Jàibrin Isah, the All Progressives Congress (APC) senatorial candidate for Kogi East district, was on Thursday, booed by hundreds of youths during a campaign rally at Ankpa Local Government Area of the state.
Isah, popularly known as Echocho, who is the incumbent senator representing the district had attended the campaign rally in company of Edward Onoja, the Kogi State deputy governor, and the House of Representatives candidate for Ankpa Federal Constituency in the state.
The obviously displeased constituents who came out in their numbers jeered at the senator while he tried to solicit their support for his reelection bid, with many asking him to return to Yahaya Bello, governor of the state, whom he reportedly claimed, single-handedly made him senator in 2019.
Amid the boos and loud jeers, the evidently infuriated senator attempted to physically engage some of the youths, but was restrained by his aides who subsequently whisked him away to prevent further escalation.
The Ankpa incident was not the first time Isah, who it appears, has clearly lost the support of his people, would be jeered during a campaign rally.
A day earlier on Wednesday, he had similar rejection in Ogodu, Abejukolo, Olla and OjiAji – all in Omala Local Government Area – and even a more terrible outing in Ogugu, Okpo and Imane in Olamaboro Local Government Areas of the state, localities that should ordinarily have been the stronghold of the deputy governor, Onoja.
Senator Isah had long ago adopted Onoja as his preferred candidate to replace Bello as governor, having committed to obliging him with other benefits based on an evolving arrangement.
This is perhaps the reason for the lack of support from the APC members from Kogi East who clearly prefer the chief of staff to the governor, Pharm. Abdulkareem Asuku as the next governor with the current Dekina LG council chairman, Hon Isyak Shaibu as his running mate.
Last year, Senator Isah had a similar experience with the Bassa and Ibaji people who were outright in their rejection to what they termed his “use-and-dump behaviour”. This happened on the heels of his donation of 10 cartons of noddles and 24 loaves of bread to flood-ravaged victims in Kogi East.
Recall that controversy trailed the outcome of the APC primary election that produced Senator Isah as party’s candidate over alleged irregularities.
Isah had secured 472 votes to beat his rival, Prince Yahaya Audu, brother of the former Governor of the state, late Abubakar Audu who got only six votes, while one vote was declared invalid. Prince Audu had rejected and disagreed with the outcome of the primaries held in Idah, noting that he was denied entry into the venue to witness the process. He had added that his agent was equally denied entry into the venue, saying the primary election was a sham. Audu, however, vowed to challenge the outcome, as according to him, it didn’t meet the requirements and guidelines for the conduct of APC primaries.
In a similar vein, APC seems to be experiencing a very bad season in the state of late. On January 14, thousands of their members defected to the main opposition party, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), prominent among whom were a former deputy governor of the state, Chief Simon Achuba, a leading political giant from the central area of the state; Alhaji Yahaya Karaku, and a former speaker of the House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Alfa Imam.