By Lami Ibrahim
The former Chairman, Okehi Local Council, Kogi State and Director General of Leke Abejide/Idris Omede Governorship campaign council of the African Democratic Congress (ADC), Hon Adagu Suberu has described the composition of the ADC leadership in Kogi State as a coalition of former stalwarts of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) extractions who came together for the purpose of actualization of power shift to Kogi West in the November 11 governorship election in the state. He also described the ADC candidate as Leke Abejide’s anticipated victory, as a repeat of the “tsunami” of February National Assembly elections in Kogi Central Senatorial District.
Suberu, who made the declaration during the campaign rally in Okehi and Adavi councils on Saturday, said that while he was a strong backer of the APC in the state, his running mate, Dr Idris Omede, was the Commissioner for Health under the Idris Wada government of the PDP. He also noted that the Chairman of the ADC governoship campaign council, Chief Shola Ojo and Chief Hassan Salau, former Secretary to the State Government (SSG) and former Special Adviser to the governor respectively, were of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) extraction. He said what united the coalition is their commitment to the actualization of power shift to Kogi West Senatorial District in January 2024, in the spirit of equity fairness and justice.
He vowed that the people of Okehi/Adavi federal Constituency would repeat the “tsunami” that gave the opposition PDP the edge over APC in Okehi/Adavi federal Constituency and Kogi Central Senatorial District at the February 23 national assembly polls. This time, he revealed that the the beneficiary governorship candidate will be no other than Abejide.
The results of the February elections, he noted was a sign of the rejection of the ruling All party in the area. He said the people had revolted against the ruling party as a repayment of its anti-people policies, including the payment of percentage salaries to local government workers and primary school teachers, and what he alleged as total cripple of the local government system by the Bello regime.
He said Ebira people are not greedy people, hence the determination to ensure that Kogi West Senatorial District produce the next governor of Kogi State after the two terms of Governor Yahaya Bello.
He revealed that the same Okehi/Adavi people that turned the table against the ruling party in February are on very much on ground, adding that in November, they have resolved to vote en masse for the ADC candidate.
He described Abejide as a successful merchant who before who before he ventured into politics had carved a niche for himself in the business world, a honest and reliable leader who can be trusted. He said Abejide’s achievements recorded in Yagba federal Constituency from his first term term in the House of Representatives, his reelection in the February elections despite running on the platform of a less known party platform, and his contributions to the law making process in the Green Chamber where he is chairman, House Committee on Customs and Excise, are unrivaled.
“Ebira people are not greedy. Okun people and Ebira people, we have something in common. When it comes to power shift, I am aware that our leaders from West and Central sat together to reason that having access to power by each zone will bring even development. We do not have reason to carry dagger, to carry knives, to carry guns to kill people. Power transition through peaceful rotation is achievable. That is what you see in other states, where they have peaceful transition. In Kwara State, they have it”, said.
He further said that” The Igala were in power for 19 years but in 2015, by God’s design, power transited to us in Ebiraland and to Yahaya Bello. In 2019, he said he wanted second term, he got it. In 2023, equity demands that power goes to our brothers in Kogi West. But when you go and pick another Ebira candidate, this is where I departed as an APC stalwart. Okun will produced the next governor of Kogi State. Okun lokan, Leke Abejide lokan”.
State ADC Chairman, John Adaji called on the public to ignore reports in the national dailies stating that the state ADC chairman had dumped the party and the structure of the party collapsed into APC, describing the reportt as “fake news”
“I stand here before you live and direct, that I am the authentic chairman of ADC in Kogi State. There can’t be two captains in one ship, and here I am with you and with our governorship candidate, Elder Leke Abejide. I also assure that ADC structure is intact. The man who claimed to be chairman and said he has decamped to the APC has been expelled from the ADC a long time ago”, he said, “The impostor, one Temitope Ogga who is behind the fake news, had been suspended by the executives of ADC at his Ogga/Omi/Odo-Ara ward in Yagba West LGA for anti-party activities and embezzlement of fund, his suspension was ratified at the local government level and forwarded to the State Working Committee, which did same and forwarded to the National Working Committee which ratified the decisions of the party from the ward to local government and state levels. He was subsequently expelled from the party in October, last year”, he said.
Abejide promised to revisit the civil service screening exercise embarked upon by the Yahaya Bello administration, if elected. This he said is with a view to reabsorbing workers wrongly dismissed from the service, complimented with full benefits of their salary arrears. He also promised to ensure autonomy for Iocal governments while assuring that the era of percentage salary and state government tampering with Local Government allocations, will become a thing of the past.
“We will ensure the local government system in Kogi State is fully functional as a third tier government with full control of its allocations. We will ensure the payment of percentage salary is a thing of the past. We will put an end to the ungodly payment of between 17-25 percent of salaries as many Kogi State civil servants have fallen Ill or died out of frustration. While schools in five LGAs are already beneficiaries of free WAEC fees which I started six years ago, the gesture will be extended to public schools of other LGAs across the state”, he said