By Ajogwu Jerry Ochada
For many, politics seems to be a bed of roses perhaps the more reason people venture into politics is to amass illegitimate wealth while the masses who participated in the free or illicit electoral process that heralded their emergence suffer the wrath of maladministration stimulated by self-centredness, cabal dictates and ‘god fathererism’.
Political office holders are no longer judged by the number of projects they initiate and completed but are hailed to their own detriments by sycophants and myopic proponents singing and writing sugarcoated lines to justify their fraudulent allowances.
Political office holders no longer win the positions they occupy through merit; character and charisma but are selected to be featured by political parties according to the strength of the cabal subscribed to and the number of weak electorates they can cajole through vote buying and initial benefits.
Gone are the days when people are elected by the masses according to their manifestos, today selections are conducted and political leaders are installed against the wish of the people.
This impunity is trending sour in Kogi State where the ‘White Lion’ is roaring at ease maybe to scare away the cowardly defined comrades and politicians from roaming in the jungle. No doubts, according to proverbial reference, the lion is the king of the jungle but they ruled according to strength in tenures and the Confluence State should not be an exception because vox populi vox dei (the voice of the people is the voice of God).
From the beginning of the incumbent dispensation in Kogi State, the issue of salary payments of civil servants automatically became the best topic of debate for social media pundits and realists using the Kogi example. It was obvious as civil servants are seen languishing in pains, abject poverty and disbelief; many pensioners and even those in service could not afford to pay their bills, many died out of frustration and some persons died on their hospital beds because medical attention was paused due to unavailability of funds.
Recall the case of a senior civil servants who died by committing suicide because he was denied his salaries and entitlement. Suicide is not an option but what triggered the decision is preventable especially in a supposed democratic setting.
Unfortunately, impunity is roaming nude in Kogi State and any attempt to posit in sincere lines will be perceived as mutiny or an act of inciting the masses against the government.
What I fail to understand by this mission of self delusion is simple: Are the suffering masses so insensitive to their own plights that they await writers and constructive critics to awake their reservations towards the government? This is a topic earmarked for another day.
It is time to shop for a new governor in Kogi State.
The roaring of the lion should not deter the people from doing the needful; we must pursue a peaceful electoral process however, no individual or group have the monopoly of violence.
During the just concluded elections, Kogi-East in particular became an Afghanistan replicated location in Nigeria. The just concluded elections in Kogi State was laced with violence; remember the case of a 19 year old undergraduate of Kogi State University who was triggered down while attempting to exercise his civic rights.
Many fake security personnel that disguised wearing police and military camouflage were also intercepted during the elections. It is not an ample time to criticize the incumbent leadership in Kogi State rather this should be an epoch making season where the roaring lion must be tamed and replaced with the most qualified technocrat who can sail the Confluence State to the best destination of our collective dreams.
Let me reiterate clearly: A bad leader will NEVER learn from his / her mistakes when the limited number of critics can easily be cajoled with stipends to support impunity.
In the past days and months, many comrades were victimised by hunger and lack of positive shame; trashing the interest of the people they once interceded for, claimed all of a sudden they have seen sun light in the darkest night; at the verge of liberating our people from dungeon.
It is not a crime to cross carpet because just like any religion we practice, there is no crime swapping as long as it is a bid to exercise your fundamental human rights without trampling on the limited rights of your former allies by selling their cherished secret anchored on prudent developmental strategies to your new Pay Masters.
Over time, I observed the leadership style trending in Kogi State is likened to the Roman game of leadership which is ‘make them hungry and thirsty then select a fraction amongst the people and empower them to fight their brethren’. This is what the ‘New Direction’ cyber dogs are hired to do at the moment.
The basic fun of democracy is not a fierce opposition; but utilizing the constructive lines of critics as corrective measure of governance should be a yardstick. In our own clime, perceived political opponents are intimidated, arrested, queried and attacked in order to keep mute.
This is not politics. Political interplay should be based on mutual respect where members of opposition parties are at liberty to criticize with facts while the leading party should attempt to mute any perceived fallacy with evidence. This is the best attainment of democracy!
I come from a family where my elder brother is a staunch supporter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and he worked for the re-election victory of President Muhammadu Buhari; he is presently working for the re-election of Yahaya Bello but it does not make us enemies. We are adults and have rights of franchise. This is how politics ought to be. It should be devoid of hatred and sentiment even though interest must supersede.
Lest I forget, as we journey down the lanes leading to the scheduled electoral process in Kogi State, we all know ‘everyone’ is at liberty to contest election but the new breed of political aspirants gunning for Lugard House should have a robust phase of introspection simply because Lugard House is not a chicken republic and the Confluence State is not a drama theater.
It beats my wild imagination to witness semi-baked politicians who have failed in all pleasures and adventures hungrily indicating interest to contest the forthcoming gubernatorial election in Kogi State.
It is also very amusing that those who are self-centred in character and deeds (more than the incumbent) are also queuing up to climb the ladder. I wish to categorically caution these new comedians-elect to have a rethink now before it is too late; kindly pause any intent of coming to swindle funds in Kogi State because at the moment, nothing is remaining to be siphoned.
Kogites are shopping for a leader with credible antecedents; not an opportunist who lack the wherewithal or traces of leadership armour and glamour. We are earnestly seeking for the services of a trailblazer par excellence who can lead Kogi State and Kogites to the promise land.
To this end, any politician who is not ready to speak and fight for the masses by joining hands with whosoever triumphs after the primary elections should bury their egos now. Kogi State is not a litmus paper for testing bad politicians because affliction must not rise the second time.
Truth is always bitter but it must be told at all times at least for posterity to bear us witness. The forthcoming gubernatorial election is not just a time to tame the young but not useful roaring lion, it is a season destined for the emergence of a successor that can make an applaudable difference. We must get there.
God bless Kogi State!