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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

POLITICS

APC Vows To Win 30 States In 2019

Peter Okunoren

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The chairman of South West national peace and reconciliation committee of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Governor of Borno State, Kashim Shettima, has boasted that the party was positioned to win 30 states in the 2019 general elections.

He disclosed this on Wednesday when the APC national chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, inaugurated the committees headed by six governors in different geopolitical zones to address the post-primary elections disputes in the party.

Shettima, who said ‘contest for power was not a tea party’, added that the maturity with which it was handled was very important.

“We are in control of 23 states. Such hiccups are inevitable in every political dispensation. We will try our best to reconcile aggrieved members.

“Collective interests should supersede our own interests. And our interest is to ensure that President Buhari wins. We want to ensure we have 30 states,” he added.

Earlier, Comrade Oshiomhole, said the National Peace and Reconciliation Committees for each of the six geo-political zones were constituted to find ‘in-house solution’ to the challenges facing the party.

Oshiomhole, who said the committees were free to consult them on new issues arising to proffer solutions, added that the terms of reference given to them were amenable.

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POLITICS

Buruji Kashamu Enters Ogun PDP Guber Race

Peter Okunoren

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The senator representing Ogun East Senatorial District at the national assembly, Buruji Kashamu, has replaced Adeleke Shittu as the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) ahead of next year’s elections in the state.

It was learnt that Shittu whose name was pasted alongside other governorship candidates of 38 political parties by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), “voluntarily withdrew” from the race for Kashamu.

Shittu had emerged the governorship candidate of PDP from the primary conducted by Bayo Dayo-faction in the State.

The other faction of PDP headed by Sikirullahi Ogundele had equally presented Hon Oladipopu Adebutu as the party’s governorship candidate, but the electoral umpire accepted the list submitted by Dayo faction.

In accepting candidates list submitted by Kashamu-backed faction, the INEC cited subsisting court judgments which recognized Dayo-led faction.

Kashamu’s Media Aide, Austin Oniyokor on Sunday, confirmed that his boss had replaced Shittu as governorship candidate.

Oniyokor in a telephone interview said the leaders and elders of the party “prevailed” on Kashamu to throw his hat in the ring in the coming election.

He said: “The party’s stakeholders, leaders, and elders met and decided that it would be better for Senator Buruji Kashamu to run if the PDP wants to win.

“Shittu who was at the stakeholders meeting saw the reason to quit the race for Kashamu.

“I can confirm to you that Shittu had last week Friday intimated the INEC of his voluntary withdrawal from the race.”

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POLITICS

APC Wins Kwara Bye-Election

Gbemileke Ajayi

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The candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Raheem Olawuyi, was on Saturday declared the winner of the Ekiti/Irepodun/Isin/Oke-Ero Federal Constituency bye-election held across the four councils in Kwara State.

The Returning Officer for the election, Prof. Abimbola Adesoji, while declaring the result at the Irepodun Local Government Secretariat in Omu-Aran, said Olawuyi polled 21,236 to emerge the winner.

He defeated his closest rival, Saheed Damilare of the Peoples Democratic Party, who polled 18,095.

Abimbola, who is of the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Osun State, said Olawuyi having scored the highest number of votes in the election was declared the winner.

Other contestants in the election were Femi Ona-Ara of Labour Party, Ajadi Olayemi of Peoples Party of Nigeria as well as Olaniyan Ayorinde of Unity Party of Nigeria.

Abimbola gave the total number of total registered voters as collated as 168,707; accredited voters as 41,185; total valid votes as 39,599; total number of rejected votes as 1,331; and the total number of votes cast as 40,930.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that some cancellations arising from snatching of ballot boxes and over voting were reportedly experienced in three polling units in Irepodun Local Government Area.

The affected units as listed by the Presiding Officer in charge of the council included Registration Area 02 of Esie-Ijan Ward, where two ballot boxes were reportedly snatched and 955 number of registered voters lost.

Other areas were Oro Ward 1 RA 02, Polling Unit 01, where a case of ballot snatching was recorded and a total of 297 registered voters were affected and over voting in Oro Ward 2 RA 10 Polling Unit 01 with 474 registered votes lost.

Election cancellation was also recorded in Ile Apaasin RA 04 Polling Unit in Isin Local Government where only 59 voters were accredited but turned in 377 votes.

Some Independent National Electoral Officers were confirmed to have been attacked and had wounds in the process.

NAN reports that the declaration of the results was witnessed by notable officials that included the Kwara State Commissioner of Police, Bolaji Fafowora; the Resident Electoral Commissioner from Kwara State, Malam Garuba Madami; as well as his Imo and Lagos States counterparts, Emeka Nzeonu and Sam Olumeko respectively.

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