The Igala Cultural Development Association (ICDA), Ukomu Igala and other cultural organisations of the Igala/Bassa nation, have thrown their weight behind Musa Wada and Sam Aro of the People’s Democracy Party (PDP) as candidates in the November 16 governorship election in Kogi State.
The Igala/Bassa nation, in a communiqué, which contained the Ayingba Declaration and made available to journalists on Monday by its convener, Senator Alex Kadiri, stated that after a painstaking review of events in Kogi State in the last three-and-a-half years under the leadership of Governor Yahaya Bello, it observed with dismay the gradual entrenchment of impunity and authoritarian rule in the state, the latest being the unconstitutional impeachment of Simon Achuba as the deputy governor.
The group noted that given the abysmal failure of Governor Bello to deliver on the core mandate of governance, the issue of his re-election would amount to compensating failure, adding that the traumatised people of Kogi State have had enough of the governor.
Rejecting the brazen assault on the Nigerian constitution, it therefore, pledged its unflinching support to Achuba in his quest to set aside the illegal impeachment.
After a meeting of opinion moulders and critical stakeholders, held at the weekend in Kogi State, which had in attendance sons and daughters of Igala/Bassa nation, they noted that majority of Kogi people have witnessed the worst form of governance since the creation of state.
The group lamented that in spite of the huge financial resources at the state’s disposal, salaries, pensions and gratuities are still not paid to the beneficiaries, adding that “The lucky ones were paid on percentage basis. It is on record that N50.8 billion bailout, which was secured to clear outstanding salaries, pensions and gratuities, have been willfully wasted on the politics of self-perpetuation and aggrandisement.”
According to the statement, they decried “the current atmosphere of insecurity, reign of fear and terror being unleashed on our people by state sponsored miscreants and political thugs,” adding that the Igala/Bassa nation has witnessed the proliferation of dangerous weapons of violence, imported into the area by top government officials to harass and intimidate the people.
It berated the education sector for not faring better under Governor Bello, as the Kogi State University, “which prides itself in the past as one of the nation’s highly valued universities is now a shadow of its past glory.
“Draconian government’s policies under the Governor Bello administration have led to the mass sack of a generation of experienced lecturers from the institution without replacement and a dislocation of the university’s academic and administrative system.”
The group lamented that for the whole tenure of the Bello-led administration in Kogi, “no single project has been commissioned or completed in the entire Igala/Bassa land despite the unprecedented financial resources available to the state government under his watch.”