By Myke Uzendu, Abuja
A governorship aspirant for the November 16 election in Kogi State, Abubakar Ibrahim under the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) said that he will rather arm Kogi youths with jobs instead of guns which will increase insecurity and other criminal activities in the state.
The aspirant who is the son of former Kogi State governor, Ibrahim Idris made the disclosure on Wednesday in Abuja when he picked the Expression of Interest and Nomination forms at the PDP National Secretariat, Abuja.
Abubakar said that he was not in the race because he was the son of a former governor but because he has the capacity to provided the needed governance in Kogi.
He said that the sorry state of Kogi where salaries are not being paid, pensions owned, led to insecurity as youths are armed with guns and reduced to criminals due to nonavailability of jobs. He said the situation has remained his greatest challenge and is the force behind his desire to contest for the election.
He said, “The state has undergone both human and infrastructural decay over the last three and half years. There has been the issue of salaries, pension, education, health, infrastructure, agriculture to mention a few. We are now faced with a state that has so much problems. And that has necessitated my coming in to throw my hat into the ring so that we could make and change the narrative of what is going on presently in my state.
“I hope to see a Kogi that is self-sufficient in the future. A Kogi that will depend very little on the Federal Government in the sense that we have more than enough to run our state. I hope to see a Kogi where the workers are happy and paid as at when due. I want to see a Kogi with good educational standard being uplifted.
“By and large, I hope to see a Kogi that is better than what it currently is right now” Abubakar stated.
The aspirant said that Kogi has always been a PDP state and the party will take over the adminstration of the state after the next election despite the fact that the All Progressives Congress (APC) cleared all the 25 seats in the state assembly at the just concluded election.
Refuting that he is climbing on his fathers popularity to run the election he responded:
“Being a child of a former governor doesn’t stop me from contesting an election. Because the constitution allows me to vote and be voted for. I have met the prerequisite in terms of education, being a Kogite and of age. I have all these to my kitty. I don’t need to be a former governor’s son to run for an election in Kogi State”.
He said that he is not being imposed on the party by his father recalling that former President’s and governors have successfully replaced their fathers saying that those who are complaining about his father were merely jittery.
“The truth is: most of the aspirants are feeling very jittery. I have not been found wanting, I have not had any issues with anyone. And nobody can concisely say that I have done this. So, my greatest crime now being my father’s son. And when you look at it critically, even where we borrowed democracy from, George Bush Senior was the 42nd President of the United States of America. George Bush Junior was the 44th President of the United States of America. Nobody had any issues with that.
“Now let’s come back to Nigeria. Former Governor of Abia State, Theodore Orji’s son just became the Speaker of the State. We have seen situations like that in Kwara State.
“Let’s come back to Kogi State. We have found a situation where not only I being a former governor’s son is running for governorship, there are two sons of a former governor also running for governorship election. Nobody said anything about that. So, why is mine different? So when you zero down on everything, it just comes down to one thing: fear. Those that are saying it are afraid of my candidature. They are not on ground.
Meanwhile Senator Douye Diri, representing Bayelsa central senatorial district also picked his nomination form, saying that there are no cabals or king makers in Bayelsa.
The senator pledged to consolidate on the achievements of governor Seriake Dickson. He said that every member of the restoration group has been giving an opportunity to contest the primary.
He denied the existence of political god fathers or King makers in the state, saying that he will ensure that the transformation agenda of the present administration continue.
He said, “We want to deepen the service that Governor Henry Seriake Dickson has given to the people of Bayelsa in terms of health, in terms of education, in terms of security, in terms of infrastructure and in all spheres of human endeavours. Our state has come up in the map of states. An award winning governor that he is, we believe that anyone going there is to deepen the service”.
On the unity and interference of godfathers in Bayelsa politics, he responded: “Please there is no division in PDP in Bayelsa state. Please let me put this very clear, I don’t know of anybody who is called a king maker in Bayelsa state. Bayelsa PDP is one. The party is still one and of course the leader of the party is the governor of the state. There is no king maker in Bayelsa and our party is one”.