We would change the nagative perception of kogi state and entrenched Participatory governance – Abubukar Ibrahim Idris, PDP aspirant
Abubukar Ibrahim Idris is the son of the former Governor of Kogi state, Alhaji Ibrahim Idris. An investor in the hospitality industry, oil and gas, an agriculturist and a philanthropist with passion for human capital development. He recently declared his intention to run for the governorship position of the state.In this interview, he bares his mind on the need to salvage the kogi from its present State of underdevelopment, saying that he is in the race to change the natives
You recently yielded to the pressure on you from across Kogi state to show interest in the fort coming governorship election. What informed your decision
Thank you very much, you are very right. I have been under very serious pressure for a while now by our people urging me to contest for the governorship of kogi state. For me initially, it was not a matter for me to take seriously because of the fact that my father was a former Governor of the state. But interestingly, the pressure kept mounting on daily basis and the reasons they gave were not the kind of reasons that can be brushed aside. The truth of the matter is that we have a peculiar situation at the moment in the state, the situation we found ourselves as a people demands that every one of us must be patriotic for us to salvage the situation. The prevailing situation in kogi state is so sad that any right thinking individual with a milk of compassion flowing through his vein must respond to offer his own quota to the quest of bringing our people out of the quagmire that our people have found themselves. I have given the issue a very serious thought as a bonafide and patriotic citizen of kogi state and I have decided that in the interest of our collective aspiration, as a people, there is need for me to respond to the massive call of our people to provide quality and purposeful leadership for them. At the moment, our people are suffering, our people are stranded, our people are hopeless, our people are dying on daily basis as a result of poor leadership. As someone that have been privilege to understudy leadership very closely, I believe that I possess the requisite experience, the administrative capacity as well as the understanding of our people to be able to provide them with the kind of leadership that will return smiles to their faces at this critical period.
Are you not worried about insinuations in some quarters that your family is trying to build a political dynasty?
Yes, it is normal for some people to make such insinuation but I can assure you that the present situation that we find ourselves in kogi state has nothing to do with personal or family interest. If you know me very well, you will understand that I am not one person that like to play to the gallery, even when my father was the governor, I was hardly seen pushing for relevance. Now the juncture at which we are is such that the foundation of the state has been badly destroyed. It is such that the unity existing between the ethnic groups have been threatened. The civil servants are suffering, pensioners have been subjected to all manners of frustration leading to unprecedented numbers of death. The underlying structures for a sustainable socio economic development of the state have been totally bastardised. So for anyone to be linking my aspiration to personal or family affairs is uncalled for. I understand the sentiment of such people, but one thing I like to tell you is that I will be doing the people of Kogi state the greatest disservice if I fail to yield to the repeated call for me to join the governorship race. Also those who know me can attest to the fact that I am not the desperate and over ambitious type of person. But we have come to the point where we have to sit down and determine our future and the future of the unborn generation. It is in the light of this agonising moment that it has become imperative for a well meaning Kogites who have genuine interest of our people at heart to yield to the call for a selfless service at this period. In the last few years, no state in Nigeria has attracted bad publicity like kogi state on account of directionless government we have in place. So if God has endowed me with the capacity, to turn things around for the good of the people, will it be right for me to turn down this call because of a sentiment factor or reason.
Considering the enormouse challenges the state is confronted with today and you party , the PDP is now an opposition, how prepared are you for the race
Let me say quickly that preparation for this kind of assignment is in the hands of God. It is God that crown king so we are relying on God to support us in this aspiration to deliver our people. We are relying heavily on God to give us victory. Like I told you earlier, the suffering of our people at the moment in Kogi state has no party, religion or ethnic affiliations. Our people have seen the other side of the coin, and I believe in this coming election, our people have made up their minds on the party that can serve them better. The PDP has a history that is incomparable in service delivery and purposeful leadership. So as I have doff my hat into the ring, am believing God that if I am able to secure the ticket of the party, together we will establish a participatory system that will turn the situation around for the good of our people. Essentially I will tell you that the battle is not mine, it is that of God who will in turn propel the will of the people who are already desirous of a positive change.
No doubt your father His Excellency, Alhaji Ibrahim Idris, is a key player in Kogi political scenario. Do you think his status will be of positive value to your ambition?
Definitely, it is going to have a positive effect because my case is going to be like a niddle with a thread that can not be easily lost. If my father served the state and he is still able to maintain his integrity, relevance, popularity among the people of Kogi state, then one should expect that such a person cannot and will never allow his son if given such a rare opportunity to jeopardise his hard earned reputation. His advice and counselling anchored on his wealth of experience will definitely be an added advantage.
Sir, Kogi of recent has always been on a negative perception under the APC led administration, how are you going to turn things around for the better?
Here we go. That is going to be the difference between me and other contestants. You cannot give what you don’t have. We are in this mess in kogi state because power has found its way into the hands of people that never expected such position of responsibility. Leadership is not about the numbers of certificates but it is about the capacity to galvanised and mobilise both human and other relevant resources for the good of the people. So leadership fails woefully if it has no capacity or ability to do this.
What are the immediate things you think your administration would do to revamp the economy if elected?
God has been good to us through natural endowment in Kogi State. With over twenty seven solid minerals resources in commercial quantity, if given the opportunity, the immediate task on my administration will be how to harness all these solid minerals for the betterment of our people. We will create conducive environment that will attract the massive influx of investors. We shall create industrial zones . We shall also try and give tax cuts to investors to enable them stabilise. By so doing, the economy of the state will flourish while thousands of our unemployed citizens could be gainfully employed. Insha Allah we shall take holistic look at the case of the events of the last few years, particularly the reform of the civil service. We intend to revisit, re engineer, and restore the dignity of civil service in the state. We shall ensure that we return the civil service back to the glorious days where each worker will find fulfilment in his career while at the same time, making sure that the ministries and parastatals perform the traditional and legitimate responsibilities. To the pensioners, we shall strive to ensure that their welfare is no longer taken for granted. On employment generation, we intend to create the platform through our viable policies that will ensure massive job employment for our teeming populace. Similarly, it is our desire to ensure that Lokoja the state capital and every Local Government head quarter for that matter receives positive attention. We shall revisit the master plan with the view to plan the city to be among the best in Nigeria. We shall also take advantage of the tourism potentials of the state including the confluence of river Niger and Benue to re brand the state as well as generate revenue just to mention but a few.Share this on WhatsApp