Court dismisses suit challenging primaries

Capt. Idris I. Wada(Approved PDP Aspirant)
An Abuja High Court on Monday dismissed a suit filed by Jibril Isa challenging his removal by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as its candidate for the December 3 governorship election in Kogi.

Justice Sunday Aladetoyinbo, who delivered judgment, held that the court lacked jurisdiction to entertain the suit. The judge also held that all the facts that Mr Isa called on the court to adjudicate upon happened in Lokoja, Kogi State.

Aladetoyinbo further held that against that backdrop, the suit ought to have been filed in Lokoja. Similarly, he held that Isa’s suit was an abuse of court process.

He said that Isa could not file the same suit in a Federal High Court and another in the Abuja High Court at the same time.

Besides, the judge held that Isa did not explore “any internal remedies” before going to court, even as he told the court that he also participated in the same primary of September 22, but lost.

The judge said that there was evidence to show that Isa signed that he would not go to court against any decision of PDP.

Isa had asked the court to declare the nomination of Captain Idris Wada, whom the PDP substituted his name with, as null and void.

He urged the court to hold that his nomination as candidate in January primaries should be validated and cancel that which the PDP conducted in September to replace him.

Isa had said that the only condition that would warrant a candidate’s substitution was as a result of death or willful withdrawal.

Speaking to newsmen after the judgment, counsel to Mr Wada, described the action of Isa as “desperate.”

“This amounts to litigation prostitution. He filed the same suit before a Federal High Court in Abuja and quickly ran to the FCT High Court to file another.

Also speaking, Okore Okuyebo, counsel to the PDP, told journalists that a Federal High Court did not validate the primary conducted by the party in January.

In that primary, the plaintiff won but could not be presented as the candidate because the tenure of incumbent governor Ibrahim Idris was still running.

“This is a decision also upheld by the Court of Appeal. The court’s judgment is a sound one. It examined whether the plaintiff is entitled to the relief he sought.

“The court looked at the exhibit, that is the judgment of Federal High Court and said no,” Mr Okuyebo said.

Neither Isa nor his counsel, Chris Uche was present in court for the judgment.

Opponents Are Afraid Of My Credentials - Capt Wada

Capt. Idris Wada
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) standard-bearer in the coming Kogi State governorship election, Idris Wada, has been in the thick of campaign in the past few days. He took a short break and went to Abuja, when Idowu Samuel met him for an interview in which he spoke on sundry issues. 
Excerpts. What is a professional pilot doing in politics?
In life, they say, never say never. I had served in the public service for 10 years and  have been in business for 27 years. I just feel that it is time for me to give back to our people. When President Goodluck Jonathan came out with his transformation agenda after winning the presidential election, I decided to also partake in politics with the aim of launching an agenda to transform my state and the life of my people. I believe that our nation needs transformation and we must do all in our capacity to promote transformation.
Why are you starting at the governorship level?
That is the level where you can make an impact in deploying the human and material resources of the state. And I joined PDP because I believe in the ideals of the party. I have been in the party for a long time. I joined the party in August 2005.
It is good to know that you are an old member of PDP, but some of your supporters are worried that you will be contesting the December election on a divided platform, given the grievances of your opponents against your emergence...
In a contest like the governorship, it is expected that people would feel aggrieved. But immediately after the primaries, I was inspired by the governor of the state (Alhaji Ibrahim Idris) to make consultations with all the aspirants with a view to reconciling with them. I have done that by speaking with most of them. And they have supported my candidature. One of the earliest reconciliation I made was with Alhaji Isa Kutepa, who came second during the primaries. The following morning, he called to congratulate me and made promises to support me. And my choice of running mate was the Director, Kutepa Campaign Organisation, that brought a very large component of our party together immediately.
The other senior members of our party like Dr Alex Kadiri, are responding well. I talked with Yakubu Muhammed, a known journalist, who said he would not run if I were in the race and several others. As for Echocho, I had made moves to reconcile with him because he had been very close. The process of reconciliation may take a little longer though, but elders of the party are already intervening. So far, we have succeeded in achieving a major reconciliation in our party. Whatever remains would be tackled by the party elders.
Do you have confidence that the process of reconciliation between you and Echocho will work out successfully?
I am very confident that at the end of the day, the wish and interest of the party will prevail.
Do you have a blueprint for running the governance in Kogi if eventually you win at the poll?
Oh yes, there is a blueprint already.
Can you unfold it to us?The first priority in the blueprint is the necessity for unity among our people as well as peace and progress of Kogi State. Secondly we have arable land, have abundant human capital, people who are well educated, intelligent; professionals, honest, hardworking and disciplined. Right now, Kogi State has about 28 mineral resources. These are raw materials for industries. We will look at the small and medium scale industries.   We will keep the youth busy with gainful employment which will help us to improve on our internally generated revenue.
Education is key in our agenda. We are really not happy with the performances of our students in West African Examination Council (WAEC) and General Certificate of  Education (GCE) now. It is very discouraging. We will work on the improvement of supervision and teachers’ quality. We will introduce some elements of vocational education. We will aspire to promote moral and quality education to bring in elements of unity, team work and discipline in schools. We will also promote sports in the state.
We will tap into the Value Change idea system being promoted by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) now. We will also launched the small, medium and mechanised agriculture scheme with appropriate technology from China, Indonesia and other places. The people will be better paid for their efforts and more employment would be generated.   We have great tourism potentials in Kogi State as well as historical sites. The entire landscape is beautiful and looking at the confluence in Lokoja, you will agree that opportunities abound in Kogi. Gulf Courses and Tennis Courts would be developed as part of tourism potentials, while the dredging of the River Niger has given us an opportunity to use mass of water not only for agriculture but also for tourism.
How did you worm your way into the heart of the incumbent governor to the extent of giving you a nod for the governorship race?
The journey started from a lot of pressure from the people. The PDP in Kogi had made the decision two years ago that in the next election, if the governor would come from Igalaland, he should come from the Dekina axis. This is because Ankpa had produced a governor, likewise Idah. So, for me coming from Dekina, I did not show interest because of the tenure elongation issue. The governor had a case in court. He has been my friend for a period of 30 years. So, it is normal that since my friend had a case in court I should not come out to contest against him. So, once that was sorted out, it was clear that he had one more year to go and after that, the race was thrown open again and it was zoned to Dekina. Then I felt I should give it a trial, more so since there had been pressure on me since the past two years. When I made up my mind, I approached the governor and told him about the plan. The next thing he advised was that I should go and meet with my father. I did so the following morning and he gave me his blessing. That was how the race started.
The story in town is that you are an in-law to the governor, who just imposed you on the people. What can you say to that?
The story I had is that I am the governor’s son in-law. And to that I say no. My younger brother married the governor’s daughter in 1995. And the governor has been in power for eight years. The marriage is blessed with four children. But let me say that at the level we are, you can expect people to say anything to win sympathy. I can tell you that though I have come a long way with the governor, he has not given me any special treatment among the governorship aspirants; go and ask. Despite what people have been saying, I will not join anyone in mudslinging. I have been very methodical with my campaign since I started and I will not join in pulling down anyone. I am a simple man; I don’t boast, I don’t shout and I don’t pull down others. So, some people felt threatened by my candidacy which they felt had excited the polity. If you see my profile, you will understand why many people are at peace with me. I have visited the traditional rulers and could see the reactions they put up to my candidature. People just like my story. So, the issue of special support from the governor is just a story being told by some opponents to gain sympathy. The governor is my friend of many years and he will remain my friend.
There were allegations that some people tampered with the party register at the word level to make up for your interest in the governorship race on the platform of PDP. How would you reconcile that with your claim that you joined PDP in 2005?
That is a blatant lie. Nothing like that ever happened. What happened is that in 2005, my sister, my wife, my brother and I went to Odu, my ancestral home to register. When I came into the race, some of those who felt threatened connived and collected the register in the ward. They photocopied it after manipulation to suggest that I just registered as a PDP member. And that is what they have been showing to the people. The actual register had been retrieved by the State Security Services (SSS) and everybody saw my name and those of my family members. Where it was necessary for me to show my party register was in Lafia where we faced the screening committee, and I showed them the old card which I obtained in a long time ago. They were satisfied with the evidence that I produced and they believed that my membership of PDP is very authentic. I was cleared and issued a certificate for participation in the election. So the issued died that day. The reality is that the organ of the party authorised the verification of my membership and candidacy. In the end everybody was satisfied.
Since you are not the only candidate in the race, what do you think are your selling points to the electorate?
First, I have an unblemished record of service in this country. I was in the Public Service for 10 years; I never got a query or a record of fraud. I was a professional pilot for 35 years and reached the pinnacle of that profession. I travelled all over the world. I know where our country is and where we should be. I am a professional and my running mate is also a professional. We are both educated and for this, the state should be grateful for having well-educated and well exposed people at the helm of affairs in their state. We will move our state to the next level of development if we have the opportunity.

Kogi Guber: PDP disowns Isah in court

Capt. Wada @ PDP National Sect.
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) yesterday told a Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court that, its former governorship candidate in Kogi State, Jibrin Isah is not a member of the party, owing to his failure to pay annual subscription as mandated by the Constitution of the party. In a counter-affidavit filed by its counsel and National Legal Adviser, Chief Olusola Oke, the PDP raised objections to the suit filed by Isah against its candidate for the December 3, poll in Kogi State, Capt. Idris Wada, where it argued that the authority to submit a candidate in an election rests squarely with the National Chairman and National Secretary, respectively.

The party further averred that since the governorship election upon which Isah emerged as its flag bearer was stopped by the orders of a Federal High Court in Abuja, the plaintiff cannot lay claim to any mandate, as the primary was deemed not to have taken place, in the eyes of the law. Oke stated that: “Following the release of the timetable for the conduct of the governorship election by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) which timetable is attached herewith, the party called for declaration of interest by interested aspirants to the governorship of Kogi State on the platform of the PDP.

“That the plaintiff (Isah) was one of the aspirants that responded by paying for, collecting, completing and returning interest declaration and nomination forms. The plaintiff also attended screening and was screened and cleared by the party for the purpose of nominating its candidate for the election to be held in December 2011. “That prior to the conduct of the primary election consultations were made with all the stakeholders especially the aspirants to the aborted primary election all of whom supported the conduct of a fresh primary election and many took part in the said primary including the plaintiff. The plaintiff accepted the setting aside of the aborted primary election by taking part in all the steps leading to the primary election and the actual primary election held in September 2011.”

Meanwhile, the party’s governorship candidate for the election, Capt. Idris Wada, has sought the leave of the court to be joined as a party to the suit on the ground that the outcome of the suit may affect him, one way or the other. In his application for joinder, Wada, through his counsel, Chris Uche (SAN) had averred that he participated in the primary election and won. The application for joinder is scheduled for hearing today.

Wada promises to improve IGR in Kogi

Capt. Wada (Want to Pilot Kogi )
The governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, (PDP), for the December 3, 2011 gubernatorial election in Kogi state, Captain Idris Ichala Wada has said that he would work to improve on the state’s internally generated revenue so as to be able to provide dividends of democracy to the people

Wada, who stated this yesterday while briefing journalists in Lokoja, noted that the federal allocation to the state was too meager to ensure serious infrastructural development, adding that with an improved revenue base, the issue of mass unemployment can be tackled and thereby reduce youth restiveness in the state.

Wada further assured that if elected, he would initiate programmes that would harness the energy of the youths to make them useful to the state.

According to him, “We would give them vocational training so that they can acquire skill that would make them to be self employed. Once they are self employed, they will turn away from restiveness and thuggery. But I must stress that this is a function of money.”

Wada also said that he would focus on the development of women by granting them 35 per cent affirmation, adding that women were important to the development and success of any society, and ignoring them would not help the society.

He noted that inconsistency and lack of policy continuation were some of the major problems affecting development in the country and therefore assured that his administration would afford the state the opportunity to continue with the projects initiated by the outgoing administration.

Wada equally said that if elected, he would focus on agriculture, education, tourism and establishment of small and medium scale enterprise so as to ensure infrastructural development as well as make the youths productive.

Capt. Idris Wada
Kogi: Wada is PDP’s flag bearer, says Baraje
Kogi State PDP Gubernatotial flag-bearer, Capt. Idris Wada, Kogi State Deputy Governor, Philip Salawu during the official flag-off of Wada-Awoniyi Campaign Yesterday in Lokoja. 

Ahead of today’s ruling by an Abuja high court, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has declared Captain Idris Ichala Wada, as the recognised candidate to fly the party’s flag bearer in the December 3 election.

Acting national chairman of the party, Alhaji Abubakar Kawu Baraje, who made the declaration at the PDP’s flag-off campaign in Lokoja, the state capital, said it was only the party that is empowered by law to field candidates for election.

Addressing the rally, the chairman who ruled out any crisis among members of the party in the state, said contrary to claims in some quarters, the party was committed to winning the election.

The court is expected to deliver its ruling on a prayer brought before it by Jibril Isa Echocho, asking that the party’s mandate he got after the January primary be returned to him.

Echocho claimed he was not consulted before his substitution and therefore asked the court to nullify Wada’s candidature and uphold his.

Speaking at the rally, Baraje, who was represented by the vice chairman, north central zone of the party, Alhaji Yusuf Ayetogo, assured that that the party would coast home to victory during the election.

He called on people of the state to come out en mass and vote for PDP to consolidate on the achievements of the present administration, saying the party had provided credible leadership in the last eight years.

The PDP boss admonished aggrieved party members, if any, to forget the past and work for its victory at the polls.

Also speaking at the rally, governor of the state, Alhaji Ibrahim Idris, said PDP was not under any threat from any opposition in the state, claiming that the party had, in the last eight years, moved the state forward.

Governor Idris called on all members of the party and lovers of positive development to work for its victory to guarantee more dividends of democracy.

In his speech, Captain Wada assured the people that his intention for seeking the number one position of the state was to contribute his quota to its development.

He promised that if given the mandate, his administration would focus on human capital development, mechanised agriculture, tourism, education and other areas with direct bearing on people of the state.
aptain Idris Ichala Wada is the governorship candidate of the People’s Democratic Party, (PDP) in Kogi State. There has been a raging controversy over his membership of the PDP and qualification to participate in the governorship primary. In an interview with Correspondent Mohammed Bashir in Lokoja, he responded to all allegations related to the December 3 governorship primary in the confluence state.

What motivated your aspiration to become Kogi State governor?

My interest to serve the people of Kogi State is motivated by the experiences of both public and private sectors which I have garnered over the last 27 years. I feel that at this point in my life, I need an opportunity to serve the larger society

In those days, we had provinces which are like the states we have now, so I felt that the way out of poverty is to work hard, acquire proper education, and have an opportunity to improve the lives of my immediate family. And having done that in the last six/seven years, I became convinced that I should come home and contribute to the transformation of Kogi State; that is what has motivated me.

How would you react to the allegation that you rigged your name into the PDP register?

Let me state very clearly that I am an authentic member of PDP, I joined the party in 2005 with members of my family. I didn’t join alone, if you look at the register, my name is there, my brother’s name is there, my wife’s name is there, my sister’s name is there, my sister was a councilor in my local government, Dekina local government area, we joined the same day, nobody questioned our membership then. It is because of the level I have decided to come out publicly in the party that there is now mudslinging. The register was seized by force by the former Chairman of Dekina local government council, he collected the register of the 12 wards in Dekina, not only Odu1 where I come from; this was in their misguided belief that I am not a member of the PDP and they thought that by seizing the register and photocopying it and throwing in some manipulation they could deceive the public. I am a loyal and committed member of PDP, it is the level of the waves which my candidacy has generated that has led some of these detractors to make such fabrication and mudslinging and at the appropriate time, I will seek legal redress to clear my name. Let me say one thing, the original register through the work of the security agencies has now been retrieved and is with the leadership of PDP in our state. When I presented myself for screening in Lafia ahead of the last primary election, they checked my card, the two cards I have, the old and the updated cards, the screening panel was satisfied that I was an authentic member of PDP; they would never have cleared me if they discovered I am not qualified.

Do you have evidence to support your assertion? In what ways have you participated in the activities of the party?

There are several instances at which my membership of PDP has been demonstrated; after the 2007 election, I was one of those whose names were forwarded by our State, for federal appointment, thanks to the late President Yar’Adua, he approved my appointment as the Chairman of the Governing Council of Federal College of Education, Technical, Potiskum in Yobe State. I have been chairman of that council from 2008 to the September 12 this year when I resigned voluntarily because I want to contest the governorship election. The PDP guidelines states very clearly that seven days to the primary you must resign whatever appointment you hold and I obeyed that and resigned. I showed them my resignation letter at Lafia during the screening, that I am no longer on that board, I got that appointment because I am a member of PDP, authentic member for that matter, then when Jonathan/Sambo campaign team was established in Kogi State, I was one of the 10 elders who were appointed to run it; I was even the treasurer of the Kogi State Jonathan/Sambo Campaign team. At that time, nobody questioned my membership. I have been in the party long before some of these detractors dreamt of joining the party, So, anything you hear about my legitimacy in PDP, that I am not a member, is just a blatant lie. Let them insult us, let them castigate us but we must remain focused and determined to contribute our quota to transformation of our country starting from our own community and state.

The EAS airline that you managed collapsed. You are also alleged to have mismanaged it; yet you aspire to run a more complex Kogi State?

Whether I can manage an airline or not, it is a matter of opinion, but let me tell you, I brought EAS from a company that started in 1986. I was the initiator, the promoter and I raised the company from zero airplane to a company that ran up to six planes in Nigeria on domestic schedules. There are many challenges in the Nigeria Aviation, if I could survive the challenges for 20 years, without borrowing much, the first money I borrowed for EAS, was in the year 2000, the company started in 1986 for someone with a humble beginning like myself, we trained hundreds of pilots in this country using the resources of EAS, if you say I succeeded or failed, it is a matter of opinion. Let me tell you what happened. In 2006, when Chief Femi Fani-Kayode was the Minister of Aviation, by June he said by September 2006 if you did not capitalize up to a minimum of N500 million for domestic, one billion for regional and two billion for international routes, you should get out of the airline business it was an arbitrary government policy, there was no consultation with the industry, to the best of my knowledge. For me, we had capitalized up to N250 million, we were doing well and a good management programme was going well, but when this policy came, I looked at what we had achieved and the challenges ahead, I felt that at my age, I was not going to take a loan of N1 billion and put into airline industry where a Minister can come and make arbitrary regulations that disorganises our business plans.

So I took a voluntary decision not to go and borrow money to that level to move the company beyond where we were. Then, NICON Insurance came to us that they were starting aviation business and they will like to partner us to acquire 60 per cent of our shares, leave us to run the company because of our professional expertise and inject capital for us to get more modern planes. The other thing that came along with the policy of Fani-Kayode was that you must acquire two brand new or fairly new modern generation aircraft, the minimum cost of such plane is ten million dollars, so you have to have two of them and then pay up a capital of minimum of N500 million before you can operate domestic routes. I don’t believe in self-delusion I am a realist, we now decided and said look, if NICON has the capital and they are ready to inject into our company, we will take minority share let them take 60 per cent and we take 40, myself and other shareholders of the company voluntarily agreed we negotiated with them and changed our name from EAS airline to NICON Airways. So, EAS did not fail to the best of my knowledge and ability, we transformed into NICON Airways and we ran for about a year and unfortunately the capital injection we expected having fulfilled our own side of the contractual obligation, did not materialise from the other side.

I am sure you also aware of the internal crises rocking your party…

You know that the contest for the gubernatorial position is one of the most competitive in recent memory. At the initial stage of the January 9th primary, there were about 38 aspirants. But during the rescheduled primary in September, we were eight of which seven showed up. When you prune from 38 to seven and down to one, there is bound to be hurt feelings. My own direction along with Yomi (Awoniyi) has been that of reconciliation In fact the governor Alhaji Ibrahim Idris has encouraged us to go round every aggrieved person and bring them back into the fold. This is to accord them the opportunity for an all-inclusive party and together face the election. Personally, I have called almost everyone who was involved in the primary; I have visited some in their houses. Yomi has done the same. We are making overtures to try and bring everybody back into the mainstream of the party. Some people heal fast, for others it takes more time. But the PDP is a family. We will continue to talk, and engage each other over a reasonable period. soon, we are going to put our house in order. Yomi is the closest friend to my runner up, Alhaji Abdulrazaq Isah Kutepa, who is a good friend of mine too. apart from the personal quality of Yomi as a respected and committee citizen of Kogi State, the fact that he is one of the right hand men of Kutepa, facilitated some reconciliation and his being my running mate, has gone a long way to heal so many wounds. Some of the aspirants, like Alhaji Yakubu Mohammed, refused to collect the party nomination form and offered to support me. Other aspirants like Senator Nicholas Ugbane, Dr. Alex Kadiri, Chief Bayo Ojo (SAN), Prince Olusola Akanmode, and many more have also confirmed their willingness to work for the success of the PDP come December 3.

If given the mandate, what is your programme for the people of the state?

They are numerous, but I will touch on a few of them. The first one is agriculture. We have very large expanse of arable land and fresh body of water in the State. Most of our farmers are subsistence farmers. They are just farming for their own consumption and the needs of their immediate family. Very little value is added to their lives; so they remain poor. My intention along with my colleague, Yomi Awoniyi, who is my running mate, is to bring our experience to bear in transforming the agriculture potentials of our state, into a commercial reality in terms of bringing in appropriate technology. This will entail mechanised farming of small and medium scale, for our people to transit from old farming techniques to modern farming techniques.


We have your backing
Shun the Temptation to Witch Hunt Political Office Holders – Idris Advises EFCC

Governor Ibrahim Idris has appealed to members of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to always make the fight against corruption their focal point and shun the temptation to abuse power or witch hunt political office holders.

Alhaji Idris made the appeal while receiving a joint delegation of EFCC and members of Initiative for Mass Education against corruption in Nigeria, who paid a courtesy call on him in his office in Lokoja recently.

He said the EFCC has a strategic role in the fight against corruption in the country and appealed to them not to allow themselves to be used, derailed or distracted from this cardinal objective; adding that his administration has already initiated a programme to compliment the efforts of the organization in the state.

Alhaji Idris also used the forum to charge politicians and other public office holders not to see their positions as opportunity to misappropriate public funds, stressing that transparency and accountability should be their watch word.

Earlier, the Executive Chairman of EFCC, Hajia Farida Waziri who noted that the fight against corruption requires the collective effort of all Nigerians, commended the Initiative for Mass Education against Corruption for promoting anti-corruption ideals in the state. Represented by Alhaji Abubakar Uthman, the EFCC boss equally applauded the political will of the state government in organizing a sensitization workshop in the state for Local government officials describing it as a vital step in the fight against corruption.

In his remarks, National Coordinator, Initiative for Mass Education against Corruption, Hon. Friday Sani said he established the organization to compliment the efforts of the state governor’s commitment to promoting transparency and accountability in public office.

I am an Authentic Member of PDP, I joined in 2005 – Wada
The governorship candidate of the People’s Democratic Party, (PDP) in Kogi State, Captain Idris Ichala Wada, has cleared the air of controversy surrounding his membership of the party.
In an interview with a national newspaper, Wada claimed he has joined the party alongside his family members since 2005.

“Let me state very clearly that I am an authentic member of PDP, I joined the party in 2005 with members of my family. I didn’t join alone, if you look at the register, my name is there, my brother’s name is there, my wife’s name is there, my sister’s name is there, my sister was a councillor in my local government, Dekina local government area, we joined the same day, nobody questioned our membership then. It is because of the level I have decided to come out publicly in the party that there is now mudslinging” he said.

“The register was seized by force by the former Chairman of Dekina local government council, he collected the register of the 12 wards in Dekina, not only Odu1 where I come from; this was in their misguided belief that I am not a member of the PDP and they thought that by seizing the register and photocopying it and throwing in some manipulation they could deceive the public. I am a loyal and committed member of PDP, it is the level of the waves which my candidacy has generated that has led some of these detractors to make such fabrication and mudslinging and at the appropriate time, I will seek legal redress to clear my name.”

“Let me say one thing, the original register through the work of the security agencies has now been retrieved and is with the leadership of PDP in our state.

When I presented myself for screening in Lafia ahead of the last primary election, they checked my card, the two cards I have, the old and the updated cards, the screening panel was satisfied that I was an authentic member of PDP; they would never have cleared me if they discovered I am not qualified.” 

Captain Idris Wada on Campaign Tour
Political Relevance and Having a House in Kogi State - Capt. Idris Wada

The candidacy of Capt. Idris Wada has brought us back to the issue of home ownership in Kogi State and political relevance. Many uninformed commentators are of the opinion that Capt. Wada has no visible structure to his name in Igala land, talk-less of Kogi State.

The last time I checked, it is not a requirement in the electoral act or constitution for a candidate to own property in his geography of political interest, before he can be allowed to contest elections.

Going by Capt. Wada’s nature, he is not one to make noise over human accomplishments, especially when it comes to issues of building houses and etc. This is a man who at various times of his life, owned airplanes, yet he never went around bragging that he was the first igala man or kogite to own and airplane.

I for one enjoy arguments based on facts and not innuendoes. The first house Capt. Wada ever built in his life is situated in Ayingba. To be more specific, it is located in the Ayingba projects. He built it in 1985 and he was of the opinion that as a sign of appreciation to his roots, his first house had to be in Igala Land. Furthermore it was easily the modern house in Ayingba during era. Even today I can comfortably say that more 90% of the people in Kogi State don’t live in a house of such quality.

Since then he has gone on to build other houses in Idah (GRA), Ogodu (His maternal origins) and Odu Ogboyega (his paternal origins). Capt. Wada is not a man who thrives on primitive acquisition of properties. After all the many mansions you see in Igala land look dilapidated and unkempt. Wada is a man who spends resources wisely and ensures that there are no wastages.
A lot of the noisemakers today were toddlers and primary school students when Capt. Wada became a household name nationally. That’s why he is easily the most connected Igala Man today, despite not serving in Government. He built his credible and impeccable brand before getting into politics.

So having satisfied the home ownership criteria, I think it is time start challenging Wada on the so-called value he has to add to Kogi State. 

Kogi Govt Insists Wada is PDP Candidate
Capt. Idris Wada (Untouchable Mandate)
The Kogi State government has said that Captain Idris Wada, who emerged as the gubernatorial candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) at a controversial primary election last Thursday, remains the valid flag bearer of the party in the state.

The government described as an afterthought the argument by one of the governorship aspirants, Alhaji Jubrin Isah, that he is the authentic candidate of the party for the December 3 governorship poll.

According to the state government, Wada is the governorship candidate of the party for the December 3 governorship election, having been elected by a majority of 547 delegates.

In the same manner, a petition signed by the Chairman of Odu Ward 1 (Wada’s ward), Dekina Local Government in the state, Utonu Ijele; Secretary of the ward, Akeji Jacob Akeji; and former secretary, Yunusa Omagada, and submitted to the National Working Committee (NWC) of PDP Monday, stated that the winner of the governorship primary election, Wada, is not a member of the party.

According to the petitioners: “Alhaji Idris Wada came in the company of some persons requesting that the ward secretary should oblige them the register.  The secretary refused, whereupon they forcefully took away the register.

“When the register was later brought back, it was discovered that it had been tampered with by deleting (by use of tipex) of the original name in serial No. 583 and the membership number together with the age indicated therein.

“The name of Idris I. Wada who was never a registered member of the party in the ward was inserted into the register as Serial No. 583 with membership No. 7455310.  Besides, Serial No. 586 was also in similar manner altered with the insertion of the name of one Musa A. Wada membership No. 1593543. On discovering this, we protested seriously to Alh. Idris Wada but he ignored and left with a threat to deal with us if we made any noise about it.”

But in a statement by the Commissioner for Information, Dr. Tom Ohikere, he said that the January 2011 governorship primary election in which Isa emerged the flag bearer of the party was cancelled by PDP since the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the courts said that the tenure of the Kogi, Adamawa, Sokoto, Cross River and Bayelsa governors were yet to expire.’

Ohikere also said that the decision to conduct a fresh primary election to determine the governorship candidate of the party was not made by the state, but by the party’s National Working Committee (NWC) like any other party involved in the December 3 governorship election.

He explained that it was the national secretariat of the party that fixed the dates and guidelines for the ad hoc election that elected the three delegates per ward, to which Isah and others presented themselves for all the processes that culminated in last Thursday’s primary election.

“We wish to state that Jubrin Isah was a key player in all the processes that eventually led to the election of the ad hoc delegate elections that produced three delegates per ward and the governorship primary election.

“He bought a governorship primary election form at the national secretariat of the party, presented himself to the Tesilim Folarin Governorship Primary Election Screening Committee that took place in Lafia, Nasarawa State,” the statement said.

According to the statement: “at what stage did Alhaji Isa realise that the cancelled governorship primary election was still subsisting, when he presented himself for all the processes that led to the September 22 governorship primary election?

“At what stage did he come to realise that the ad hoc delegate list election was a fraud? For the records, the ad hoc delegate election took place on September 17 and it took him six clear days to realise that it was full of irregularities.”

But in faulting Ohikere’s argument, Phrank Shuaibu, Media Aide to Isa, drew the attention of the party’s hierarchy to the scheme being pushed by the state government.

According to him: “By the position of the commissioner, the state government has successfully exposed itself as it relates to the subject under review. We just hope the National Working Committee of the party and Mr. President who is the National Leader of the party are taking notice of this.  We insist that the governorship ticket of our party is not for strangers.”

However, Ohikere insists that “the truth of the matter is that Alhaji Isa fell out with the delegates who have their constitutional right to choose a candidate and rightly, they chose Captain Idris Wada. This is democracy. When he (Alhaji Isah) won in January 2011, there was no manipulation. It was only when it became clear to him that the delegates have made up their minds for another candidate that he started shouting blue murder”.

How Wada Emerged Kogi PDP Guber Candidate
Capt. Wada- Arc. Awoniyi(New Face of Kogi)
With Kogi State Governor Ibrahim Idris behind him, the Chief Exec-utive Officer of the defunct EAS airline, Captain Idris Wada, on Thursday night emerged the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate for the December 3 gubernatorial election in Kogi State.

Wada is an in-law of the governor. The election came against the backdrop of intense horse-trading and politicking  Idris had employed to facilitate Wada’s victory.

He garnered 547 votes to defeat his closest rival, Alhaji Abdulrasaq Isa Kutepa, who got 249 votes and the Deputy Governor of the state, Phillip Salawu, who got a single vote.

With his emergence, the December 3 governorship election will be a straight fight between two indigenes of Igala stock in the state, Prince Abubakar Audu of the Action Congress of Nigeria and Wada.

The governorship primary election saw some of the key aspirants withdrawing from the contest less than hours to the election. First to announce his withdrawal was Jubrin Isa, winner of the governorship primary election that took place in January 2011.

He said he withdrew from the race because of the court injunction that stopped the primary election.

Governor Idris was initially supporting Isa, insisting on the sanctity of the January primary election before he suddenly began to canvass a fresh primary and to switch support for Wada.

Isa, popularly called Echocho, said shortly before he withdrew from the race: “I have been informed that a Federal High Court in Abuja has given an order restraining PDP and INEC from conducting the primary and as a law-abiding citizens who believe in the rule of law, I am withdrawing from the exercise. I do not want to be part of illegality”.

Justice Bilikisu Aliyu of the Federal High Court, Abuja had issued a restraining order stopping the PDP state governorship primary election.

The judge was reacting to an exparte motion brought by Umar E. Lawan seeking to restrain PDP and Independent National Electoral Commission from recognising Isa, the winner of the January governorship primary election as still subsisting, despite the fact that the governorship election in the state was put off by the Court of Appeal.  The suit was adjourned till September 26, for further hearing.

Other aspirants that withdrew from the election citing irregularities were former managing director of the Daily Times, Dr. Onukaba Adinoyi- Ojo, Air vice Marshal Isaac Alfa and Air vice Marshal Salawu Atawodi.

The primary election was generally peaceful as the Commissioner of Police in-charge of Federal Operations, Haruna John, led police and other security agencies to maintain peace and order during the poll.

Meanwhile, the state’s Commissioner for Information; Dr. Tom Ohikere, has told THISDAY that allegations that Capt. Wada is not a financial member of the party and that he joined the party barely a week before the primary election are false.

Also, he said that Wada did not actually require a waiver to contest, because “he has been a founding, funding and strong financial member of the party right from his Odu ward 1 in Dekina local government area of the state.

“His financial records of support are there for anyone to see. Why would a financial member of that status need a waiver, when in actual fact, he is the financial pillar of the party in his ward and local government,” he said.

Kogi: Wada, Isah know Fate Monday
Capt. Idris Wada (God 's Sent)
An Abuja High will on Monday deliver judgement in the suit brought before it by erstwhile Kogi governorship candidate under the platform of the People’s Democratic Party Isah Jibrin challenging the primaries that produced Captain Idris Wada as the PDP candidate for the December 3 governorship election.

Justice Sunday Aladetoyinbo fixed Monday the 31st October 2011 for the judgement during the hearing of the consolidated preliminary objections challenging the court territorial jurisdiction to entertain the matter.

Counsel to the PDP, Olusola Oke moved an objection that the court cannot entertain the matter as all the actions being complained about took place in Lokoja, Kogi State.

Also counsel to Wada, Chris Uche SAN argued that there were five grounds on which territorial jurisdiction of the court was being challenged.

"It a gross abuse of the court process for them to have various cases here and there. It amounts to forum shopping.

The plaintiff is just acting as a spoiler as his time has come and gone. He cannot force an unwilling party to sponsor him. Moreover he did not exhaust the internal remedies before coming to court.

"The subject matter of the suit is an internal affair of a political party which no court can assume jurisdiction to adjudicate on," said Uche.

Counsel to Isah, Paul Erokoro, SAN, stated that the territorial jurisdiction of the court was nothing worth wasting time over.

"The PDP cannot substitute his name unless the man dies or withdraws. So, if any aspect of the action being complained occurred in Abuja or Lokoja then Abuja High Court or Lokoja High Court has jurisdiction," he said.

The party said that the evidence, which Isah attached to his originating summons, "does not support his claim to membership of the defendant having failed to pay any annual subscription as prescribed in the defendant’s (party) constitution."

PDP also said that Isah did not have any right of action because he consented to the primary that was won by Wada.

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