Kogi at 32: Let’s Count Our Losses

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It pleases the Almighty that against all odds, Kogi state survives for 32 years. Ordinarily, it is uncommon blessings bequeath by the owner of the universe, but, of what use is living when there is no life? Or, what is the essence of life without a goal?

The liberation struggles which started in 1981 materialized in 1991 and Kogi was born. The effort of our heroes like Professor Albert Ozigi, Joseph Abu Ogbeha, Liman Umar, Walter Bako, Timothy Elukpo, among others who mobilized themselves through a committee headed by senator Ahmadu Ali to lobby successive governments, and subsequently, how Tunde Ogbeha and his wife practically knelt down and begged Gen. Ibrahim Babangida for the creation of Kogi state from Kwara and Benue drained before our very eyes.

Before the creation of the state, there was a unity of purpose. Love and peace were the fountain of our corporate existence. We were all brother’s keepers. Even when it was time to decide for leadership, there was a unanimous template which considers a faction of Kogites who never tested power previously to take the lead.

Sooner than I expected, greed sets in. Tribalism, nepotism, Segregation and religious affinities followed and Kogi surprisingly became a haven for men with insatiable quest for power. little by little, corruption became the order of the day. Those with character flaws and amorality were seen as rulers. Nepotist and tribal lords now decides our fate as children of perdition exists only for their whims and caprices. This is the pathetic trajectory which accounted for the destruction of the solid foundation laid by our past heroes.

The Kogi of now is a directed opposite of the preconception of our men of old. Love and unity, peace, harmony and progress were all murdered on the altar of greed and self conceits. As things stand, Kogi is arguably the poorest state in Nigeria, yet a state with the most endowed resources. She has a potential for rapid growth and become the most envied among her counterparts, safe for the gripping presence of thieves, corrupt criminals, and halfwits in the realms of leadership.

Today, the state is run without a structure. There is no foundation to consolidate as power addicts have no business with governance or templates for vying for leadership position. They simply bribe their way in, then think through their anus on what to do later. In short, a varying number of actions taken is akin to the one taken under an influence. One is aften tempted to say that, side-chicks, brothel occupants, and unstable mistresses decides what goes on in the through their waists.

 I am confused. How can a man in his right senses not know the implication of working and not getting paid? How can there be enormous resources, yet, there is no single road? Electricity is dead, security and other infrastructure is zero, still this same man walks the street freely. Kogi leaders are not humans.

Virtually everything in Kogi state is taxed and levies collected is unaccounted for. We don’t even know the GDP of the state. We have no idea what comes in and how it is spent. The state lawmakers are rubber stamped. The governor only calls them when there is the need to approve a loan.

from our depleted resources, monies are been starked in banks and later forfeited to FG. Public office holders lives in Zenith of opulence while Workers and pensioners dies in nadir of poverty, rejection and frustration. Kidnapping is the order of the day. Stealing is the new normal and gradually, Kogi is 32 years behind in the comity of states.

Our domestic debts is over N94 billion leaving behind the slimmest chances of the state been credit worthy. Our leaders are consumers not creators. Unemployment is high and counting. Economy is in shambles and social welfare and security remains a mocking reference.

Religious affinity has been the pillar of our leadership decision. Ethnicity has sets in, and soon, clannishness will follow. What this means is that, leadership will be family affair and every family that goes there focuses on themselves alone, and, maybe consider friends and cronies later.

Consequently, only the wealthy can grab the baton of power, not the poor. That is why we count our loses instead of our blessings. A Kogi that does not recognize a common man at 32 is still far behind. Leadership is about governance and governance is about the people. Sadly, this premonition is not in the forte of cruel thieves parading the landscape.

May God deliver Kogi state.

– John Paul writes from Lagos.

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