Now is the right time for a common agenda : by usman okai austin

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Since yesterday, the social media has been ablaze with different forms of permutation and agenda. The observation of some groups is that, Yahaya Bello's body language suggests he is truly more at home with an Okun man than an Igala. Thus, they have been calling on Kogi West to support Bello to enable him handover power to his Commissioner of Finance, Asiwaju Asiru at the end of the former's tenure. The rumours making round is that Asiru wants to lure some prominent members of PDP to support Yahaya Bello in the hope that power will shift to Kogi West come 2023, with him (Asiru) as the flag bearer.

Of course, some groups close to Edward Onoja feel really uncomfortable with this permutation since the original plans was for Yahaya Bello to handover to Edward Onoja in 2023. This is definitely going to create bad blood and deepens the existing tension in Lugard House.

Edward Onoja, the man I call my own friend, is believed to have been warming up to take over from Yahaya Bello upon the expiration of the latter's tenure in January, 2024. Interestingly still,
Edward Onoja is now pushing to become Bello's Deputy in the forthcoming election. Of course, this is coming after the incumbent Deputy Governor, Simon Achuba alleged that the overbearing Chief of Staff was responsible for his present predicament. So many campaign strategies and different agendas incubating in our dear state presently.

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The likes of Ohere, Tom Ohikere and others are now talking to prominent Ebira PDP members not to dump their brother, Yahaya Bello. This is the pure Ebira agenda that was used to hoodwink Haddy Ametuo into supporting Bello. I mean, the same Haddy that deceived Professor Seidu Onalo, Muhammed Audu, Usman JIBRIN CFR, etc., while using them to negotiate for his bread from Yahaya Bello. Furthermore, I have it as a classified information that some Ebira progressive Association Excos are being seriously recruited and financed to propagate this agenda. Hence, they are working seriously to deliver. Although, there's nothing wrong with such agenda, but the question bugging their conscience is, what's the pedigree of the Yahaya Bello being fronted? The failure of Bello to them is inconsequential so long as he is an Ebira man. Unfortunately, these men make bold to call Natasha Akpoti a betrayer simply because she's contesting against Bello. On account of this, Philip Salawu and others have nibbed their ambitions to contest on the platform of other parties in the bud for fear of being termed enemies of Ebira Agenda.

Agenda is not new in Kogi politics, but it seems to be getting more funding and attention now because the present Kogi State Government employs ethnic agendas to fuel her political survival. For example, Yahaya Bello and his men will always use the appointment of Edward Onoja, an Igala man, as Chief of staff as their biggest achievement. I'm still waiting for the time when this overhyped appointment of Igala man as Chief of Staff to Bello will become currencies for paying 38 months of workers' salaries or for build roads for the communities.

Well, for some, it is unthinkable for an Ebira man to be a governor, while some consider it an insult, others view it as strange. It's unfortunate that Edward Onoja and his boys always prefer to categorise some of us under this group. But that is pure blackmail. My personal opinion is that, I don’t see any reason why an Ebira man shouldn’t be a governor. Moreover, Kogi belongs to all Kogites and no tribe is superior to another. However, my detest and rejection of Bello isn't because he is an Ebira man, but because he has reduced my State to an IDP camp. He has received more money than any other Governor in our history, but can’t commission a 10km road in the state. How do you want me to support a Governor who waits for only bailout funds to in order to do selective and percentage payment of salaries? My rejection of Bello isn't because he is Ebira, but because he can’t construct even the roads in Lokoja the state capital. If Bello were an Igala man, I will still criticise him for trousering home a staggering sum of 1.8 billion meant for Ganaja Flyover bridge.

Now, the clarion call to all Kogites is to jettison Igala agenda, Okun agenda and Ebira agenda for Kogi agenda. Under this present government, Ebira suffer, Igala suffer, Okun suffer, Nupe suffer. Bello doesn't isolate Ebira in his habitual non-payment, so what is the point of holding Ebira Agenda for him? Doesn't the political killings in the state affect Ebira too? What's the point of using Ebira agenda to support Bello then? Hunger, insecurity and bad governance have no respect for any tribe. Hence, the most reasonable agenda should be our common agenda, and it is "GOOD GOVERNANCE AGENDA".

ENGR MUSA WADA being a bright and honest man, represents a common Kogi agenda for all of us. Kogi Agenda should go beyond tribe, religion and political party, but Kogi interest. Obviously, Bello has failed woefully, let's try Musa Wada now as his credible alternative. Thus, it is time for all the APC Faithfuls, ADC supporters, AD members and all Kogites to come to a roundtable and push for the emergence of Engr Musa Wada. The lesson from this is that, the culture of rejecting bad governance would have been established. Musa Wada would learn from the treatment given his predecessors and invariably fear to fail.

Usman Okai Austin
Written from Abuja

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