‘I am burning with zeal to unleash Kogi’s potentials’
ONE thing Alhaji Yakubu Mohammed, a senior journalist who is set to contest the November 21 governorship election in Kogi State on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC), is sure of achieving in the state, if elected is “changing the destiny of Kogi for the better.”
Mohammed believes that Kogi State has all it takes to do better in human and physical development more than what the state is capable of doing since its creation in 1991, “if properly governed.”
The co-founder and former Executive Editor of the pace-setting Newswatch Magazine has on many occasions pledged that, “if given the mandate to rule Kogi, I will fulfill the yearnings and aspirations of our people by bringing them into government as a participatory process of governance.
My vision for the development of the state is all encompassing.” Clearly, from all indications, the vision and aspirations of Mohammed transcends primordial, religion and that of ethnic leanings that is allegedly the norm in the polity of Kogi. He has broad based supporters that cut across all religion and ethnic groups.
This is most likely to put him ahead of other contestants for the governorship job. Unlike many politicians who are merely attracted to politics due to their greed and selfish interest, Mohammed is one rare breed, who has demonstrated in various capacities that his aspirations to govern Kogi “is mainly because of the modest contributions I have made towards the creation of the state, putting our people in strategic positions in government and attracting development projects to the state.”
On what he intends doing for the people of the state, the aspirant said, “I did not set out, like numerous others, to nurse the ambition to run for the governorship of Kogi state.
People across the state, who have absolute trust in my capabilities, invited me into this project and persuaded me for several months before I agreed to run.
If the voice of the people is the voice of God, then I had no choice but to hearken to the call of the people. “I feel humbled that many prominent personalities in the state could have such implicit confidence in me to the extent of persuading me to vie for this office so as to rescue the state from apparent stagnation.
And I want to thank those visionary and selfless individuals, who though eminently qualified in their own rights to be governor or even president, have decided that I must be the one to give this project a shot.” Cardinal Programmes “Since the creation of Kogi state in 1991, I have followed its progress and most of the time, its travails – the ups and downs.
Whatever problems Kogi State has faced over the years are not peculiar to the state: dwindling funds for programmes and projects arising from national and global economic conditions that have negatively affected governance, infrastructural development, social services like health and education, agriculture and provision of food.
My participation as a member of the Think Tank set up by the Idris Wada administration in January 2012 further opened my eyes to some of the challenges faced by the state and other states in the federation.
To quote our report, the challenges include, ‘‘endemic failure or incapacity of government to meet the aspirations of citizens in the areas of good governance, service delivery, provision of infrastructure and social services among others.”
The reports stated that the challenges also include, “absence of probity, transparency and accountability. Political interference has eroded the ability of officials of government to keep its own laws and operating guidelines. “The problem of Kogi State as many people have come to appreciate, is like the problem of Nigeria at large – it is largely and squarely the problem of leadership.
This is exactly where I come in. I am driven by the passion to re-engineer the state and to help unleash its potential. I am burning with the zeal to bring equity, fair play, transparency and accountability to governance to promote integrity and leadership by example.”