The Central Senatorial District of Kogi state is dominated by the Ebira speaking tribe is blessed with entrepreneurial population, energetic and hardworking men, beautiful and brilliant women as well as a vibrant and articulate youth. Arguably, even as we are blessed with notable personalities who have and currently making us proud in Nigeria and abroad in health, engineering, sports, entertainment, mass media etc, same cannot be said about getting our politics right or having quality men and women in the state and national political participation. We have always been reduced to a second class status when it comes to the sharing of the national cake or our common wealth.
One may argue that our geographical location in the country already puts us in a disadvantaged position, in attracting tangible federal government presence in terms of projects and appointments, but what is majorly responsible for the neglect and abandonment we have suffered since Nigeria’s independence is largely due to our lack of understanding and getting our politics right. Apart from the Nigerian Prison Service and Federal College of Education which are today the only functioning federal government establishments in Ebiraland, there is nothing else to show for our long years of industry, hard work, dedication and contribution to Nigeria’s growth and unity.
Even when the administration of former president Shehu Shagari deemed it fit to establish a gigantic steel complex in Ajaokuta to use the huge mineral deposit of iron ore in Itakpe, some elements made sure it never saw the light of the day. The military regime of general Muhammadu Buhari overthrew the democratically elected government of Shagari and didn’t only truncated the commissioning of Ajaokuta steel complex which would have create over two million direct and indirect jobs and make Ebiraland the steel capital of Africa at the time, general Buhari also made sure the steel complex was abandoned and instead shifted attention towards the completion of the Katsina Steel Rolling Mill, located in his home state.
Despite his role in killing and truncating the take off of Ajaokuta steel complex which would have made Ebiraland the economic, manufacturing and steel hub of the Africa. The good people of Central Senatorial District who are renowned for not holding a grudge for long, voted massively and supported the presidential aspirations of general Muhammadu Buhari in 2003, 2007, 2011 and 2015. The joy of our people knew no bounds when in 2015, the then presidential candidate of the APC promised at his campaigns to diversify the Nigerian economy away from crude oil dependence, with massive investment in agriculture, mining and steel. For us in Ebiraland, we saw that pronouncement as a move to right the wrong of the past and finally reward us for the political support and loyalty he has enjoyed so far.
More than three and half years later, the current administration has done little or nothing towards the revitalization of Ajaokuta steel complex. Not even the rare and commendable exploits of a daughter of the soil, barrister Natasha Hadiza Akpoti, who dedicated her financial resource, time and energy to the struggle and agitation towards the coming to life of Ajaokuta steel complex has been able to attract or compel the current government, which has displayed obvious lack of political will towards its completion.
When the ovation became loudest by the people of Central Senatorial District that barrister Akpoti should come and serve at the senate, giving her impressive and selfless efforts and campaign to bring Ajaokuta to completion, the APC led federal government through its agent in Kogi state made sure she was frustrated out of the party platform. Now that barrister Akpoti aka ‘queen of steel’ has finally been given a chance to heed the call to serve her people via the Social Democratic Party SDP platform, it is wrong for anyone in Ebiraland to continue relate or link her with president Muhammadu Buhari.
The show of contempt, display of hatred and lack of respect for the people of Ebiraland by President Muhammadu Buhari is glaring and evident. The fact that he only needs us or remembers our existence only when elections are at the corner can no longer be argued by men and women with common sense. Muhammadu Buhari and Natasha Akpoti do not represent or stand for the same thing, while the former only needs us for winning elections and throws us into the dust bin of history afterwards; the later genuinely cares about the wellbeing, creation of jobs and economic development of our people. It is wrong and out of place for supporters of barrister Akpoti to continue to blindly campaign for the reelection of president Buhari of APC alongside Natasha Akpoti of SDP. This only goes to portray us as insincere, confused and ungrateful to the SDP.
It is morally wrong and against common sense to be celebrating SDP for allowing barrister Akpoti to contest using their platform, while at the same time supporting the APC presidential aspirant who has treated us like trash since his military days as Head of State and even used his agents in the state to try to thwart the aspiration of the popular candidate and wish of the good people of Ebiraland. SDP has a presidential candidate who is Mr. Donald Duke; he is the one who deserves our votes in the coming presidential election. #letCommonsensePrevail.
Hussain Obaro…firstname.lastname@example.org…Lokoja, Kogi state.