Kogi State Governor Idris Wada has risen stoutly in defence of his records in office thus far.A principal claim of the governor is that those who accuse him of corruption have missed the point.He also admonished the Kogi PDP elders that are tackling him to truly come home and test their popularity.
Kogi PDP elders recently called on President Goodluck Jonathan to intervene and save the party in the state.The elders said the state was drifting.Last week, they presented a petition to the National Chairman of PDP ,Alhaji Bamanga Tukur in Abuja . “We want the national leadership of our great party to intervene decisively to save the PDP in Kogi State from an untimely death”, said Senator Alex Kadiri who led the three-man group that also included Senator Mohammed Ohiare and Dr Adinoyi Ojo Onukaba.
“All is not well in Kogi State. Our party has been hijacked by strangers. There is no governance in the state. State funds are being used to settle judges and anti-corruption agencies. Not even a culvert has been constructed by the nearly one year old Wada administration”, he added.
But Wada who spoke through one of his aides that denied allegations bordering on corruption.”They can accuse Capt Wada of anything but not corruption”, the aide said while insisting that Wada is in the habit of personally scrutinizing requests for funds.He has told us he is not looking for money through corrupt means, the aide claimed.
It appears the governor and his insiders are surprised at the sudden emergence of these elders from the state.An insider named Dr Onukaba’s membership of the group as one source of surprise because according to him, Wada did all he could to get him into the administration but Onukaba turned down the offer. “After the election Wada reached out to him and asked him to join him in the task of governing the state but Dr Onukaba rejected the offer” Newsdiaryonline.com was told.In fact, Wada was said to have reported Onukaba’s rebuff to former President Olusegun Obasanjo.The former president allegedly, angrily urged the governor to “forget about Onukaba”.
The aide described the Kogi elders committee thus. “It is a committee of losers.If they are popular,let them come home to test their popularity”.Continuing he said, “we have PDP elders, like General Salihu who is not a member of their committee, and they have said they have nothing against Wada”
Pro Wada officials claim the trouble in the state now arises from the fact that the era of thuggery is over and it is no longer business as usual .They also say contrary to the Kogi elders’ claim, salaries are being paid regularly,educational institutions like Kogi Poly and the State university are being attended to within the limits of available resources and that under Wada, “decisions are not taken on a hunch since there is now a working document which Wada and whoever succeeds him cannot ignore”.Numerous projects an official said are also going on in the state.
The governor’s aide also said the government believes these new elders may be working for the opposition. “We suspect they are working for the opposition”.And it appears this claim represents Wada’s defence as he also approaches PDP leaders in Abuja to present his own story as well.One aide brimming with confidence told Newsdiaryonline.com that “the fact that the elders visited Tukur and he listened to them should not be mistaken for the national chairman’s agreement with everythinh he was told.”
However, the growing opposition to the governor by Kogi PDP elders and the fiery response from Wad and his officials indicate that the political lacuna in the state may fester for some time.