As the 2019 elections draw near, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Kogi West Senatorial District is leaving no stone unturned to achieve total victory. This is amid rising concerns over a peaceful campaign, due to intimidation and harassment of members if the opposition. Kogi West is the traditional stronghold of the party as outcomes of previous elections have shown. For instance, it won two of the three House of Representatives seats in 2015 and majority of the House of Assembly seats in the same election year. It is this domination the party is working assiduously to sustain and improve upon; to achieve this, the party on Monday embarked on a tour of five local government areas in Kogi West for Town Hall meetings with party members and other stakeholders to interact for success.

The local government areas toured so far are; Yagba West, Yagba East, Mopa-Muro, Kabba/Bunu and Ijumu respectively.


The message is that all party faithfuls must work together to ensure victory for all the party candidates; Alhaji Atiku Abubakar for President, Senator Dino Melaye for Senate, Hon. T.J Yusuf(Reps, Kabba/Bunu/Ijumu), Barr Bola Fabola (Yagba Federal constituency) and Hon Isha Shaba Ibrahim (Lokoja /Kotonkarfe federal constituency) as well as the party’s House of Assembly candidates in the the eight state constituencies within the zone.


The meeting reviewed the introduction of violence allegedly by miscreants loyal to the ruling party and the mutilation and outright burning of Melaye’s billboards in Mopa, Isanlu, Odo-Ere, among others.

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Despite the anticipated violence before and during the elections, the economic misfortunes foisted on the people as a result of the ineptitude of the All Progressives Congress was laid bare which participants at the meetings noted makes the task of ensuring total victory for the PDP imperative.


At each meeting, party members were addressed by the Zonal Chairman, Kogi West, Bar Taiwo Kola-Ojo, Director General (DG), Sen. Dino Melaye Campaign Organization, Chief Shola Ojo, Deputy Director Generals in the three federal constituencies.


The leaders of PDP in Kogi West noted with great concern the coercion, harassment and intimidation by APC to create fear in the minds of the people but assured members these actions are nothing but antics to create apathy. Party faithfuls were urged to remain steadfast, come out to vote and defend those votes. Those present were reminded that Okun people have no history of political violence and no scheme will ever succeed to introduce the obnoxious trait in our polity.

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The present worsening standard of living when compared to pre-2015 was pointed out and acknowledged by all which makes it a must for all members to work for the victory of PDP, so that better times will be restored to them after the APC government would have been voted out”, enthused a participant.

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Closely related to this, he noted, is the deprivation and debilitating poverty foisted on the people by a government not prepared for good governance. This, he said, is manifested in the unjust treatment of civil servants with several months of unpaid salaries and pensions that have culminated in needless avoidable illnesses and deaths. “This anomaly the incoming PDP government at all levels will address and correct”, he added


The leaders noted with dismay decaying and lack of infrastructure despite the unprecedented inflows to Kogi State coffers that have been largely misappropriated which is responsible for the pervasive suffering of the people.


The leaders asserted that Sen. Dino Melaye’s alleged ‘sins’ are nothing but his courageous onslaught on inept leadership and corruption at both the Federal level and Kogi State. Worthy of mention is the recent attempt by Kogi State government to put the state in long-term debt bondage of $500 million that was nipped in the bud by Sen. Dino Melaye.

Meanwhile, a week to the commencement of the tour by Melaye campaign team, two events drew wild jubilation and applause around Melaye camp in Lokoja and Yagba East local government areas.


Their was a heavy jubilation in Lokoja metropolis, particularly in Sarkin Noma and Lokongoma communities where blocks of four classrooms constructed by Melaye but burnt by miscreants in July, were rehabilitated by the lawmaker and handed over to the twin communities.


The schools were part of constituency projects built and equipped by Melaye, and were already being used by the school authority and the pupils until elements of destructive politics and gangs of anti- development vandalized and set it ablaze on the very day it was slated for commissioning.

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“We’re happy today, to announce to the good people of Kogi West, that Sen Dino Melaye, has rebuilt the school back and now being put to use for the benefit of our children”,


a highly elated community leader in Sarkin Noma and Lokongoma said in expression of happiness and appreciation to Sen Melaye, describing him as God sent.

He added, “when these classrooms were burnt in the two affected communities in July this year, we offered special prayers, and today we’ve left those who committed this heinous crime against our children and community to God”.


The senator also donated N1m to Isanlu community in view of the electricity challenges of the community and to avoid being in darkness especially during the fest estive period.


Isanlu town has been without regular electricity supply since a few years forcing residents to resort to self-help by contributing N250,000 quarterly to buy electricity into the transformers to enable them connect to the grid. It is in consideration of the plight of Isanlu residents in this regard that the senator decided to make the donation so that the community’s efforts to avoid being in darkness during the Yuletide is not unaided.


Melaye told this reporter that the donation is only a temporary measure as he had included Isanlu electrification project in the 2019 budget among two other projects including water and road rehabilitation.


Meanwhile as the first phase of the PDP the town hall meetings ended in Iyara, Ijumu Local government headquarters, stakeholders of the ruling APC in Kogi West held a rally at Kabba on Thursday.


A PDP chieftain Dr Ronke Bello, mocked the APC stakeholders by congratulating the party for a great outing at its rally. This is against the backdrop of the destruction of campaign billboards of Melaye across the senatorial districts and alleged intimidation and harassment of members of the opposition allegedly by state agents. She urged PDP flag bearers to look beyond billboards and posters and bring up superior engagements, show courage and put up colourful campaigns.

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She said, “As a professional in politics I stand with and for my party- the PDP. I believe we have a better understanding of good governance, implementation of policies  and a people -oriented, people based and people focused style of leadership. As a Kogi West stakeholder, I congratulate the APC Kogi West and its leaders for having a great outing at their recent rally and for entertaining our people. At least the people came out to watch (entertainment by musicians on display) as a breather from the harsh living conditions.


Violence in politics had never been our symbol as a people (until recently) and only the weak use brawn instead of brain. We need intelligence at display not street wisdom. We need hope builders.


I trust that the leaders of Kogi West PDP and all other candidates running for the various offices will bring up superior engagements, show courage, statesmanship and rally around  men/women and resources to put up  brilliant and colourful campaign outings, events, funds raise, massive town hall meetings. You have a duty as our flag bearers to fly high, beyond posters and billboards.”


At a brief ceremony to distribute a set of 15 sewing machines donated by Melaye to the National Union of Tailors, Kogi State chapter in Lokoja, recently, the Director General of the campaign organisation, Shola Ojo urged the tailors to remain steadfast and continue to support the senator in his struggle for the emancipation of the oppressed in the state. Ojo, a former Secretary to Kogi State Government noted with satisfaction the performance of Senator Melaye at the National Assembly and therefore urged the constituents to support and vote for him in the forth coming election.


According to him, Melaye’s travails in the hands of the authorities was because of his defence of the civil servants and the entire people of the state .He described him as “the voice of the voiceless and defender of the oppressed”.


He therefore urged them to reward Dino’s efforts by voting for him massively so that dividends of democracy will go round. Ojo called on the people to reject the APC which has brought hardship to the people. He said the only option remaining for Nigerians is to vote for the PDP which has been tested and proved to be people friendly.


By Ayodele Gideon

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