The other side Of Audu

Daily Trust - - OPINION - By Ayo Olododo

Ibe­lieve strongly that ev­ery story has two sides and none can be truly cor­rect un­til the other side is ad­e­quately pre­sented. It is even very apt be­cause of our pe­cu­liar style of pol­i­tics where hate and filth are daily hurled at peo­ple de­lib­er­ately and for self­ish po­lit­i­cal gains.

That is why I prayed to God many years ago to give me the un­com­mon grace to only see the good side of peo­ple. That is why when peo­ple are tear­ing oth­ers apart, I will sim­ply ask my­self, is that all? For ev­ery the­sis, there must be an anti the­sis in or­der to ar­rive at the syn­the­sis. Un­til pos­i­tive is joined to the neg­a­tive, there can’t be light.

The el­i­gi­bil­ity of Abubakar Audu for the forth­com­ing gov­er­nor­ship elec­tion has at­tracted as much heat as light. Emo­tions and rea­son have also fea­tured al­most on equal pro­por­tions, but that is not to­tally un­ex­pected.

This ar­ti­cle is ac­tu­ally not de­signed to ex­cul­pate Audu or asses his char­ac­ter, that is meant for his me­dia team but I don’t think we should de­lib­er­ately ig­nore facts of his­tory and sac­ri­fice sound achieve­ments on the al­tar of dirty pol­i­tics of vendetta. al­low rea­son to pre­vail over emo­tions and if we are to con­sider an­tecedent, abilty and ex­cel­lence in gov­er­nance, then Audu Abubakar is the right choice.

I have cho­sen the word ‘right’ de­lib­er­ately be­cause he might not be the best in the state but com­pared with the other can­di­dates we have be­fore us, none and I make bold to say none can be com­pared with Audu.

As part of the team of jour­nal­ists who toured the whole coun­try dur­ing the

Obasanjo regime on as­sess­ment of de­vel­op­ments, Audu was de­clared the sec­ond best per­formed gover­nor af­ter Odili, de­spite the fact that Audu was in the op­po­si­tion.

This was a team that was led by Pro­fes­sor Jerry Gana and Sen­a­tor Smart Adeyemi both now in the PDP.

Why was Audu ad­judged the best? The team was im­pressed by the stan­dard of his

hous­ing schemes for pub­lic of­fi­cers. Be­cause of the agrar­ian na­ture of the state, Audu made con­struc­tion of both ru­ral and ur­ban roads a ma­jor pri­or­ity. Oth­ers are elec­tri­fi­ca­tion schemes and wa­ter projects.

Also in­cluded in his achieve­ments was the found­ing of Kogi State Polytech­nic, the es­tab­lish­ment of a tele­vi­sion sta­tion, ra­dio sta­tion, both AM and FM, a state news­pa­per and the trans­for­ma­tion of the colo­nial res­i­dence of Lord Lu­gard into an ul­tra mod­ern Gov­ern­ment House Com­plex, the con­struc­tion of of­fice blocks for min­istries as the new state had no of­fice ac­com­mo­da­tion, the con­struc­tion of shop­ping ar­cade com­plex to en­hance com­mer­cial ac­tiv­i­ties in the state.

In the area of in­dus­tri­al­i­sa­tion, Audu es­tab­lished many com­pa­nies and the Oba­jana Ce­ment Fac­tory is just one of them. The ce­ment project is now one of the ma­jor em­ploy­ers of laboUr in the state. Even the state univer­sity is to the credit of Audu.

The pre­vail­ing po­lit­i­cal at­mos­phere in our state to­day de­serves a rea­soned adop­tion of strate­gies that mea­sure the per­for­mance met­rics as a mean­ing­ful com­par­a­tive anal­y­sis of the achieve­ments of the can­di­dates.

In the ab­sence of such mea­sur­able facts, the at­mos­phere will be choked with mere po­lit­i­cal fal­la­cies con­sciously spread to sub­sume facts and rea­sons.

As much as the trend of un­der­min­ing the achieve­ments of Audu is within the lib­erty of democ­racy, it is ex­pe­di­ent for other peo­ple to speak with rea­soned en­gage­ments to re­fo­cus the at­ten­tion of the vot­ers to the per­for­mance of Audu rather than the en­su­ing pol­i­tics of hate.

There are other al­le­ga­tions against Audu that are worth con­sid­er­ing here; one is the al­le­ga­tion of cor­rup­tion, the other is the al­le­ga­tion of ar­ro­gance. I have met Audu be­fore, and in fair­ness he posses great clout and self­con­fi­dence that can eas­ily be mis­taken for ar­ro­gance. Audu is such a prin­ci­pled man, high or­ga­nized and strict, a dis­po­si­tion that many are not too com­fort­able with.

On the is­sue of 11 bil­lion, I will ad­vise very strongly that we need to thread with cau­tion. This is be­cause as a peo­ple in this coun­try, we are grad­u­ally de­scend­ing into a sys­tem where al­le­ga­tions are been taken for con­vic­tion. I don’t think its right to con­clude on a per­son based on al­le­ga­tion be­fore it is fi­nally de­cided by the court of law.

Ayo Olododo is a pub­lic af­fairs an­a­lysts based in Abuja

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