Emmanuel Adeyemi, Lokoja
The immediate past governor of Kogi State, Capt Idris Wada, says that he is seeking re-election to restore the lost glory and integrity of the state and its people, which he claims the current Yahaya Bello administration has “despicably destroyed.’
He said that if the people want to continue in their current predicaments – from hunger and starvation to nonpayment of salaries – then they should vote for Governor Yahaya Bello for a second term.
Wada, who is contesting on the platform of People’s Democratic Party (PDP) said that it was painful that the legacy he had left behind for his predecessor has been destroyed and the citizens of the state turned into beggars due to maladministration.
Wada related this at the weekend at a media parley organised by the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ), Kogi State chapter, organised for governorship aspirants ahead of the November 16 governorship election in the state.
He said he was compelled by the plight of the people, particularly workers, whom he said have been reduced to beggars due to non-payment of their salaries; saying he received an average of 20- 30 text messages every day from Kogi workers seeking financial assistance.
The pilot-turned politician, who claimed he was rigged out of office in the 2015 governorship election by the ruling APC party, also claimed that when he sought for redress in the court the judiciary was used to manipulate him.
The former governor expressed surprise that Governor Bello and his aides continue to castigate his administration with many allegations, saying that “my keeping quiet does not mean I am afraid of them as some people are saying, but decorum is one of the ethical values of my upbringing.”
“When I was here as governor, nobody begged for food, nobody committed suicide due to non-payment of salaries; I paid salaries as and when due. I spent 35 years as a chattered pilot training people without any blemish, and when God gave me the opportunity to be in government I did my best with the resources available,” Wada said.
“We were very prudent with available resources we had; we came and completed all ongoing projects from my predecessors because we could not afford to waste the limited resources of the people; we opened the state to agencies who came to invest hugely in the state. But as soon as we left, the current government destroyed all we did.
“I was working to make Kogi a self-sustaining state with many legacy projects like Kogi Hotels built to fetch between N400- 500 million income annually; I also built Kogi house in Abuja to generate N800m revenue every year; I built a world-class vocational institute known as Korea/Nigeria Vocational Centre to train middle-level technicians which can generate over N200 every year to the state.
“I was in office for 48 months, paid salaries for 45 uninterrupted months; I never took a dime of LG money. During my tenure, we were the lowest debtors to banks in Nigeria with only N800m while some states were owing between N200- 300 billion. I applied for bailout mainly to offset LG salary arrears; the money was approved but APC manipulations didn’t allow me to access the money before I left the office.
“Within these past three and a half years, Kogi people have known the clear difference between those who came to serve and those who came to be served. I come to restore the dignity of Kogi people and to restore the glory of our dear state, but if you want to continue in your predicament, vote for them,” he added.