A group known as Opinion Moulders and Critical Stakeholders of the Igala/Bassa Nation has declared support for the governorship ambition of the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Musa Wada, in the forthcoming gubernatorial election in Kogi State.
It said it took the decision after painstakingly reviewing the leadership of the present governor, and candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Alhaji Yahaya Bello, describing his governance style as gradual entrenchment of impunity and authoritarian rule.
In a statement made available to THISDAY yesterday, which was signed by the Convener of the group, Senator Alex Kadiri, it said the latest entrenchment of impunity was the unconstitutional impeachment of former Deputy Governor of the state, Elder Simon Achuba.
Kadiri said: “Igala/Bassa Nation rejects this brazen assault on the constitution of Nigeria. We, therefore, give our unflinching support to Achuba in his quest to set aside the illegal impeachment.
“Under Bello’s watch, the Igala/Basa Nation, the majority of the people of Kogi State, witnessed the worst form of governance since the creation of the state. In spite of the hefty financial resources at its disposal, salaries, pensions and gratuities are still not paid. The lucky ones were paid on percentage basis. It is on record that N50.8 billion bailout which was secured to clear outstanding salaries, pensions and gratuities has been willfully wasted on the politics of self-perpetuation and aggrandisement.”
He said the organisation noted the current atmosphere of insecurity, reign of fear and terror being unleashed on its people by state sponsored miscreants and political thugs, alleging that Igala/Bassa Nation has witnessed the proliferation of dangerous weapons imported into the area by top government officials to harass and intimidate the people.
“The education sector has not fared better under Bello. The Kogi State University which once prided itself as one of the country’s highly valued universities is now a shadow of its past glory. Draconian government policies under Bello has led to the mass sack of a generation of experienced lecturers from the institution without replacement as well as the dislocation of the university’s academic and administrative system.
“Bello has not inaugurated or completed a single project in the entire Igala/Bassa land despite the unprecedented financial resources available to him,” Kadiri said.
The group said it would therefore not compensate failure by supporting Bello’s re-election bid, adding that the Igala/ Bassa Nation, which comprises nine local government areas of Kogi East senatorial district (Ankpa, Bassa, Dekina, Ibaji, Idah, Igalamela-Odolu, Ofu, Olamaboro, and Omala), therefore, endorsed Wada and the deputy governorship candidate of the PDP, Hon. Sam Aro, in the forthcoming election.