Opinion: Gov. Bello, Please Let Commonsense Prevail

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These past days the internet and social media were awash with news and pictures of the newly built mansion of Your Excellency in your home town of Okene. Some news platform have alleged that the expensive house is worth billions of naira, while others have described it as an architectural masterpiece of the century. Even as some of your detractors and political opponents have since seized the opportunity to further castigate and lampoon your administration, describing you with several unprintable terms.

The questions I asked some of your critics is: when and how has it become a sin for a sitting Governor to build a house, If a similar house was built by performing governors like Ambode of Lagos, Ganduje of Kano or Ayade of Cross river would it have attracted the kind of reaction, condemnation and bashing that your palatial mansion has received so far? Then it turned on me that it isn’t really about your house, which some persons have described as a heaven on earth, but the timing, the funfair, extravagant ceremony and the unnecessary flaunting of the magnificent edifice by your praise singers and clueless appointees who go about posting and celebrating your personal mansion as if it is a sort of a dividend of democracy and a gift to the people of Kogi State.

At a time when pharmacists in the state university teaching hospital haven’t been paid for the past 25 months,state pensioners are protesting none payment of 22 months arrears of pension allowances, the Lokoja round-abouts that were destroyed few months into your administration haven’t been rebuilt, medical doctors are yet to be paid since the past 13 months and has given the state government up till 31st December to resume an industrial action which they had suspended a couple of months ago.

A chief nursing officer in the state has gone on a terminal leave yet hasn’t been paid since the last one year, the state had made newspaper headlines in the recent times for the bad and negative reasons. At a time workers in the state were declared as IDPs by senators of the federal republic of Nigeria and food stuff was donated to the state by the legislators, some civil servants have committed suicide while many more are already contemplating ending their own lives due to the unbearable economic hardship caused by none payment of salaries in the state.

Your Excellency sir, common-sense demands that since you are doing little or nothing in ameliorating the sufferings of the masses of Kogi state, you stop doing things that will further increase their pain and frustrations. Erecting a gigantic multi million naira mansion and rubbing it on the faces of the hungry masses is tantamount to dancing on the graves of those who have lose their lives to accident while travelling to participate in the more than one year screening exercise that your administration embarked upon with no tangible result to show for it, It insults the patience and sensibilities of the state workers who have endured hunger and humiliation as a result of the hardship imposed on them by your administration.

The families of those who have committed suicide as a result of the economic hardship in the state wouldn’t smile at your mansion whenever they walk past it. Aside the fact that many of your appointees have allegedly become so rich that they are also building mansions of their own in choice areas across the state and beyond, the only thing they seem to be good at is haul insults at constructive critics, using gutter and “garage” languages. It is said that a sensible leader selects the best of the best and empower them to deliver on set goals and objectives.

Your Excellency sir, you were not wrong to have built a house of your own in your hometown, but the timing was wrong and so was the funfair and publicity it attracted. It makes no iota of common-sense that while President Muhammadu Buhari was away in Kano state, commissioning state of the earth hospitals, roads and factories that has the capacity to employ more than 5000 unemployed, you were commissioning your mansion amidst hungry and poor Kogites.

– Hussain Obaro

Lokoja, Kogi State.


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