Ongoing consultations with critical stakeholders across party lines by Governor Yahaya Bello are part of efforts to heal the wounds inflicted on the state over the Nov. 16th elections, it has been gathered.
It is also learnt that the peace moves which has as its arrowhead, Abdulkareem Jamiu Asuku, Chief of Staff to the Governor, was to ensure a smooth take off for his second tenure, the Kogi State Governor Alh. Yahaya Bello.
The efforts began about a week ago when Asuku started reaching out to prominent indigenes of the state on phone to book appointment for meetings.
While some of the arrangements are still in process, others have started yielding results.
Some of the stakeholders he has already visited for consultations are three former Deputy Governors. He met with Chief Patrick Adaba, now a PDP chieftain, who was deputy to Late Abubakar Audu under the defunct All Peoples Party, APP.
The other two are deputy governors under the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, platform. They are Philip Salawu and Abayomi Awoniyi. Salawu is now a member of Labour Party. He held separate meetings with the men last week.
He also met with his kinsman and State Chairman of the PDP, Engr. Samuel Ohuotu. Others are fellow party member Sen. Mohammed Salami Ohiare.
It was gathered that former governors, political office holders, irrespective of party affiliations, religious leaders and other prominent sons and daughters of the State are penciled down for dialogue.
Sources within the government credit Bello with peace moves in an attempt to reset his approach to governance.
The governor is said to be desirous of bringing all Kogites of goodwill together to deepen the social re-engineering of the State.
Findings reveal sketchy details of discussions at the consultations. Asuku would normally inform his host about the determination of Bello to run a more purposeful government that is open to advise and the need for all to join hands in building the state.
Generally, the hosts expressed dissatisfaction with Bello’s style of government and especially the violence that characterised political space in the state.
They however were willing to put their experiences at his disposal.
Kingsley Fanwo, Director General Media and Public Affairs to the governor said his boss is determined to heal the wounds inflicted by politics.
“The politics is gone. The wounds must be healed. We must reconcile our minds and interests and take a decision to move Kogi forward together as a people. Kogi belongs to all Kogites regardless of political, ethnic or religious biases. This is the message the hardworking Chief Of Staff to the Governor is taking to the leaders of the State.”
According to Fanwo, the initiative is already yielding great results as the leaders of the state are reassured of the Governor’s commitment to weave the interests of the Kogi people into the common goal of development.
“It is believed that our leaders will bring their expertise, experience and commitment to bear to take the state to the Next Level,” Fanwo opined.
Analysts say although the consultations are coming nearly four years late, they are good efforts in the right direction.
“If they started these consultations earlier and sustained them, the state would have been better for it. I hope government is sincere about it,” Aminu Zakari a trader said.