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Kogi Guber election: On the Planned Defection of Yahaya Bello – By Shaibu Stephen Ojate

By Shaibu Stephen Ojate  | Abuja, Nigeria | Sept. 26, 2015 – The just concluded All Progressive Congress’s primary election that seen to the nomination of Prince Abubakar, the former Governor of Kogi State as the flag-bearer of the party for the forthcoming Kogi gubernatorial Election has received mixed reactions by political analysts in the State.

Cross section if people in the State believed that the choice of Prince Abubakar Audu as the All Progressive Congress’s Candidate is not in any way different from Capt Wada, the Gubernatorial Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in Kogi State.

Their reservations was that whilst the present Governor, Capt Wada is found wanting in poor leadership qualities, the like of Prince Abubakar Audu is corrupt ridden as the State cannot afford to have his type as Governor again since he is fond of making State resources to look like his personal assets.

Those who held this view decried the manner at which Prince Abubakar Audu named most public institutions in the State after himself when he served as the Governor of the State. Also, they believe that Prince Abubakar Audu presently has corruption cases with Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) on his neck and morality demands person of such character should not be projected to public office again.

With the above reservations, the people of the State are in dilemma on the choice of candidate to make between Prince Abubakar Audu and Capt Idris Wada as the next Governor. They noted that the duo has contributed to underdevelopment of the State and their candidacies are likened to making choice between two devils.

Those totally opposed to their candidacies canvassed for credible and untainted candidate in another party. This was how the idea of rooting for the choice of Yahaya Bello popularly known as Fair-plus, the second runner in the just concluded All Progressive Congress party’s primary election to seek the mandate of his people under the Social Democratic Party came to be.

Those pushing for his candidacy in Social Democratic Party are majorly Power-shift advocates and those who have their mind made up that power must shift from Igalla axis to either Kogi Central or Kogi West.

They maintained that Igalla axis has been producing the Governor of the State since its creation noting that even if Prince Abubakar Audu is considered good in some ways, they cannot tolerate person from the Eastern axis as the Governor of the State anymore.

Thus, the current Kogi political drama thereof has triggered the call for the Yahaya Bello’s defection to Social Democratic Party. Yahaya Bello’s defection has also dominated the political scene to the extent that it divided those clamouring for power shift. Some supported it while others against it. Those who kicked against it believe that it will amount to political suicide for Yahaya Bello, first political timer to defect to another party thus advising him to keep with All Progressive Congress no matter what goes wrong.

Those oppose to his defection maintained that the former Deputy Governor of Kogi State, Dr Philips Salawu has secured Labour party’s Ticket and it will amount to divides of Votes in Kogi Central if he too goes ahead to secure Social Democratic Party’s Ticket as planned. Also, those in favour of Yahaya Bello’s defection have shoved Dr Philips Salawu aside saying he is a political under-dog. They maintained that he has no good political structure in Kogi State that would enable him garner large votes of the people, thus the choice of Yahaya Bello is still the right option.

Also, Yahaya Bello defection advocates have likened his plan to President Muhammed Buhari who had to jump from one political party to actualise his political dream and today, it came successful. These political pundits on the side of Yahaya Bello defection have also use the present Governor of Ondo State, Olusegun Mimiko political life experience where he had to dumped Peoples Democratic Party to seek the mandate of his people under Labour Party and he later won the election.

Furthermore, Yahaya Bello’s defection advocates are quick to use the case of the present Governor of Adamawa State, Jibrila Bindow who dumped Peoples Democratic Party and All Progressive Congress to seek the mandate of his people under unpopular party in Nigeria, Social Democratic Party and came out victorious the last general election.

Base on the divergent views as expressed by the people above, these formed the subject matter of my article with a view to educate populace better on the issue of power shift which i (the Writer) equally believe in.

To start with, I must first of all commend the doggedness of Yahaya Bello in the just concluded All Progressive Congress Party’s primary. He had really made the Ebira Youths proud and has indeed shown to Kogi State in general that positive result awaits us if we keep to our dream.

On this planned defection, i must therefore say that we need to tell ourselves the truth; Yahaya Bello is not ripe for it now. This is his first time of coming into politics and it will be very bad to start politics with defection since he had no single political structure in Kogi State unlike Muhammed Buhari, Mimiko and Jibrila that people were comparing him to.

Yes, it is on record that these people had defected and came out victorious at the election but their political life is not the same way with Yahaya Bello. I want to remind my Readers that what makes many to queue behind Muhammad Buhari at every election was because of his anti-corruption posture and good records in the time past. Muhammed Buhari had made good records for himself in different political positions he has held as incorruptible and untainted leader which we shall get it wrong today if we likened Yahaya Bello to.

Let me reiterate that many other issues people had vouch Muhammed Buhari for is not seen in Yahaya Bello if we want go by that. Yahaya Bello has not been tested and proven to be ant-corruption crusader or not wealth driven unlike Buhari if given the opportunity to serve. It will be very wrong to relate Muhammed Buhari political life to Yahaya Bello in this regard as duo do not poses the same attributes. What is even the sellable point of Yahaya Bello, if i must ask other than issue promises: making education better, construct good road, look into the yearning of the Youths if elected just like an average politician?

I want to educate my readers once more that National Politics is different from State politics. What people look for on the choice of person for the President of Nigeria are mostly not the same for State Governor. There are many factors that came to play in State politics which are mostly not considered in the National politics.

To buttress my points, before Dr. Mimiko dumped Peoples Democratic Party to seek the mandate of his people under Labour Party, he was not a political under-dog. He was a politician to reckon with in Ondo State in view of his past political life. He had commanded large number of followers before he finally defected to Labour party.

For my readers to understand me better, before Dr Mimiko defected, he was one time past Commissioner, Secretary to the State Government in Ondo State. After holding these positions, he was later nominated as Minister for Housing and Development under President Olusegun Obasanjo. He had used these political positions to build political structure for himself and that account for his strong political structure in Ondo State when he finally dumped the Peoples Democratic Party to seek the mandate of his people under Labour Party. So, those comparing Dr Mimiko to Yahaya Bello on defection should better take a look at this instance as the two are incomparable in view of what i have cited above.

Bringing the current Governor Adamawa State, Jibrila to Yahaya Bello for study, before he seeks the mandate of his people under Social Democratic Party and won, take note he was a tested and experienced politician. He had tested his political might in two Peoples Democratic Party primary elections and always had strong show if not manipulation. In 2011 Peoples Democratic Party’s primary election, it was even rumoured that he actually defeated Nyako and if not the power that be from above that upturned the outcome of the election.

The man, Alhaji Jibrilla had commanded large followers to the extents that even when he finally defected to another party. His ocultic followers followed him and that account for the reason why he came out victorious when he finally opted for Social Democratic Party instead of All progressive Congress and Peoples Democratic Party in the last general election. Jibrila success was borne out of the fact that he is grass root oriented person.

He was a man that dines with the common man in the street and knows how to meet their demand anytime. He is a man that makes himself available to the people at home without carving a cage around himself. He is a man that average people in the street can easily nock on his door and the Door will be open without restriction any day. He is humanitarian oriented person and has been doing this before he makes his political interest known to his people.

Thus, bringing Yahaya Bello (Fair-plus) here, his defection advocates should not make that costly mistake to interrelate him to Governor Jibrila. Jibrila was far ahead of him in term of one-on-one with people before seeking the mandate of the people in People’s Democratic Party and subsequently Social Democratic Party. With what i have stated above on Yahaya Bello, he doesn’t fit into the same shoe with the present Governor Jibrila who won election on an unknown political party, Social Democratic Party.

I am of the view that that Yahaya Bello should use the next four year to build his good political structure in All Progress Congress and not to be cowed by people deceiving him to dump his party for the Social Democratic Party as if he does, it will be counter-productive. He should use time between now and 2019 to correct his mistake and re-strategies again for the next Kogi election. He is not too late to be the Governor of the State.

I am saying this because there is no assurance now that he can single-handedly bring down the present PDP and APC to its kneels without massive support of people. He should not be deceived by large number of facebook followers. If he is very popular, he would have won the primary election no matter the divides of Votes from Kogi Central which many had complained off.

In conclusion, on the power-shift, i want to say that all is not lost. We still have hope. Contrary to the general believe that Dr Philips Salawu, the Gubernatorial Candidate of the Labour Party, one time Deputy Governor of the State is an under-dog in politics, he is not.

This is a person that had served the State as the deputy governor of Kogi State for eight good years and there are many people who had benefitted from him in one way and such people remain his followers even if he stands for the gubernatorial election tomorrow. If we are resolute in our power-shift, we can afford to support Dr Philips Salawu instead of asking Yahaya Bello to defect to Social Democratic party.

Shaibu Stephen Ojate is a Journalist and public affairs commentator writes from Abuja. He is reachable on 08052666344 or 08102658380

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Posted by on Sep 26 2015. Filed under Articles, Columnists, Kogi, NNP Columnists, Shaibu Stephen Ojate, State News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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