By Moses Abdulrahman Yusuf
As the clock ticks and the November 16th governorship election in Kogi state draws nearer, political parties, their supporters and candidates are already putting finishing touches to their campaign strategies and tactics at winning the love and votes of the electorates.
Even though the flag bearer of the Social Democratic Party SDP, Natasha Akpoti is also working hard to sell her manifesto and convince the people of the state that her party and candidacy provides a better alternative to the two leading political parties that the people were already used to, the fact remains glaring that the forthcoming election in the state will certainly be a two horse race between the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and the major opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
It is desirably expected that the campaigns of the candidates and their political parties be based mainly on issues that affects the overall wellbeing of Kogi state and Kogites.
We expect the candidate of the PDP, Engineer Musa Wada to focus on and enumerate what he will do differently if elected and wins the mandate of the people, Kogites also want governor Yahaya Bello to concentrate more on presenting and showcasing his score card for the past four years and tell the people how he hope to improve and build on his achievements if given the chance to continue for another four years.
Issues of prompt payment of workers’ salaries and pension allowances should take the front seat, provision of improved and enhanced quality education, motorable roads across the state, bringing quality and affordable healthcare delivery closer to Kogites, provision of clean water to the people across the state, environmental sanitation to enhance good health and ensure a clean state, improved mechanized agriculture system to enhance food security in our state, more investment in sports as a sure way of engaging our agile youth population and taking them away from crime, improved security, and issues that will lead to improved revenue generation in Kogi state should characterize the campaigns of all the political parties and their candidates. This is what a healthy political atmosphere that will benefit the masses requires.
Sadly, some disgruntled elements are already going about promoting politics of ethnicity and tribal sentiment. To these shallow minded individuals without an iota of common sense, the forthcoming election in the state is between Igala and Ebira.
Although it is true that the two major contenders are the incumbent governor Yahaya Bello and Engr Musa Wada who are from Ebira and Igala speaking tribes respectively, we must be careful and observe caution so as not to give the coming governorship election a tribal coloration.
The local champions and promoters of ethno-tribal politics in the state should be guided that no particular tribe or ethnic group in the state can actually rule or govern alone without involving the others; we have had East- governor/ Cental- deputy governor/West- SSG and Speaker, East- governor/ West- deputy governor/ Central- Speaker in the past, we currently have a Central- governor/ East- deputy governor/ West- SSG and Speaker. This is an indication that there is no way a particular tribe or ethnic group can form a government in Kogi state by excluding the others.
We must be avoid voting out of tribal considerations or ethnic sentiment, as this will do more harm than good to the future and development of our dear state. Our goal and desire in the November 16th governorship election should be to elect a man who will govern and rule with common sense, a man who will prioritize payment of salaries, pension allowances and welfare of civil servants, a man who will develop all parts of the state without prejudice to any. A man who will provide quality education for our children, a man who will invest in sports and engage our teaming youth, a man who will make agriculture and provision of food a priority, a man who will make our state clean and green again. A man who will provide clean water to the nooks and corners of the state. A man who will not play politics with matters of security, a man who will bring quality and affordable healthcare delivery closer to our people and a man who will treat all Kogites as equals irrespective of their tribe, religion or gender.
It doesn’t matter whether this man comes from Ebira, Igala, Okun, Bassa or any other tribes or ethnic groups in the state, the ultimate in the coming election is Kogi needs a leader, not a ruler.
The good governance advocate, journalist Moses Abdulrahman Yusuf contributed Lokoja
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