OBIORA IFOH, Abuja
Former governor of Kogi state, Captain Idris Wada has vowed to return violence for violence should the All Progressives Congress, APC led government in the state attempts to initiate any form of thugery in the coming governorship election in the state.
Capt. Wada who is a People’s Democratic Party, PDP aspirant also said if elected into office his government will ensure that security of lives and property will be paramount in his administration while insisting that the entrance into the race of the son of former governor, Idris Abubarkar will not diminish his chances of picking the party’s ticket.
The erstwhile governor who spoke to journalists at PDP National secretariat in Abuja shortly after purchasing of the expression of interest and nomination forms on Monday said, “Yes they brought violence during the 2016 election, this time around if they try it we will respond with like, if not more than what they throw at us. We are not going to watch people steal an election from us this time around, we are going to fight for it, we are going to unite the people of our party, we are going to organize our own young and active people to come up a very clear response strategy to any violence tendency on the part of the ruling party or anyone in the state.
“Again, I have the privilege of governing the state for 4 years and we did everything we could to bring semblance of calm security to the state, people were sleeping with their two eyes closed. Now people are sleeping with one eye closed, or even both eyes opened. We are going bring back a situation where they can sleep and go about their businesses peacefully if PDP comes back to power in the state.”
On what he intends to do if elected into office, Wadata said, “When I was governor of Kogi state I added value to the state. I had several infrastructural projects which I did for the state, rural electrification for more than 400 communities. I built an eleven storey building here in Abuja, for revenue generating project for the state. I built a world-class pack in Lokoja. Because Kogi was more like a civil service state and the federal allocation is hardly enough to pay salary, so I was thinking ahead.
“But unfortunately, since I left even projects that I have done to 90% completion, have been abandoned by the succeeding administration. The projects that were at 60% are still where they were when I left office.And the prevailing hunger and poverty, you can feel it when you enter Kogi state, the booming live of our people have disappeared.”
On the perceived crack in the PDP family, he said, “We don’t have the same house, so there is no crack in the house. I leave in my house, the Godfather leave in his house. This is the essence of democracy. I have come to pursue my interest, which have told is clearly noble, I want to pull Kogi out of the present mess that we are in. I meanwhile I was there I was paying salary almost 25th of every month.now we are hearing story of people not been paid for 39 months, you can’t fold your hand and do nothing.
“So if the Godfather’s son wants to come and change that situation, his welcome. So long as there is a level play filed and there is free, fair and credible primary. Whatever happens we give glory to God Almighty.
“Politics is dynamic, there is no static situation in politics particularly in Nigeria, because of our diversity. Let me tell you, in 2016 we did not lose election, it was stolen from us, you all know what happened. So clearly it was a stolen election, but as one who has faith in God, we accepted the result and we are moving on. This is an opportunity for our people to compare. Are they better of now, than they were while I was there? Let them answer that question.
“If I come in, I have a very robust agricultural transformation program. So I assure you we are going to empower people through agricultural programs, we will bring in young people, we will have extension farmers fielding into a larger farm with processing industry that will lift all the people out of poverty.
“Another one is insecurity, so we will tighten security, we will enforce order and we will make sure that people can exercise rights and privileges of citizenship under a secure environment while going about their daily endeavors. But agriculture is the pillar of our transformational program. A
“And of course the solid mineral resources, we will work with the federal government to work towards reactivating the Ajaokuta Itapke operations to employ more people, so with agricultural transformation and processing industries will get our people out of poverty.
“While I was there we had a program called YAP for Kogi, Youth and Advancement Program for Kogi People, we were able to recruit over 120 thousand youths. We train them for about three to four weeks at the NYSC camp and then attached them to various vocation and pay them stipends of 10,000. We encouraged them to save and the government doubles their savings so that they can also become employers of labor.
“So we are going to improve on that, for women, young people we are going to encourage those who into commerce, we will give them soft loans and training for them to improve the yield in whatever endeavor they want to carry out.
“In closing, let me say that this next election of November 16 is critical to the survival of Kogi state. Kogi was on a part of progress at the time I left, and if I had spent four more years with kind of money that is coming into the hand of the present governor, Kogi state would have become a state that we will all be proud of.
“So my message to our people is this, many people who want to be governor have come out, experience is key. Kogi is right now like in quicksand, the more you wriggle out, the more you sink. So if you bring greenhorn who have no experience, who has no proper working of Kogi state, he will spend about two years trying to find his feet. If I move into the Kogi state governor’s office today, I know where I left the state, I will study where it is and I will start driving the ship of the state right away. Because we don’t want Kogi to collapse. Let is not experiment, go for the experience, go for capacity and I have demonstrated with many of the projects I did.”
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