The Kogi Elders Council, who are members of the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) under the aegis of Kogi state Elders Council for Good Governance have warned the party against the possibility of fielding a governorship aspirant, Jubril Isah Echocho as its gubernatorial candidate in the November 21 election.
The group in a statement endorsed by Ahamdu Ejiga, Chairman, and Sunday Olufemi, General Secretary, said that Governor Wada has done more than required to secure the party’s endorsement for re-election.
The group stated that Echocho has remained aloof to party affairs since he lost the bid to emerge the candidate in 2011, adding that the governor has so far sustained the party.
The group also alleged that the aspirant maintains a strong filial relationship with the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), besides the unwholesome plot to deliver the state to APC by some PDP members.
The group further said: “Let us not pretend for one moment, that Alh. Jibrin Isah (Echocho) is on a genuine mission in his quest for nomination as the candidate of the party for the 2015 gubernatorial election in Kogi State. Everybody on the streets in Kogi State, knows that Alh. Jibrin Isah (Echocho) whose daughter is married to Prince Abubakar Audu’s son has come on stage, to do the bidding of his in-law, i.e, deliver the State to the All Progressive Congress (APC) whose flag Prince Abubakar Audu is flying as the gubernatorial candidate.
“In fact, it is an open secret that Prince Abubakar Audu has boasted that after his tenure, (if he wins) he will hand over to Alh. Jibrin Isah (Echocho) on the platform of APC. It is therefore not surprising that in the last three months preceding the PDP Congress, Alh. Jibrin Isah (Echocho) placed posters, billboards and other campaign materials that did not carry the logo of PDP in furtherance of their grand design.
The group further said: “We say on good authority, and without any fear of contradiction whatsoever, that Alh. Jibrin Isah (Echocho) never participated in any activities of the party between 2011 and July 2015.
He was never sighted at any meeting of the party, be it at the ward level, local government level, senatorial level and state level. The only evidence of his membership of PDP is the collection of governorship nomination form for the 2015 governorship election.”
Spokesman of Echocho Campaign, Phrank Shaibu however said that the claims by the elders were baseless, adding that Wada and the APC candidate have a more chubby relationship than with Echocho. He insisted that the elders group was made up of persons who lost elections in their polling units and wards in the last election.He stated that the elders have led the party to monumental losses adding that under their guidance, the PDP lost three senators to the APC , while the governor only organized one rally for the former President.
He also stated that Echocho participated fully in the last Presidential campaign, adding that the elders planned to mortgage the PDP to APC in Kogi.
“The position of an elder in the party goes beyond newspaper posturing. It is obvious that the said elders want to continue to have Kogi as their footholds without delivering for the party,” he said.