Kogi 2015: The Many Lies of Abubakar AuduArticles/Opinion, Latest News Monday, November 9th, 2015
By: Phrank Shaibu
Most times, when a political analyst listens to or reads an interview granted by some Nigerian political office aspirants, it is easy to get confused especially if such an analyst is a novice to Nigeria’s self styled democracy. Indeed, it is either the greenhorn gets carried away by a bewildering array of promises or wonders at the likely thoughts of the politician’s audience especially where it becomes very noticeable that the politician is using falsehoods to proselytize and advance lies as a campaign strategy against obvious truths. Indeed, from promises on what some politicians will do if voted into office to defending accusations against their past performance in public office, it is difficult to be convinced about their real intentions because to a very large extent, what is usually churned out from their mouths is a bad blend of rhetorical illusions and falsehoods. At the end, an interview with a seasoned politician which ought to be a quality discourse of public interest is substituted with dishonesty.
As a matter of fact, the forthcoming Kogi state governorship election has certainly rolled out a new set of lying politicians that either have not learnt how to make an argument logical or have deliberately chosen to regard the Kogi electorate as people of weak intellectual capacity that cannot distinguish lies from facts. Specifically, in an endeavor to retrospectively explain some issues on Kogi state, with all sense of respect and candor, one politician that sells lies to the public and expects them to buy it as truth is Prince Abubakar Audu, the APC party nominee in the Kogi State governorship race. Indeed, when Abubakar Audu is not speaking, those that speak for him seems to have been well tutored in the art of distorting reality. To be skeptical of remarks from such politicians is the beginning of political wisdom as such persons are usually shameless and mindless of the consequences of their logical fallacies and lies, provided it serves well for their deceptive propaganda techniques.
Audu’s recent utterances on claims of his past performance in office and pretentious ignorance on realities of recent developments in Kogi State courtesy of Governor Idris Wada, sadly qualifies him in the category of politicians that use faulty logic and half truths to either buttress their phony claims and unrealistic pledges or engage in pouring skewed criticisms on their political rivals. Unfortunately, Audu fails to understand that in a constitutional democracy, facts are the basic yardstick for proper assessment of performance in public office and it is the civic responsibility of the electorate to investigate anything they consider deceptive.
Even though Abubakar Audu has dubiously succeeded in making a small section of the Kogi populace to lionize him as a man of performance, a large informed section of Kogi citizens see him differently because they understand that the real story of Audu in the years 1999-2003 as Governor of Kogi state, if written, may not be far from self serving, deceit, falsehood and plunder. In fact, there is no point for any serious minded person to dig deep to get information on Audu’s countless accusations of criminality because it is a free public document. However, it is very unfortunate that the Audu’s campaign team seems to be flirting with the reasoning that the passage of time would have blurred the memory of most Kogi citizens and it is highly regrettable that they make it seem as if it is now legitimate to lie to the electorate in the name of electioneering. Ordinarily, if not for dishonesty, fraud, lack of remorse and extreme desire for electoral imposition, a man of dented integrity like Audu should not be heard but only found in the nearest secluded corner of humiliation until the whole issue about his alleged thievery is settled. Unfortunately, even while facing charges of gross misconduct in office that are filed against him by the Economic Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, with alleged credible evidence of massive looting and conversion of state resources for private gain, it is shocking that Audu and his political stooges would still want to confuse the Kogi citizens that such charges are best neglected as there are politically motivated. In any case, such impudence can only take root in a country like Nigeria where there is no law that protects voters on such deceits and Audu’s National ruling APC is more interested in protecting its members for political gains than genuinely fighting corruption which it tells the world it is seriously engaged in. Nevertheless, with or without President Buhari’s anti corruption agenda extended to Kogi state, the fact is that Audu’s past will remain a prism which the Kogi people can use to view their future under the APC.
Consequently, any discerning mind should understand that Audu Abubakar’s struggle for credibility with outrageous lies shows that he is like a man that uses feeble logic to conceal a past criminal behaviour or even defend what ought not to be defensible. Indeed, except in a land of fools, these tactics of deception by Abubakar Audu to mislead the voting public will remain a task too difficult to attain. Thus, it is unfortunate to imagine that in this information age, that some persons in the Abubakar Audu’s camp still believes that engaging in lying for the purpose of seeking political advantage is worthy and achievable venture. For emphasis, this is dead on arrival because most sensible voters in Kogi state already understands that Audu Abubakar’s claims to performance and commitment to good governance, is akin to the infamous Munich Declaration of Adolf Hitler on commitment to peace. Infact, the brazenness at which the Audu Abubakar’s camp has been churning out falsehoods against the Government of Captain Idris Wada should be disgusting to anyone that has a faint knowledge of Kogi State’s recent developmental strides. This is why it is easy to view Audu Abubakar’s desperation for elective position as similar to the motivations behind a retired battle-toughened soldier that would not hesitate to use half truths to conjure up a new war in order to justify his call for fresh enlistment.
This is why Abubakar Audu’s attempt to use lies to illuminate a situation that will portray him as clean despite the many allegations of fraud against him relating to pillaging of the Kogi state treasury should be halted in the overall interest of the Kogi people. In any case, the Kogi voters are wiser as they know what is best for them. As such, Abubakar Audu’s antics will only thrust him in farther bad light as an unrepentant liar. The underlying question here is, does a man like Audu Abubakar think there exist no person in Kogi state to question his version of half truths and audacious claims?
For instance where Abubakar Audu claimed he repaired 300km length of road, even though unverified, Governor Idris Wada has to his credit Construction and rehabilitation of over 700kms of roads which includes including Welcome to Lokoja – International Market Road, Lokoja Township Road, Ganaja-Otokiti Bypass road, Odenyi-Oguma-Sheria road, Ankpa-Okaba road, Idah Township, Ogaminana-Obangede-Kabba Junction roads, etc. Even at that, the establishment and equipping of Kogi State Road Maintenance Agency (KOGROMA) charged with the responsibility of ensuring continuous road maintenance is sufficient testimony of outstanding performance in a sector. Again, Audu Abubakar, deliberately overlooks the fact that under the administration of Governor Wada Idris, the on-going construction of 500 Housing Units Estate has about 282 units almost completed, on water schemes, the Kabba Ozi dams have been resuscitated including rehabilitation of water schemes in Ankpa, Idah, Egbe, Isanlu, Agaliga, Imane, Ajaka, Oguma, Ogori & Magongo, Obangede, Aiyetoro-Gbede, Okegboro, Idoji North. Furthermore, that over 250 communities have been electrified and more than 300 communities have been provided with bore holes are facts not fiction. On the health sector, the Governor Idris Wada’s administration has offered rural free medical programme to over 400,000 beneficiaries, almost completed the construction of 65-bed Odu orthopedics hospital, constructed of 30-bed Model Community Hospitals in all three Senatorial Districts of the State: Ofugo, Ihima and Koton-Karfe, established a special revolving fund for drugs, facilitated procurement of dialysis machines for use in the State, upgraded government hospitals in 21 Local Government Areas of the State, constructed and equipped a modern Diagnostics and Imaging Centre at the State Specialist Hospital, Lokoja, engaged in the on-going construction of 250-bed Kogi State University Teaching Hospital in Anyigba to boost healthcare services and boost medical tourism in partnership with top Indian Consultants. What about the upgrading and accreditation of College of Nursing Obangede and Kogi State College of Health Sciences and Technology, Idah including provision of ambulances to various hospitals. All these projects are instantaneous references from only two out of eight major sectors that experienced recent rapid improvements were done by a single administration of Governor Idris Wada, Yet, in Abubakar Audu’s arrogant expression and biased estimation, ‘Kogi state is sick’ and nothing has worked in the State since he left office as governor in 2003 with only five hundred thousand naira (500,000) in the state treasury with huge indebtedness to contractors and pensioners which have been cleared by governments after him.
It is really very unfortunate that Audu has deliberately chosen to omit a very important empirical fact that the 11billion naira he is accused of looting by the EFCC in 2003, now actually amounts to about 100 billion naira. The simple arithmetic herein is that if such an amount was deposited in a bank account, with a 15% compounded interest earning for twelve years and recognition of a 100% depreciation of the naira, the Kogi state would have been richer by a 100 billion naira today. Perhaps, Kogi State would not have been thrust into the unnecessary politicization of its request for bailout funds. This is why Audu’s alleged link with financial criminality should be confronted now. Any attempt to sweep it under the carpet, yet hope to confront it at a latter day must be resisted. Otherwise, it would be a tragic mistake for the Kogi people and their economy.
Therefore, the challenge before the average Kogi citizen now, should be to reject political deceits by joining the effort to set the records straight in order to avoid a situation where the gullible public may be fooled into taking lies to be truths especially given that Audu still carries an over loaded baggage of financial allegations of criminality which remains a nightmarish era in Kogi state’s history. The Kogi people must not allow Audu and his APC to make their governorship election another brand of unfunny joke.
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