The endless cases of thuggery in Kogi State should be an issue of national concern. No doubt in the saying that in any given society, security of life and property comes next to food as a basic necessity incomparable with shelter. For what could be the use of shelter where one dwells in constant fears of threats to his life?
The thug industry was once a profitable enterprise in the state during the era of the then governor of the state, Alh. Ibrahim Idris. The period was intensified by the boast of the wasting energy of the youths whom the government could not empower to be productive.
Then came the battle of supremacy between Ibrahim Idris and the late Prince Abubakar Audu, both were motivated by their inordinate ambitions and resulted politics to the proving of might is right.
Hence they incorporated the youths into antagonistic groups to fight for their conflicting interests. The state during this period witnessed endemic state of insecurity where the people lived in constant fears.
This period was not peculiar to Kogi State. It was so with almost all states. Un-checkmated inordinate ambitions of political leaders nearly plugged the federation into internal strife.
Former Governor Idris Wada intensified efforts to salvage the state. His first approach was in disengage himself from the thug industry while assuring that there would be security.
Committing himself to this pledge, stopped paying homage to the thugs who referred to themselves as the “children” of the political leaders.
Wada’s commitment in this direction is one area of his achievements, where the people gave him kudos although he failed in other aspects, which led the people to vote him out of power.
But just like the late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua who admitted that the election that brought him to power was not devoid of ‘some irregularities’ and thus pledged to improve on the electoral system Wada also proved himself as a man who understood that democracy is sustainable only when the people enjoy peace and security.
Abdullahi Suleiman Otiwe writes from Kogi.