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Kogi 2023: Interesting pairing of candidates

The 2023 elections in Nigeria thus far have unfolded interesting revelations that may permanently change the country’s political equation. But, the surprises are far from being over as many are predicting another big upset in the coming November Kogi State governorship election. Already, the various parties’ primaries have, in the reckoning of many, thrown up such interesting pairing.

Those, who emerged winners from their parties, are expected to employ their entire arsenal to make it a fierce but interesting contest. The battles, many say, are not only for the senatorial zones but for the tribes as well. The candidates are Alhaji Ahmed Usman-Ododo of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), who is said to be the governor’s anointed contender, an Igbira from the Kogi Central, Dino Melaye, a former senator from Kogi West, and an Okun man, clinched the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) ticket, Barr. Okeme Adejoh of the Labour Party (LP) from Kogi East and Igala, and Dr. Mubarak Musa, a community builder, and investment consultant, who is flying the flag of the New Nigerian People’s Party (NNPP), is also from Igala. In spite of the political big names with intimidating credentials, Musa, who is the man behind Emperor Homes and a natural builder, is said to have always worked to provide shelter for the people.

He is being tipped by Kogi political watchers as a natural people’s choice to replace the incumbent governor, Yaya Bello, at Lord Lugards House. Idris Bello, an indigene of Kogi, said: Musa is a man destined and programmed by God to give the masses comfort and make life easy and meaningful for them. This is not debatable, especially when viewed in the light of the fact that one of the basic needs of man is shelter, where to live and be safe. Residential accommodation is the most basic need of modern man because all other activities rest on where he lives.

“Having chosen to provide shelter and comfort to Nigerians through the Emperor Homes, Dr. Mubarak Salihu Musa has clearly revealed his heartbeat and passion in life; which is to cater for the welfare of the people. His entire life is wired with compassion for the people. This rich and resourceful life of Dr. Mubarak is not lost on the people of Kogi State in particular and the people of Nigeria. “The people of Kogi have realised the value of Dr. Mubarak Salihu Musa in their lives, hence his emergence as the people’s choice to be the next governor of Kogi State in November.”

He added: “Through his company, the Emperor Homes, which he personally founded and successfully managed to its current enviable level of success, he has developed high quality residenneed tial properties and other commercial properties for the comfort of Nigerians. “The Emperor Homes is now one of the most trusted and valued real estate companies in Nigeria. As said earlier, his life and impact goes beyond real estate development. He is also a community leader and builder who devotes his time to create solutions that uplifts the lives of the people.

“Through his well-thought out initiatives, he has used his ideas and resources to bring positive change to many communities, particularly those abandoned or neglected by the government. The super-consultant on investment and infrastructures turned politician with expertise in these fields has helped many businesses and organisations to find their direction and growth. He is a man that provides a solution that is tailored to the needs of his clients.” Another of his associates, Adamu Sani, told this reporter that Musa has achieved so much as a person in the private sector and has used his personal resources to give a large number of people better lives. “However, there is a limit that Dr. Musa can do for the people using his personal resources. The needs of the Kogi people are so many and multifaceted that it is impossible to use one’s personal resources to meet them all. “Consequently, it is necessary for him to cross over from the private sector into governance to lead the people of Kogi State in order to have the opportunity to use the resources of the state effectively to change the lives of the people; the kind of resources that can never be available to an individual. “The people have the resources which they can generate into a pool through various sources such as taxes and royalties from solid mineral exploitation. However, the huge pool of resources generated by the public needs an effective manager before it can work for the overall interest of the people.

“Where there is no effective and competent manager, the pool of resources becomes wasted and the people wallow in poverty and misery in the midst of plenty. This is the gap that Dr. Musa wants to fill as the next governor of Kogi State, and fortunately, the people of Kogi have discerned the unique spirit of change that Dr. Musa carries. This has clearly made him the people’s choice,” he said. During his interactive session with the Impart Economic Journal team, Musa unveiled his rich and wellthought- out vision for the people of Kogi whom he is offering himself to serve. In that forum, he articulated a seven-point agenda for Kogi State, with which he intends to accomplish to transform the state.

The following are his areas of preference: Provision of Efficient Security. It is an understatement to say that security of life and property is the most crucial Need of man. Without security, the lives of people and their property will be unsafe and liable to be destroyed by the deviant members of the society whose population is growing daily as a result of several factors. In that light, Dr. Musa has made the security of life and property of Kogi people to be his highest priority. Kogi is a gateway state bordering several states and FCT, Abuja, and serving as the route link to the South with the North of Nigeria. It is, therefore, a state that needs an efficient security provision by the government to guarantee safety of life for its people and those travelling through the state to other parts of Nigeria. True to his principles and passion to serve the people, Musa informed the team that “As governor of Kogi State, I’ll prioritise the security of the state by implementing a comprehensive security strategy that includes cooperation with law enforcement agencies and a proactive intelligence gathering and community engagement initiatives at fostering trust between residents and security personnel.” He also talked about reforming the civil service to make it efficient and proactive. The civil service, he said, is the engine of public governance. It is, according to him, what drives the activities, policies and programmes of government. As a result of the strategic nature of the civil service to the success of any government and political leader, Musa said he has developed a vision to reform the Kogi’s civil service in order to make it efficient and productive when he becomes the governor. He also remarked that he will, as governor, implement a comprehensive civil service reform to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of the public sector. This, he said, will involve a thorough review of existing policies and procedures and the introduction of new measures aimed at promoting transparency, accountability and merit-based recruitment and promotion. “I’ll also prioritise the training and development of civil servants to equip them with skills and knowledge necessary to meet the evolving needs of Kogi State and people,” he said. However, the need for infrastructures in a modern society and for increasing population was equally one of his highlights with the group. According to him, the people of Kogi need all the basic infrastructures such as good roads, bridges, drainages, potable water, power, dams and other public infrastructures. He said: “The public infrastructures make life meaningful and worth living for the people. It must be noted that the provision of public infrastructures is a primary duty of the government and not that of individual citizens due to the high volume of financial resources required. Therefore, in my administration as governor of Kogi State, I will not shy away from my responsibility to the people of the state that is I’m determined to serve faithfully.” Musa clearly informed the team that interacted with him that “As governor of Kogi State, my administration will prioritise infrastructural development to drive economic growth and improve the well-being of citizens.

This will involve identifying key areas for investment such as transportation, power and water infrastructure and developing a comprehensive plan for their construction and maintenance.” Similarly, he explained his other agenda as it concerned provision of Quality Education, Healthcare, Development of Modern Agriculture, and Youth Empowerment through Job Creation. But the question is: would he be the expected game changer in November in Kogi politics? Does he have the capacity to pull surprises as many are expecting? Only time will tell.

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