Internal crisis rocks the PDP in Kogi state.
Less than a year after he was sworn into office, Governor Idris Wada of Kogi State has been accused of looting the state treasury by leaders of his party, the People’s Democratic Party, PDP.
A group of PDP stalwarts from Kogi State made the allegations in a petition to President Goodluck Jonathan, and party’s National Chairman, Bamanga Tukur, on Wednesday.
The group said the governor lacks a sense of direction, exhibits plain incompetence, and engages in mind boggling corruption.
The petition was jointly signed by Senators Alex Kadiri and Mohammed Ohiare; former Speaker of the State House of Assembly and former Acting Governor, Clarence Olafemi; former state PDP Chairman, John Odawun; a retired Air Vice Marshall, Salihu Atawodi; and a former governorship aspirant, Adinoyi Ojo Onukaba.
The group warned that the party, PDP, faces “sudden death” in Kogi while the state risks “anarchy” if the governor’s looting is not checked.
The group listed the underdevelopment of the state, the crisis in the State House of Assembly, the looting of state resources and several illegalities and undemocratic practices as serious concerns.
“It is rather unfortunate that our beloved state has acquired notoriety for unwholesome political practices, arrested development, deepening poverty and primitive state of infrastructure –all due largely to chronic mis-governance and endemic corruption of the last decade,”. the group said.
The group consists, largely, of members who opposed the governor’s emergence as the party’s flagbearer in the last elections and their petition highlights the deeply rooted intra-party crises in the state PDP.
The group said the governor continued a tradition of looting handed down to him by his predecessor, Ibrahim Idris.
“It is now very clear to all that Captain Idris Wada – the man who was not even a card-carrying member of our party when he was imposed on us as governorship candidate in 2011- has absolutely no clue how to run a modern state,” they said.
The group said that nearly one year in office, Mr. Wada’s administration has built nothing but a roundabout in front of Government House, Lokoja.
“Yet, Billions of Naira have accrued to the state in the past 11 months of his stewardship,” the protesting members said.
“He has continued the tradition of his political godfather and immediate past governor of the state of squandering state resources on acquisition of personal properties with government funds, on the avalanche of court cases against him, compromising judges and party officials in his desperation to hang on to power,” the petition stated.
The party elders further expressed their dissatisfaction with Mr. Wada, and his predecessor by calling “on all anti-corruption agencies to probe the looting of the state treasury from 2003 to date and to prosecute without delay all those found to have abused their positions.”
The aggrieved party members accused officials of the anti graft agencies, presidency and the national headquarters of PDP of providing cover for the governor for pecuniary gains.
“We feel scandalized that the party has chosen to watch helplessly as this charade and impunity continues in Kogi State. This is not acceptable.
“The party, our party, should not cross one river and insult the crocodile, because there are more rivers ahead for the party to cross,” the group said.
They accused the governor of masterminding the current crises in the state’s House of Assembly and called for immediate restoration of status quo in the House.
The governor, and his aides could not be reached to respond to some of the allegations made by the group.