By Amuda Dan Sulaiman Fab
If the mammoth crowd that attended the governatorial campaign flag-off of Prince Abubakar Audu in Lokoja is a yardstick to determine who wins an election, the former Governor and his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) is on course towards capturing the Conflence State on November 21.
The 25,000 capacity Lokoja Confluence Stadium was filled to capacity as early as 7.30am. Thousands of APC supporters who arrived the venue late squatted outside the stadium complex and the major road leading to the Kogi State House of Assembly.This development led to a serious traffic gridlock as motorists battled for hours before they could wriggle out of the hold up.
The campaign committee and the leadership of the party in the state appeared to have done their homework very well preparatory to the rally as the party was able to mobilise youths, men and women across the state to attend the rally.
Prior to the October 31date of the rally, the state APC took adverts in almost all the electronic media in the state announcing the date for the rally and the need for the people of the state to attend the rally. The jingle ran for almost one week. The print media also had a fair share of the deal as adverts were placed in select national dailies and some local tabloid to announce the rally and also welcome the August visitors and supporters of the APC.
It was an electrifying moment as shouts of "Audu oyoyo! Audu oyoyo!, APC... Change" rend the air. The atmosphere was fully charged as the APC National Chairman, Cheif John Oyegun and other dignitaries that attended the rally took turns to make their speeches.
Oyegun and all the speakers at the event spoke on the need to effect a change in Kogi State.
Audu, who was the first to fire the salvo, said he would transform the state's ailing economy when elected and would provide jobs for the masses of Kogi.
He said, the fundamental issues facing this state is infrastructural decay and the problem of economy which was being made worse by the present administration. "I assure you that we are going to finally assemble a competent team of Kogites to efficiently manage the state. I am appealing to you; the damage done to this state is great. The level of unemployment, level of non payment of workers salaries is intolerable. The journey has begun. It will take time, it will take patience, it will take support from you to make sure that we succeed."
Senator Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, who thrilled the audience with his rave song "Wada comot for road, Audu na buldozer" said change was necessary in Kogi State. He said change in Kogi would come through the APC governatorial candidate and called on APC supporters to vote for Audu.
Also speaking, Isah Jibrin Echocho, explained why he defected to the APC.
He said progress for Kogi State would come faster with the APC than with the ruling PDP, stressing that the Wada-led administration was not serious about government business.
Echocho said, "I am impressed by what I am seeing here today. This is a clear testimony that indeed the good people of Kogi State will come out en masse and overwhelmingly vote Prince Abubakar Audu.
The highly elated APC national chairman, Chief John Oyegun applauded the choice of Audu as the APC governoship candidate, saying that Audu was deliberately chosen to move the state forward.
He said, "The train of change is setting out from Kogi State. Great people of Kogi State, are you happy? Who is your governor? Audu, "the crowd answered." Let me present to you the Governor-in-waiting of Kogi State. Do you want good roads, do you want better schools, do you want to wipe out corruption? Then, take a good look at Prince Audu. He is as straight in character as his figure is in figurative terms.
Dignitaries at the flag-off include governors of Imo state, Rochas Okorocha, Nasarawa state, Tanko Almakura, Benue state, Samuel Ortom, Senator George Akume, Jide Kosoko, other national leaders, party faithfuls and supporters.
Amuda Dan Sulaiman Fab lives in Kogi
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