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Perusing the Democracy day speech of His Excellency, Alh. Yahaya Bello, it became imperative for posterity’s sake to examine the issues raised and address same.
In response to how far the government in Kogi state has gone in strengthening democracy through the provision of good governance and the delivery of the dividends of democracy, the answer for me and majority of Kogites is simple and sincere, ‘so far not so good’ In fact, Kogites are disappointed aplenty in the style of governance.
In terms of widespread insecurity of lives and property, the administration should be lauded but proclaiming it has dropped to almost zero is the height of fallacy.
Thanks to Gov. Yahaya Bello, tribalism has been reduced to the barest minimum but sadly replaced with nepotism and cronyism that has enhanced ineptitude to the detriment of merit and competence. This does not in anyway mean the absence of few brilliant appointees in the cabinet.
On the staff screening, an exercise that ought to be seamless was complicated for reasons unfathomable. The desirability of the screening exercise is not in doubt and the political will to embark on same is commendable but the manner in which it was conducted, duration and outcome to say the least is deplorable. After four extensions of expected time of completion, the complaints of many cleared workers and pensioners still waiting for 4-15 months of salaries and pensions, a claim of payment of at least 95% of cleared workers is not only spurious but twisting the truth.
It’s amazing that with increased IGR, the situation in Kogi state is still dire for majority.
On recruitment into the health sector, it’s ironic that this is seen as achievement in spite of the deplorable situation of health facilities in the state and the vexed issue of outstanding owed workers in the sector.
Ongoing projects covering construction and rehabilitation of roads, electricity and water schemes is worthy of commendation and it is hoped it will be completed for the benefit of Kogites.
The reality on ground is that the strike by academic and nonacademic staff of tertiary institutions in the state is far from over but it is expected it will soon. It is only after resumption of full academic activities that the announced enhanced bursary to students will be appreciated.
Prioritizing occasional distribution of rice amidst clamor for settlement of outstanding obligations to workers and pensioners is the height of insensitivity by any government to the plight of its workforce.
This assessment is devoid of malice or mischief but an honest unbiased presentation of the reality Kogites are grappling with. It is hoped constituted authority in Kogi state will stop seeking to satisfy its thirst for power by continuously gulping from the bowl of callous insensitivity. Government should stop living in dreamland and identify with the anguish of Kogites foisted on them by inept and insensitive governance premised on narcissistic inclinations.
The real and only way to shut critics up, sincere or mischievous is not to reel out intentions but come up with proactive policies that will make the lives of Kogites better and not the extreme prejudice threat factor. Lessons ought to have been learnt from attempts in the past to use the jackboot approach to put critics in check. The analogy of wolves and sheep is apt in the relationship between the present rulers in kogi state and the people. This makes it imperative for government in the state to get its priority right and stop insulting and debasing Kogites with cups of rice and cash that can’t see them through a single day. For a digital administration, this is preposterous and a more scientific outlook to governance is expected and not the celebration of the mundane and mediocrity. Expected or anticipated project execution is not equal to achievement and should not be presented to Kogites as such. There is so much deceit, doublespeak and unfulfilled promises by government and this has entrenched mistrust that majority of Kogites take just a passing interest in promises and pronouncements of government. This is really sad!
For the avoidance of doubt, Kogites expect more in terms of good governance than they are getting in view of the fact that no administration has been lucky to be availed this much in terms of revenue.
The ‘NEW DIRECTION’ mantra is good but Kogites are asking to where? Majority of Kogites are traumatized and in agony amidst unprecedented inflow of funds since the creation of the state. Should the fortune of Kogites be inversely related to enhanced revenue? Certainty not!
A lot still need to be done in sober reflection and the time for chest thumping is not ripe. Gov. Yahaya Bello must roll up the sleeves and get down to work ensuring an end to governance by proxy. It’s a bad commentary if Kogites are reminded daily by utterances and actions that their Governor is not really in charge but guided by a brainbox with the concocted wisdom and intelligence of King Solomon, Plato and Einstein in his brain.
Gov. Yahaya Bello is fallible because he is human and ascribing godlike attributes to him is great disservice to him especially when it emanates from aides and close associates. There is still time to do right for Kogites with the implementation of people friendly policies.
The large turnout at rice and cash sharing exercises in whatever guise does not amount to acceptability, love or loyalty but an indictment of a government that has pauperized its citizens, strip them of dignity and reduced them to beggars.
Performance or achievement of any government is a relative term viewed against available resources and impact on the people. This is the basis of my appraisal of the present administration in Kogi state.
As at 29th May, 2017 the acclaimed ‘NEW DIRECTION’ in Kogi state sincerely “SO FAR NOT SO GOOD”
Instead of Gov. Yahaya Bello to gauge his performance on and by the sycophantic chorus of aides and loyalists, he should find a way to feel the pulse of the average Kogite.
May Allah’s grace to identify and do that which is right for Kogites be granted Gov. Yahaya Bello and may he be protected from his friends because with the role some of them are playing in his life he should be less worried about enemies and wailers.
God bless Kogi state!
God bless Federal Republic of Nigeria!
– Olalekan Aiyenigba
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