By Kingsley Fanwo
Though the result of the Kogi PDP governorship primary may give it out as an easy victory for the incumbent governor, Idris Wada, people in the know are aware of the behind-the-curtains intrigues, which gave victory to the governor.
Shortly before the primary, the stakes became very high especially after some members of the House of Representatives moved against the governor.
Members representing Yagba and Kabba/Bunu Federal Constituencies respectively were seen openly campaigning for Alhaji Isah Jibrin Echocho. Their grouse, according to one of them, was the governor’s lack of political inclusion.
Efforts by the governor’s men to reach out to the opposition figures were rebuffed, setting the stage for a titanic battle at the primary. Indeed, the opposition, it was gathered, had raised the stakes by demanding that the governor trade his running mate, Arc. Yomi Awoniyi and offer six cabinet positions to Echocho, a demand that the governor was said to have stoutly rebuffed.
Lack of ciommitment
Indeed, tension exacerbated after speculation blew across the state that oil magnate, Otunba Jide Omokore was backing Echocho. The body language of former Governor Ibrahim Idris also appeared to show lack of commitment to the Wada project.
With opposition building against the governor, bookmakers were banking on the division to tip Echocho for victory. But then, the story changed as the governor and his core supporters held on.
The governor’s team was able to pull through by holding on to some highly respected leaders of the party such as former PDP National Chairman, Dr. Ahmadu Ali, former Senator, Tunde Ogbeha and many others. The founding leaders of the party were able to give Wada victory at the primary.
Can the governor pull through in the general election?
Since the emergence of Capt. Idris Wada as the candidate of the PDP, different permutations have been crafted by political pundits in the party.
To win the general election, the governor, pundits assert, needs to properly reconcile with party leaders. He will need to reassure such leaders of his readiness to work with them if he wins the general election.
Also, there is need for the governor to expedite action on the ongoing Lokoja Township Road project. The condition of the major road that runs through Lokoja has continued to be a major campaign issue.
However, of even more advantage to the governor is the fact that PDP leaders seem to have come to the reality of the need to retain the state beyond 2016 for the political survival of many of its leaders and the threat posed by the candidature of Prince Abubakar Audu of the APC.