Pragmatically speaking, this article is not for those who reason with their third legs or those who brainstorm with their ovaries. The dice for the Lokoja/Koton Karfe Federal Constituency unit has been cast. The people of the upper crust Niger River are going to the polls to replace a vacant stool. Adiue Buba Jibrin, we must move on.
All the cards have been laid flat for scrutiny.
Mabo. Haruna. Imam Imam. Kassim. Bala. Shetima. Bashir. These are frontal lobe aspirants, but of course others are others and they are others.
What are the odds?
The people of Lokoja Local Government are generous with ambition. It is fat. Sharp and boisterous. With 5 major lobe aspirants jostling for the nature-vacated seat, there is a serious scramble to wear the green chamber cap. All men to themselves, Alhaji Haruna Isah to the All Progressives Congress, APC, the incumbent party. With the Peoples Democratic Party playing a shadow card, they presented a unanimous candidate from the Koton/Karfe region to feed on the divided pew of supporters putting an upset of division from the Lokoja axis whose fat ambition has reeled our a sentry of aspirants all fighting for one thing. Some say, divided by greed, others, stubbornness, others betrayal, others playing spoilers, others in the ring to test their political-infatuation. To be fair to them, Lokoja is a large Local Government Area in Kogi State, they have a large voter database which is swelled by ambition that increases their political output. Although, cries of monopoly of late Buba Jibrin who has been in the house for 3 consecutive times, aiming the fourth before nature called him home left two things:
- Time bomb explode of nursed ambition for years.
- Discord created by the inability of the Buba Jibrin group to groom of a successor.
These two factors led to the crisis which vehicles the different aspirants to ride on different platforms to power.
On the other axis of Koton/Karfe, there is anger. The people of Koton/Karfe are agitating for a rotation of power to their local government area which they argue that power has been monopolized by the people of Lokoja for a decade running into another half. It is a slippery slope. In a coalition of different conflagration like Nigeria, minorities always agitate for some Federal character in power distribution to shock the majority from swallowing the minority in totality. Albeit, that is an argument for another day.
In the hot towns of Lokoja and Koton/Karfe, campaigns have been on with loud speakers blaring names of different aspirants all yearning their sentiments why they should be the elected. Some are seeking inheritance of structures and votes on the basis of continuity. That is the choice of Lokoja/Koto people to make.
What are the fault lines?
- Many Aspirants jostling for one seat all from Lokoja, leading to a cataclysmic division of votes which should be have been block, thereby ceding the block-voting strength to Koton/Karfe who are majority in determining August 11ths outcome of the re-run.
- Koton-Karfe agitating for their turn at the green chambers come 2019
What are the chips?
From preliminary findings, APCs candidate, Alhaji Haruna Isah seem to be penetrating and hitting the cervix of the Lokoja/Koto terrain. He is everywhere. Everywhere is he. Probably as many would say, power of incumbency and support from the ruling party has watered his opportunities more as against those who have swollen ambition but lean funds to water their ambitions.
Elections are expensive in Nigeria. The logistics. The empowerment. The promises. The people. Every single thing. Men and women also draw open their tongues to leak from handouts from various aspirants. Who has the largest financial war-chest? Your guess is right. That is a check check.
Besides that upper-cut advantage. Isah Haruna who is not a new comer have been in the cabinet of Governor Yahaya Bello. He nurtures the portfolio of Special Adviser on the State Capital. He has been immersed into the system by profound responsibility of understanding the real issues. Along with this, his campaign has been mature with delivery promises. Scanty. Not white elephant. Not the usual rhetorics.
With others I’ve listened to, they have “humility, generosity, General acceptable” cliche to sell. It is the usual rhetorics Nigerian politicians bandy about. How does humility fix critical infrastructure and provide competence to perform? Ask Shiru Lawal, the Administrator of Lokoja Local Government Area, he would tell you that he is very humble. Moves about without security, but he needed beyond “humility and truth speaking” to lead Lokoja- forthrightly in competence to remain on the team of the New Direction Government.
It is a recurring decimal. There is a “can do. Action. Strength. Courage and discipline “ running as the ethos of the New Direction team which is also the ruling party. Certainly, Alhaji Haruna Isah cannot be a bastard of these principles. He was carefully selected and elected during the primaries which gave him a gap of over 450 over his opponent in the APC primaries.
In that cabin of his campaign rhetorics, he says he wants to complete the tenure of late Buba Jibrin. He is also in the political family of the death-retired-lawmaker. He is one of his sons. He understands the terrain and has dug in open and covered it in with the law maker for his 12 years spell standing in Abuja, reviewing decrees and sponsoring bills.
Day and night, appointees and party echelon of the APC are seen. Visibly. All of them lurking like bees in swampy areas, manning poles of grassroots campaigns. All of them, distilling energy. They are not on social media rehearsing old time phrases. There is intensification of efforts. Every corner of Lokoja/Koto has not been left without their foot matching on it leaving foot prints of a tired soldier.
Two time Kogi Senator, Smart Adeyemi is also ruggedly mobilizing. He is openly associating with his Koto and Lokoja friends and structure. He is collapsing it for Haruna. All the royal fathers and friends. The LGA administrators. The people of the Haruna Political family. Everything is campaigning. Araga too is vibrating. Lokoja hears. Sees. Knows. He doesn’t give his words carelessly. Just like Shiru Lawal the “talk and do”, Araga is talking things to be done.
See Adoga with his sleeves rolled up. Election don get belle. Adoga is traveling hinterlands and speaking the language of his people and stepping down the plans of Alhaji Yahaya Bello.
Nda Aaron has never been happy, mobilizing and following through. No stop. Full strength.
At the APC party secretariat, the Dollar man is not on seat. He is everywhere. Haruna is the only goal.
No sleep. No rest. Campaigns everywhere campaigning.
Alhaji Haruna, are your running for President?
This is the period of “high-powered-campaign” all for Haruna Isah. August 11, Lokoja/Koto seems to have completed elections from the campaign already.
Adieu Buba, Isah Haruna learnt well from you.