at the same time in order to get justice for anybody accused.
The destruction of public property in the name of protest is not within the right of this group of Shiite members and no government anywhere would have tolerated a situation where any group would take over public roads in cities as they have done in Abuja and interfere with the rights of other citizens who are prevented from reaching their destinations.
We imagine a situation where families are taking their loved ones to hospital for emergency treatment and they are held up needlessly by the protesters. No government anywhere in the world would turn a blind eye to this unlawful behavior.
As far as this country’s Ministry of Justice is concerned, the case involving El-Zakzaky is no longer in its domain. The Federal Government no more has hands in the matter and to that extent, the government at the centre can be said to be clear of any alleged violations of court orders as being trumpeted everyday.
These rallies and street dances ostensibly to openly insult the President and other leaders, threatening bloodshed will lead nowhere because President Buhari will not ask the country’s judiciary to abandon due process and set a suspect free. At the same time, the administration is determined to enforce the decision of the court clearly issued. The Buhari administration has absolutely no hand in the on-going court case and the courts are free to determine the bail request and the final outcome.
The mentality that you are above the law and that your own rights are superior to other people’s rights is unacceptable.
You can’t be provoking other citizens by interfering with their own rights on public roads and disrupting their businesses and call it democratic freedom. In democratic traditions, their rights end where the rights of others begin.
Law abiding citizens must avoid deliberate lawlessness. It is not within the rights of any group to enter protected public institutions such as the National Assembly by force to attack police and destroy public and private property.
It is always advisable to embrace dialogue and eschew violence in all our actions so that we can continue to live together in peace.
We therefore appeal to the Shiite group to stop deliberate provocations that result in violence and fatalities and allow the trial of El-ZakZaky to take its course.
Atiku Gets 55 Cartons of Documents From INEC, Closes Case
The Independent National Electoral Commission on Thursday produced the documents which the Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal, in Abuja called for on Wednesday at the instance of the Peoples Democratic Party and its presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar.
The documents contained in 55 cartons ahead of Friday’s sitting when the petitioners are expected to close their case.
As of Wednesday, which was the ninth of the ten days allocated to them to present their case, the petitioners had only called 58 out of its 400 proposed witnesses.
The petitioners are, by their petition, challenging the victory of President Muhammadu Buhari and his All Progressives Congress at the February 23 poll.
The tribunal of five judges led by Justice Mohammed Garba had on Wednesday ordered INEC to produce the documents by noon on Thursday.
This followed the complaints by the petitioners that the subpoenas issued and served on INEC Chairman, Mahmood Yakubu, and the commission’s Residential Electoral Commissioner in Zamfara State to produce the documents had not been complied with.
The tribunal had on Wednesday adjourned the case till Friday, but the counsel for the PDP and Atiku, Chris Uche (SAN), attended the Thursday’s proceedings scheduled for hearing in respect of other petitions filed by the Hope Democratic Party and the Peoples Democratic Movement.
Uche said his presence in court was to ensure INEC’s compliance with the Wednesday’s order of the tribunal.
At about the time the five-man panel was to recede to chambers to write a ruling in respect of PDM’s petition, Uche informed the bench of his intention in court on Thursday.
In reaction, Justice Garba asked for update from INEC’s lawyer, Yunus Usman (SAN).
Replying, Usman informed the tribunal that the “documents had been substantially produced.
“It is a very tedious task, but we have to obey the court’s order.”
Within the period of the one-hour break observed by the members of the tribunal, INEC officials had brought in a total of 55 boxes of documents into the court room.
When the tribunal resumed sitting, INEC’s lawyer informed the panel that the order of the court had been complied with.
Pointing to the cartons of documents lined up in the courtroom, Usman said since the order of court was not for INEC officials on whom the subpoenas were earlier served to testify, the Director of Legal Services, Mrs Oluwatoyin Babalola, was present to represent the commission.
He also said there was a cover letter signed by the secretary to INEC, Mrs. Rose Orianran-Anthony, accompanying the documents.
He noted that the request by the petitioners for result sheets for the National Assembly rerun election in Zamfara State were not available as no such election was conducted.
Northern Coalition to Buhari: We’ll Hold You Responsible if Any Herdsman is Killed in the South
The Coalition of Northern Groups (CNG) says it will hold President Muhammadu Buhari responsible if any northerner is attacked in the south.
Abdul-Azeez Sulieman, spokesman of the group, said this in a statement on Thursday.
The statement was released after Buhari told herdsmen to disregard a call to vacate the southern part of the country.
The Northern Elders Forum (NEF) had asked herdsmen to leave the southern part of the country if their safety is no longer guaranteed.
However, Suleiman accused southern leaders of instigating violence against herdsmen after the murder of Funke Olakunrin, daughter of Reuben Fasoranti, Afenifere leader.
“A meeting with the Northern elders was fixed for Tuesday, 15th July 2019. We went to the meeting with a prepared position which we presented to the leadership of Northern Elders Forum. We highlighted the utterances made by the southern leaders including decisions taken by some notable political, religious and cultural leaders of the south,” he said.
“It is apparent that government’s initial silence throughout the recent weeks when various southern leaders and regional organizations were busy issuing incendiary threats and vituperation against the Fulani and northerners living in the south smacked of discriminatory application of this important constitutional provision.
“It is astonishing that the death of the daughter of an Afenifere chieftain in the hands of unknown assailants, painful as it is, should trigger more robust and timely response than that of the large scale and massive killings being witnessed in the above mentioned northern states.
“CNG wholeheartedly welcomes the assurance given by Mr. President and his government to protect and guarantee the safety of all Nigerians anywhere they are, including the threatened herdsmen in the south. We, however, wish to remind Mr President and the government that northerners would hold them fully responsible should any one of them fall victim of the consequences of the concerns we raised.”
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