People who engage in partisan politics do so for diverse reasons – patriotic, economic, social, and psychological or for the mere fun which comes with participation. This is often a major determinant of the outcome of such participation on the populace. Simply put, the benefits citizens gain from leaders they support in politics are largely defined by the fundamental principles which drive the participation of such leaders.
Personally, the principal force which necessitated my decision to join the contest for the governorship position in Kogi State is borne out of a genuine desire to place Kogi People in a firm position to join the ALL IMPORTANT NATIONAL DISCOURSE.
My intention is to promote our relevance in a Nigeria where inequity, unfairness, injustice and economic imbalance will be tamed.
January 27th 2016 marked the beginning of the current administration in Kogi State led by the All Progressives’ Congress (APC). Between that time and now, I have embarked on a series of reflections on the state of Kogi State as a component of the North Central region and Nigeria as a country. I have carried out an empirical comparism of Kogi State and her peers especially Abia, Enugu, Jigawa, Anambra, Edo, Kebbi, and Delta states in the course of which I arrived at a painful realization that we are a state in urgent need of rebuilding, repositioning and reconstruction.
Perhaps, this realization is the biggest testimony that after all the noise and media hype, what Kogi people actually enthroned was a new dispensation hinged on the tripod of nothing, nothing and nothing yet bringing along a strange baggage of deep division, suspicion and acrimony in our socio-political space.
Today, I am in the race to be governor because I sense an urgent need to save Kogi State vis-à-vis our fragile internal security, near comatose institutions of state including the painful collapse of civil Service structure, several episodes of international embarrassments and glaring incidences of large scale graft in government that have gone unchallenged.
Can Kogi State afford to be left out in modern Nigeria? The answer is NO.
Every election throws up new winners and losers and both episodes must be managed with great care and tact. In 2015, majority of Kogi people supported the emergence of the late Alhaji Abubakar Audu as the Governor. Unfortunately, fate stalled his eventual emergence against the wishes and aspirations of our people. That decision which birthed this current accidental government was not a mistake; at best it was a political gamble the outcome of which is history.
It is in consideration of the inadequacies of the current administration that we are faced with a new future that presents the Peoples’ Democratic Party as the most viable political vehicle that can create a quicker political rehabilitation and economic empowerment for our people because in the Nigeria that has emerged, a new formula for progress and development must be worked out to cater for the rights, privileges and interests of Kogi people without encumbrances.
Another reason I joined the gubernatorial race is to enable me unite with an alternative political ideology that can be utilized, repositioned and reconstructed to trigger the political rehabilitation of Kogi people.
Both home and in diaspora, our people are known for their exploits in virtually every key economic determinant. We are known for our exceptional abilities, unique talents and remarkable dispositions. For this reason, it is only appropriate for us to own commanding stakes in any political equation that emerges.
Owing to Nigeria’s system of governance, the most crucial process of national integration, inclusive development and economic growth are operated from the centre. Kogi State must therefore be repositioned to participate, exploit and benefit from as key stakeholders, the national integrative process at the centre of national politics. The current administration has refused or failed to do this but I, Mohammed Shaibu Tettes will make this work seamlessly notwithstanding my membership of the PDP.
It is hard not to recognise that Kogi State requires a real life presence in the North Central beyond mere expression. I therefore in exchange for numerous growth and development opportunities for Kogi people plan to emerge governor so I can set a standard and raise the bar in managing the key instruments of statescraft.
This is of crucial essence to me as a qualified native of the state because my intervention shall serve as a means of opening up Kogi state to the positive benefits of being in a strategic location – the kind we occupy on Nigeria’s map as gateway linking the South South, South East and South West to the FCT.
The ideals of some of our profound Nigerians leaders of Kogi extractions namely His Excellency, The Rt. Hon. Dr. Ibrahim Idris, The Late Dr Stephen Achema, the Late Aro of Mopa, Sunday Awoniyi and His Excellency the Late Dr. Abubakar Audu as well as the founding members of the State, including the distinguished persons of Senator Dr. Ahmadu Ali, Senator Dr. Tunde Ogbeha, Dr A.T. Ahmed, General Saliu Ibrahim, Dr John Lawani all of whom I deeply honour firmly support a united Kogi devoid of inequity, unfairness, and injustice.
I am therefore an advocate of a Kogi state, one of inter-ethnic and religious integration, true brotherhood and inclusive development. Consequently, I think it is time to start a new dialogue to determine the place of Kogi people in today’s Kogi.
We cannot accept to play inferior nor can we hold on for longer, as before, the shorter end of the stick of nationhood. Our uniqueness demand that we commence without delay the process of renewing our stakes in Nigeria as means of guarantying the future we plan to bequeath to the next generation.
Development is relative but we must admit that our dear state is backward in terms of real development and provision of welfare to the citizenry. Overtime, we have asked for good roads, industrialization, jobs, empowerment, safer eco-system and education.
Regrettably, these demands within the present political configuration haven’t received any attention. A major consequence of this is that Kogi State is degenerating. There is absolutely no reason for this and I believe a better deal can be negotiated.
I have reflected on the contributions of Kogi State to the unity of Nigeria and can safely conclude that we have suffered avoidable incidences of severe discomfort within the Nigerian setting. This has caused our commonwealth to suffer but I strongly believe that by becoming governor of the state, a new system of participation, benefits and advantages can be worked out from where Kogi people will draw.
I desire to assist in facilitating a pan – Kogi political and cultural dialogue which will put an immediate end to the most pressing challenges we face as a people because beyond everything else, our people need inspiration and hope.
There is an urgent need for a leadership that will serve the interest of the people. Kogi State have had enough of theoretical leaders. Now is the time for a pragmatic kind of leadership beyond the ordinary business of being in politics.
Kogi people are known to be hardworking and of impeccable character. A strong leadership is required to compliment these noble attributes. Verily, I believe we deserve the largest cluster of industries and manufacturing plants complemented by an integrated system of mass transportation that works.
So much capital (required for development) is currently sitting idly in the international finance systems. Only leaders who are competent and have credibility alongside a global presence can access them. I can serve the interests of Kogi State as that leader.
Leadership and elections should no longer be about mere politicking. They should be about the right of citizens to select for themselves leaders from candidates who must compete mainly on the basis of what they can do for society. I am sure that with the right kind of leadership, we can change the tide and build a Kogi State which is commensurate with its human and natural endowments.
I am fully aware that time will never be enough to do everything for our State but there will always be time to do the most important things consistently. This is why I am in politics today. I desire to partner with the PDP as a party and Kogi people across political divides towards rebuilding our only home. I desire to banish inferiority complex by assuring Kogi people, with strong evidence that they own a stake in Nigeria.
I am also aware our people have been cajoled into believing that unless we adopt and continuously reward crass irresponsibility and retrogressive leadership which advocates recycling failure, we will not develop. This is a cheap lie that has been utilized to keep our people in perpetual bondage such that we may remain perpetually prejudiced and show bias towards ourselves.
I am a firm believer in project #RebuildKogi which promotes the ideology of a ‘confluence of veritable opportunities’ and assure us all that the Kogi State our founding fathers sought can still be created with every Kogi son and daughter firmly participating and benefiting.
I am therefore in the race to be governor to win for all Kogi people, a new deal in Kogi State founded on mutual respect, trust, equity, fairness and justice.
Kogi State will be great. So help us God.