AN OPEN LETTER TO HIS EXCELLENCY, THE CHAIRMAN OF THE GOVERNOR’S FORUM OF THE PEOPLES DEMOCRATIC PARTY, THE EXCEUTIVE GOVERNOR OF ONDO STATE,AND ALL MEMBERS OF THE GOVERNORS FORUM OF THE PEOPLES DEMOCRATIC PARTY.
PLEASE SAVE US FROM THESE POWER-MONGERS IN KOGI
As well-respected mothers, wives and daughters of Kogi, it has become imperative to lend our voice to a burgeoning and well-orchestrated negative media campaign against our Governor, his Excellency, Capt. Idris Wada. We have watched with great disdain how this campaign of calumny and distraction has grown from mere lies to spurious allegations bordering on the absurd.The fact that there exists a band of political marauders, whose sole objective is conferring the status of “non-performer” on the Governor, is no longer in question.
The backbreaking straw was added with the recent release of a passionate plea addressed to you by some faceless elements under the aegis of the “Concerned Group”. If any concern was genuinely raised in their rambling plea, it was one of their desperate claims to power. Neglecting the popular African proverb that says, “He who is destined for power, does not have to fight for it”, these elements have raised a more worrisome issue about the inglorious path they are willing to thread in their thirst for power.
There is one truth in their plea: that the Governor is very humane and a complete gentleman. However, that is where the truth stops. Armed with knowledge of this truth, they have made a habit of reckless utterances against the governor, amplifying them in the media, and expecting no backlash. We believe this has got to stop, and therefore call on your Excellences to intervene, and call this mongers to order. We do this out of utmost respect for our Governor, who we know will not join words with them, and love for our great party, considering the embers of disaffection their inflammatory statements seek to stoke.
In their desperation, they have now resorted to age-long slander tactics under the guise of love for the party. How can you claim to love the party so well, and yet destroy her by using distasteful, provocative and denigrating terms to describe our leader,His Excellency, Governor Idris Wada.It is sad that we live in a society where people can libel their leaders whenever they wish, and expect no legal repercussions. We take succor, knowing those days would soon be over. Interestingly, calling your leader a “madman” is not one of the virtues any mother wants her child to extol. Furthermore, decrying the Governor’s mental wellbeing is neither within their moral or professional jurisdiction. Or which one of them is a certified psychiatrist? While their allegation is laughable, their reference to a petition about the governor’s health, four years ago, has also pointed us in the direction of the origin of this smear campaign.
Permit us to take a trip down memory-lane. Four years ago, AlhajiJibrinIsah (a.k.aEchocho) was elected as the candidate of the party at the January 9, 2011 primary election held at the Lokoja township stadium under controversial circumstances. The controversy was generated as a result of lights been switched off during the counting of the poll. Many believe the original winner of that election was IsahKutepa. Despite this controversy, Echocho was so returned as the flag bearer of the PDP for the April 26, 2011 general elections.
However, the Court of Appeal ruled that the tenure of five governors including Kogi had not expired, hence the postponement of the gubernatorial election in the state and four others. This resulted in a rescheduling of the party primaries to December 3, 2011, during which Capt. Idris Wada was elected as the governorship candidate of the PDP, wherein Echocho only managed one (1) vote.
This began the ordeal of Capt. Idris Wada in the hands of AlhajiJibrinIsah and his spokesperson, Phrank Shuaibu. From a long list of court cases against the governor, to a well-oiled spin machinery of falsehood, their tactics have become more brazen.
We remain unperturbed by the zero electoral chances of Echocho confirmed by his damning defeat in his polling unit, AjiloOlaji market square (APC: 216 I PDP: 34) in the last elections. In his characteristic media commando style he spewed distraction and propaganda, alleging that the governor lost his polling unit, whereas he won (APC: 163 I PDP: 308). How a man who couldn’t even win his polling unit aspires to the highest office in the state is bewildering. If a man’s popularity is suspect within his own ward, how can we then trust him with the future of our party? Anyway, it is not surprising that, by name-calling and blackmailing, his camp hopes they can convince your excellences in giving the mandate to him. We therefore call on these rumormongers to substantiate their “diagnosis” of the governor’s state of health with documentary evidence and initiate proceedings against him based on these grounds. At least, the constitution is very clear on a weighty issue as one they are alleging.
While we do not want to be drawn into a smear campaign, we wish to draw the attention of your excellences to the person of JibrinIsah, and his noteworthy track record of sharp practices. As one of the principal actors in the failure of the now-defunct Afribank, and a subsequent N60billion fraud charge against him and his co-conspirators leveled by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), his integrity remains suspect. To lend further credence to his desperation, he voluntarily turned witness in the case, snitching on his collaborators, all in a scheme to clear his name and run for office. What is now been popularly celebrated, as an acquittal in this case, is therefore no summarily more than a plea bargain of some sort! Many petitions that ensued after he turned witness attest to this fact.
If not for the sole purpose of mischief, what else are these filthy lies peddled by the plea makers intended to achieve?
- That the Governor spends about six (6) to seven (7) months abroad in a year to attend to his medical condition. Not only is this ignorant in its fabrication, it also reveals the lack of depth in the creative mischief of these individuals. Doesn’t the constitution already specify the amount of days a Governor can be away until he has to appoint his deputy as the acting Governor?
- That the Governor has a brain problem. Although laughable at best, this remains consistent with doubts about the actual state of mind of the sponsors of this plea. A world-class Pilot and the first private airliner in Kogi, who consistently had to undergo periodic physical and psychological testing is been declared as mentally unfit by a band of pen-mercenaries willing to append their name at the end of a tirade.
- That Kogi state is one of the ten (10) States owing workers salary.Actually thereShall we then also adduce that by their logic, all the governors of the other nine (9) states are also mentally ill? If we can’t even scale this basic hurdle of logic, there is no point educating these ones about the economic realities of the country or our state.
- His performance is nothing to be proud of, if not totally woeful. Your Excellency, please permit us to take a moment to adore such folly, a plaintiff who has decided to be a judge in the same case. Forgive our immodesty, but we will like to put a few of the many achievements of this administration on record again:
- An ultramodern mega-transport terminal, a first of its kind in Northern Nigeria
- A publicly-subsidized transport system that reduced transport fares by 50% within Lokoja metropolis
- A concerted urbanization of Lokoja resulting in the selection of the city as one of 10 cities in the world selected by the UN to benefit from its UN HABITAT cities project.
- Construction of an ultramodern diagnostic center in Lokoja and the 250 bed teaching hospital in Ayangba
- Upgrading of facilities at Legacy schools around the state and over 300 rural schools in the state.
- Unparalleled achievements in rural development including various water projects around the state,
- Launch of free rural medical treatment programmes
- Construction and rehabilitation of about 700km of roads.
Let it be known to the traducers of His Excellency Governor Idris Wada and all lovers of democracy that, we the daughters of Kogi have made their choice. We love our Captainand wouldn’t trade him for any unpopular element whose stock-in-trade are mudslinging, slandering and name-calling. While we guard our mandates, we pray that God will always deliver us from these power mongers who will stop at nothing, including destroying a party they claim to love. God bless our Fathers, Husbands, and Sons of Kogi state.
Your Excellences, we kindly urge you to call these charlatans to order before they achieve the mischievous objective of scuttling the party’s chances at the poll altogether – an end result their desperation can afford.
On behalf of Daughters of Kogi