Indications emerged Thursday, that the defeated PDP governorship aspirant in Kogi State and former AFRIBANK chief, Alh. Isah Jibrin Echocho may have thrown his weight behind the candidature of Prince Abubakar Audu in the governorship race. Echocho lost the September 14, 2015 PDP governorship primary to the incumbent, Capt. Idris Wada.
Vanguard was reliably informed by close allies of the Dekina-born politician that a meeting Echocho convened to appraise the political situation in the state ahead of the November 21 governorship election was tensed as he was said to have expressed doubt about the chances of Wada in the election.
A source at the Monday meeting who seeked anonimity told Vanguard that the possibility of supporting Prince Abubakar Audu was a major issue at the meeting.
In his words: “The Echocho group looked at a whole range of issues at the meeting. It was a general consensus that the incumbent, Capt. Idris Wada has failed woefully in giving development to the state, hence, a very slim chance of winning the governorship election.
“We also resolved to open communication with Prince Abubakar Audu to explore the possibility of using our structure across the state to support his emergence because of our conviction that he is a better candidate than Wada. Since Audu left government in 2003, nothing significant has been added to his records of development as successive governments have continued to take the citizens for granted”.
As Prince Audu stormed Kogi Thursday for the Islamic festivities, hundreds of Echocho’s supporters were seen on his entourage as he made his way to Ogonicha for the Muslim prayers.
One of them told our reporter that Echocho has endorsed Audu. “You can see that we are here. Do we need any other confirmation as to who our candidate is? We can’t allow our state to suffer another disaster by supporting Wada again”, he said.
When contacted, Alh. Isah Jibrin Echocho declined comment on the issue.
However, the Publicity Secretary of the PDP in the state, Prince Bode Ogunmola said the party is not worried about who is supporting Audu.
“PDP as a part is not worried about whoever may have decided to support Audu. Echocho went through a transparent primary election here and lost woefully. If he is that popular, why didn’t he win the election? The November 21 governorship election in Kogi is about the people and we are optimistic of victory because we have the people of the state behind us.
“Having said that, let me add that we still see Echocho as one of the leaders of our great party and that he has not officially left the party. After the primaries, we opened communication channels to reconcile aggrieved leaders of the party and that has been yielding fruits. We are ready for November 21 because the people have trust in the PDP and our candidate”.