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Recently, I embarked on a journey to Ugbamaka lgah, the ancestral home of senator Attai Aidoko representing Kogi East in the Senate. Whirling the community without a glance on the potential payoff for producing a Senator of the Federal Republic, I resorted for interrogation and a retired police officer has this to say: “This is not a river, but a stream.

The only stream sustaining our community and the neighbourhood and it’s about four Kilometers away. Aidoko is far from our challenges because he only comes here in the night and disappears before dawn since he became a senator. As you can see we have no potable water, no electricity and other basic infrastructures.”

While the interrogation was still on, something struck my mind with the absence of morality in our leaders and I asked myself, why do people find pleasure in deceiving others? The senior citizen suddenly tapped and asked that I come with him. Lo and behold! I was taken to a large warehouse stocked with tricycles purportedly meant to electioneer Aidoko’s re-election bid in 2019.

Flash, Senator Attai Aidoko told us a few months ago that he would not contest in 2019 as he will return to his farm in order to cater for his family but all doubt was cleared with events turning out from his camp within the last few days.

Sometimes I wonder if some of our leaders are sets of aggrieved people on vengeance. They are friendly while the election is around the corner and once they are voted into power they turned their back on the electorates.

I stumbled upon a media branded achievement of the Senator from inception to date and I scoffed knowing it’s fallacious and politically intrigued. Though it’s the usual shenanigans with Nigeria politicians especially when election approaches but I don’t think it’s necessary to spend constituency allocation on tactics that is obviously irrelevant to the political curriculum of senator Aidoko. Why? Because unlike his contemporaries, Aidoko only sleeps and merry with his concubines while the court delivers his mandate in his chosen location.

What a digression of our democracy.

Come to think of it why would Aidoko include electrification of Ikeje Igah to Ugbamaka in the projects he initiated when Ikeje has been electrified a year before he found his way to the corridors of power? As a matter of fact, Ikeje Igah’s electrification projects was initiated by the famous philanthropist Suleiman Babanawa in 2002.

Moreover, as a centre to Okpo, Ogugu, Ugbamaka and Branch Obu, Ikeje town is located along Kogi – Benue – Enugu highways and it’s said to have been blessed with some basic infrastructures like schools, health care facilities and pipe borne water before our democratic rebirth.

Developing an already developed community in the face of others is abysmal. If Aidoko was in for the business he flaunts, it would have made more sense if suburbs like Igah gate, Igah Ocheba, Igah chechere which lacks virtually all the basic amenities especially portable water was considered.

Having watched helplessly while Kogi east legislative strides devalorize daily amidst national core issues, I put a call to some ‘behavioural scientists’ to find out what differentiates ‘psychological dispensation’ from the action but they are yet to get back to me. The vision they say determine mission and mission determines action. The hypocrisy in the entire narrative of our legislative struggles is not far-fetched; the man at the helm of affairs is formerly known for his indispensable slogan “Development of Igalaland is my priority”.

More delusive, Aidoko is also a major stakeholder in the so-called ‘project save Kogi’. So, one may be tempted to ask, what has suddenly befallen this noble personality? Has power actually corrupted him or the so-called slogan was just a headway to the political limelight?

The time is appropriate to pose this sacred question (Legal quests or Legislation?) before distinguished senator Aidoko as further delay may write off Kogi east from Nigeria’s Geo-political zones. Judiciary they say is the last hope of a common man but for Aidoko, it’s an avenue to quiz justice against the people.

In 2015, Kogi East Senatorial mandate was grasped via election petition tribunal as Abdulrahman Abubakar of the ruling All Progressive Congress won the senatorial poll. Lending credence, he was given the certificate of return as the member of the Nigeria Senate on the 3rd of April 2015 and took an oath of office in June 2015 conforming with electoral acts.

Six months later, Aidoko swirled into the Senate with a verdict from the state electoral petition tribunal sitting in Lokoja asking senator Abdulrahman Abubakar (APC) who polled 98,915 votes to relinquish for him as the flag bearer of the opposition party with 88, 994 votes. Efforts to appeal to the injustice perpetrated against Abdulrahman was an exercise in futility as Aidoko though has Alfa to contend with, bought his way in the entire process.

The legal battles between Aidoko and Alfa, however, came on the heel of nonconformity with party rules on an individual mandate. While Alfa was anointed by his party with his mandate, Aidoko leveraged on his allotted court mandate.

To show that Alfa was also endorsed by the gods (ojo-ane), not only did he win the scheduled re-run, the pre-election suit had had Aidoko declared unqualified for the second time. But coercively, Aidoko flouted court judgement to remain in the Senate regardless of whose ox is gored and the recent appeal he filed at the supreme court is just a guy-man making the street attractive for the next ten months when his tenure shall elapse.

Apparently, Aidoko has never been mandated by his constituency in the senatorial journey so far going by the above facts. He has never won an election but relies on paid court orders to overthrow those who toiled every nooks and cranny of the constituency to woo voters.

It was reported online that Aidoko bribed four judges of the Supreme Court with a whopping sum of N100,000,000 each in order to halt its judgement on the pre-election suit by Isaac Alfa sometimes last year.

Space constraints may deter my urge to x-ray the saga between Air Marshall Isaac Alfa and distinguished senator Aidoko Ali Usman but one disgusting fact posterity may not allow if ignored is the fact that Alfa ambitiously gambled with Edward Onoja and cohorts in order to secure justice. But if I must balance the equation, Alfa’s last-minute move is just a tradition everyone must adopt especially if the business of politics must thrive. His concordat with Edward Onoja which hierarchically introduced the influence of the state governor, Minister of Justice and finally the presiding judge was a perfect political permutation. At least the mission was accomplished even though the future is uncertain.

Our Democracy has been muddled. The business of legislation is now clustered in one-man’s show which neither regards the rule of law nor enforces common will. The judiciary has been cloned into a private entity with the outputs favouring an individual.

Those accusing me of raising dust among our party men can now understand that Aidoko has no place in the heart of any party man or the PDP itself going by the odious selfishness and permutations that had reduced Kogi eastern legislation to a shit hole. How can Aidoko sit and watch while Dino Melaye and his counterpart from the central strive for Ajaokuta steel? How can we watch while our Constituency allowances are been diverted and used for legal cases? How can we fold our hands while myopically inclined, self-serving and self-aggrandizement hold sway to the detriment of common will and aspirations?

To prevent further rots, Aidoko and his handlers must be called to order, at least to explain their preferences between the hovering legal quests and legislative business. So that if the need be, we must shop for a possible replacement. A black goat they say is better captured in the daytime. (PROPHETIC declaration)

God Bless Kogi East.

 

– John Paul writes from Lokoja, Kogi State. He can be reached on 07064258752

BIG STORY

Nigeria Senate: Tension As 9th Assembly Elects Principal Officers Today

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As the election of Nigeria’s 9th Senate President and his Deputy comes up on (today) Tuesday with Senator Ahmed Lawan and Ali Ndume locking horns for the position, both former 8th Senate leaders are still gripped with tension.

It’s particularly so, because the Clerk to the National Assembly, who is the administrative head has adopted a secret ballot system of Tuesday’s election of principal officers of the Senate.

Initially, there was conflict of ‘modus operandi’ with skepticism from the Ahmed Lawan Campaign Group headed by Senator Yahaya Abdullahi that if secret ballot was adopted, there might be shocked despite Ahmed Lawan’s adoption by the ruling All Progressives Congress.

While the Presidency’s intervention has made the former Governor of Gombe State, who is also a ranking Senator, Danjuma stepped down for Lawan, his rival, Ali Ndume representing Borno South has insisted that it was late stepping down for anyone.

Between Ahmed Lawan and Ndume, no one has had the pendulum swung in his favour yet despite the acclaimed endorsement of some Senators-elect.

What further makes the situation looks gloomy is the dead silence of the Senators-elect of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

Among PDP Senators-elect, most are still indecisive. Their silence is not only grooming, but heightening tensions all over the places.

Prodded to talk on the situation of things ahead of today, Senator Emmanuel Bwacha representing Taraba South Senatorial district confirmed that the party would take a unanimous decision on who to vote.

Speaking on reasons for PDP’s silence even in few hours to the election, the ranking lawmaker said, “there is dignity in silence.”

He further ruled out open ballot, stating that secret ballot has always been a tradition, insisting that Tuesday’s election would not be different.

With PDP having 44 Senators-elect, they play a commanding decision as to who emerges as Senate President on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, PDP had scheduled a meeting last0 inviting all Senators-elect, House of Representatives-elect and governors at the instance of Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Nwike to hold at Rivers House As Okoro.

Sources close to the venue explained that the party would take a position ahead of Tuesday’s election of principal officers of the upper and lower legislative Chambers. It also said, “the party would roll out conditions for supporting any candidate especially the Senate President.”

The source added that the party became uncomfortable over the ruling APC’s decision not to allow Chairmanship of Committees to any of its member irrespective of ranking or not. It added that so many factors would shape PDP’s decision at the meeting today.

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Kogi Guber 2019: Fresh Crisis Rocks PDP As Ibrahim Idris Imposes Son As Candidate

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A major crisis is brewing in the Kogi State chapter of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP), as concerned members are mobilizing to protest the moves by ex-governor, Alhaji Ibrahim Idris, to impose his son, Abubakar, as the party’s candidate in the state’s governorship election slated for November.

Abubakar Idris, declared his intention to run for the office once occupied by his father  last year but it is the manner in which the party leadership in the state is being forced into adopting the ex-governor’s son that is setting the stage for a major confrontation.

PDP members in the state, still smarting from the mismanagement of the nomination process in the 2019 general elections across the state are raising alarm, warning that any attempt to impose another candidate in the coming governorship election would backfire.

Party stalwarts who spoke with our reporter on condition that they are not named accused the ex-governor of killing the PDP in Kogi State, while in office, pointing out that all the poor foundation he laid contributed to the party’s poor outing in 2015.

Some of them stated that towards the end of his second tenure, Idris popularly called ‘Ibro’ was seen extorting money from those vying to succeed him with a promise of allotting them the governorship slot, adding that he has already started playing the same game now, promising the deputy governor’s slot to those who can pay.

“Ibro as usual, has turned the deputy governorship slot into a money-making machine. The same way he did in 2010 over the governorship slot. Politicians are currently trooping in and out of his Abuja residence in their bid to lobby for the number two post. Ibro on the other hand is said to be smiling to the bank on daily basis as those he has approached for the slot are responding with bank alert,” one party stalwart, said.

The stalwarts revealed that one of the ex-governor’s plan to foist his son on the party is in the exorbitant nomination fee, which they said is already driving many good potential candidates out of the PDP into other parties.

“In the last two weeks, they have asked aspirants to pay the sum of N75 million as nomination form fee without giving any genuine reasons why aspirants are being asked to pay such ridiculous amount,” one aggrieved member told us.

According to them, the strategy is similar to the one used during the NASS/presidential election when high nomination fees were used to push our potentially good candidates in favour of Senator Attai Aidoko was later fielded.

They, however, warned that if Ibro is not checked by the national leadership of the party,  the party will fail woefully in its mandate to produce the next governor of the state, and that the error will also mark the exit of the party from the state polity.

The party stalwarts lamented that fact that a man whose records during his nine years in office can only be described as disastrous, would be allowed to dicate who would be the party’s flagbearer in the upcoming election.

How could Ibro’s son, they queried, with neither the competence, experience, a genuine manifesto, or broad appeal amongst party faithful, be expected to deliver electoral victory in November.

The ex-governor was equally accused of losing touch with reality in Kogi, pointing out that his recent interview, where he said that he had no idea of the prevailing hardship in the state, as evidence that neither he nor his son had anything good to offer.

They queried how any dynasty built by a man who is oblivious of the misery that poor leadership is producing in the state can be good for Kogites, pointing out that it was better for the PDP to realise the error of allowing am like Ibro to select a governorship candidate for the party, in order to save it from obvious defeat in November.

The party men said the way out of the defeat staring PDP in in the face was to allow the party run the selection process according to laid-down rules and regulations, rather than allow an ex-governor, who failed in his time, to impose his son.

‘Ibro’s tenure, it was further pointed out, enjoyed one of the economically healthiest moments of the country, with  the price of oil relatively high, internally-generated revenue in the state receiving  as much as 150 per cent boost, but Kogi under his watch failed miserably to record any meaningful development.’

He was also accused of siphoning Kogi’s funds to build businesses for himself, family and cronies, and that his hotels spread across Abuja, Lagos and Dubai are mostly the proceeds from the crime committed against the state.

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BIG STORY

BREAKING: African Action Congress Suspends Omoyele Sowore, 8 Others Over Alleged Corruption, Abuse Of Office

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The African Action Congress, AAC, Monday, declared that it had suspended its national chairman and 2019 presidential candidate, Omoyele Sowore, and nine others over alleged corruption and abuse of office.

Sowore’s suspension was conveyed in a communique read by Mazi Okwy, a member of the party’s National Executive Committee.

The decision of the party, according to the communique, signed by the acting National Chairman, Leonard Nzenwa and the Deputy National Secretary, Abayomi Francis Olufemi, was the resolution of the National Executive Committee of the AAC, at its 2nd National Executive Committee meeting, held 27th March, 2019, in Abuja.

The party, according to the communique, accused Mr Sowore, the publisher of SaharaReporters of “deliberate inability to convene or hold the constitutionally mandated quarterly meetings of the National Executive Committee and other organs of the party.”

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