People with deep understanding of politics must feel strongly concerned about the intricate political choice of Ibaji in the forthcoming general elections. With the elections barely a few days from now, the polity is getting heated up as aspirants for various political offices jostle for people’s attention.
No doubt politics is all about democratic dividends accruing either to individuals or group of people. The latter is worthy of consideration in as much as individuals interests are the driving forces of most politicians. When a politician is able to create a balance between his emotions (i.e personal interest) and that of is his people, he no doubt has set target beneficial to all. Indeed, having a platform to realise all of these, a political party’s role is pivotal in achieving the desired democratic dividends.
Today the two major political parties seeking the support of Nigerians are the APC and PDP. Just as it is at the national level, the APC is for the first time a ruling party at the state level. For the Ibaji people, our support over the years have gone to the opposition PDP which was privileged to rule the nation for 16 years. At the state level (in Kogi State), the party was equally privileged to have ruled for over 12 years with Ibaji giving their support. The needed dividends of democracy which as far as Ibaji is concerned was never given attention are in terms of infrastructural development and a recognition of the area’s sons and daughters for critical political positions
The Peter Obi Factor: Ibaji local government area is endowed with potential crude oil. The area where these resources are situated became a matter of controversy between Kogi, Enugu and Anambra states in the past few years. Anambra State under the administration of Peter Obi frustrated our collective efforts to be declared an oil producing state and enjoy the benefits of our natural resources. It is an injustice which the people are still unable to get over but today the said Peter Obi has been chosen by the PDP as a running mate to Atiku Abubakar.
Another reason why the Peoples Democratic Party cannot gain the support of Ibaji is that the party is not sensitive to the plight of the people. This is evident in the party’s lack of respect for zoning that would have enhanced the chances of an Ibaji person becoming a Senator representing Kogi East in 2019.
The above is the evidence of the fact that the party called PDP apart from their lack of realistic visions for a better Nigeria, they lack men of proven rationality for real democracy and respect for certain categories of people. Even as they openly criticised the ruling APC on the point of insensitivity which does not even exist under the APC both at the federal and the state.
To add insult to injury, the PDP is criticising the APC-led administration of President Muhammadu Buhari which obeyed a competent order of the court in taking all actions. This criticism lacks basis, even as they claim the action was unconstitutional. Interestingly, the Supreme Court gave a final order that the Kogi East Senator Atai Aidoko who has wasted the senatorial district’s mandate in nearly four years to vacate office for the authentic holder of the mandate in AM Isaac Alfa, the Senate President Bukola Saraki who is one of the major stakeholders in the PDP has refused to obey the subsisting court order which is final in itself. Indeed the gross abuse of power by the Senate President (the D-G of the PDP presidential campaign) is in their bid to frustrate the Igala people of a proper representation in favour of Aidoko for their personal interests.
Coming back home, it is worth noting that the over 16 years political support given to the PDP by the Ibaji people did not in any way benefit the good people of the area. Notwithstanding the initial lack of support, the sensitive APC graciously appointed an Ibaji man into the number two position of the state. Thus the current Deputy Governor of Kogi State is an indigene of Ibaji local government area. It is on record that PDP has never considered any other person for any critical State or national appointment.
The above and many other considerations are the reasons why Ibaji people cannot vote PDP. On the contrary and for similar reasons the Ibaji people have decided to vote overwhelmingly for the APC in the coming elections. The cardinal reason is because Ibaji, Igala and the entire Kogi people deserve a better life which could be guaranteed, at least for now, under the APC.
– Engr. Ocheje is a stakeholder of the All Progressives Congress (APC)
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