Wednesday, July 3, 2019 6:38 am
By Richard Elesho/Lokoja
First it started as a rumour. Words went round that Abubakar Ibrahim son of a former Kogi State Governor Ibrahim Idris was nursing gubernatorial ambition. Before long, the rumour machinery went full swing that the former Governor was the one who wanted to impose his son on the electorate. The issue generated so much furore in political circles, especially on the social media, that at a time it was said that the aspirant had succumbed to criticisms from the opposition and that the ambition had been abandoned altogether.
That was then. Abubakar has since taken steps that leaves no one in doubts about his credentials and strong will to remain in the Kogi governorship race. He has at several public events confirmed the aspiration and has been busy making behind the scene consultations at the grassroots seeking converts to the Enterprise.
In the last two weeks, the aspirant has been trotting the length and breadth of the state selling his ambition, to what appeared to be a willing audience. He started the public consultations with a visit to the PDP state Secretariat on Thursday 20th June. There he intimated the state exco, party chieftains and opinion moulders about his desire to seek the party ticket for the gubernatorial election.
After delivering his message calling on all Kogi sons and daughters to join hands with him in order to arrest the state from the current drift and maladministration, he presented a mini blue print of his plans to the party. The Exco gave him a Rosy welcome assuring him of a level playing ground for all aspirants.
The aspirant who has opened a campaign office in the state capital proceeded to Omala, his indiginous Local Government with his message. He was accompanied on the visit by a large entourage. The group included former Acting Governor of the State Clarence Olafemi, former representative Sunday Karimi and Pa Okino, former Finance Commissioner Abiodun Ojo, former attorney general Joe Abraham SAN, former commissioner Ali Aju, former assembly member Eric Fiki and former Local Government Chairman Dr. Ali Atabo. Abubakar visited the palace of Ojogba of Ife where he received royal blessings and the Omala local government PDP chieftains. The same day, he visited Ankpa and Olamaboro Local Governments.
For the next two days, the team went round the remaining Federal Constituencies in Kogi East, namely Dekina/ Bassa and Ofu/ Idah/ Igalamela/ Ibaji Federal Constituencies. In each of the local governments, the aspirant enjoyed massive support.
It was the same story in Kogi Central Senatorial District when the aspirant met with party stakeholders. In each of the five Local Governments – Okene, Adavi, Ajaokuta, Okehi and Ogori-Magongo. Abubakar painted an appalling situation of things in the state and the need to enthrone purposeful leadership. Again, he received endorsement of the party faithfuls.
In Kogi West, he visited the Seven Local Governments of Kabba-Bunu, Ijumu, Yagba East, Yagba West, Mopamuro, Lokoja and Kotonkarfi. In each of the places, he was warmly received as people pledged support for his ambition. He promised to focus on four thematic areas of staff welfare, infrastructure development, agriculture and peace/security.
When newsmen asked if he was fronting for his father, he had this to say. “It is an insult to me and all Kogi people to think somebody somewhere is manipulating us. At over Fifty, with my education and experience why do you still think I can not answer for my self? I say it again that the desire to contest is self motivated and I call on all Kogites join hands and let’s save our state. If my only crime is my paternity, people should asseess me on the basis of my qualifications and message. Kogi deserves better than she is getting today.”