With less than 11 weeks to the November 11 governorship election in Kogi State, Admiral Jibrin Usman (retd), the candidate of Accord Party is claiming that ten political parties have collapsed their structures to support his candidacy, even as he lamented the pitiable state of Kogi government workers.
According to Usman in Abuja on Thursday, the state of decadence across many critical sectors of the state informed his decision to join the race.
He noted that civil servants are in a pitiable state, adding that Kogi State workers are seen as beggars. “Kogi State workers should not go through what they are going through today because they don’t deserve it. They are being paid percentage salaries, ranging from 25 to 50 per cent. Is that enough to feed somebody? The Federal Government should do something drastic about it and they can give it any economic name. Call it palliative, and they can declare an economic emergency in Kogi State. If not, more people will continue to die even before the election.”
On the merger issue, he said: “We have all seen the resultant effect of the arrangement between two parties that brought about … . So there is nothing bad about parties merging. It is constitutionally allowed. There is nothing wrong if for instance, my party decided to merge with another party. It will interest you to know that 10 political parties have indeed merged with my party and my state party chairman has taken them on board. 10 parties are with me, some are adamant but they have approached me that I should give them more time. This is to tell you that other parties have assessed the capacity of the Accord candidate . All things being equal, I will emerge the Governor of Kogi State.”
On other issues, he said: “During our visit to Kogi East, we covered 27 districts. During the tour, we saw high level of decadence, lack of infrastructure for effective development and we (know) that Kogi people are really suffering. There is therefore the need for a paradigm shift. Ours is to rescue our people from Maladministration.
“Security as we have in Kogi State today is nothing to write home about. People in the state cannot sleep with their two eyes closed. What happened to the candidate of the SDP on his way to Kogi is an affront and a reminder of the level of insecurity in Kogi State. It is surprising that nobody has been questioned till date.
“In Kogi State, we are faced with high level of kidnapping, political assassinations and thuggery which is a subject of its own in Kogi. And a lot of people are dying as a result of poverty. Criminality as we have in Kogi is occasioned by lack of jobs. The youths go through hell to make both ends meet. A lot of them graduated from universities but have nothing to do. This is why many of them are recruited by their political masters as political thugs.
“As chief security officer of the state, shouldn’t he liaise with the appropriate security agencies to request for deployment to give it a check? If we are there, we know the appropriate agencies to call upon.
On the Education sector, the former Chief of Navy said, “When we went round, the level of decay with respect to our educational infrastructure is unimaginable. In Ibaji, there is nobody there. So the schools there are dead and floods have taken over the whole place. Something has to be done differently and we are the people to do it differently.