What did Abubakar Audu forget in Kogi Government House? This is a question any average Nigerian would ask of any candidate aspiring to be sworn in for a third term in any elective office, especially when such office in question rates as high as the gubernatorial platform.
Dr. Abubakar Audu has placed himself in that enquiry microscope ever since he was denied a second term in his bid to extend his second coming as the executive governor of Kogi State.
The People’s Democratic Party, PDP, had used every known means of election malpractices and The Independent National Electoral Commission [INEC] aided rigging to deny the people’s choice from extending his good works for a people he evidently loved their well-being.
Before this derail, Dr. Audu had been the Chief executive of the state for two separate terms – first, he was voted in overwhelmingly in 1992 under the umbrella of the defunct Nigerian Republican Convention, NRC.
Within the 22 months he stayed in office before that General Ibrahim Babangida’s attempt to usher in democratic rule was inadvertently truncated to usher in another long spell of uncertainties under military rule, Audu was able to reposition the state by strongly erecting the solid windmills that harvested long overdue dividends of democracy.
His head-on arrests of critical challenges in the housing, health, general infrastructure, commerce and industry within so short a time still remain landmarks in today’s Kogi.
Hence, it was no rocket science that when the Fourth Republic kicked off in 1999 Kogites had seen enough of Audu to overwhelming vote him in to continue in his good works. And they were the happier for it for their chief executive resumed exactly from where he stopped.
Specifically, those four years in office saw the indefatigable achiever carving out further golden projects like building and equipping a specialist hospital, the five star Confluence Hotel, 250 units Housing Estate, a sporting complex, 25 medical institutions, 350 borehole schemes, 300 km of township roads, 20 rural electrification projects as well as procuring 100 mass transit buses and creating a specialist Government Girls Secondary School on student exchange programme.
However, Kogites were denied the much-needed continuity to land them in Audu’s Eldorado when PDP struck with the rigging bulldozer that has ever continued to deny such contentious and selfless leader.
But after 12 years of PDP’s reign, Kogi State has deteriorated beyond apprehension. Yet revenue allocation has more than quadrupled in present day. Audu’s landmarks have been left unmaintained without visible replacements in place.
To answer the question, Audu is coming back on a rescue mission. He sees his great plans to alleviate his people from poverty and pathetic living diminish in the hands of a ruthless opposition, whose only creed for power are for self-aggrandizement and closed family frolics.
Audu is coming to restore hope to his people, pick up Kogi State from the sorry state it is and back to the envy he left it in 2003 by which time he had won seven of the 12 performance awards available nationwide for gubernatorial excellence in office.
Yes, Abubakar Audu forgot something – his people’s well-being. Contesting under the platform of Al People Congress, APC, Audu couldn’t have chosen a better CHANGE vehicle to drive home his three-point agenda – power shift, state of emergency in critical sectors of the state and concentration in ‘stomach infrastructure’.
The incumbent, PDP’s Wada is in for the fight of his life to keep out Audu from getting back to power. The PDP had succeeded in fraudulently keeping the people’s choice for three consecutive times. This time around, it will definitely be a different ball game when Kogites decide on November 21, 2015.
Ahmed Attah, Microbiologist, writes from Lokoja
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