I read with deep concern an article written by one Daniel Odih N. where he allegedly analysed the origin of thuggery and ascension in Kogi state, linking it to former Kogi Governor and an Elder Statesman, Alhaji Ibrahim Idris (Ibro).
Ordinarily, Odi by virtue and nature of his write up, particularly the no 4 of the article, does not deserve response, but it will be desiring for public consumption to set the record straight.
In as much as we will be beating a dead horse in view of the prevailing situations in the state, suffice to say that the erroneous impression about former Kogi Governor, Alhaji Ibrahim Idris could be a carry over from the frustrations of the writter, who appeared abandoned by his principal(s), after undergoing some dirty jobs for them.
Odi’s efforts to wake the dead and re-awaken dicey political issues already overtaken by many events, will not do any good for the Igala race, Kogi state at large, but alas, records ought to be set straight to detonate the writters misgivings in the number 4 of the scripted write up.
It is also a known fact,that some of writters in quest to pursue cheap popularity and public recognition,will want to link a Personalty like former Governor, Alhaji Ibrahim Idris to their rash essays.
Not untill recently and in a free, fair and credible election, Former Governor, Alhaji Ibrahim Idris has set a record of removing a formidable, workaholic and popular incumbent Governor in his own time, not for any magic, but owing to his popularity, good will, general acceptance of his people and Kogi state in general.
So in 2003, Ibro uprooted and made history in Nigeia political space that power of incumbency amounts to nothing, when you have the mandate of your people.
The 2003 political tsunami in Kogi was a result of people’s desire for a positive change in Kogi state devoid of hooliganism,thuggery and any untoward and insane political conjecture.
The resistance deployed to challenge former Governor, Alhaji Ibrahim Idris during his electioneering campaign in 2003, became a willing toosl before ambitious and politicians with Inordinate desire that was abruptly truncated in his Victory’,therefore needed a leeway to accommodate the contrive political nuisance by strong political opponents, who fought tirelessly to return to power effortlessly for more than three terms/one decade.
Governor Ibro’s re-election in 2007, and subsequent bye election, resisted a highly formidable architecture of haywire thugs led by a retired Military officer, that was intercepted in the boarder town between Benue and kogi state, against the government of the state.
Even though, Alhaji Ibrahim Idris won and won again the bye election, there was the need to set up a machinery to rehabilitate the already tense environment occassioned by desperate politicians, who unwittingly wants a shot back to power’ by all means necessary.
With records of arms building and cache for subsequent elections to militarise a civil process, Alhaji Ibrahim Idris as the governor then, had no choice than to bring on board a robust machinery for youths engagement, that brought about Youth Empowerment Program (YEP), in the state,replicated by his successor, Capt Idris Wada.
Idris youth empowerment programs across the 21 local government recover alot of youths who were hitherto groomed as Professionals in thuggery, by the previous Administration.
It is on record that most of the youths deployed as political nuisance by politicians with tall ambition became economically empowered and stable,as some of them became employers of labour across the three Senatorial districts.
This positive developement initiated by former Kogi Governor, Alhaji Ibrahim Idris brought a renewed sanity to political participation and contest in kogi with minimal rancour as witnessed in the previous processes.
Aside empowering the youths,he made the youths participation in his government the cardinal objectives of his administration, by his support to vie for both political and occupation of top government offices and positions.
Idris template of developement spread beyond youth empowerment,as employment opportunity, business adventure,self sustaining and capacity was at high pedestal in the state.
Till this moment,workers Salaries,arears,minimum wage, relatively as well as regular payment of pension and gratuities of retired workers, had become an unbroken records and reference point in Kogi state during Alhaji Ibrahim Idris.
No wonder,the former Governor was installed as the father of Kogi politics (Baba Kogi ),not by his conjecture,but by the people of the state in appreciation to his people oriented programs.
It was during the Administration of Alhaji Ibrahim Idris, the clamour and success for youths engagement in the political developement of Kogi state was mooted and executed, as many council Chairmen across the Local Government in the state and some members or his Executive Council, were mostly youths or people with youthful tendencies.
His general acceptance and popularity in his 9 unique years as Kogi Governor was devoid of coercion,conscription or the use of force, hence till this dispensation, he remains a rallying point to the political developement of the state.
As a child of history, it is far from the truth and unfair judgement to former Kogi Governor, Alhaji Ibrahim Idris linking him to awkward activities by an overzealous writter.
His ideas and ideals no doubt is a carry over from the inability of his principal to leverage on the people’s Governor, Baba Kogi to rehabilitate and extricate him from the shock of his bankruptcy already in the public domain.
Former Governor Idris encourage decency in governance, moral standard through support to religious houses, religious activities by building churches and mosques across the state as well as supports , to initiate and reintroduce an improved standard of religious practice and discipline.
This had brought him great fame and relevance both in the political, social , economic and religious developement of Kogi state and by extension the entire country.
Abubakar Yusuf writes from Lokoja