By Inaju U. Inaju
In more ways than one, Kogi State has become the poster state for unsavoury governance.
The State has become the capital of poverty in Nigeria because of non-payment of civil servants salary, poor education, bad roads, (as for roads, we have the worse of its kind), suicide, dysfunctional medical facilities, hunger, lack of utilities like water, too much political hubris and the list goes on.
Sadly, in spite of these historic achievement in bad governance, it is interesting to hear the Deputy Governor proudly reeling out mind boggling numbers. Billions of Naira, the deputy governor said the New Direction government of Yahaya Bello has received within three and half years in power.
Ok, so the Deputy Governor was not exactly proud of the mismanagement of our collective wealth by his principal, he was only trying to let us know how bad Governor Yahaya Bello (GYB) has been with our money. Such a joke! What makes the Deputy Governor think that anyone, with brain, will exonerate him from the kleptocratic government he served for three and half years and he is still serving despite his garrulous diatribe?
In any descent clime, the deputy governor would have made these serious, but seemingly spurious, allegations part of his resignation speech. For anyone who wants to be taken serious to accuse a sitting government he is still serving of these serious crime of kleptocracy is to say the least, cutting the nose to spite the face.
The deputy governor’s action is incongruous with good practices. But then, one has come to expect anything from these bunch of political midgets who smuggled themselves into power through a legal window and as the deputy governor has openly admitted, this government did not contest election! A clear indication that they were not ready for leadership.
Because of the hardships that the people of Kogi State have been subjected to because of the lack of leadership knack of the present government, you will forgive some of us who thought that at the turn of the 4 years misrule of APC, a more cogent political expediency would kick-in and the masses will take power back.
We even thought that the People Democratic Party (PDP), that has remained in opposition would have learnt something and they would give the All People’s Congress (APC) a run for their political life by allowing interested candidates from the State to try their popularity with the masses. We could not have been more wrong. We did not know that the political miasma in Kogi State has become a terminal cancer that is eating up the two dominant political parties.
Even more baffling is the unbridled public display of support by the masses for both parties. This is the same masses that have born the brunt of the stinking leadership dearth that is the mainstay of both parties in the last 20 years.
What pundits, like me, did not know is how much corruption has eaten into the Igala people in PDP. It is so bad and so deep that Igala PDP people are willing to sell the soul of the party to families who have mismanaged Kogi State in the past and by so doing, pave the way for the failed New Direction Government to remain in power!
I hope they all lose out!
It defies human intelligence and all logic to know that there are people who will still give audience to some of the Igala candidates canvassing for ticket to rule the State right now. Seemingly, the long suffering masses in Kogi State have learnt nothing after almost 20 years of bad leadership.
We have never had it so bad in Kogi State. The scandalous revelation coming from the Lugard House has even muddled the political waters even more. Lord Lugard will be scandalised in his grave knowing that his most coveted State House has become a den of miscreants and political demagoguery.
To hear and watch GYB and his deputy go at each other with so much political bile, vomit so much of how much they have mismanaged and misused our collective resources, tell openly, the story of each other’s political hubris goes far and above everything we hoped will come out when they start fighting each other.
Any discerning mind who have lived in Kogi State in the last three years knows that this day was bound to come, what we did not know is how far the political gladiators will go in informing us of their thievery, thuggery and poor leadership.
Based on the principle of collective responsibility, it will be pure madness for anyone who has served this government in any political capacity, especially if they are still serving, to claim sainthood at this point. No, not now!
Any political appointee that has served GYB for more than one year had ample chance to resign, and make his reasons public. To come out now and start spewing garbage because you think the time is up and you want to jump ship to save your skin after you have joined in stealing us dry is to say the least, mischievous, devilish, self serving and too little too late.
The ongoing obnoxious media fight between GYB and his second in command is pure theatrical and all the people of Kogi State need to do is to do sit, enjoy the show and clap for the badly trained actors as they continue to perform naked in the public square.
A couple of things, though, stand out in the war of wards between the political lightweights, but I will deal with one in this article due to lack of space.
GYB media handlers said.“We warned Achuba who is known to history as a man whose affinity for violence is unparalleled not to judge us by his own standards. The report of the Kogi State government commission of enquiry on the Iyano ethnic crises in 2017 is still fresh in our memories.”
All I can say is WAOOOO!
The questions that beg for answers now are these: if the media handlers of the Kogi State government know all along that the Deputy Governor is, “ … known to history as a man whose affinity for violence is unparalleled,” why have they not done anything to expose him? Why did the government not intervened on the part of the poor suffering people of Iyano who bore and continue to bear the brunt of this man “who is known to history as a man whose affinity for violence is unparalleled”?
Why did the government protect him for so long, even when the Nigerian Human Commission was after him on account of Iyano crises?
What was it that has been holding the government’s report all these years while the Aluaja people have been denied even the right to farm on their ancestral land and fish in their ancestral ponds?
Iyano is made up of 3 distinct communities under one king, two of the communities that turned up for the government enquiry said clearly that Aluaja people have the right to the throne, what else does the government want to hear before they do the right thing?
Aluaja people provided legal documents from the 70s and 80s to back up their claims, while the other people did not even dignify the Kogi State government commission of enquiry with their presence, instead they sent in stinker saying that they do not have confidence in the enquiry; all because this man with historical affinity for violence who is the deputy governor got their back.
Why did the government allow Aluaja people to continue to be treated like slaves, on their ancestral land, with the surreptitious backing of state architecture?
What has the government done with the outcome of the government funded commission of enquiry? Why did they allow a man “who is known to history as a man whose affinity for violence is unparalleled” to continue to be the second in command at the helm of governance?
The only answer I could find for these questions are that, it was convenient for GYB and his acolyte to accommodate this man whom they have described as having unparalleled affinity with violence while it served their purpose.
One can safely argue that the government of the day do not really care about the people they govern and the only reason the Aluaja mayhem seems to have found new life is because the Kogi State government believe it will advance their war of attrition against the Deputy Governor.
For the records, Aluaja people know what game is being played by the government. We understand that in this time of political gerrymandering, anything is fair game in the book of the crooked poli-trical players in Kogi State.
This ill conceived and cowardly delivered blow by the Kogi State Government against the deputy governor, clearly is an ill wind, and if not handled carefully, will lead to more conflict in Iyano.
We appeal to GYB and his supporters not to use Iyano/Aluaja conflict as the cannon folder in their existential fight with their once chummy deputy.
While some people may play along with GYB and his people for what it is worth, it is important to warn GYB and his political strategist that if they capitalise on the weakness of the vulnerable, poor and long suffering people of Aluaja in Iyano for cheap victory, history will hold them accountable.
The people of Kogi State and especially, Ibaji people are watching and taking note and nemesis will catch up with anyone who politicise the death and suffering of a people whose cry for help was neglected for so long. However, if it turns out that GYB has finally seen the light and has decided to do what is right by releasing the government’s finding on the crises honestly, history will remember him and his fellow political sojourners as the ones who resolved Iyano conflict forever.
Right now, it does look as if GYB and his cohorts are using Iyano plight as the bludgeon to scare the Deputy Governor back into his dark recesses where he practices his evil or drive the last nail into his political coffin.
What every player in the game of thrones going on in Kogi State need to understand is that Aluaja plight is no longer a skeleton in anyone’s cupboard. We have written about it in the past, the courts of the land, the Nigerian Police, and the Nigerian Human Right Commission are aware and even though all these people have failed Aluaja.
The people of Aluaja are consoled with the knowledge that the reason they have been denied justice is because of this one man with an unparalleled affinity with violence who has enjoyed the protection of Kogi State Government.
The people of Aluaja are consoled with the knowledge that GYB and his people have heard Aluaja story, GYB and his people know that Aluaja people are telling the truth yet Kogi State government, decidedly, did nothing until now. As the saying goes, better late than never.
We wait for GYB to do something for Iyano as he prepares for his reelection.
The man with “unparalleled affinity with violence will continue to perpetuate violence but as a government that pride itself on security, we expect more.