I will put Kogi State on the right pedestal – Barrister Julius Elukpo PHD, ADP Governorship Candidate.



Barrister Julius Elukpo PHD is a household name in Kogi state. He was one of the founding fathers of the state. A University Don, legal icon and an entrepreneur per excellent.


He is reputed to be the longest chairman of Elders forum in the state, the position he has held tenaciously to fight against injustice in all its ramifications in the state.

He lamentated at the state of Kogi state after over three decades of existence, which is a far cry from original intention.

He promised to reconstruct and reconcile the people for sustainable development. The elderstatesman turned candidate of the Action Democratic Party ADP, in the November 11 gubernatorial election, said his reconstruction and reconciliation program is all the state needs to come out of the logjam.



You are a founding member of the creation of Kogi state. Are you satisfied with developments of the state or something drastic should be done to realise the aspirations of the founders, what is your take on this.

Having seen the creation right from the beginning and subsequent administrations, i feel that I can put the state in the right pedestal. The issue of tribalism, Senatorial differences will be solved. Every body will be safer and have equal participation.

I wouldn’t allow tribalism to disturb the others. Kogi state can be better managed under my watch than it is today. Kogi East are saying is that they are being marginalised. In fact the zone has the largest population and as such should be respected and respect should be given to each zone according to its position and values.

They can’t be marginalised. Let us give every one respect, the way they are and how they are supposed to be.

As an Elder statesman, by now you are supposed to be offering advice to the younger ones, but here you are trying to be in the saddle. What is really wrong with the state that you want to correct.


Yes, I want to show good example for others to build on. If you see right from the creation till today, what do we have ; I see no roads, the entire East there is no single industry, the only existing one in the state is Dangote , which the Governor, had one time alleged that it is a conduit pipe being used to fleece the state.

Look at Ajaokuta steel company, no improvement has been made in that direction. If I’m voted in, Ajaokuta will start operation in my first year in office. There is no bridge linking Lokoja , the state capital to Shintaku , leading to the most populous zone of the state. There is no state capital where you have a river without a bridge to link other parts. I will make sure there is a bridge from Lokoja to Shintaku and Bagana to Guto linking Abuja. From Abuja, the moment you enter the Kogi end of the highway, you will be accosted with abandoned road project. I will make sure that all the Local Government Councils chairmen must be in their posts.
Allocation will be direct to the Councils. I will make sure Local Government Councils have one or two bulldozers to clear vast lands to be distributed to the youths to plant either cashew, palm trees, and other crops of their choice. It will be such that each youth will be earning at least #100,000 per month. I will make sure responsible persons are elected to head the councils as committees will be set to look into the affairs and management of the LGC.
Similarly, the House of Assembly will have their allocation remitted to them directly from the Federation Account without compromising the system. The same thing with the Judiciary. I will ensure their independence. All I’m interested is to see that all monies accruing to them are adequately utilised for the interest of the state.
Furthermore, I will have Special Adviser on Entrepreneurship, apart from the normal Ministry of Commerce and Industry. His function would be to liaise with the state and international business communities. He will be like an ambassador. He is to attract business ventures into the local Government Councils. We will organise seminars, lectures to prepare the youth to own their lives. We will create various opportunities that the youth will be engaged, such that factories, companies that would be established would have to for workforce beyond what the state can supply. We will have to go to the neighbouring states to look for youths to come and work us.
Furthermore, those that have made marks in their previous assignments, even in retirement, we will not leave them alone. Former Governors , Retired Judges , Commissioners, Permanent Secretary, Directors, we wouldn’t leave them to go into oblivion, my cabinet would have committee of elder statesmen . They will meet with government periodically and any one that is sick or incapacitated, the government will take care of them. We wouldn’t allow them to their fate. As part of ensuring that their wealth of experience is tapped, we will build factories in their villages without them having to spend a kobo.
I’m an entrepreneur, and I aware that foreign partners have search funds or loose funds looking for conducive environment to put their money. We will make them to go to such areas to invest and our identified elders statesmen would be the chairman of those factories.

From what you are saying , If they are implemented the state will be transformed, but , the question on the lips of the people is wether you have the capacity and political will to make it happen

For instance ,the National Inland Waterways Authority NIWA. It was originally known as National waterways Revenue Service. It was foreigners that used to head it, but somewhere around 1976, I observed that the white man in charge was not facing his work , it is either he is in the club drinking or out of town for no reason. When he failed to change his attitude to work , i petitioned him to their head office. He was queried and In three months he was removed. It will interest you to know that the headquarters sent a query to him in Lokoja and coincidentally he was served the query in the club. His contract was terminated and a Nigerian from Kabba was appointed for the first time.
Another interesting thing that happened which challenge my resilience to sticking to due due process is during dry season , ferry will not be navigable from Lokoja to Shintaku. The passengers would not be told ahead until , when you are in Lokoja, you will be made to sail to Agenebode , Edo state to Idah before coming down again to Shintaku. I then told the management that, can’t we have a place where ferry will be navigable all year round.
He told me it is possible but , it will be difficult for the headquarters to buy into the idea . I asked for a suitable site for the jetty and they shown me. They did the survey, I took the survey and went to Headquarters, the Director then was one Mr. Anyanwu, he agreed with my proposal and the rest was the jetty we have today at the Ganaja village end of Lokoja.
After the construction, for two years there was no single ferry operating and when raining season sets in, heavy mud would be pilled up. I took it up with them and a new contract was awarded to evacuate the mud.
Another incident that tested my resilience, was the construction of Meme Bridge. It was an embargo, vehicles cannot cross it. They awarded it to Merrs Banjoko from Ibadan. Half way into the project the chairman died and the job was abandoned. I traveled to Ibadan and I forced them down here to complete it.
Similarly, when the state was created, the traffic Jam at the Ganaja junction was terrible. I used the elders forum of which I was the chairman, I took the matter with the former Governor Captain Idris Wada, he accepted my proposal and he awarded the contract. The foundation stone was laid before his government was terminated. And when Government of Alhaji Yahaya Bello came , i took it up and it was done. Another thing of note was the federal establishments in the state , I discovered that most states have their indigenes at the helms of affairs. I challenge him to appoint a Special Adviser on Federal establishments in the state and he did.
Then the Asuu’s crisis in Kogi state university Anyigba, he obliged me to mediate. I and the Christian Association of Nigeria CAN and JNI, we were able to resolve it amicably, the same thing with the Judiciary’ s face off with the Government.
I took the Federal Medical Center FMC Lokoja to court , when the tenure of the then CMD , Dr. Elesin expired. We have the indigenes on the seniority hierarchy from number one to twelve. One Dr Akor from Ibaji LGC was the most senior. However, instead of appointing from among number one to twelve, the FG appointed the number thirteen from another state to head the centre.
So I studied the appointments of CMD from other FMCs and I discovered that it was only in Kogi that the indigene was not the head. I took them to court. My wife equally work in the centre. She was asked to compromise her integrity and she refused. Her appointment was terminated. I took the management to court and the matter lasted for 8 years and at the end I won hundred percent, all her entitlement was restored to her.
In the same vein, the Federal University Lokoja, the successive Vice chancellors were not from the state. I challenged them in court and I told the chairman governing Council that only the indigenes should be appointed and this was why the present VC Prof Olayemi Akinwumi from Kogi was appointed.
Also, NIWA , since the state was created no indigenes have been appointed to head it. So all I stood for in life is to stick to due process and good results.

But some people called you a trouble maker.

In this part of the world, when you are honest and trying to do the right thing, you will be called all sorts of names.

From the look of things Kogi is drifting into regional politics. Governor Yahaya Bello and the APC has elected his cousin Usman Ahmed Ododo as Candidate from the Central after his 8years term, while the West picked the ticket of PDP even as the East is tinkering with sole candidate, How good is it for our body politics

As it is now, the state is not at peace with itself. What behoves on us now is to begin the process of reconstruction and reconciliation and it requires a person that has the interest of the state at heart.
The person should be such a person that can weave all the ethnic tribes together. I have not seen among all the candidates who have the interest of the entire state at heart like i do. And that is why the state without sentiment, should vote for me , so that I can reconstruct the state for the betterment of all. With me every body will be at home with everybody. Historically, we were in Northern region, Kabba province, I will bring everybody to the same level .
In fact the unity will be so strong that inter tribal marriages will be the order of the day. There wouldn’t be tribal dichotomy but ethnic harmony

How are you going to handle the knotty issue of power sharing.

The answer is simple. The people will decide and when there is free and fair elections, Power rotation may not be necessary. Let the people be allowed to vote for the candidate of their choice.

Message for the state. My brothers from the Eastern senatorial Districts should try and come up with a sole candidate, just like their brothers from the Central, and the west who are thinking in the direction of the Central. All I’m saying is that let us have free and fair election and whosoever wins, should be embraced and I said such person should be one that can reconstruct the state. And if at the end of the day , I win the election I will not witch hunt any past governor. I will focus on my administration and how to better the lives of the citizenry.
My administration, God’s willing will establish council of past Governors. We will have periodic meetings in order to interact. It will not be a situation where past Governors can’t come close to governance. I will bring everyone closer to government to offer useful ideas for the sustainable development of the state.

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