It takes many people aback whenever it is said that the All Progressive Congress (APC), which is the party in power and the one known to have total control of Kogi State, is not in charge of a Federal Constituency in the state. And two questions usually follow: which party is deposing the APC in Kogi and who is behind the thriving of the "unpopular" party?
In our quest to find answers to the questions and to confidently predict the future of the confluence state, which has emerged as one of the top ten states in terms of the voting population in Nigeria, we came across a man known as Elder Leke Abejide, a member of the House of Representatives who represents the good people of Yagba Federal Constituency in Kogi State's west region, the area controlled by the African Democratic Congress (ADC) with an unusual rapid growth.
However, it would be impossible to tell the story of the dynamic politician in a meaningful way without hearing not only from the horses' mouth, but also from individuals who were personally associated with him and his charitable recipients throughout the state. Without equivocation, it is reasonable to say that the future of Kogi State looks very bright with a towing name everyone is rushing to align with, especially in light of our encounter with the lawmaker's main opponent in the 2019 election, Chief Henry Abimbola; a non-indigenous resident in the constituency; Amulu Terver Joseph; an ELDER Statement of the constituency Chief Richard Asaje; and a political heavy weight from Yagba land who recently left his party to join the House Member.
Without sugarcoating, it is fair to say that Kogi’s future is bright with Elder Leke whose name has become an impeccable brand that everyone is scrambling to support, especially given the pitiable state in which the state currently finds itself.
WHO IS LEKE ABEJIDE
Leke Abejide's name is no longer a hidden sound in Nigerian politics. But the name is a majestic one since it has a lot of undiscovered stories hidden underneath it. But in plain English, Leke Abejide is the House Representative member for the deserving citizens of Kogi State's Yagba East/Yagba West/Mopa-muro Federal Constituency. The chairman of the House Committee on Customs was born on August 5, 1975. His Constituency office is located in Isanlu's Room 7 of the Itedo Ijowa Shopping Complex.
Testimonies showed that the business tycoon had been taking care of his people, including the widows, before entering politics. He has never attempted to stop this till date.
Through his career quest, he helped many individuals find jobs, and those he empowered didn't want to let him go when the time for him to serve his Constituency. And as gathered, every ward in the constituency has been affected by the philanthropist gesture of Hon. Leke.
The lawmaker is now a highly sought-after name in Kogi and is now regarded as the state's awaiting rescuer by some Analysts and political heavy weight.
HOW ADC WON A SEAT IN THE GREEN CHAMBER IN KOGI
The APC took control of the Kogi state in 2015 after it struck the state like a tsunami. The Peoples Democratic Party was the lone cheery voice in opposition.
But in the run-up to the 2019 election, a personality emerged, and since he had already wet the ground with his charitable act, it was easier to win over his supporters to an unpopular party. Abejide settled for the ADC after trying out a few political groups since a political platform is necessary to actualize any political ambition.
But rather than the party, it's thought and his personality contributed mainly to his electoral success.
To the surprise of the ruling APC, the ADC, an unpopular party, won the green chamber seat by a landslide, but for the residents of Yagba, there was no turning back even as the opposition went to court.
The court clearly heard what the electorate said when they expressed their opinions through the ballots and petitions contesting Abejide's victory were promptly dismissed.
The businessman who had already been taking care of his people was now their Representative. The Yoruba-speaking population of Kogi State saw it as a turning point since it implied a chance to accomplish more. Years later, Abejide still hasn't let his people down in the delivery of democracy dividends.
THE AFTERMATH OF THE 2019 ELECTION
Years after entering the office as a representative, the Yagba people had nothing to lament. It has been the only region of Kogi State that is not experiencing the state's regress and the Global economic Crisis owing to major Health Pandemic and the Global Economic melt down .
However, the narrative doesn't end there. Recent extraordinary events have changed the course of Kogi State's political history.
It has never happened before in Kogi State's history for an opponent to leave their party and support the other candidate they faced off against in the polls. However, it was made possible by Leke Abejide's generation. Again, this is only possible when an unusual leadership style is displayed.
In a conversation with the decampee, Chief Henry Abimbola, who left the APC to join Abejide in his ADC after losing in the election and the court, he admitted that he had no choice and that it was unpleasant to keep battling "the gold" of his land. He claimed that despite opposition from some APC Chieftains in the state, he did not turn around. He claimed that Abejide's charisma and unusual accomplishments convinced him to join the ADC and leave the APC, despite the fact that it is the state's leading party.
It is hard to list all of Abejide's accomplishments to date because they are undoubtedly unprecedented. According to an elder statesman from the area Chief Asaje no other lawmaker in Kogi State has accomplished half of what the representative of the Yagba people has done.
To name a few, about 100 constituents in that federal constituency are paid between N20,000 and N100,000 per month as Special Advicers and Aides.
These people who assist the lawmaker include both adults and children as well as young people and teenagers. The lawmaker claims that the creation of the portfolios was done in order to give individuals a way to get work and benefit from his unprecedented Leadership style.
Aside from that, those who come with ideas don’t go back without being empowered.
Furthermore, it is unheard of in any region of the state for students attending both public and private schools not to have financial difficulties with the West Africa Examination Council (WAEC) fees as all their burdens have been carried by Abejide. When the scheme's impact on the parents was examined, the results were heartwarming. As a result of Abejide relieving the parents of the burden of high tuition costs, many less privilege children are now graduating from school without a hitch, according to a source at WAEC office, Elder usually pay the main fee and all the administrative charges of the students, releifing the parents completely from any form of payment.
The House Member has maintained fixing of Federal Roads that connect the populace to other regions of the state as a young man who is dedicated to the development of his people.
Testimonies from those who are being led are the only reliable indicators of a leader's effectiveness. And as for Leke Abejide, a renowned and esteemed son of Yagba who spoke about the personality of the law maker said, “Abejide unlike other politicians, has been a philanthropist even before he became a politician and even after been voted into the office, he continued the good works and even did more. For example, he has been paying for the WAEC fee of all students in sss 3 classes even before he became a politician and he is still doing that. Not minding the party, Religious beleive, and tribe their parents belong to.”
Having listened to ample testimonies and thoroughly verify the achievements of Abejide, we can categorically tell Nigerians to go and verify. But the joy of it all is for the fact that the name Abejide has begun to spread across the country.
THE FUTURE OF KOGI WITH ABEJIDE
Despite the fact that Kogi's history as a backward, If the Yagba Federal Constituency is able to live comfortably. If parents don't have to worry about how to pay tuition or hassle their kids about going to school, this might eventually spread to other regions and tribes of the state.
The people of Kogi State must look beyond political parties and move toward recognizing unique individuals who are redefining conventional political practices. A fresh definition of politics and leadership has been provided by Leke Abejide. It is a brand-new system that disregards tribes, Party and age and thinks that everyone should be living better lives rather than a select few who milk the public coffers.
Tomorrow is not far away. Other regions of the Kogi State will experience what is happening in Yagba. Kogi state will eventually become a confluence of opportunities with Abejide.
Hon. Leke Abejide is a rare gem, a round peg in a round h***, a goal getter, an uncommon leader, and the face of hope for the hopeless.
Written by ACCO23’ New Media Team