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The governorship race in Kogi state may have come and gone. However, the bitter taste the elections left in the mouth of one of the bigwigs and loser, Captain Idris Wada who contested both the main and supplementary elections of Saturday, November 21 and Saturday, December 6 may last for a long time.
The incumbent governor ought to have seen the handwriting on the wall at least 3 months ago that he was destined for the exit door. It was not just because of the broom revolution of the governing party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) that led to his ouster, but there were certain things that caused Wada’ s downfall.
What are the 2 basic things used to measure that a political leader is performing in office? These are simply the security of lives and properties and social welfare of the people. The next question to ask is, did Governor Idris Wada made Kogites flourish in terms of their social welfare or not? The answer to this question was given when the main opposition party in the state, the APC, with its new substituted candidate, Alhaji Yahaya Bello was declared winner after the elections were finally concluded and results announced.
READ ALSO: More Troubles For APC As Wada Heads To Court
One of the things that worked against the present governor was that Kogi state never became more prosperous under his watch in the more than 3 years that he has been steering the ship of the state.
Former and late governor of Kogi state, Prince Abubakar Audu (L) and current governor of Kogi state, Captain Idris Ichala Wada (R)
It is another kettle of fish if Wada heads to the Election Petitions Tribunal to challenge the outcome of the polls using the death of Prince Abubakar Audu to argue his case. Whether he gets a favourable judgement or not is nobody’s business for now except those of his supporters.
READ ALSO: 5 Lessons Every Politician Should Learn From Audu’s Death
The truth however is that there were a few things that caused Wada’s downfall from the exalted governor’s seat in Lokoja, the state capital.
1. Civil servants never benefited from dividends of democracy
The civil service is known as the engine room of the government. Governor Idris Wada has not been in the good books of Kogi state government workers especially the teachers. He was one of the state governors that had issues paying workers’ salaries for several months.
There was a period whereby teachers went on strike for some months in the state. Wada owed civil servants backlog of salaries. This was one of the major reasons his rating went very low among the civil servants. A good number of government workers never prayed for him to return as they voted against him on the election day.
2. The Buhari factor (Buharimania)
The rate at which the wind of the change mantra of President Muhammadu Buhari is blowing over Nigeria is great. Kogi state also does not want to be left behind.
During the presidential election of Saturday, March 28, Kogi state was one of the states won by President Buhari. As this happened, the people of Kogi believe that by dumping the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and joining the train of Buharimania via the APC, the federal government will pay more attention to the state in terms of infrastructural development. Thus, the need to vote in an alternative party and vote out the non-performing PDP.
3. Failed campaign promises
When the predecessor to the present governor, that is Alhaji Ibrahim Idris was about completing his second term, he told the people of Kogi that he would leave a worthy successor in the person of Captain Idris Wada to take over from him. Wada himself promised heaven and earth during his campaign before he was sworn in on January 2012. As the years rolled by after he assumed office, Wada began to falter and fail his people.
While assessing Wada in Kogi state, THISDAY LIVE of Tuesday, May 28, 2013 with the headline: “Governors’ Mid-Term Review: A SPECIAL REPORT” described the governor’s performance as this: “Wada: Turning Flood Disaster Into Bumper Harvest.”
Parts of the newspaper’s report stated that: “In terms of development, Kogi remains rustic and still has a long way to go in terms of becoming a modern city-state. Like his predecessors, Wada has failed to take advantage of the tourism potential of the state despite the advantages two of Nigeria’s largest rivers offer the state.”
4. Wada, not a grassroot mobiliser
Governor Idris Wada is not really popular among the poor and peasant farmers in Kogi state. Some citizens of the confluence state believe that the governor prefer to dine and wine with the elites. The ordinary man on the street of Kogi does not know Wada as their man.
5. Poor leadership qualities
Having a charismatic and a sincere leader is not missing only in Nigeria but also in Kogi state. Wada was not a leader that could command the respect a good leader deserves across board. He did not carry a good number of stakeholders along in his governing of Kogi. He was more or less like a lone ranger.
To further show that the governor was not in charge of his state as the chief security officer, the edition of THISDAY LIVE earlier quoted had it that:
“In the area on security, nonetheless, Wada’s administration has been found wanting. Under his watch, suspected members of the terrorist Islamic sect, Boko Haram, occasionally made forays into his state, attacking churches and killing their worshipers. In December 2012, his state also had the ignominy of witnessing the attack on Mali-bound military troops by members of the Ansaru sect, which left two soldiers dead and four injured.”
All these and many other reasons culminated as some of the things that caused Wada’s downfall.
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