By Mashe Umaru Gwamna
Prince Mustapha Mona Audu, son of former governor of Kogi State, late Prince Abubakar Audu, has explained why he recently decided to join the race for the forthcoming governorship election in the state.
In his declaration speech, on Wednesday in Abuja the son of the political icon lamented over the state of affairs of Kogi State in the current dispensation describing it as a ‘hell’ with a promised to give his people relief, if given the mandate to serve. He however did not declare the platform under which he will contest. The decision to that effect he said will be taken in due course.
He stated categorically: “Today, though a difficult decision as I think of its implications on my family, I am honored and humbled to stand before you to announce my candidacy for the office of executive governor of Kogi State…I stand before you today because I stand firmly with King and Dante in belief that the hottest places in hell are reserved for those who in period of moral crisis maintain their silence.”
He painted a sordid picture of the state of affairs in the state: “The good people of Kogi are experiencing a ‘hell’ unlike anything seen anywhere in our country. Our men and women have been robbed of the dignity of providing for their families as the months go by without pay. Our children have been stripped of a future as they and their schools in the 21 local government areas suffer historic levels of neglect.Kogi serves as a gateway linking the nation’s capital to as amny as 22 southern states ,yet the Lokoja Abuja-Abuja expressway is greater cause of death statistically than Boko Haram. Our riverine communities that feed the country with their fish are plagued with disease and malnutrition, in the wake of floods, yet are given no substantive government assistance to access basic healthcare, or clean water ,or to relocate or to build from the rubble that their homes and their lives have become.”
He called on the people of Kogi to support him in order to actualise his dream, because he can no longer continue to sit down in his comfort zone and watch his people wallow in pain.
The young Audu said he was not out to criticize the incumbent governor, yet saying, “ out of respect to his office and his administration, I am here instead to highlight our vision for a new reality for ourselves , for our selves, and our grandchildren- a reality where once again Kogi is seen as the strategic capital of our countryas Lugard once saw.
“My fellow Kogites, I can do the easy and the expedient, which is to sit on the sidelines and simply just talk from the comfort of my home in faraway lands. But history will look unfavorably at me were I to seek shelter in the comfort of privilege while my fellow Kogites endure a reality that looks to destroy them.”
Despite coming from the family of late political icon, Abubakar Audu, he said he is putting himself forward as a servant; running as Mustapha Mona, not as a representative of any political family, but as faithful servant.
He called on Kogi people, irrespective of tribe, sex, age or religious backgrounds to support his candidature, and promised to canvass for their vote from door to door and consult with other political big wigs in respect of actualizing his aspiration.