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2023 Kogi Guber Poll: Onoja Reacts to Calls to Contest

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Dear Robert Arome Eboh,

RE:OPEN LETTER TO THE DEPUTY GOVERNOR OF KOGI STATE, CHIEF DR. EDWARD DAVID ONOJA, CIK

Please reference your letter of above title.

I thank you for your kind words about me and for your sentiments on the gubernatorial succession in our dear State after His Excellency, Governor Yahaya Bello might have completed his undeniably illustrious tenures. I affirm your right to hold these views and to work towards their actualisation. In the first place, you are a free citizen of a free society and in the second place, I could not stop you against your own wish, assuming I wanted to do so.

I am writing back though, not just to you, but to the multitude of others within and outside Kogi State who have continued to bombard me with similar sentiments, by letter and in different other ways. Simply put, my aim with this response is to implore you all to allow events unfold in the natural progression of time while I continue to focus my undivided attention to making full proof of the Office and Duty which the Almighty God, through the instrumentality of my boss, has entrusted to me as Deputy Governor of Kogi State.

 

To put things in perspective and further underline my overarching resolve to face only the things that really matter to my principal’s mandate, I have had to take scrupulous steps plenty of times in the past to stop anyone from beating the gun in the pursuit of any political aspiration which they may ascribe to me.

For instance, on the 1st of January, 2022 whilst I was in my country-home of beautiful Ogugu celebrating and fraternising with my people, I received a phone call that some people, poorly disguised mischief-makers from within the system itself, have littered Lokoja with posters depicting my quest to be the next Governor after my boss. I sent people to take them down immediately and established an active vigilance against recurrence.

In similar fashion, I have turned many well-intentioned but ill-timed volunteers on the same mission away for reasons which I shall make even clearer shortly.

I came to public office with plenty of cognate experience in standardised work environments with structured organograms and the first lesson you learn there is fidelity to your vertical and horizontal relationships. The second lesson is that you cannot put two hands into your mouth at the same time. While one work is on, you put all you have to complete it to the highest levels of success possible.

These corporate principles I have translated to my present office. In other words, my standard operating procedures in public office are fear of my God, loyalty to my boss and service to my state and people. In that case, the task before us right now have clearly spelt themselves out:

We have the 2023 General Elections to prosecute so as to ensure victory for all candidates of our great Party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) across board, starting with a resounding victory for His Excellency, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and his running mate, Senator Kashim Shettima in the presidential race.

We have a superlative result in Kogi State from the 2019 elections, that is, getting 95% of all votes cast, to surpass.

We have marching orders from our principal and the leader of our Party in Kogi State, clearly and concisely delivered to us at many meetings and stakeholder fora and those are my priorities for now.

We have no right or reason to subvert His Excellency’s objectives for the forthcoming General Elections with divided loyalties or energies that have been redirected to inordinate ambition. When, at the appropriate time, our leader shows and leads the way for a successor, we will all fall into line and also do the needful with all our strength.

For anyone who has followed his leadership trajectory, His Excellency, Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State has led a Government since 27th January, 2016 which has a unity of vision and mission encapsulated into one Roadmap known as the New Direction Blueprint.

Recently, and in further demonstration of his foresight, His Excellency, Governor Yahaya Bello has commissioned a 32 Year State Development Plan to meet his burning desire for the sustainable development of Kogi State into the near future.

It is therefore vitally incumbent on me, as his Deputy Governor and chief lieutenant, to immerse myself in these gargantuan undertakings without any room for distractions. No doubt, the boss will tell us how those plans will be driven further and by whom – at a time of his own choosing.

I am therefore happy to be all I can be within the opportunities so far granted me, and I implore everyone who claims to love me to transform that love into support for me as Vice Chairman of the APC Kogi State Campaign Council for the 2023 General Elections, and help us deliver our candidates at all levels.

By the grace of God, having been Chief Of Staff for 4 years and Deputy Governor for 3 years, I have already had the privilege to serve my people and State more than I could have ever imagined when I ran for the Olamaboro State Assembly seat in 2011, but only because My God through Governor Yahaya Bello selected, appointed and projected me out of trust in my person, capacity, character and service that transcends the political sphere.

I am aware that there are many who fancy themselves as the Governor’s successor from all over and who have arrogated to themselves the office of latter day anointed candidates while doing everything especially running along the same lane of tribal, religious and class barriers which is at variance with what this system is founded upon to position themselves as the boss’s successors. I can assure you that they fool no one – neither the boss who is renowned for his uncanny insights into human character, nor the ever vigilant people themselves, who are already mocking them to their faces.

On my part, I intend to stick clearly to my marching orders as we begin to deploy the GYB Plan for Finishing Strong. From Monday next week, I will start my weekly GYB Promises Made, Promises Kept Series. I shall be showing by many undeniable proofs that His Excellency has kept faith with the good people of Kogi State as follows:

Living our core values of character, capacity and service.

Avoiding our taboos of Ethnicism, Religious Bias and Class Differences.

Pursuing our Blueprint for accelerated and proportional development of Kogi State in all her constituencies.

Deploying men, materials and money to our thematic areas of Education, Health, Infrastructure and Utilities, Job Creation and New Venture Creation, Youth Empowerment, Civil Service and Pension Reforms, Agriculture, Security, Human Capital Development as well as our unprecedented efforts in Diversity Management to achieve Cooperation and Integration among Nigerians in our State and beyond.

So, my friend and brother, I appreciate your zeal in my support, but I urge that we stay action on all such personal aspirations and instead direct our full energies and resources, as the loyal and proud Kogites that we are, to supporting the programmes of our principal and projecting his achievements in Office, especially as there is more than enough of them across the length and breadth of our State to make us proud of being part of the team.

In conclusion, let me repeat that my life’s journey is not powered by aspiration or ambition – it is a divine assignment, with a trajectory set by God Almighty. All I have been called to do is to discern, believe and trust. As it is written in the Bible:

“And blessed is s/he that believed: for there shall be a performance of those things which were told her/him from the Lord.” Luke 1:45.

Finally many may be the plans, schemes and strategies of men. But only the purpose of God is a sure deal. Let’s keep our focus on God,whilst praying for divine health and long life.

I thank you!

EDWARD ONOJA (CIK)
Olimene Ata Igala
Deputy Governor of Kogi State.

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