Dr. Abdulrahman Musa Adeiza, is the President General of Ebira Peoples Association (EPA), he spoke on the political situation in Kogi State and the just concluded Governorship election.
Excerpts, first published by Kogiflame.com :
What is your view on the election?
We appreciate God almighty for all he had done for us during the election. The election came and went , and a winner has emerged , but in totality the entire state is the winner , what ever might have been the shot coming of the election should serve as a source of correction for future election. I will personally like to sympathised with those that sustain one injury or the other during the election and I will like to comensurate with those who lost their love one during the election , but then I will like to point out that whatever we are having as a democracy in Nigeria today, it is still at a teething stage and a lot of changes need to be done to moderate and modify it I believe there is need to utilise the advantages of technology to modify the electoral process of the country so that electorate can even cast their votes electronically so that the issue of queuing up will not be there again.
This will invariably end electoral violence as people can vote from their homes , offices, market and other places. This is achievable through the commitment of the government and gradually the country will perfect the electoral process. This will also go a long way in reducing the high rate of violence often experienced during elections, the issue and complaints of ballot snatching will be permanently solved . Regardless of the little hitches experienced during the Governorship election in Kogi, the election was good , free and fair . I want to use this opportunity to congratulate the winner of Kogi state governorship election Alhaji Yahaya Bello who have demonstrated often time that he is capable and can withstand pressure to move the state to the next level of development and I wish him all the best Recently the three major tribes form a coalition , can you tell us what the coalition stand for ?
Yes , for now I am not authorised to speak on behalf of the coalition but definitely we are going to speak out and talk about the development in the state , but I can say that we have met twice and the next time we meet we will come out with a resolution. However , what borders us much is the peace and unity of the state and we have called on the entire people of the state to close ranks and come together in support of whoever is in government. We are calling on every body to be peace loving and ensure that we don’t allow a single incident to go deep down to possibly divide the entire state. We are united in calling our people to maintain the current peace and to support the winner of the election so that the government can be successful in delivering the dividend of democracy to the people which is key in any Democratic setting. If the government is not successful, it is the entire state that will carry the burden and the burden as a result of failure of administration is never limited to any particular tribe , but so far we observed that the winner of the election which is the APC has a sizeable proportion of supporters across the three senatorial districts meaning that the victory can not be limited to a certain set of people or tribe alone and to this extent , we believe that if the government indulge in peace measures, the entire state will be in a position to initiate a lot of development and we believe that the current government is in a position to ensure the development of the state .
KOCUDA is determined to ensure that we have a focus in the state and one of the paramount thing that has been lacking in the state and indeed the entire country is lack of focus and there is no country in the world that can develop if there is not central focus and where there is no central focus every body is bound to withdraw to his or her primordial sentiment which is not good for us. When you take America for instance , their democracy is built on three factors which are freedom, capitalism and liberalism. If you have these three items , there is no president that can effect change on these three fundamental things and successive administrations only built on it in the interest of American . The entire economy of Japan is based on value added and even the schools there, are designed to achieve this, people are trained on value addition . Japan does not have crude oil ,but they have about forty – three refineries , they buy the crude oil refined and sent to other countries , they end up creating jobs and generate revenue for the country through what they don’t have naturally. Also if you go to South Africa , they have prided themselves to be the leading country in ICT in Africa and what do they do with that? They ensure that they have DSTV, MTN and others . With these items South Africa became a house hold name in Africa and even beyond because there is no home you enter today in Nigeria that you not see MTN or DSTV.
Through these they were able to developed the curriculum of schools and the attitude of their people focus on the ICT and when you have a central focus like that no body will now withdraw to sentiment and the interest will be central or national interest. I want to believe that our governor Alhaji Yahaya Bello will find a way of creating a focus for the entire state where eventually the overriding effect will be the state instead of primordial issues of where I come from and when the overriding issue arises it will be enough to galvanized the interest of the people for the advancement of the state and generally development will be achieved.
Ajaokuta steel complex is money spinning industry laying fallow in your constituency and in Kogi state, what is your association doing to ensure that it come back to life?
A lot of things have been done in the past and at present . So many letters has been written to the federal government to see the reasons for the completion of Ajaokuta steel company and make it operational. We have also interacted with many people at the hierarchy of government not this administration alone. It is a fact that Ajaokuta steel complex is not an Ebira project , it is a federal government project which means the entire country owned it , but we have made a concerted effort to the federal government for the completion of the project. We are glad that where we are today with respect to the steel company, we are grateful to President Muhammadu Buhari for the bold step he has taken of recent to ensure that the giant steel complex in Africa is completed . We can not do any other thing than to ensure that the people in the local area cooperate with the government to see the completion of the project .
Much has been done behind the scene , some to the glare of the people and I am happy that the combine pressure we have carried out in the past and now have persuaded the federal government to develop the political will for the completion of the steel industry. No body doubt the fact that it could have been a colossal waste if such giant steel complex is in the country and abandoned to be importing steel products from other countries to the tune of 3.2 trillion naira per annum. It is also a simple fact that if the steel complex is functioning at 80 per cent capacity the north central states will have no issue of unemployment because of the opportunities and the potentials of the steel company. I am using this medium to thank the father of the nation and the president of the federal republic of Nigeria , President Muhammadu Buhari who have signed agreement with Russian government for the completion of Ajaokuta steel company. We do hope that nothing will militate against the take off of this company . It is also worthy to note that the national assembly members may have notice certain lapses in the effort put forward for the steel company, but they should also bear in mind that there are period when necessity become a paramount thing that certain decisions have to be taking boldly. If we start going into what have been done and what have not been done , we will derail from a lot of good things in this country and I want to use this opportunity to appeal to the national assembly to see reason as to why they should also assist the president in ensuring that his vision triumph over Ajaokuta steel complex.
do you think the federal government can do to get things right in the next
general election coming up in 2023?
Personally , I have always felt that
the way the democracy of this country was conceived called for a lot to be
desired. In 1999 when the country was moving from military regime to civilian
government, before then there was call for the formation of political parties
and the party guideline was so expensive and cumbersome to an extent that
people with good and lofty ideas did not have the money and were taken away out
of the circle. In other countries things are not done like that because there
are institutions that assist the people to circumvent the capital intensive
nature in participating in electoral process. In this country you will be
charged to open offices in virtually all the 774 local government areas of the
federation and if you are not rich you can not achieve that even if you have
good ideas that can move the country forward , but in other climes parties
enter informal agreement with institutions to say if you win we will produce
three ministers and as such the organisation or individuals rendered financial
assistance to the party. But in this country many people that are intelligent
are excluded from attaining the position of governance through the cumbersome
nature of party formation.
The level we are today, the major problem we have as a nation is the electoral process as a result of that the country is developing certain level of democratic characters in such a way that we are learning to tolerate protest which is different from military regime. Gradually, if we can change the mode of election through revisiting of electoral act, nothing stop us from using technology to conduct our elections because what we are doing right now can not be say to be perfect . The use of technology will also show the actual population of some ethnic groups that claimed that they are large in number and it time government should not use population alone for sharing of monthly allocation , this will discourage padding of population during census. One nauseating thing being bandied around as truth is the allocated census figures of the past which was designed to reduce my people to a minority status. Much as this lie has been peddled around for too long and now made to look like truth, I want to say with clear equivocation that the past population figure allocated to my people, Evita was at best fictitious, fraudulent and manipulated. I call it allocation because the then powers that be in the state connived to contrive those figures allocated to the west and central senatorial districts to ensure the perpetual political domination of the east of the state over others. At this juncture I will like to commend the Federal Government for their desire to conduct a more credible and digital census. I am not in doubt that after that exercise the truth shall be unveiled to the world and we shall be able to seek reparation for the accumulated hurt and harm done to our district. The era of manipulative dominance should be seen over considering the voters turn out vis a vis the registered voters declared for each district by inec. The votes counted in each area of dominance of the respective candidates against the backdrop of the voters registered in such areas is probable demonstration of the population strength of area.
It is generally agreed that Alhaji Yahaya Bello inherited the votes of Late Alh Abubakar after his painful demise. He benefitted from the labour of Late Audu on the ground of the APC party being the original owner of the votes and he as the second runner up at the party’s primary was qualified with the entitlement of inheritance of the votes. It was a painstaking process and exercise borne out of constitutional interpretations and not a gentle man arrangement of power rotation to the other zones.
It therefore need be tested at the
courts of law as yo whether GYB was actually having a first term or was merely
having there in the garb of another man’s votes and therefore just preparing to
start his own first term. In any case it is not debatable that the Central
Senatorial District is just about having its first term thereby making it
equitable for it to go for a second round in a two round rotation of
governorship seat that God has divinely decreed on our state with the death of
our Late leader, Abubakar Audu. I suggest having this at the back of our minds
stake holders in the state should now agree on a mode of power rotation in
pursuance of peace and unity of co habitation in the state.
Culled from Kogiflame.com