Says APC jittery, Bello taken Kogi 100 years back
Kogi State Governorship candidate of the People Democratic Party, PDP, Engineer Musa Wada, in this interview, spoke on his chances in the November 16 poll, his plans for the state and why the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, is jittery.By Olayinka Ajayi
On his emergence as the PDP governorship candidate
This was what panicked a lot of people. Even when I was in public service I was popular with people at home. Don’t forget that my elder brother was once a governor and I worked underground towards his victory. As a public servant, I could not openly come out as a politician but I have been in touch with the people. Although there are big gladiators who have been in politics, I have a relationship with most of the people.
What are you promising the people of Kogi?
My manifesto emphasises human capacity development. If you go to our health institutions, the Federal Medical Centre in Kabar, they use candle light in the night. None of all the hospitals in Kogi State has a functional generator. When I emerge as governor, a state of emergency will be declared in all sectors in Kogi because no sector is working. The schools are closed; up to 100 lecturers in Kogi State University have ran away. What I intend doing if I emerge is to bring comfort back to the people and ensure that there are adequate facilities in our hospital and to make people believe there is a government that would provide for their needs.Mr Musa Wada
Some of the secondary schools do not have roofs. The governor took the highest bailout fund of N50.8 billion meant to pay the salaries of civil servants. Governor Idris Wada applied for that money, the APC refused to release it to him. The released the whole money to Bello, he did not do anything the money was meant for. If he had used that money for its purpose, there wouldn’t have been salary arrears.
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So I will ensure change in narrative in the way governance is carried out in Kogi State. Kogi University before now was the pride of everybody. We had all the courses accredited. Mind you, a university is not about the structure but about accreditation of courses. The accreditation of School of Medicine and Pharmacy, which was got under Governor Wada was withdrawn when Yahaya Bello came because he could not pay.
As I speak, they have redistributed these students to UNIJOS, UNN and other universities offering medicine and pharmacy. Bello’s coming has killed the Medical faculty of Kogi State University. His government has taken the state back 100 years. I am thinking out of the box to make lives better, I will make sure I stabilize all the institutions of the state.
Where will the funds come from?
Kogi is sitting on a lot of fortune. The limestone deposit in Kogi State is too large. We have coal. We have these minerals unexploited and somebody is just there waiting for allocation. The experience I have will easily be brought into bear in Kogi State. I will let the private sector drive the infrastructural development in Kogi State. I will not waste time at all. I know many people want to come to kogi to invest in the resources but they are scared of the government in place.
On why he is optimistic of winning
The abysmal performance of the governor is enough reason for me to confidently tell you that I would emerge the next governor. All things being equal, my chances are brighter than the incumbent based on his very poor performance.
Everybody in Kogi is fed up. Common salary payment has become an illusion, Infrastructural decay from the health sector, to the common maintenance of roads. If as a governor you cannot achieve these basic things, I wonder what your campaign to come back would be on.
If you performed well as a governor, you have campaigned for yourself indirectly but this governor has nothing on ground to tell people. It’s as if there is no governance in Kogi State. What they are used to is hunger, thuggery, guns booming in every city from night to morning as if we are in another banana republic. The scenario in Kogi State reminds us of those days of Idi Amin of Uganda. If you say Nigeria is the poverty capital of the world, then Kogi State is the poverty capital of Nigeria because everything bad in human existence is present in Kogi State today. So under free, fair and credible election, within three hours I will become the winner of Kogi governorship election.
With the slow build up of violence in the state, how can you guarantee a free, fair and credible election?
Remember when PDP was in power, the immediate past governor of Kogi State Capt. Idris Wada eradicated all forms of thuggery in the state. That was why the election of 2015 was conducted under a peaceful atmosphere where the opposition won the election.
As a party, I have always said that my election does not worth the soul of anybody. I still stay by that statement. The security agents have the right under the constitution to arrest and prosecute anybody bearing arms who is not authorized to carry arms. I wonder where these security agents are when these guns boom from night to morning because election is approaching. They said they have a Police Commissioner, nobody has been arrested.
As you feared, APC has conducted a very questionable election in Osun State where majority of Nigerians felt that PDP won that election through Senator Ademola Adeleke. Ekiti State election is another case. So we are advising the electoral umpire to improve on Osun and Ekiti elections.
Citizens of Kogi State are very vigilant this time knowing full well how they did previous elections. And we are ready to defend our votes. We know their tactics; making card readers’ work in some places and it would not work in other places, trying to destabilize the votes in opposition candidate’s strong hold, and then protect the strong hold of the incumbent governor. We know all these tactics and we want to make it clear that we are aware.
So, we are advising and appealing for them to think of the lives of the citizens of Kogi people. We are aware that the APC people are arming thugs all over. We are not going for war we are going for election. As a party, we will do everything on our part to abide by the rules of election. The responsibility is on the security agencies and INEC to ensure that we have a free, fair and credible election. Under free, fair and credible election, I shouldn’t be afraid because federal might is for everybody.
How far have you gone on reconciliation with aggrieved PDP members?
We were 13 candidates, 12 have endorsed me already. It is only one that went to court. The reconciliation committee set up by the national working committee of the party headed by Senator Bukola Saraki is working. He has interviewed me, he has interviewed all the critical stakeholders in Kogi PDP and there is a plan to reach out to the aggrieved member who went to court so that we don’t give room for any manipulation because what the opposition is looking for is for Engineer Musa Wada not to be on the ballot. They are scared that as far as I am on the ballot there is a problem for them.Related