June 12: MKO Abiola’s Supreme Sacrifice Laid Foundation for Current Democratic Dispensation in Nigeria – Gov Ododo

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Governor Usman Ododo of Kogi state has described President Bola Ahmed Tinubu as a living hero of democracy in Nigeria.

In a message to the people of Kogi state in commemoration of Democracy Day on June 12, Governor Ododo noted that late Chief Moshood Kashimawo Olawale Abiola (MKO)’s supreme sacrifice laid the foundation for the current democratic dispensation in Nigeria.

Ododo also paid tribute to other heroes and heroines of the struggle, including Chief Mrs. Kudirat Abiola, Pa Alfred Rewane and many others whose courage and dedication to the ideals of democracy cost them limbs or life itself.

“Today, we also acknowledge living heroes like the current custodian of Nigeria’s democracy and a close associate of Chief M.K.O Abiola, His Excellency, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, GCFR. As a principal dramatis persona of the June 12 struggles, President Tinubu’s total commitment to democratic principles continues to guide our nation towards Renewed Hope and a brighter future,” he said.

The Governor stated that in Kogi State, “we are not just observers of the tides of democracy but active participants in its practice and preservation in Nigeria. I am deeply honored to have served the people of Kogi State for the past 5 months as your Governor as I look forward to a Service-oriented and impactful tenure. During this period, we have made remarkable strides which testify to our dedication to the collective progress of all Kogites.”

“I want to reiterate that fostering unity among the people of Kogi State through the observance of equity for all and the consistent provision of inclusive governance remains our priority as an administration. We will continue to take the first steps to initiate reconciliation and emphasize our shared destiny – and I promise that we will continue to build on this foundation to ensure a harmonious and united state.

“Our devotion to the welfare of our citizens is going to remain unchanging. We have already taken steps to respond to the challenges posed by food inflation following the removal of fuel subsidy and the harmonization of the naira exchange rates by the federal government by distributing various forms of palliatives to alleviate the burdens on our people. This exercise we ensured was transparent and inclusive across the state, reflecting our dedication to the well-being of all Kogites.

“To this end, we have committed over N7 Billion to procure tractors and other agricultural equipment as well as farm inputs for  this year’s wet season farming. We have also embarked on the clearing and cultivation of massive hectares of land all over Kogi State in order to fasttrack cultivation of food, especially roots and grains. It is our intention to tackle food inflation by drastically crashing the prices of foodstuffs within the next few months, thus improving food security for our citizens. We acknowledge that we are equal to the task of feeding our people and we will not fail in it.”

Speaking on workers’ welfare, Governor Ododo promised to sustain the payment of 100% of salaries and pensions to civil servants at the State level, as established by his predecessor, former Governor Yahaya Bello.

“Additionally, in April, we increased salaries to 85% and pensions to 100% at the local government level. We assure Organized Labour and all Kogites that Kogi State will remain in the forefront of workers’ welfare even as efforts are ongoing to improve the minimum wage and the take home pay of all workers.

“Furthermore, we have prioritized the enhancement of roads and civil engineering infrastructure across the state. Expanding access to critical utilities in all constituencies remains the surest route to accelerated improvement of the quality of life for our people and you can be sure that we will not relent in doing so. This is the only way we can be sure of fulfilling our promises of accelerated and sustainable development and prosperity for all Kogites.

“Security will always remain paramount to our administration. In our short time in office, we have already distributed numerous security vehicles and gadgets to security agencies in the state for units spread across all local governments of the state. This move underscores our determination to ensure that peace and security reigns all over Kogi State. As noted, security and prosperity are inextricably intertwined; our efforts to enhance security are directly linked to our vision of a prosperous Kogi State.

“We want it to be known that this administration will not standby and watch while criminals prey on our people. The attempted mass kidnap of our students at the Confluence University of Science and Technology (CUSTECH) and the forceful security action we took should demonstrate to everyone our willingness to exact swift and decisive retribution from anyone who targets our people.

“We are glad that all the abducted students have been recovered and reunited with their loved ones and colleagues. We mourn those whom we lost in the process and once again extend our deepest condolences to their families,” he said.

He called on all Nigerians to renew their commitment to the values of democracy, and remember that democracy is not just about elections but about the continuous effort to build a society that reflects the aspirations of its people.

Ododo assured the people of Kogi state that his administration will always work to deliver the dividends of democracy to them in the form of security, unity, prosperity, equity and reconciliation.

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