Emmanuel Adeyemi, Lokoja
The son of late Prince Abubakar Audu and a frontline aspirant of the All Progressives Party (APC) for the November 16 governorship election in Kogi State, Mona, Mustapha Audu, has promised to work for the emancipation of the ‘Confluence State’ from poverty, economic deprivation and social injustices.
He stated this on June 16 when he kick-started his governorship campaign to signify the liberation of the people of the state.
The event was witnessed by thousands of his supporters and party faithful who took part in a memorable “Walk for Freedom.”
Addressing the crowd, young Audu said he decided to stage the freedom walk on June 16 because the date incidentally was a significant day in Africa’s liberation struggle. He recalled that it was on that day in 1976 that an uprising was staged by students in Soweto, South Africa, against the then white minority government, a development that marked a watershed in the liberation struggle in South Africa.
Mona Audu, promised to end the long sufferings of Kogi workers “as well as thousands of our parents who have been languishing in poverty and want as a result of the deprivation visited on them by an uncaring government. Those in power today did not have the vision of my father for an economically prosperous and welfare of Kogi state,” he said.
Cheered by thousands of his supporters and admirers drawn from the 21 LGAs of the state, FCT, Lagos and other states of the federation, Audu was part of the “trek to freedom” which started from the NTA Square and ended at his family House in GRA, Lokoja. The event held amid tight security provided by the police and Civil Defence personnel.
He declared: “It pains me that this great state which is highly endowed continues to degenerate on all fronts. This is the state that provided Nigeria its first capital, the state that is so blessed by God has never witnessed poverty and suffering of its people on an unprecedented scale being encountered by our people today. It pains me that civil servants continue to die needlessly as a result of the mismanagement of our commonwealth. But there is light at the end of the tunnel.
“Today is our freedom day. My administration will stand for freedom. By the grace of God Almighty, I will make this state great again.”
Prince Mona Audu promised to make the welfare of the youths and that of women his priority, adding that he would enunciate programmes and policies that would create jobs for the teeming youths and women in the state if he voted to power.
He promised to reserve 50 percent of his cabinet and other key appointments to women in particular.
Speaking in a similar vein, his wife, Zahrah, Mustapha Audu, explained that her husband’s campaign slogan:”Kogi 1st for all, Kogi for all: Mona de come,” was borne out of the urgent need and desire “to heed to the call and tears of all us compatriots for the rescue of the state.” Most importantly, she said her husband would work tirelessly towards ensuring economic independence and prosperity for the state to enable it tackle many challenges.
She added: “Freedom where economic independence of the state will be secured so we are not held hostage by the dependency culture of allocation from the Federation Account. Take a look at the blue print of Lagos State on diversification for enhanced sustainability, or freedom from saboteurs that are threatening the survival of our collectively-owned state.”
Mrs Audu said her husband was leading a struggle, to among other things, ensure freedom for all Kogites so that they can afford healthcare delivery irrespective of their social status, to provide a voice for the voiceless, to ensure accountability of those entrusted with power in the state.
She stressed that her husband would not fail the people of the state as he and his team would work not only for the economic liberation of the people, but equally “for freedom and credibility, and to bring Kogi to the league of developed states in Nigeria and Africa as a whole.”