Kogi After Audu’s Death: There Was a State by Atek’ojo Usman

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Kogi under Governor Yahaya Bello has been an unmitigated disaster. This is the words of Kogi East Elders Council in the recent communique issued to the Press in Abuja as a response to governance conundrum in a state we once proudly called ours before the current monumental shame befell the confluence.
Recalling how Yahaya Bello got to Lugard House on the 28th January, 2016, on the platform of the All Progressive Congress (APC) in what could be described as ‘providence’, one expected a paradigm shift in governance such that by now, Kogites would have vowed to allow young men to continue ruling the state.
Barely two years into governor Yahaya Bello’s administration, the confluence state has become a ghost of itself.
His actions and inactions showed him a local champion who is undeserved of ruling a ward, not to talk of ruling a state. An ethnic chauvinist who’s stock in trade was to cause confusion and display pathological hatred against the majors tribe in the state.  Bello took tribal sentiment to the State University at Anyigba, sacked 137 lecturers, disband the academic union, reduced the citadel to a glorified primary School and handed the institution over to corps members to teach.
Before Bello’s administration, there was a state.  In 1992 and 1999 of late Prince Abubakar Audu’s administration, Kogi was celebrated even as an opposition. Audu built Kogi State University, Anyigba, established the State Polytechnic, Lokoja. He funded these institutions adequately including the State College of Education, Ankpa, School of Health Sciences, Idah and that of Obangede in the Central Senatorial district which were inherited from old Benue and Kwara States respectively.
Late Audu introduced educational exchange programmes of the University with foreign institutions and to that extent, Kogi was rated 7th among Nigerians universities.
While Prince Audu established Obajana Cement factory which today remained the biggest of its kind in Africa, his successor, Alhaji Ibrahim Idris established Kogi State College of Education (Technical) in Kabba of the Western Senatorial district.
Unfortunately, the multi-million naira cement factory which was established by the immediate past governor, Aljhaji Idris Wada at Itobe in Ofu local government area of the state has been abandoned. Bello would rather prefer decapitating economic fortunes of the state and engage in political vendetta.
Like a man who has been hypnotised, or under a spell by the gods, Bello believes that he could do whatever he likes and nothing would happen.
Against the voice of reason, it’s no longer news that some workers are owed close to 22 months salaries which he deceitfully published in some national dailies that he has paid workers salaries.
It does not matter tantrums being thrown at his epileptic administration that has caused wanton destruction by responsible leaders in and outside the state, he was busy fleecing huge resources meant for the development of the state. At best, sycophants around him only make cacophonous noise like those of market women.
Barely two years, he cannot boast of infrastructure in any of the senatorial district.
Marabouts told him to remove roundabouts in the state capital believed to be harbouring fetish substances which were buried by his predecessors and till now, the state capital remained defaced. Lokoja is the dirtiest state capital in Nigeria.
Insecurity is at its peak with no day passed without kidnappings and armed robbery.  In the guise of tackling insecurity, the governor spent billions in car and equipment purchases, but was grooming thugs.  These thugs lives in government house as Special Assistants and are on the payroll of government. It is no surprise that he unleashed them on the State Assembly on 28th August, 2017, when a lawmaker was beaten to a pulp.
Kogi today is notorious for political assassinations to the extent that fears and tension has made prominent indegenes to relocate to the nearby FCT.
The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) in the State were still mourning the killing of their leader, Mallam Abdulmuminu Yakubu in Okene on 1st November and were still in paranoia over who would likely be the next target.
There were cases of missing political opponents which one has lost count.
The insecurity was manifested in the imposition of 24-hour curfew on five local government areas of his kith and kin on November 9, 2017. They were Adavi, Ajaokuta, Okene, Ogori/Magongo and Okehi which his government was still marooning the people into believing that he was doing  well.
While killings takes place on daily basis in the Central Senatorial district, the dreaded Fulani herdsmen who were driven from Benue State have found their ways down lower Benue river to Kogi east and have turned rhe forest located between Omala and Dekina local government into battle grounds with killings on daily basis.
The same ugly development happens in the western Senatorial district as herdsmen pursued from neighbouring Ekiti state were maiming and destroying farmlands in those areas.
In Bello’s barely two years, the sum of N3.190 trillion has accrued to the state through five (5) channels of statutory revenues. Unfortunately, it’s being huge resources meeting lack of planning and ideas, hence, he’s been busy defending governance attrition.
The latest bizzare is the planned controversial primary 4 test for the teachers in the Teaching Service Commission copied from El-Rufai of Kaduna State as if both states have similar scenarios.
Instead of cloning idea as a way of tackling incompetence among teachers, his officials at the education ministry after a visit to Kaduna last month, have advised the governor to allow them set a test as a way to retrench teachers in the service. What an anachronistic way of dealing with those who have done much to the state!
In governance, Kogi has missed Prince Abubakar Audu.
– Samson Atek’ojo Usman

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