Come 2020, Kogi the confluence state of Nigeria will be in the news as the people would be poised to elect a new governor.
The incumbent governor Yahaya Bello would have completed his first term and would definitely be seeking re-election for a second term. And he is going to be the man to beat. At the risk of being labelled a partisan of the Governor, as the political permutations in the state stand at the moment, the odds are in his favour to get a second term in office.
With an army of young supporters, with pulsating energies at his disposals, with mapped out political structures in the 21 local governments, the race may be going in his favor unless the unpredictable happens as nothing in politics is ever certain, . Empirically, using the reality on ground, the race may be his for the taking.
Two years of his government, he hasn’t been confronted with any formidable opposition. No opposition political party has looked him in the face and challenged whatever it is the maladministration in the state. All we hear are empty lamentations of “Yahaya Bello is bad; Yahaya Bello is wicked”.
Sad as it may seem, nothing concrete is being put in place consciously to dislodge him from the Government House in Lokoja. As they say, power is not given. It is taken. Even the Good Book says ‘the kingdom of God suffereth violence, only the violent take it by force”. Governor Bello holds the power at the moment, who is willing to take it from him. Come out, let us interrogate your ideas about good governance. The more, the merrier.
Till this moment, no single political figure has put forth an alternative viewpoint neither has any leader of thought wrought forth template to question certain flawed policies of the incumbent. An opposition prepared to dislodge a sitting governor would have been up and doing with plausible debates and policies . As we speak , no formidable flagbearer whatsoever in Kogi, again the man in the saddle has an edge here. Or has the opposition resigned to fate, anticipating the second term victory of the incumbent with their back reclined to their couch?
Granted, in the reckoning of the discerning, there are a lot of things the Governor could have done better since he assumed office, especially with the screening exercise for civil servants. A worthy initiative, if you asked me, but wrongly executed. Ordinarily, the lapses of the government should be the catalyst that should energize and trigger opposition elements to close ranks and offer better alternatives to what is obtainable now. But it does appear the Governor has conquered all those opposed to him. One inference from the silence of the opposition that used to be boisterous in the past is that they seem to be happy with the incumbent administration.
Now I write like the realist that I am. Election winning, in this part, most of the times, has never been about performance or the ideas the alternatives seem to be project. Election is about who has the platform, the resources for mobilization, the best strategies and plus of course the usual coterie of die hard lieutenants who are willing to ensure their principal wins.
All factors considered, Governor Yahaya Bello has all the odds in his kitty at the moment; the table may turn tomorrow as politics is always shifting grounds. But for the table to turn, the opposition must spring out from their insomniac slumbering, rally themselves together and begin to till the land for the battle ahead. The Kogi electorates won’t vote themselves in. They will only vote for who is available on the ballot paper no matter their grievances with the persons
–Haruspice is a public affairs commentator
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