CRITICS OF IBRAHIM IDRIS IGNORANT — HON. CLARENCE OLAFEMI, SPEAKER, HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY AND PDP GUBER ASPIRANT
How reasonable is the agitation for power shift in Kogi State?
The agitation is very reasonable and it is borne out of the desire to ensure equity and justice. It is not that agitators are saying they want to be ethnic champions but they want a new Kogi State where anybody will have access to the top seat.
The constitution was not designed for a particular ethnic group; but it was designed in a manner that gives equal right to all to be able to lead no matter where they come from. Goodluck Jonathan had the opportunity, why should it not be so in Kogi?
In the old Kwara State where we the Okuns came from, Sen. Olusola Saraki, who is the political lord there allowed Sha'aba Lafiagi and Adamu Attah who are both minorities to be governors.
That is exactly what we are preaching to our brothers from the East. They should allow the minorities to have a taste and they might be surprised that he might even perform better than the person presented by the majority.
What is responsible for the disunity among politicians in Kogi West?
Greed, selfishness and lack of patriotism are the cause.
In view of those things you identified, do you think the governorship in 2011 will come to the west?
It is the almighty God that ordains anyone a leader, which is why I have always told people to be prayerful. If all powers belong to God and our people pray very well, a situation might arise that will compel the change; in that case it becomes a case of divine intervention like the case of Goodluck Jonathan.
If we leave it to we human beings, our brothers in the East would not want to relinquish power because presently, despite the fact that they are the one completing eight years, they still have as many aspirants as we in the west have.
Some people in Kogi say that the power shift should be to another party because PDP has failed, having ruled for eight years with little to show. Do you agree?
It depends on who is talking. For anyone to say Governor Ibrahim Idris has not preformed, it shows he does not believe in him and if we decide to bring an angel from heaven, he will still rate the angel very low.
When you are assessing a government, the criteria you should use are what has the government been able to do relative to the resources at his disposal? Ibrahim Idris cannot use his personal money to develop Kogi State. A state that doesn't receive more than N1.3 billion a month and an IGR of a little over N100 million a month cannot be compared to a state that has IGR and allocation of close to N10 billion every month.
Look at states like Bayelsa with little land mass but with huge allocation. Look at Lagos with about N18billion IGR every month. Governor Ibrahim Idris cannot do beyond what he is doing; the money he gets every month cannot even construct a flyover.
Why do you think you are suitable as the successor to the outgoing governor?
The House of Assembly is the most difficult place to handle. I have done that very well for a long time. Most of the people on the field do not even have that experience I have of managing very difficult task like that. They have never been subjected to the political rigour I have been subjected to. I know that if we decide to experiment with them, we might be disappointed.
I am the oldest aspirant in this race, I have put in two and half years into it and I am not tired yet.
In PDP alone we have 25 aspirants jostling for the Lugard House, don't you think the outcome might be chaotic?
During the time of 'Ibro', they where 25 and there was no chaos, the rule is clear: appoint three delegates and add to the existing party officers, I don't see any problem.
Supposed some of the aspirants refuse to accept the outcome of the primaries and then decide to do anti party activites?
Then they are bad party men and they are no good sportsmen. As far as I am concerned, PDP in Kogi can't deteriorate to the level that we can't win election.