Opinion: Gov. Yahaya Bello is a Silent Achiever, Deserves a 2nd Term in Office

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For starters, I want to make it abundantly clear that I’m a journalist and PR expert. I don’t care whatever anybody calls me because of the position I’ve taken on the issue of Governor Yahaya’s performance in office. Call me any unprintable names, call me a sycophant, or a praise singer or Yahaya Bello apologist; I certainly know who I am. I don’t know Yahaya Bello,and I have no intention to meet him.

I am an Ebira man to the core,and as a well-cultured man, I can never use my left hand to point to my Father’s house. My intention here is to give an objective assessment of Governor Yahaya Bello in office. Having said that, I will be using unassailable facts and figures to buttress every point I make in this write-up.

Firstly, on the issue of security, before Governor Yahaya Bello’s assumption in office, the entire state was in a state of insecurity. Recall that the issue of kidnapping and other violent crimes was at its peak. As at today, the amiable Governor has restored sanity into the security architecture in the state. Residents of Kogi State can now sleep with their two eyes closed. The Governor’s performance in the area of security drew the attention of the IG who rewarded him with an award as the best Governor in the area of security and Kogi State today is ranked among the three safest states in the country today. This achievement does not come on a platter of gold. We need to commend him for this uncommon achievement in a very short while.

Secondly, in the fight against Corruption, it is on record that the Governor has been able to tame this monster that has eaten deep into the fabric of our way of life. In the Local Government administration and the State Civil Service system, there was endemic corruption in both sectors before Yahaya Bello came into power. Today, the young man has been able to sanitize both the Civil Service system and Local Government administration.

Thirdly, on the issue of Sanitation in the State. Before his assumption of office, Lokoja the State Capital ranked among the dirtiest State Capital in the country,but today, the story has changed. The State Capital is now among the cleanest State Capital in the comity of State Capitals that are judged the cleanest State Capital in the country.

On the issue of Infrastructure as a case study, as of today, there are on-going projects in virtually all the 21 local governments of the State. Indeed, Kogi State has been turned into construction sites. Some roads have been completed while some have reached over 70% of completion. There is no community in the entire state that does not have one project or the other. If you ask me, this is a testament that the Governor meant well for the State. It appears as if he’s in a hurry to turn the State into a State of Eldorado. The Governor has shown the world that he knows what is good for the entire State.

On the issue of Water supply, in a short while, the Governor has been able to restore water supply to Lokoja and its environs. Recall that recently he signed a multi-million naira contract for water supply to Kogi Central.

On Health, the Governor has completed and renovated some state hospitals and health centres in all the 21 Local Governments. There is also an adequate supply of drugs to all the hospitals. The State-owned School of Nursing at Obangede has also gotten the attention of the Governor as there are ongoing projects at the institution.

On Agriculture, the Governor has invested heavily in this sector in a bid to make agriculture a money earning venture to the State. Farmers in the State are now smiling to the bank because the Governor has provided fertiliser and other farming inputs to the farmers at little or no cost. The Governor has also made agriculture attractive to all indigenes of the State who has discovered that Agriculture can be an additional source of income for their well-being.

On Transportation, the Governor has made transportation available as he purchased brand new vehicles for the State-owned transportation company. Kogi indigenes have found solace in that area.

On Education, the Governor recently renovated and constructed some schools in a bid to make education very appealing for learning. Recall that he donated 11 buses to some Higher Institutions across the three senatorial districts. The Governor was able to restore sanity to the crisis-ridden Kogi State University by doing what is right to put an end to the incessant strikes in the higher institution.

It is pertinent at this juncture to emphasize that governance at whatever level is not a tea party for politicians who cannot successfully run their family and relentlessly continue to put down the Governor for their gains.

However, on the issue of non-payment of salary, gratuity,and pension, I wish to state categorically that that is one area the Governor has fallen short of our expectations. It should be remembered that Kogi State is not the only State that is far behind in payment of salaries.

Meanwhile, I want to state that payment of salary is the epicentre of our national life. I am also aware that despite obvious challenges, the Governor has already taken steps to give priority to the issue of non-payment of salaries. Recall that supply, in labour in conjunction with the State government have worked out modalities to clear the backlog of salaries owed some categories of workers at all levels. The issue is that the resources available to the State are meagre compared to what is available in a state like Lagos State, Ogun State, Rivers State and other states with higher IGR. However, as I’ve always suggested, there is nothing wrong if the Governor can borrow money from the banks to help in clearing all outstanding salaries so that his enemies will be left with nothing more to vilify and castigate him relentlessly as they have always done in their bid to put him down at all cost. For some of us who know the intricacies of governance will only support him with prayers and other support that will make him perform creditably in office. Our Governor is indeed on the course and deserves a second term in office to enable him to complete all the ongoing laudable projects. Long live Kogi State. Long live Yahaya Bello. Long live Kogites.

– Otori Ozigi is a retired Public Servant and Journalist/PR consultant.

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