Kogi Central: Between Mediocrity And Competence – By Shaibu Stephen Ojate
As 2019 general election gathers momentum, the political atmosphere in Kogi central is charged as people of different characters, educational and social background have declared their interest for political positions.
The Aspirants in view comprise of our eminent Sons and Daughters within and outside Kogi State who had distinguished themselves in their chosen careers. They are presently traversing the street seeking the support of the people at home.
It is instructive to note that this is not the first time of having array of credible individuals showing interest in political positions as in the past, they do but many of these never get nominated or get elected. Why? The process leading to the nomination and election of candidates for elective positions in Kogi central were faulty. Thus, the faulty nomination process throws up people with little or no knowledge to emerge as our Leaders. The resultant effect of this led to poor leadership and poor representation as we currently observed among those representing us at different level of government. We ended up producing Leaders who could not push for the improvement of social amenities and upgrade of infrastructural facilities in Kogi central.
Whilst other representatives from other areas were using their good offices to influence State and federal government Jobs for their teaming unemployed Youths, the best ours could do is to buy bottles of bear, food grinding machine and Motor Bike to our Youths and Women. Today, the jobs created so far were majorly Okada riders and food grinding machine operators.
In furtherance to this, the recent event in the House of Representative where a Representative from the South East was at the forefront championing and even had cause to table motion for the resuscitation and revitalization of Ajaokuta Steel Company in Kogi is a clear indication to show that all is not well with kogi central representatives. Yes, Ajaokuta Steel Company is a National project which everyone irrespective of their State is free to champion its course. But a situation where kogi central representatives stand at the back seat while only outsiders see reason to draw federal government attention to its completion is a clear indication to show that something is missing among our leaders. What are they doing there? This is a question left for us to ponder on. Our representatives are always docile in the house as they only go there to sit and collect their allowance with no tangible motion tabled.
On a similar note, the writer of this article had bitter experience which he would use to illustrate the saying that our society promotes mediocre at the expense of competent individuals. Sometime in 2007, after finishing my National Youth Service Corp (NYSC), I signified interest for the council seat in my local government Ward. It is on record that no one above Senior Secondary School Certificate had been elected Councilor in the Ward as all the past councilors paraded SSCE results. Then, I had Higher National Diploma (HND) and I see my aspiration as a mean to break the long held jinx. I was not the only person with higher certificate as two other persons had National Diploma while the remaining three other Aspirants had Senior Secondary School Result.
On my part, I tried to make a difference in my political mission as I put up a write up in a flyer detailing my profile and my experience in the time past. I stated that I had legislative experience as I was elected Student Representative Assembly member during my HND days at federal Polytechnic, Idah in Kogi State. I said, I equally stood for Speaker of the Student Representative Assembly but lost out to my opponent. I said I did not lose on account of not being competent or vocal enough but I lost on account of majority vote cast. I said, the charisma in me was what later prompted the entire house members to unanimously nominate me when it came to our knowledge that the Clerk of the House must be from the elected Student Representative members. I said, while at school, I discharged my duties without questioning neither by SRA members nor my Constituents. Then, I represented a faculty which comprises of five departments. I enlightened the public on what my Ward lacks and told them how I shall use my wealth of experience to ensure that the problems are given prompt attention if elected a councilor.
At the time for screening of candidate for the council seat, seven man panel was constituted. Two were graduates, two were SSCE holders and the remaining three were uneducated and non-certificate holders. The respective Aspirants were called upon to give little talk on why we were aspiring for the council seat.
To cut the story short, on the final consideration, the screening committee settled for one Aspirant with Senior School Certificate result. They abandoned me with HND, the one with past legislative experience. The reason they adduced for the nomination of the said Aspirant was that he has been jobless for years and had long been suffering for politics at home. In view of this, it is time for him to be considered for the elective position. That was how my Ward then sacrificed competence for mediocrity.
The said nominated person later got elected and even emerged as the Speaker of Okehi legislative Council. What I have illustrated above is a semblance of factor for the nomination of Aspirants for elective positions in Kogi central. Even though others do not take this shape, but primordial sentiment are weep out in the choice of candidates for elective positions.
From the tales above, must we continue to trend on retrogressive path by fronting mediocre as our Leaders to champion the course of our society while other areas are presenting their best? The answer is no. As it is now, there is urgent need to dig deep into the profile, antecedent and experience of every aspirant to find out whether they are credible enough or have the charisma for the position they are aspiring for. There is a saying that one can only offer what he or she can. No doubt we presently have good number of credible and untainted Aspirants on the race for Kogi central senatorial seat. One of such to look into his direction is Engineer Abdulmalik Okino.
Engineer Abdulmalik Okino is credible and untainted Aspirant. He has carved a niche for himself in Nigeria and abroad. He has used his creative thinking to help himself economically. Having him as Senator will go a long way to help the society as he will use his wealth of experience in private sector to bring responsive representation to the people of Kogi central in the Senate.
Engineer Abdulmalik Okino despite residing in United State of America has been with us since 2003. He once contested for Okehi chairmanship seat, house of representative but has not been successful in his political mission due to our faulty system in the nomination of candidate for elective positions.
Engineer Abdulmalik Okino is usually of help to the downtrodden in our society as he has been offering scholarship to Students. He has been maintaining this tempo since 2003. In term of education and career, he is an Oil and Gas expert and has taken education to the highest peak. He is one who cannot be pushed aside by big name dropping from other areas. He presently holds Doctorate Degree (PHD) from University in United State of America.
Shaibu Stephen Ojate is a Journalist and public affairs commentator writes from Abuja. He is on facebook platform and reachable via phone number 09075716236 or 08052666344
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