BY BAYO OYEWALE, LOKOJA.
Fresh indications have emerged that the cordial relationship between the immediate-past governor of Kogi State, Alhaji Ibrahim Idris, and his successor, Captain Idris Wada, may have gone sour.
WESTERN POST investigations in Lokoja and Abuja revealed that this development might not be unconnected with the recent sack of the 16 commissioners whose appointment was influenced one way or another by the former governor at the inception of the Wada administration over two years ago.
The problem also has to do with the senatorial ambition of the former governor, which Governor Wada is said not to be favourably disposed to.
Prior to the dissolution of the cabinet, however, there had been insinuations that the relationship between the two political gladiators in the state had been frosty as the former governor was said to have stopped attending official functions in the state even despite invitation by the state government.
At the grand reception in respect of the 22 years anniversary of the creation of Kogi State where every eminent personality invited to grace the occasion attended, Idris was conspicuously absent.
Sources said the problem started about two years ago when the incumbent governor, Captain Wada, was said to have compiled the list of those likely to work with him as commissioners to realise his agenda for the state, but the list was rejected because Idris, the godfather, was quoted as saying those who worked for the success of the party and the governor’s election must be considered first.
The original list was then thrown out and a new list, which comprised virtually all those dropped last week compiled.
It was gathered that within this period some of the loyalists of the former governor in the cabinet were said to have formed the habit of reporting everything happening around the new governor in the state to Idris.
This did not go down well with the governor.
WESTERN POST also learnt that as clock ticks towards the 2015 general election in the state, the problem may have been rekindled between the former governor and Wada, as posters proclaiming the former governor’s senatorial ambition have littered every strategic locations in Lokoja and flooded the nooks and crannies of Igalaland.
Meanwhile, the governor is yet to start talking about re-election as he is said to be busy with running his first term.
Sources said the appearance of Idris’ posters may have confirmed some of the rumours making the round in the state that the former governor may be returning to hijack the structure of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state and determine Wada’s re-election at the governorship election, which will come up later in 2015.
Watchers of political events in Kogi State have argued that if Wada has to move forward in line with his transformation agenda, he must start to assert his authority so that his second term ambition would not be jeopardised.
At medial parley recently with members of Correspondent Chapel of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, the state Governor Wada had denied there was any frosty relationship between him and the former governor of the state.
He said what people expected was for him to be having quarrels with his boss, which he said would not allow the state to move forward.
Wada said his vision and mission was to transform the state to where it ought to be and not to engage in any war of attrition.
Reacting to insinuations that there had been frosty relationship between Wada and his predecessor, the Special Adviser on Media and Strategy to the governor, Mr.Jacob Edi, said there was nothing like that, stating that such was figment of imagination of those peddling the rumour.
Edi explained that cabinet dissolution was a normal thing and there should be no basis for any insinuation.
He added that cabinet change was a legitimate thing to happen in any democratic setting.
On Idris’alleged senatorial ambition, Edi disclosed that the former governor has not come out to tell anybody he wants to contest for Kogi East Senatorial seat.
Also reacting, the Public Relations Officer and Media Strategist, Ibro Leadership Initiatives, Mr. Julius Atabor, described the insinustion as mere rumour, which is unfounded, noting that when people do not understand how things work well, they tend to peddle rumours.
Atabor said the group had dragged the former governor into Kogi East Senatorial race for the re-awakening of the district from legislative inactivity and doldrums, stressing that PDP as a party needs a man with wealth of experience to be able to wrestle power from the incumbent, Hon. Attah Aidoko.
“From our own expectations, the people jostling for the ticket on the platform of PDP lacks quality I have just enumerated above that is why Ibro Leadership Initiatives drags the former governor Idris to contest Kogi East senatorial District,” Atabor said.
He therefore appealed to well-meaning kogites to help prevail Idris to contest for Kogi East senatorial seat at National Assembly come 2015.