In less than six months from now, a governorship election will be due in Kogi state. The election comes after the PDP has served three terms consecutively. In this almost twelve years of the leadership, many Kogi voters have at one time or the other expressed disenchantment with their PDP governors.
Indeed, when former governor Ibrahim Idris departed office four years ago after serving two terms, the people of Kogi state had thought that their worst quagmire had happened and that the next governor would rebuild the State. Too bad, these noble wishes of Kogi citizens are yet to manifest to reality under the Wada led government. Rather, according to the views of most political analysts, the economic and social burden thrust upon Kogi citizens by Governor Wada has made that of Ibrahim Idris’ maladministration appear like a child’s play. In simple terms, Wada Idris’ arrival at Kogi State House has been one sad story after another by the average Kog adult.
Right now, there is a cut across feeling of frustration amongst the voting public against Governor Idris Wada and his PDP ruling party over poor leadership in the state.
The allegations against Wada Idris, the present governor are many as he has been associated with a long string of failures and irregularities including mismanagement, graft and political imposition. All these combined, have not only affected his political viability but this has not provided any foundation for the PDP to lay claim to any developmental efforts in Kogi State or strength in any future election.
Even though the outcome of the recent general elections in Kogi state may not be a sufficient yardstick to predict future elections but it served well in portraying the PDP as an almost collapsed party.
For emphasis, in the last general elections which produced a new Nigerian President, the PDP’s performance in Kogi State was abysmal, the defeat of the PDP was not only embarrassing but it showed a clear signal that Kogi voters were also tired of the present state leadership.
Aside losing the Presidential elections, the results from the Federal House of Representatives and Senate contests were disastrous for the PDP as the Party lost most of its occupied seats in the national assembly to the opposition party.
Indeed, the disastrous outing of the PDP in the referenced elections, has not only inflicted devastating blows on the solidarity of PDP members but has repositioned the opposing party, APC to a heighten viable altitude in Kogi politics. The consequences and threat of APC to the PDP in its present complexion and under the leadership of Wada Idris are obvious. Simply, put, the PDP will never romp to victory under Wada in a contest against APC because public disapproval of Wada has largely contributed in opening new opportunities for the opposition. Indeed, the popular assumption is that if the PDP presents Idris Wada at any future elections, there will be voter’s wrath against the Party.
Ordinarily, many Kogi voters will relish any effort to remove Wada from office but the truth is that Wada like most unpopular incumbent governors, will not want go down without a fight as he would want to utilize his authority to impose himself upon his Party even if it may suggest further destruction of the Party. This is where the national party leadership of the PDP must be clear eyed by throwing sentiments to the dustbin of political irrelevance.
Yet as the Kogi governorship election approaches, the signals from the camp of Wada indicates that chances are very high that the present governor would love to exhaust his two term maximum tenure despite the fact that he possesses an identity that is already linked with failed politics. If the aspiration of Wada is left unchecked, it will be an easy guess that the party’s leaders’ dream of getting back into office next year is dead on arrival. This is so because a rethink about Wada’s candidacy is overdue given his lowly rated performance in his almost exhausted first four year tenure by majority of Kogi voters.
The point herein is that in this coming governorship election, if by act of impunity, the national PDP decides to make Wada an aspirant, it will be akin to putting a square peg in a round hole. After all, if Wada could not run Kogi state efficiently and prudently whilst the Nigeria economy was good, why then should anyone think that he would find the capacity to deliver political goods in this period of very limited resources and diminished earnings from the monthly federation account ?
Interestingly, the 2015 Kogi politics still remains largely uncertain because even though Wada’s startlingly appalling performance has greatly affected the PDP in the negative, nothing seems assured for the opposition APC’s victory in the governorship race. This so because despite the undisputable APC’s astounding thriving political growth in Kogi State, the candidates that are already parading themselves as the APC’s party aspirants in the governorship are not such that will not attract enthusiasm of voters. Indeed, this may affect the APC’s dream of winning the election and may even lead voters from its fold to support a candidate outside the party; certainly, this seems to be the saving grace for the PDP. Another good luck for the PDP is that the much promised change by the APC is still at its incubation stage and may not have strong impact on voters decision in Kogi state. Thus it is best to assume that the so termed Buhari’s Ship which most contestants under the APC used in cruising to victory may still be in an anchor position during the prospective forthcoming election.
On the part of the PDP, the political damage done to it, courtesy of Wada, can only be repaired with the exit of Wada from the state party leadership. This is very important and highly achievable with support of the National Party leadership given that Wada’s name is not written in gold for the next elections, As such, there seem to be a silver lining in the very fact that the PDP still has a viable option of dropping Wada for an acceptable candidate that may use his popularity to triumph over the APC.
Again on the divide of the APC, ordinarily, the outcome of the presidential election would have offered Kogi voters a good direction to the camp of the APC as was the case at the national level but with all sense of sincerity what happened at the presidential elections in Kogi state was an expression of national mood for change and may not necessarily have a direct impact on what to expect at the governorship elections as both parties are presently in political disarray.
Either way, the forthcoming elections in Kogi is not a settled matter for both big parties but the anticipated move to draft Jibrin Isah Echocho, a man perceived to have been robbed of the 2011 gubernatorial mandate of the people by the then infamous leadership of the National PDP, into the governorship contest may just be the factor that will make a huge difference in the forthcoming elections.