BY BODE GBADEBO
Not only Kogites know that the Confluence State needs a new direction, fresh lease of life and a new government in place come January, 2020. The reasons are clear for everyone to see save for the few who currently benefit from the political misfortune of Kogi State.
The four-year rule of the incumbent Governor Yahaya Bello has been characterised by alot of undesirable indices – non-payment of salaries to workers in a civil service state like Kogi, intolerance of opposing views, suicide by civil servants and mesmerising the traditional institutions in the state like compelling the reverred traditional rulers to openly canvass votes for the governor in power during a Aso Rock visit.
One person, yes, one politician, one Kogite has been the most consistent voice against maladministration, bad governance and anti-workers tendencies in the state. That person is Senator Dino Melaye, who is a privileged Nigerian and a member of the political class. He has the choice of keeping quiet and look the other way but the conscience in him will not allow him to abandon the people.
He was one of the leading voices for the enthronement of Yahaya Bello as the fourth elected governor of Kogi State after the demise of Prince Abubakar Audu, who was the leading candidate in the 2015 governorship election. Unfortunately, Audu died before the formal completion of the exercise.
Melaye does not and will not play tribal politics, hence when the then national leadership of his former party – the All Progressives Congress (APC) under Chief John Oyegun – decided that Bello should continue the race where the late Audu stopped, the Kogi West Senator had no problem obeying his party’s directive.
Therefore, he supported Bello from the beginning to the point where the governor started derailing having refused to heed timely and useful advices. Melaye had no problem again in speaking truth to Bello’s power, a development the governor detests.
A lot of people have expressed their concern about Melaye’s switch of support for Governor Bello. They keep referring to Bello’s swearing-in day where Senator Melaye in his characteristic blunt manner declared that Kogites voted for Late Audu while God chose Bello as the governor, hence anyone not happy was fighting God.
That situation four years ago which warranted Melaye’s declaration is not perculiar to Kogi and the Senator cannot be blamed for governor’s bad stewardship and choice of derailment. In the Biblical accounts, Saul was chosen as a King by God to rule over Israel and the message of his appointment was conveyed to him by Prophet Jonathan and when the King derailed, the same prophet told him to his face that he had been rejected by God. Nobody blamed Prophet Jonathan.
Four years later, Melaye cannot fold him arms while Kogi suffers, hence his choice to throw his hat in the ring this time. Out of all the governorship aspirants of the Peoples Democraric Party (PDP) vying for governorship seat of Kogi State, Dino Melaye is the most popular beyond Kogi boundaries.
As a three-time member of the National Assembly – first as a member of the House of Representatives and now as two-time Senator since 2015 – he has the political pedigree, experience and grace to occupy Luggard House as governor.
His penchant for execution of projects across Kogi West zone which comprise Lokoja, the state capital, is legendary.
He has represented his people well and his people love him. They demonstrated the love when an ochestrated recall exercise against him failed woefully in April 2018.
By venturing into the state’s 2019 governorship race, Melaye has taken his quest for service to a higher level. He has demonstrated service to the people as a lawmaker, hence service to all Kogites beyond Kogi West is now assured if the PDP delegates will vote for the right aspirant with the requisite capacities to be governorship candidate of the PDP. That aspirant is Senator Dino Melaye.
The delegates must be alive to their responsibility of determining the fate of Kogi and Kogites for the next four years and posterity will judge them accordingly.
Tribal sentiments won’t guarantee good governance in Kogi State. Therefore, they must resist intimidation, inducement and mundane sentiments by voting Senator Dino Melaye as the flagbearer of the PDP in the November 16 governorship poll.
It is unecessary to think that it’s only a candidate from a particular tribal axis of the state can defeat the incumbent governor, no! It is a God-chosen candidate that will carry the day and that person is Senator Dino Melaye. The delegates should do their part and leave the rest to God.
He is prepared to govern, provide purposeful leadership and people-centred governance. He won’t be an accidental servant of the people.
The PDP delegates will be casting their votes in some hours away from now, i.e. Tuesday, September 3, 2019 and before the end of the day, the result will be out. It is certainly Senator Dino Melaye’s day with history.