Kogi Election is beyond buying delegates ,Muzzling others -Igala Elder
… Says the Coast is No Longer Clear for Yahaya Bello
Kaduna based Economist and an Igala elder from the Eastern flank of Kogi State, Mr. Bernard Akuh Sule has said that those nursing undemocratic process of buying delegates and muzzling other persons during the forthcoming primary election in Kogi State, should be ready to accept outright defeat.
In a chat with journalists ,Mr. Sule said such aspirants do not have exposure, knowledge and capital strength to harness resources and goodwill to solve arrays of socio-economic problems bedevilling the State over the years
This is even as he noted that the coast for the gubernatorial race is not cleared for the incumbent governor of the State, Yahaya Bello, considering the fact that he does not have a captive constituency, not with over 40 aspirants from Kogi East Senatorial district alone who are ready to slug it out with him.
He said the State needs a focused leader who can take it out of so many problems confronting it since its creation.
“The race for the Governorship seat of Kogi State is on. The incumbent governor of the state Gov. Yahaya Bello (GYB) cannot pretend to say the coast is clear for him come November 2019 when the election shall hold. This is because he does not have a captive constituency not with over 40 aspirants from Kogi East Senatorial district alone.
“Amongst the multitudes aspiring to occupy the number one seat, who do we know has what it takes to ring fence these problems, and stay focused to solve them for the benefit of all? It is not about who can buy delegates, mobilise voters, muzzle other and create obstacles. It is about who has the passion, training, exposure, knowledge and the Chief Executive Officer Capital to harness resources and goodwill to solve these problems
“The number of aspirants eyeing the only seat at Lugard House should not bother any patriotic Kogi citizen and the average Igala man for that matter, as it is expected that leaders of both the major parties (APC & PDP must have done all within their wisdom to coerce, persuade, motivate and dissuade some of them to withdraw, to trim the unreasonable number. Whatever number of them that go for the primary election in August, 2019 would indicate their best effort”.
The economist who is a retired Banker raised some questions for politicians in Kogi, saying, “The lovers of Kogi State both at home and abroad may however want to pose some pertinent questions.
‘The first question is to the Igala leaders, and politicians; Do we know what the Igala people have lost (or gained) in the economic turmoil’s in the state and the nation in the past five years, characterised by unpaid salaries, pensions and contracts; job loss and insecurity?
“By the Law of Large of Numbers (LLN), Igala have suffered the most, and this should have informed how they go about the leadership recruitment process in their area.
“The second question to all aspirants for the number one seat is: Have they taken time to know what is on the ground in the state as relating to finance, a scarce resource the availability, adequacy and management of which touch all other sectors in the state, when mixed with the CEO Capital of the Governor whoever he may be?
“The next question is, who among the aspirants is best fit to take on the responsibility? The picture painted above is certainly not for someone aiming to become a routine, copycat or puppet governor. It is not even for just a government appointee who has no hands on experience in public sector finance management”.
He observed that Kogi State is one of the most indebted States in the country because, “A peep into the debt sheet of the state as at end of 2017 as reported by Premium Times of June 19th 2019, using the Debt Management Office (DMO) disclosure put the debt overhang at N102.4bn.
“These figures may possibly be apart from about N30bn owed workers, contractors and pensioners. It is doubted if the situation will change simply because of billions from Paris Club or as a result of increase in internally generated revenue (IGR) which has increased from a mere N9bn annually in 2016 to N14bn presently. The Debt Management Office (DMO) has listed Kogi State as one of the most indebted states in Nigeria.
“It means the state is in a tight financial position, with its Liquidity and Solvency Ratio (LSR) above the threshold. In this position, institutional lenders are reluctant to provide financial accommodations, and in the absence of external injections the state may become comatose.
He urged Kogi citizens not to indulge in blame game at this critical political calculations.
“It is unproductive at this stage to indulge in blame game. The job of managers is to solve problems. Are Kogi leaders, politicians and indeed stakeholders looking for an ethnic representative, caretaker or someone to pull the state from its economic doldrum? It is not about who rules, it is about who manages to achieve the key objectives of welfare for the people, security of lives and properties; compliance with all known laws and putting Kogi State on growth orbit.
“Do the aspirants know that the Federal Government cannot offer help on a sustainable basis? Not with the debt servicing taking 70% of federal income! The World Bank has advised the Federal Government and the 36 states in Nigeria on how to survive economically and escape distress; Improve internally generated revenue (IGR), Improve spending efficiency, strengthen debt management and fiscal transparency.
“My advice to aspirants, their sponsors, handlers, and supporters is to look for this man amongst the crowd created by raw zeal and support him from beginning to the end. This is the right solution to the problem of Kogi State, yesterday, today and tomorrow”.