Let me begin by congratulating you once again on your victory at the just concluded PDP primary elections – and permit me to use this opportunity to also congratulate the other aspirants who to me are also a part of this victory.
A lot has been said after you emerge the flag bearer of the party, yet a lot has also been ignored either because of favoritism or individual sentiments or what I call the “Igalatarian political side taking” which has plunged us into the mess we have been running from pole to post to correct today.
However, I will try as much as possible to pinpoint this issues in this letter and hope it becomes a safer ground upon which you could lay the foundation to your victory in the forth coming governorship election in Kogi state. Thus, permit me to say that the letter is therefore prompted by two vital issues,one is the need to call your attention to a couple of positions you must strive to avoid in the course of this struggle and the other is a quicken reminder of what is at stake and the implication of not taking some key steps which without we will likely not be able to unseat the present dispensation in Kogi state.
You will agree with me that your emergence was born out of a larger sacrifice from your side and the strong commitment of the delegates to ensure that a neutral aspirant emerge (which was also a part of what we kept insisting in the build up to the primary elections – knowing fully well that anything outside this will make it difficult for the party during the poles).
Be that as it may,you must not forget that this dedication and large support you enjoyed during the primaries is not a guarantee that the general election is going to be a free walk to victory come November 16 – it is also not an assurance that the people of Kogi state has all given you their support.
Rather it means a consensus candidate has been placed along side an oppressor and it is therefore left for the people to chose who they want and willing rally behind in order to attain the long awaited liberation.
It is true that the Yahaya Bello led government has failed the people of Kogi state,it is also true that the people want a change of dispensation,but it is more true that the people need a leader who is “closest” to them.
And this is one tiny strength you must begin to work on,you must begin to build a more relative relationship with the people, aligning in earnest with them and ensuring that every single gap which could instigated fear within them and also pave room for the ruling party to capitalized against you during the election is adequately addressed.
I agree that stakeholders are important and as such you must meet them, but you must ensure that you apportion the same regards to the peasant and the commoners who are they ones actually in need of liberation – and will also be the ones to vote.
Kogi state as we all know is facing the most pandemic level of poverty and suffering, in fact virtually 85% of persons in the state are already living bellow the poverty line – the implication of this is that the people are no doubt willing to sell their votes and even converse for who ever has money to share – it therefore behooves on you to understand the fragile nature of patriotism in the state and ensure that those heavily desperate to retain power do not capitalised on this opening.
We are not asking you to share money,we are only asking you to share some thing that worth more than money, which is confidence – you must find a way to build a new confidence in the people and when this is done the people will support you with out asking for a kobo.
Party politics is different from the general elections, especially in a state like Kogi where all forms of decency has been uproot from its polity. My caution therefore is you should at this point begin to plan and put strategies that will ensure the following.
(1) That the INDEPENDENT NATIONAL ELECTORAL COMMISSION in the state is not in any way compromise – this is like getting the neck of a Carmel through the eye of a Needle,but you must do that to avoid “had I know”.
(2) To ensure that the security which will be attach to you and all your well wishers in the course of the campaign are also reliable and not compromised, so as to prevent the likelies of what happened immediately after your party’s primary election.
(3) You must put every single step in place to ensure that during the voting no form of rigging will be allowed,personally I will suggest you create a sophisticated security/monitoring team in every single poling unit.
(4) You must work endlessly to carry along the central and the western part of Kogi state,this is not negotiable if you really want to win – over the years governorship aspirants from Kogi east have consciously and unconsciously played a tribal and regional politics which has divided the state,we can only correct that now by ensuring that every single region,tribe and individual in Kogi state is carried along – after all no body is more a citizen than another.
(5) There is a quick need to begin to reconcile with every single key player in the party and outside the party,i want to be particular about former governor Ibrahim Idris faction of the PDP,that faction is too key to ignore or refuse to work with,therefore you must begin to find a way to reunite with them at this early stage and ensure that they are carried along down to the very end.
You must also stretch the hands of fellowship towards other aspirants who contested the ticket with you,they May not have won but it doesn’t mean they are not influential or have a support base.
(6) You must equally be willing to break flanks and reach out to those aspirants who were tricked out in the APC primary election, I mean the likes Usman Jibrin, Seidu Onalo, Hassan Abdullahi, Irukera and others,this people will willing give you their support after all we are all fighting against a common enemy.
(7) You must find a way to march up with the excesses of the so called local administrators,special advisers and all the appointees of the present dispensation who will off course be tools for all kinds of manipulations and compromise during the election.
The likes of this appointees are part of those who go around intimidating the supporters of the opposition with tugs and their security apparatus.
In other to keep them in check and ensure that they do not repeat them say electoral malpractice they did in the general elections,you must begin to put down measures to tackle them now before the campaign tour even begins.
(8) Do not make a mistake by thinking that Yahaya Bello’s failure in the last four years has made him lost popularity in the state,because the opposite is actually what is going on,the incumbent governor has a large popularity in the state and his party presently has a stronger structure in the state than the PDP.
If you agree with the above – then my advise is that you must begin to work with all the leaders and mobilisers of the party to rebuild the structure of the party before the campaign begins.
(9) You must not allow the praise singing, the eye services, the unnecessary worship and dimitizing been lavish on you on social media to make you thinking you have already won the election,this comments and calculations on social medias are not always the same with what is on ground and if by chance you decide to work with any of that you will end up sharing the same fate with Atiku Abubakar who kept on Atikulating on social media and forgot the importance of building and sustaining a reliable relationship with the electorates.
(10) It is either you win or you loose,this is because even if there are irregularities in the election you can not win in any court tribunal – because our electoral tribunal are now puppets in the hands of the ruling party which the incumbent governor is a member.
So I will advise now that you channel all your strength towards defeating the incumbent at the poles rather than leaving loose ends with hope of retaining the seat in court.
The state is pressed to the wall and are willing to fight the strangle if you first agree to carry them along,what this means is that,this is the point where you must be willing to carry both friends and enemies along,this is the point where you must be willing to be people oriented in your speech,your actions,your relationship,your decisions and most of all your alliance.
You must equally strive towards making your self available and accessible, you are contesting for the governor of the oppressed people of Kogi state and not the governor of the Abuja social media ranters, thus your meeting point and availability must always be within the state so that you can really remain in touch with the people to whom you share this liberation mandate with.
As it stands – we may not all be members of your party,but we are all on the side of any body that opposes the present dispensation that has brought enormous failure and hardship upon the people,we therefore crave that you bear this in mind why we work together to ensure that the state is fully liberate.
I wish you luck and I look forward to working with you in the campaign and even after the victory at the poles.
– Jacob Unekwu Agada, the author of EBULEJONU, writes from Idah, Kogi stat