‘In Kogi, PDP is party to beat’
Minutes after Kogi State Governor Idris Wada picked the ticket of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) for the November governorship election in the state, his Deputy, Yomi Awoniyi, expressed optimism that a united PDP would certainly secure a second term for the governor. NIYI BELLO reports
Sweet victory Within me sincerely, this is a very sweet victory. Nobody who read the newspapers within the last few weeks that would have thought that we would win with this landslide.
But you see, most of us who live here are not too taken aback because – let us be very frank; one major act of omission on our part is that we under-sold ourselves as a government and it took us so much time to wake up to the fact that the media is an integral part of governance on a day-to-day basis.
So, by the time we woke up it was so difficult to change that perception, but for those who see how we are struggling every day; struggling to pay salaries, negotiating with labour unions on a daily basis, taking them on, giving government a human face – we know that at the end of the day, if there was a contest definitely we are likely to do so well and it manifested.
Let me be frank with you, most people have written this party off after the presidential election. We lost all our Senate seats, six of our nine House of Representatives seats and believe me; two weeks when we were going for the House of Assembly elections, we were so petrified.
But because it was a local issue; believe me, were it not for the fallout of the presidential election, we would have even done much better. We were riding on a monumental tide, but the people know that the governor is a decent man; he has tried very much to make sure that he does the best for the state. So, going forward, I keep saying this; in Kogi State, PDP still remains the party to defeat.
We were riding a monumental tide, but the people know that His Excellency is a decent man; he has tried very much to make sure that he does the best for this our state. So, going forward, I keep saying this; in Kogi State, PDP still remains the party to defeat. More so, if we can get our acts together and with help from the national body of the party; the National Working Committee (NWC) and the PDP Governors’ Forum, we are the party to beat. People will be pleasantly surprised.
More so, if we can get our acts together and with help from the national body of the party; the National Working Committee (NWC) and the PDP Governors’ Forum, we are the party to beat. People will be pleasantly surprised.
When campaigns start, the governor has said the campaigns would not be based on anything but that the issues that concern us here would drive our campaigns; how do we put food on the table for the common man? How do we do this in a sustainable manner? How do we give people hope in a situation whereby our revenue stream is diminishing by the day and yet, the governor is expected to pull a rabbit out of the hat each time? Possibility of APC drawing on Buhari’s popularity If you say the personality of the president, what do you mean by that? You mean his character traits – that he is known for certain good things; believe me, I see so much of what he is known for in my boss; very austere leaving, a man of integrity, a man who abhors corruption – I am not talking of the president now, I am talking of the governor of Kogi State.
If that is what people are clamouring for in Mr. President, they have it in Governor Idris Wada. Besides the presidential election has been won and lost. What we have now is the governorship election in Kogi and we know ourselves. Therefore, the Buhari factor cannot be as potent as it was during the presidential election this time around.
On the position of Deputy Governor as a negotiating plank within Kogi PDP Of all the questions I have been asked this evening this is the most difficult one. First and foremost, I thank God for this victory. It has put my boss back on the saddle as the candidate for the November 21 governorship election and as you know, so many things were in the offing that led to our coming into this primary election.
For me, you would say one step at a time. My boss has so many decisions to take going forward. He has decisions to make regarding how we position our party, how we set about reconciliation with all shades of opinions that are in the party and most importantly, he has the decision to make concerning the colouration of the ticket, so until he makes that I think it would be presumptuous of me or anybody to try and preempt him.
A pledge to the people There are very difficult days ahead. I was reading a news item on the television and there was a forecast that oil would hit $20 per barrel in a couple of months. That portends a very hard days ahead for this nation. We have been delisted from one standard financial rating; who knows how many more would come. So there are grave days ahead and we must be realistic about what we expect from government. Having said so, this government is committed to use the resources that are available to the best of its ability and in the interest of the citizens in the areas of education, health, infrastructural development and job creation for our youths.