#KogiDecides: Why Kogi Needs Change, By Abubakar Sidiq Usman
Kogi State is inarguably Nigeria’s most blessed state. With human capital in ample quantity, a wide array of mineral deposits and enviable land mass, Kogi is one of those states that one would naturally expect to thrive and to prosper. After the creation of the state in August, 1991, many were filled hope about new prospects made possible by the realisation of this dream; this hope was fulfilled for a while, then dashed terribly.
Kogi’s relationship with those who have led her has been on two extremes; it is either the state is led with utmost accountability, transparency and a sense of responsibility towards the people, or the person entrusted with the affairs of the state desecrates the democratic covenant of good governance and rules with flagrant disregard for the people. In the case of the latter, the past 12 years refer.
In 2003 when Prince Abubakar Audu, then in the ANPP, handed over the reins of leadership to the then ruling party, Kogi was an oasis in Nigeria’s dessert of bad governance, giving not only the people of the state but Nigerians as a whole, an idea of what could be achieved through purposeful leadership. The sum total of his initial 1992-1993 and the second 1999-2003 tenures was job creation, infrastructural development, improved healthcare and good quality education. His efforts yielded good results in virtually every aspect of life within the state and his achievements remain a reference point up until this very day.
Since 2003, however, Kogi has experienced that type of “change” that literally reversed the hands of the clock and sent the state back a number of years in terms of development. Infrastructure is fast decaying and the state university which was once ranked among the best in the country is no longer known for the quality which it possessed at inception. The battle to improve education in the state has also been momentarily lost as students study in conditions which are no longer conducive. Youth unemployment has assumed an upward trend and Kogi, which was once the destination of choice for investors, is currently battling the scourge of endemic unemployment. So much is wasting away in a state which is blessed with abundant resources.
The truth that we must all acknowledge is that Kogi state has been battered by years of bad governance and lacklustre leadership, and that this time around, we have a golden opportunity to correct this. As the APC has proven in many states in which they govern, the welfare of the people comesfirst. Also, as Prince Abubakar Audu has proven with his unmatched record in the state, it takes a person with clarity of thought and sincerity of purpose to make Kogi State work.
Kogi state needs positive change desperately because our home cannot continue to occupy the lowest rungs of the ladder of development while other states climb ahead in giant paces, despite the enormous natural endowments at our disposal. Kogi State needs the right type of change because the problem is not one of lack of resources, but the absence of effective management. Kogi state needs change because our people have remained at a spot for the past 12 years when their journey into glory was abruptly truncated, and because the current stagnation being witnessed is a result of the fact that leaders who assume office without having the people’s mandate do not feel accountable and feel no atom of responsibility for their actions.
It is, therefore, imperative that all eligible Kogites vote on November 21 and entrust the future of our great state to the APC’s Prince Abubakar Audu. We need to speak to our loved ones about the need to vote on this day because the decision we make is what will determine whether this giant will continue in its slumber, or whether we can, once again, begin to realise our full potential.
We must not pay any attention to those sowing the seed of division and discord; a greedy few cannot be allowed to throw a permanent cog in the wheel of our collective progress. Let us – sons and daughters of Kogi State – reflect on the urgent need to attain independence from bad governance and retrogression and come together to reclaim our state.
God bless Kogi State.
God bless Nigeria.
Abubakar Sidiq Usman (@MrAbuSidiq) is a blogger and a member of the Buhari Media Support Group.