Watching unfolding events as the gubernatorial election in Kogi draws nearer, I have sadly but surely reached the conclusion that unless certain things are done and until some traits are discarded, the just and reasonable quest for power shift will be nothing but a mirage.
Over the years we have seen how the cancerous team comprising of ego, greed, poverty, illiteracy, tribalism have reduced this quest to just a singsong to be mouthed every four years with all efforts and resources mobilized and squandered on the venture ending in failure. Despite the ferocity of the clamor this time around, the outcome by every calculation was a total disaster. The emergence of the flag-bearers of the two major political parties; APC and PDP gives credence to this assertion.
Before the primaries, I cautioned that the quest for power shift will hit the rocks if our aspirants and leaders refuse to conduct themselves in a positive manner. Greed and ego clouded their vision to see the futility in doing things the same old way and expecting different results. They could not as individuals and as a group put the collective hopes and aspirations of the multitude across twelve local government areas above their person interests. I pleaded, warned and even threatened of dire consequences if the quest fails this time around because the environment was extremely conducive and favorable for power shift. I was ignored and the rest is now history.
Looking at the prevailing circumstance, I asserted that for the purpose of the coming election the probability of making power to shift via another political platform is minute. I suggested we start strategizing against 2019 but with the same rapacity in our elders, the inordinate ambition of aspirants from both Kogi West and Central, lack of unity induced by tribalism and ethnic bigotry any hope of reasonable and productive shift even in 2019 is slim. Add this to the low level of literacy and abnormally high level of poverty; it does not take a soothsayer to predict what the future holds for the power shift quest.
I have heard and read many who postulate and insist that our neighbors from eastern axis are responsible for the lopsidedness and marginalization in Kogi state but this is far from the truth. Since 1999, the people from the western and central axis of the state have persistently and consistently been their own worst enemies and these have been the reason why the quests for power shift have failed serially. For the benefit of doubt, any hope for power shift this time is vain and nothing more than a dream it has always been. Arguments from the supporters of Wada and Audu portray both men as bad and not worthy of any other opportunity to govern the state again and if that is the case we are all faced with the herculean task of choosing between two evils. Making a choice will not be difficult for all we need do is check the antecedents of both in terms of development and ask ourselves if we are contented with the way we are. And ask again if we are prepared and can afford to continue this way for another forty-eight months? After all we allowed our elders, leaders and delegates to bring us to this impossible position; the dire consequence of the callous, greedy and unreasonable decision of a few.
If power shift will happen in Kogi state, the people from the west and central must discard the present ‘hand me down’ mentality and stop waiting for others to solve their problems, it is a wrong game. They must stop waiting for something to die, waiting for others to kill for them to eat. They are humans and not hyenas or vultures. They must get up and be ready to make power shift happen come 2019 because wishing, hoping and believing it will be handed over to them on a platter is not only moronic but stupid.
Political aspirants must realize and understand this quest is not about and certainly beyond their personal ambitions or interests and must be prepared to make sacrifices for general good as Timi Alaibe did in Bayelsa state.
Intellectuals and the educated must begin to have more than a passing interest in the affairs of political parties to place them in a suitable position to influence the outcome of primaries of the parties in the future. This will put an end to the sordid situation where a few selfish educated illiterates have continuously taken decisions detrimental to the well-being of the people and the development of the state.
Enlightenment and sensitization of the people must start in earnest on why they must vote wisely in any election by pointing out the idiocy in taking decisions for immediate gain not minding the repercussions for the future.
Less emphasis should be placed on giving support to any candidate based on the community he hails from and more on antecedents, capability and character. The mutual suspicion between the west and central must stop.
Self-deceit must stop and this can only happen if we ensure justice and equity within the senatorial districts in the selection and election of candidates; only then can we justifiably seek for same at the state level. Instances of marginalization abound in the west and central and this must be corrected because he who seeks justice from strangers must be just to his kith and neighbors.
These and more to be espoused as time goes on are what the marginalized people of west and central Kogi must do and discard to make the power shift quest a reality failing which it will remain nothing but a mirage. Come 2019, we must do things differently from the way we have been doing if we expect a favorable different result in the power shift quest.
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