Thursday, August 1, 2019 10:26 pm
Richard Elesho/ Lokoja
Love him or hate him, Abubakar Ibrahim, aka AbuIbro can not easily be ignored. He is in contention for the Kogi State Peoples Democratic Party, PDP Governorship ticket. If he gets it, he may well be the candidate to beat in the main election. But that is promising to be an uphill task.
Arrayed in battle against Abubakar are about 15 aspirants jostling for the coveted PDP ticket. About twelve of them are said to have paid the mandatory N25m required for nomination, expression of interest and sundry expenses. Prominent among them are former Governor Idris Wada, his younger brother and Abubakar’s in-law, Engr. Musa Wada, Senator Dino Melaye, Bank Executive Victor Adoji, Security Consultant Dr. Joe Erico and a Quantity Surveyor Aminu Abubakar. Whoever picks the ticket will almost certainly run against incumbent Governor Yahaya Bello who is favoured to fly the All Progressives Congress, APC flag.
Abubakar forayed into the murky waters of Nigerian politics, early last year. That was when he commenced consultations on his dream of contesting the Governorship election. He seemed to have acquired relevant preparations in character, learning and administration. Abubakar is coming clean without baggages of corruption and other acts that run foul of the law and which easily ensnare seekers of public office in the state. He is also backed by the Nigerian constitution.
There is however one big huddle to his Enterprise. His father, Alhaji Ibrahim Idris a successful business man was once Governor of the State. He governed for nearly nine years, under the same PDP platform. The sin is even compounded by the fact that the senior Ibrahin is not only alive but still kicking. Needless to say that Abubakar’s ambition viz a viz his father’s perceived roles have divided the Kogi electorate into two big camps – the anti and the pro Ibro camps.
Those opposed to him blame his father’s regime for every evil that occured in the state. They describe him as a crude carpenter and clueless leader who lacked the finese of a modern politician. They also accuse him of executing substandard projects and approaching governance too casually, when he was in office. This group don’t want to touch the younger Ibrahim with a long pole.
To them Kogi is not a personal estate and should have no room for encouraging a dynasty. “What we are saying is that Kogi is not a fiefdom. We need a fresh blood that is vibrant. Abubakar is not the answer.” Zakariah Idu, a politician told this magazine. He opined that Abubakar’s aspiration is tauntamont to his father getting third term through the back door.
But then the less combative group believes that the former Governor laid the foundation for a modern Kogi. They point to the network of roads, International market, about 1,500 houses, nearly 2,000 primary school blocks, international market, Specialist Hospital and government offices. They also point at 24-hour water supply through the greater Lokoja water scheme, prompt payment of salaries and emoluments and unceasing payment of WAEC/NECO fees, bursary and scholarships as legacies that set aside the Ibro years as golden. This group will stop at nothing to see Abubakar become Governor.
“History is replete with examples of parents who have successfully mentored their children to follow in their footsteps. In fact, the tradition dates to the beginning of times. It is not unusual therefore to hear of a family of lawyers, generation of politicians, lineage of priests etc The prayer of every parent is to have children that will surpass one in success. Since Abubakar’s ambition is lawful and he is competent, then he should be encouraged.” William Ochaja said.
He argued further that the destiny of a child must be separated from that of a father and that it amounts to injustice to lump both together. “If Ibro had been convicted for a crime and gone to prison and his son also committed similar offence, will the father’s prison term cover or atone for the son’s offence? In any case a child does not determine the routes through which he enter the world.”
During the public declaration of his intention, Abubakar enphasised that his desire for public service was self conceived. “I am more than 50 years and some are still saying some one wants to impose me…that is insulting to me and more so to the Kogi people.” The aspirant said.
Abubakar had early preparations in learning. After his secondary school education , he attended Ahmodu Bello University, Zaria where he variously bagged Bachelor of Agriculture and PGD in
Management and Masters in International Affairs and Diplomacy.
Outside school, Abubakar had devoted his energy to growing his business. He is a major player in agriculture, hospitality and mining sectors. He also has commendable potfolios in oil and gas.
Now that he seeks the number one office in the Confluence State, his mortal sin is obviously his birth. Will the name make or Mar him? Only time and perhaps the Kogi electorate can tell.