Kogi state! Words fail me.
Since 1991, the state has been dragging to express herself. But enemies of progress won’t allow her. She came close to expressing herself between 1999—2003 while late Prince Abubakar Audu was governor.
We undid ourselves when we settled for an Ibrahim Idris, thinking he was the messiah the state needed at the time. That decision proved disastrous in the annals of the state. The state had it so bad between 2003 to 2011, and by extension 2012. It was indeed catastrophic. We went from bad to worse under Ibrahim Idris. Then came Idris Wada, who struggled to free himself from the pangs of Ibrahim Idris, who wasn’t satisfied with the deplorable state he left the state.
Idris Wada struggled and struggled to no avail. And he left the scene leaving the state worse than he met it. We were to see a return of Aduoja, the prince. But as fate would have it, he transited into the great beyond.
We thought the elections had been won and lost. But we were wrong. The demons of the land that have forbidden anything good for Kogi state went to work, and James Faleke was denied the opportunity.
They gave us Yahaya Bello, a young, supposedly energetic and intelligent fellow. We expected magic from him. He appeared ready to perform magic as expected of him. And he has indeed performed magic since he was sworn in. Am I correct?
This is not a piece; it is an aggregation of my thoughts on Kogi state.
From the death of Aduoja, the prince, to the coming of the man who stayed longer than necessary in his mother’s womb. And for that fact, he was born a fighter. And he has been fighting everybody including the Ajeku Iya no o je crooner. But Adoza would hear none of that. And he has continued to fight.
One good thing about Adoza is that his fight is balanced. In the east, west and central. I wonder if he has advisers and not interested in a second term just like his contemporaries.
In my state of wonderment about the conundrum we have suddenly found ourselves, I slept off on my couch and within a few minutes, I was in dreamland, sitting very closely with Adoza himself in the cozy confines of Lugard house shortly after my appointment as one of his Political Advisers.
Joshua: your excellency sir, the Igalas are still rueing the loss of the throne, you are fighting the senator from the west, you have defied your people including the Ohinoyi to appoint your twin brother as chief of staff. Sir, what kind of political calculation is this?
Adoza: no problem Mr. Adviser, when we get to the bridge, we shall cross it. In any way, Eddy is capable of delivering the east to me. In the west, don’t mind them, they are fickle. Small money and they will forget the past. And for my people. Would they throw away the bath water with the baby inside because the water is dirty?
Joshua: (adjusting my seat) Eh sir, it easier said than done oh. Eddy is a smart guy, but there is a limit to what he can do in the East. Yes, he can galvanize. But he is not even in touch with his peers. He is not taking calls; he is not reaching out. Instead, he is always on Facebook responding to inquiries and posting pictures of Ambulances, etc. sir; you won’t believe that in the whole of Nigeria, Eddy is the only chief of staff that commissions projects. He is the only chief of staff that is active on Facebook. He is the only chief of staff that has an official photographer. He is the only chief of staff that even goes to the photo studio to take pictures if he is not impressed with his official photographer.
Adoza: Please stop that, don’t you know he is my twin brother?
Joshua: Eh sir, sorry about that. I won’t talk about him again. But let me continue. Sir, for the Okun, you might be making a mistake to think it is about money alone. Don’t mind Smart oh. He is so smart that all his hotels and investments are in Ilorin, Kwara state. Have you also forgotten James Faleke? He is from same Kogi West with Dino your former friend who you tried to recall, but its not working. Those people are angry oh. They would collect money but won’t even look at your face during elections.
Adoza: are you serious?
Joshua: Your excellency, allow me to land. You see your people in Okene. They have already thrown the bath water since oh. I am not sure they remembered any baby oh. Or sir, are you saying you are a baby? In fact, before they threw the bathwater, they poured sand, salt, palm oil and engine oil so that any baby inside the bath water would die. That is the severity of the case there.
Adoza: (adjusting his seat) You must be stupid Mr. Adviser.
Joshua: Eh sir, you are not completely wrong oh. If not for stupidity, why would I be driving a Ford or MG vehicle that requires my travelling to Abuja or Lagos for routine maintenance?
Adoza: What are you talking about?
Joshua: Eh your excellency, the vehicles that you took a loan to buy for political office holders. I told them I wanted a Toyota or Honda that I can quickly service in Lokoja here, but they said it is new direction government and I kept my mouth shut as that was what Eddy wanted.
Joshua: (continuing) your excellency the emperor sir, the most important one is workers oh. The accountant general said he is tired oh, even the commissioner of finance said the only thing he does is to read long speeches with big figures, that he does not know about the finances of the state.
Adoza: (interjecting angrily) shut up your mouth. What is your business? This is what that stupid speaker Imam did that I removed him last week. Didn’t you see how he was shaking like a woman? Go and ask him and he will tell you. I am Adoza, the only governor to have had three speakers in less than eighteen months!
Adoza: (continuing) In fact, hold on let me call Eddy. (He rings the bell and Eddy saunters in with a swagger reminiscent of Lord Lugard).
Adoza:: Eddy, how many months’ salaries do we owe? (Eddy responds after licking his lips, “maximum of 12 months my twin brother”). You see why I trust Eddy? He is always on top of every situation. Don’t mind my people who want me to sack him. If only they knew how far we have come.
Adoza: (turns to me saying) Didn’t I tell you? It is only twelve months. Don’t mind those ghost workers who want to be paid for work not done. Why didn’t Wada pay them?
Joshua: Ghost again? Is it the same ghost that made INEC to accuse you of double voter’s registration recently?
Adoza: You must be a stupid adviser!
Joshua: Yes sir! Is it true that you have collected over N20 billion bailout fund from FG?
Adoza: Shut up. How is that your business?
Joshua: I am sorry sir.
Joshua: One last thing your imperial majesty, Nigerians living in Asokoro are complaining that you are not only running Kogi state from the N2.1 billion mansion on off T.Y Danjuma street that you bought last year after the bailout fund was released but that you are also preventing them from going about their lawful duties with your retinue of trigger-happy security operatives, traffic disobeying convoy and the growing army of kogi beggars who litter the street in front of your mansion each time you go to mosque or return from the aso villa! Is there anything we can do sir? You know the voix populi, voix dei?
Adoza: And what does that mean in English?
Joshua: The voice of the people is the voice of God!
Adoza: (angrily with eyes turning red) Get out of my sight before I call CP Inalegwu to give you the Makama treatment!
Joshua: (scramming out and screaming) Yeeeeeees sirrrrrrrrr……wrong may you reign, sorry long may you ‘leave’ on the throne of voters cards!
And I woke up with cold sweat all around my body…. What a dream!
By Joshua Ocheja