The November 11, 2023 governorship election was a watershed in the political annals of Kogi state. First, the election was not violent as predicted by many. Also, the election reinforced the notion canvassed for long that no single tribe can singlehandedly make one of her own governor without support of other tribes in the state.
In all, voters in Kogi West showed uncommon patriotism by jettisoning primordial sentiments to support the move to unite the state as represented by the candidature of the eventual winner and candidate of All Progressives Congress, Alhaji Ododo Ahmed Usman (OAU). Now that the people’s choice has emerged in OAU, the game is on for those seeking appointments in the incoming administration.
We have read postulations, especially on the appointment of Secretary to the State Government (SSG). Promoters of appointment seekers have pushed different arguments forward on who should be considered for varying reasons. However, we wish to admonish our humble and humane Governor-Elect to consider competence and capacity while upholding the values of fairness and equity when making appointments.
The Governor-elect is from Kogi Central and his Deputy from Kogi East. This tactically suggests the position of SSG will be zoned to Kogi West.
The SSG position is been eyed by many in Okun land, from what we gathered. This is understandable since the current Speaker of the Assembly is from the Lokoja/Koto axis of Kogi West. However, in selecting SSG from Okun land, certain issues must be considered to ensure the incoming administration take off on a solid ground.
From Yagba federal constituency, it is widely rumoured that the Information Commissioner, Kingsley Fanwo is a serious contender for the SSG position. But considering the fact that the outgoing SSG, Dr Mrs Folashade Arike Ayoade is from Yagba East, and the incumbent Senator representing Kogi West is from same Yagba area. For equity and fairness, the SSG position should be zoned to Kabba/Bunu/Ijumu federal constituency.
Now, to Kabba/Bunu/ijumu federal constituency, a former local government chairman, Funsho Olumoko is said to be a strong contender. However, it is pertinent to note also that the incumbent House of Representatives member for the federal constituency is from Ijumu, so Kabba-Bunu should be highly considered for the SSG position. This will strengthen APC in Okun land and make the incoming administration fair, just and balanced.
Now, in Kabba-Bunu LGA, we gathered that no less than four loyal party chieftains are eyeing the position. Among these, the front runners are the immediate past Speaker of the House of Assembly, Matthew Kolawole and incumbent Commissioner of Education, Wemi Jones. The state security adviser, Jerry Omodara and a new member of the party, Alfred Bello are also touted as one of those eyeing the position.
We will not decide for our amiable incoming Governor Ododo Ahmed Usman but we appeal to him to consider some important factors before making a choice among these chieftains.
First, our Governor-elect must consider experience and capacity to deliver on the job. Also, he must note that the party will rely on whomever he appoints as SSG for political leadership in Kabba-Bunu. The preferred person must have grassroot appeal and record of active participation and coordination of local party activities in Kabba-Bunu. We are aware that some of these chieftains eyeing the position hardly make any contributions to the party at local level. When leader poll resources together to finance activities of the party, some of them are fond of complaining that they have no money. Also, he must be locally and nationally connected to ensure he adds value to the incoming administration.
Secondly, His Excellency Ododo Ahmed Usman must avoid a political liability. Who among these has history of recording victory for our dear party APC in elections since 2016? In the November 11 elections, who among these delivered his polling unit and ward? Has any of these been involved in anti-party activities, especially during the 2023 general elections? We know ourselves very well and can tell who will best represent us and lead us well under the next administration.
It is a fact that Bunu district held on to the chairmanship position of the local government for over seven years and also enjoyed the commissioner slot of Kabba/Bunu local government since the inception of this administration about eight years on. Also, the incumbent House of Assembly member representing Kabba/Bunu, Seyi Bello, hails from Bunu district. So, it is expedient that the SSG be micro zoned to Kabba axis of the local government.
On commissioners. We want our amiable incoming Governor to consider ending the non-appointment of a commissioner from Yagba West. In the last 8 years, no one has considered for the post of a commissioner in Yagba West while their neighbours in Yagba East boasts of SSG and Commissioner of Finance.
Generally, appointment of commissioners from Kogi West should be based on balancing competence and political exigency. In the out-going cabinet, we make bold to say only two commissioners out of six from Kogi West were able to take charge in their respective constituencies. We want commissioners who can perform on the job and also lead the party effectively in their respective LGAs.
Charles Agboola wrote from Ijumu LGA.