KOGI STATE 2023 GUBERNATORIAL ELECTION: LET THE FEAR OF GOD PREVAIL NOT THE DEEDS OF MEN.


 

By Prof. Mrs. Emily Alemika

Your Excellency Sir;

 

On normal days and in the usual practices during my nomination as one of the three external Council members of Kogi State University (2016-2019); this open discussions would have been a matter of sending some lengthy or short messages through text messages or whatsApp chat, depending on the nature of the subject matter, and I would have gotten my usual quick and positive responses.

However, giving the magnitude of the subject matter- which is the ZONING OF GUBERNATORIAL LEADERSHIP TO KOGI WEST, after the East had had a paltry of Sixteen years, and the Kogi Central going for 8years; it is imperative that I do not remain mute hoping that all is well.

Hence, I wish to lend my voice in support of the Kogi West’s aspiration to be accorded the opportunity to produce Governor, not as of a right, but for equitable remedy.

My exposure to HE, Governor Yaya Bello, as one of the three external Council members of the Kogi State University (KSU 2016-2019); representing Kogi West under the first tenure as the 4th Executive Governor of the State; I noticed that there were others Kogi West in numbers that were given similar opportunities to serve in various capacity.

Hence, I may be bold to say, Kogi West had had its fair share under HE; Governor Yahaya Bello’s tenure of Eight (8) years, much more than putting together the tenures of the three previous Executive Governors who were mainly from the Kogi East Senatorial District.

Hence, to me except for political reason or climate, I am more than convinced there is hardly anything too much that HE cannot sacrifice for the development and growth of Kogi State, including throwing his heavy weight behind Kogi West for governorship.

It is also on record that during the three years tenure as Council member, His Excellency was not only accessible, he was very sensitive in attending promptly to the affairs of the State with rapt attention in all fairness and in equitable manner.
Time will not permit to mention or go into details about many issues that His Excellency handled with such a rapid response mentality, because of one of his great qualities of listening attentively. The usual practice was that positive responses or actions usually follow immediately; once HE has a grasp understanding and an in-depth knowledge of any given issue.
For instance, on assumption of the Council, we had the issues of staff screening that nearly crippled Kogi State civil service and the Kogi State University in particular. However, within three weeks of our being given free hands by His Excellency, to separate the issues of screening of the Civil Servants and the University staff, everything became normalized in the University and the rest was history.

I can also recall that His Excellency met an absurd situation whereby about Ninety percent of the Senior Staff, both ASUU and Non-ASUU hired by the University Management were mainly from Kogi East in 2015; just before His Excellency assumed duty as the Executive Governor. HE addressed the absurdity promptly, suspending the staff involved.

The Council on pleading with His Excellency, an Adhoc-Committee was set up. As the chair person, my findings revealed that the staff hired covered only two Local Government Areas out of the nine. On appeal to His Excellency, instead of giving sack letters to about one hundred and Twenty (120) staff of lopsided employment, His Excellency reinstated all on compassionate ground and re-ordered for General Job advertisements for all eligible Kogi sons and daughters seeking for employment at that time.

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The acts of Fairness, Equity and Good Conscience led to hiring Lecturers of various grades from the Twenty-One Local Government Areas of the State in proportionality.
Similarly, it was the same principle of Equity and fairness that led to the appointment of the Vice Chancellor from within the University and from another Zone (Kogi Central ), for the first time since the establishment of the University after about a two and Half decades.

Thus, the State University had never had it so good and fair, whereby the three senatorial zones had to certain extent were fairly represented and thereby working harmoniously under the dispensation of Governor Yahaya Bello.

The above could only be achieved in a span of three years, through the courageous spirit of Fairness and Equity, with element of principle of power rotation. Without His Excellency’s good conscience and compassion for equitable sharing, I doubt very much if Kogi State University still located in the East Senatorial zone could have achieved this much in a short time.

In similar manners, the zoning of the governorship to Kogi West should not constitute such a herculean task and insurmountable if only HE could reconsider the enormity of the future benefits and advantages of such a good gesture. Hence I join my voice to the numerous appeals for His Excellency to also lend us his usual attentive listening ears in support of the Kogi West aspiration to produce the net Governor for fairness, just and equitable remedy.

The grading, regarding and upgrading of the Traditional Rulers in the recent time was another memorable event that could not be quickly forgotten in the record of Governor Yahaya Bello’s Regime. The goodies might not have gone round the length and breadth of the State, which was partly due to the long neglected exercise, and lack of transparency in the past

Transparency which is another quality found in His Excellency; Governor Yahaya Bello while working as one of the Council Members. The Governor on compassionate ground also granted State pardon to about Twenty-One Kogi State indigenes that were housed in Jos National Correctional (prison) Centre Plateau State Nigeria ( 2019); making it the highest recorded State pardon within his 8years’ tenure.

The analogy is simply that If HE on compassionate ground could grant State to 21 adjudged prisoners, I do believe that HE can extend such hands to Kogi West in case there is any political offence from among the politicians from KOGI WEST to warrant the present situation whereby about seven (7) governorship aspirants from the Kogi Central were encouraged to contest as against two (2) in Kogi West, and as many nine (9) in Kogi East; all in APC the reigning party and under the control of the Executive.

Your Excellency sir, this looks abnormal sad and runs counter the spirit of principles of fairness just and equity. Especially, your Excellency, having in the course of your interaction and unflinching supports from the Kogi West Elders Forum; with the assurance in the past to work with Kogi West to produce the next leadership comes 2023.Your Excellency Sir, promise is a debt whether expressly written or not.

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This type of promise is worth honouring if just for the belief and trust you had in those State Elders in the past. Hence, I join my voice with others to appeal to your good conscience with which you started to rule this State some 7years ago; to oblige the Kogi West aspiration to produce the next Governor. Sir, it is a great legacy to yield positively and you will be happy you do. No regret at all.

The above few recorded activities as mentioned above concerning HE, Governor Yaya Bello are by no means tantamount to singing in praises of His Excellency; neither is it an appraisal or assessment of His Excellency’ tenure in office, which I am certainly not in position to do so. It is also not an attempt to cajole or flatter HE. Instead, the short account of above narrative is to establish a background and nexus between his deeds and what Kogi West Senatorial District is aspiring for. Thus, reinforcing His Excellency’s formidable role in his capacity to grant support for Kogi West governorship, seamlessly.

In other words, Kogi West Senatorial District is seeking from His Excellency to regularize, formalize, translate and conclude his good works in the last Seven years in Kogi State, which is characterised by Equity and Fairness, Courage, Transparency,, intellectually sound approaches to Kogi State Issues, Compassion, fearlessness, leadership by example; among other attributes.

All of the above that are characterised by your dispensations of the state within last 7 years is justifiable enough to expect your Excellency to hearken to the voices of reasoning suggesting that Kogi west does not only capable from among the Kogi West Aspirants that is able, willing and ready to continue to lift Kogi State up into a higher ground without fear nor favour to please or serve few Interest Groups’ to the detriment of the larger citizenry of Kogi State.

HE, supporting the aspiration of the Kogi West will certainly give meaning to what the State had labour for under HE Administration in the past Seven years as dividends of democracy. This in long run would serve a great and unbeatable legacy that no human efforts will be able to erase or write in the history of Kogi State in the future.

Your Excellency Sir, it is with the above reasons and several others too numerous to mention here and now, not to talk of other benefits that would be accrued as a result of the singular act of supporting the Power Rotation of Governorship to Kogi West Senatorial District at this crucial time; that spurs me into lending my voice in support of rotation of power.

Similarly, I wish to state categorically that His Excellency’s support for Zoning the Power to Kogi West Senatorial District that most people even outside Kogi State are clamouring for, is not a sign of weakness, but a rare and outstanding trait of a selfless and unbiased leader, especially in our 21st century’s nascent democratic system.

Your Excellency Sir, anything you do contrary to support the clamour for Zoning Governorship to Kogi West , would appear to many of us that you are simply working against your principles of equity and Fairness that you are known for the past Seven years of your public service in the State.

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SOME REASONS WHY KOGI WEST DESERVE TO BE CONSIDERED FOR GOVERNORSHIP

Some people (may be in few numbers outside people advocating for kogi west governorship) may say; Heaven will not fall therefore, go ahead with your agenda and deny Kogi West its mandate.” Yes! “Heaven may not fall.”

However, suffice to say that, the divine intervention that brought His Excellency on board, which broke the monopoly of the Kogi East, holding onto powers perpetually, is sufficient to show that Rotation or Zoning is inevitable in a State like Kogi with ethnic Pluralism or Multi-Ethnicity.

Similarly, if Kogi State must live in harmony with evenly distributed Socio-Economic growth and development, power going back to Kogi East now, or to Kogi Central Senatorial District to continue with power is totally inimical to progress of the State, Kogi West in particular. Kogi West Senatorial District had played supportive roles in the past to both kogi East and the central and now deserve the zoning, not being truncated in any form.

Another fundamental reason why the zoning to Kogi West should be supported by His Excellency is that, man should play his role while God plays his too. It should not be ascribed to God what man need to do, and vice versa. For instance, Kogi West and Central Senatorial Districts both suffered the same fate when power was held for too long by the Kogi East Senatorial District, and both felt the marginalisation in development.

As the records have it now, Kogi Central, with two full tenures will be equal to Eight years, while vying for another four or eight years, will be an injustice tthat would even turn the Kogi East Senatorial District East to be seen as a Saint. Obviously, when man acts in the right direction, the people rejoice, but when the yokes linger unduly, necessitating a divine intervention might be the order. Perhaps, God does not intervene nor interfere in the affairs of men provided decisions are fair and just in the dealings with one another.

Your Excellency sir, the ball is your court to give Kogi West Senatorial District the necessary support that is timely and objective. Indeed, this will not only make you happy, but it will also save the State and enhance social cohesion and development; instead of needless and distractive unhealthy rivalries in the future.

Acting in support of Kogi West Aspiration at this critical point will set a pace and make His Excellency a trailblazer to the point of reducing the acrimonies that had already been built up over the years due to maltreatment of one another through marginalisation.

In conclusion, His Excellency should realise that, it is a great legacy that he would be leaving behind that can stand the test of all times, rather than seeing the support of the zoning the Gubernatorial Election to Kogi West as a sign of weakness.

Wishing His Excellency, Governor Yaya Bello well in your sojourn ahead in life!

*EMILY ALEMIKA (MRS .)*
Professor of Law and Human Right


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