A frontline contender for Kogi East Senatorial District seat, Dr Victor Adoji, is likely to dump the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for another platform.
This is due to anti-democratic activities that coloured the primary elections. Dr Adoji met with top leaders of Kogi politics yesterday in order to perfect the next plan of action after a cloudy circumstances under which some elements in Kogi declared sitting Senator Attai Aidoko as the party’s candidate in next year’s election.
How Victor was cleared, but dribbled
After intense intrigues and struggle, Dr Victor Alewo Adoji was given the clearance to contest in the primary election. one of the foremost aspirants for the Kogi East Senatorial seat to participate in the party’s primary election scheduled for tomorrow, October 2, 2018.
Alewo who is believed to be amongst the strong contenders with brighter chances of clinching the seat, has had to battle the subtle moves to scuttle his senatorial ambition by way of disqualification by the party’s screening committee.
The screening committee had initially reportedly declined to clear Adoji and couple of other aspirants jostling for the Kogi East Senate in a bid to give a soft landing to the incumbent senator, Attai Aidoko who, in the opinion and assessment of many people in Kogi East, has performed far below expectations.
There is the general belief that given the lacklustre performance of Senator Aidoko at the Red Chamber, the people of Kogi East would no longer be ready to return him, hence the move shut out those that would pose a challenge to him in securing the party’s senatorial ticket.
It was learnt that Aidoko, working in collaboration with the national leadership of the PDP, struck a deal that an automatic ticket be granted to him since he was doubtful of securing the party’s ticket under a transparent, free and fair primary election.
Following the development, youths and other political stakeholders from Kogi East raised the alarm over attempts to cause a crisis in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) by imposing an “unpopular candidate” on the people through an offer of automatic ticket.
Youths, stakeholders protest PDP’s tricks
The youths, at a press conference had warned that PDP in Kogi East senatorial district would be heading for self-destruction with the planned imposition of candidates by the leadership of the party.
A political pressure group in the party, Kogi PDP Youth Masses, had warned that any attempt to impose Aidoko as the party’s candidate in the coming election would cause an implosion from which it would be difficult to recover.
Addressing journalists in Lokoja, Chairman of the group, Ahmed Suleiman, claimed that PDP Screening Committee was planning to give Aidoko an automatic ticket, but warned that this would signal the end of the party in the state.
The group threatened that the Igala/Bassa nation would revolt should the leadership continue with its plan to impose Aidoko, adding that the people were ready to resist attempts at destabilizing the party in Kogi State.
“There were widespread allegations that Aidoko, the PDP senator seeking re-election struggling to win the support of his “estranged constituents” and has been lobbying for an automatic ticket, and that he had offered money to the committee members to secure their backing.
“The moves to circumvent the wishes of the people has, however, angered the youth wing of the party, causing them to threaten showdown should the party leaders press ahead to impose a preferred candidate”, the group said.
The group warned that by its action, the party leadership was sacrificing merit on the altar of mediocrity and that in doing this, they have shown that their personal gains were more important that the party’s overall interest.
The group also cautioned the party to save itself from being wiped out in the state, adding that the move of the state and national working committees to ‘sell’ the ticket of Kogi East is ill-advised.
PDP will become weaker in Kogi by this imposition
They warned that the action would amount to the weakening of the PDP to the advantage of its rivals.
The group called on the Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki, to use his good offices to ensure a level playing field for all aspirants as that would ensure that the party fields its best candidates at the upcoming election.
Apart from the agitations from the youth and other stakeholders, a coalition of aspirants seeking to go to the national assembly under the platform of the PDP equally kicked against the plot of imposition.
Our correspondent reports that root of the whole matter emanated from the agreements reportedly reached by the party’s leadership with the rAPC.
The PDP had gone into what the aggrieved members described as unwholesome agreement without inputs from stakeholders in the respective state chapters. The situation was compounded by the alleged extension of automatic tickets to other sitting senators and reps members who were not in rAPC but were elected on PDP platform.The move by the national leadership drew the ire of other aspirants most of whom had obtained the nomination and letter of intent forms, with the hope of participating in the primaries.
Reacting, penultimate Monday, a coalition of aspirants for the various seats in the two chambers of the national assembly expressed dissatisfaction with the idea of automatic tickets, while threatening to work against the party’s interest should the leadership allow imposition.
In the statement signed by no less than 30 aspirants from the three senatorial districts who gathered at Ibro Hotel, Wuse, Abuja, the PDP leadership was reminded of the provisions of section 87 (1) and (3) of the electoral act 2010 (as amended), which provides that a political party shall only nominate candidates for elective offices via primary elections and all aspirants are given equal opportunity to voted for by members of the party.
The group warned that; “should the party proceed with a predetermined and manipulated primary elections, an implosion within the party that might be inimical to the interest of the party might occur.”
It said it was for the reasons of imposition, impunity and lack of internal democracy that PDP became opposition party in 2015 both at federal and Kogi State levels, adding that it is regrettable that the new leadership has learned nothing from past mistakes. Dr. Halima Alfa, a senatorial aspirant in Kogi East read the press statement on behalf of 29 others.
The angry aspirants moved to the Asokoro home of former governor Idris where they were joined by Senator Melaye (Kogi West), Senator Ahmed Ogembe (Kogi Central), Senator Atai Idoko (Kogi East) and Senator Abiodun Olujimi (Ekiti) who represented Secondus.
‘Why PDP wants sitting lawmakers returned’
Senator Abiodun Olujimi explained that the need to ensure that the PDP remained formidable in the legislative arm post 2019 polls informed the wisdom to encourage all sitting members to retain their seats in the two chambers.
The meeting presided over by the state PDP leader, Ibrahim Idris and state PDP chairman, Sam Uhuotu ended in a deadlock.
It was gathered that when moved to the Maitama home of the national chairman, Uche Secondus, the meeting equally suffered similar fate.
Secondus was said to have pleaded that the party owed it on its honour and integrity to respect the agreement it signed with rAPC members.
But Idris (Ibro) faulted the action of the party leadership for failure to carry stakeholders along by means of exhaustive consultation and education before signing the agreement, saying it amounts to “barbing a man’s hair in his absence”, hence the rancour.
It was perhaps in view of the mounting oppositions and discordant tunes that the national leadership of the party eventually cleared Dr Adoji and others to contest in the senatorial primary.
Pundits believe that there are number of factors that make Dr Adoji stand better chance of coasting to victory at the end of the day.
Dr Victor Adoji’s aspiration excites Kogi East
As it stands, Adoji is said to be enjoying wider acceptance amongst the people of Kogi East given his capacity and antecedents.Already, there have been wild excitements everywhere you go as the electorates believe Adoji’s representation will be a sign of good things coming to the senatorial district.
Those spoken to said they were already heaving sighs of relief even though he has not yet won the seat, as they believe in the capabilities of Dr. Adoji to turn things around at Kogi East.
Dr. VAA, as he his fondly called, is regarded as a generous man, who has affected many lives both in the state and in other parts of the country.
His associates said that his aspiration to contest for Kogi East Senatorial District of the state is borne out of his zeal to enhance development in the state.
It was gathered that unlike some rich men who spend their money only where business relationships and connections can be fostered, Dr. Victor is noted for his generosity especially to those exposed to the scotching heat of poverty and wretchedness.
Another factor that favours Adoji, is the fact that he hails from Idah Federal Constituency which has never produced anyone into the Senate since the inception of democracy in 2019.
The Ankpa and Dekina axis have been the ones producing the senators, hence the clamour to ensure someone from the Idah axis take a shot this time in the interest of fairness and equality.
The senate aspirant has so far toured six local government areas in Kogi East to declare his interest to vie for the much-coveted senate seat.
In his speech at his declaration in Ofu Local Government, Adoji said he was there as an aspirant for the people to convert him to a candidate.
He said he is worried when he sees youths without employment as what he sees are not human beings but industries.