Ahead of the November 11 governorship election in Kogi State, the candidate of Accord party, Admiral Jibrin Usman (retd.), has said a total of 10 political parties have collapsed their structures to support his aspiration.
The former Chief of Naval Staff stated this at a press conference in Abuja on Thursday.
According to him, the state of decadence across many critical sectors of the state economy informed his decision to join the race.
Speaking on whether his party, Accord, would accept to merge with other parties to brighten its chances at the poll, Usman said, “We have all seen the resultant effect of the arrangement between some parties that brought about the All Progressives Congress. There is nothing bad about parties merging. It is constitutionally allowed.
“There is nothing wrong if, for instance, my party decides to merge with another party. It will interest you to know that 10 political parties have indeed merged with my party and my state party chairman has taken them on board. 10 parties are with me, some are adamant but they have approached me saying that I should give them more time.”
Usman who said he had just returned from a tour of 27 districts in Kogi East noted that the poor living conditions of the people requires a new sense of direction in the political leadership of the state
He continued, “During our visit to Kogi East, we covered 27 districts. During the tour, we saw a high level of decadence, lack of infrastructure for effective development and the truth is that Kogi people are really suffering. There is therefore the need for a paradigm shift. Ours is to rescue our people from the maladministration of the ruling party.”
He identified security as one of the challenges that must be addressed to make the state safer for indigenes and residents alike.
“Security as we have in Kogi State today is nothing to write home about. People in the state cannot sleep with their two eyes closed.
“In Kogi State, we are faced with a high level of kidnapping, political assassinations and thuggery. A lot of people are dying as a result of poverty. Criminality as we have in Kogi is occasioned by lack of jobs. The youths go through hell to make both ends meet. A lot of them graduated from universities but have nothing to do. This is why many of them are recruited by their political masters as political thugs,” he said.
“As chief security officer of the state, shouldn’t he liaise with the appropriate security agencies to request for deployment to give it a check? If we are there, we know the appropriate agencies to call upon,” he added.
One of the areas of intervention if elected Governor, according to the retired naval officer, is the welfare of Kogi State’s civil servants.
“The civil servants are all in a pitiable state. Kogi State workers are seen as beggars and they should not go through what they are going through today because they don’t deserve it. They are being paid percentage salaries, ranging from 25 to 50 per cent. Is that enough to feed somebody? I will change all this when I am elected on November 11 this year,” he said.
Madukwe B. Nwabuisi is an accomplished journalist renown for his fearless reporting style and extensive expertise in the field. He is an investigative journalist, who has established himself as a kamikaze reporter.