As Kogi State marks 26 years anniversary, some stakeholders have blamed its stunted growth on bad leadership. The deputy governorship candidate in the November 2015 election in the state, James Faleke said there was nothing to celebrate in the face of all odds.
Faleke, who spoke to The Guardian on phone, alleged that rather than building infrastructure, Governor Yahaya Bello was training armed vigilance groups. He warned against arming such groups to avoid a situation where it would become difficult to control the groups.
Also, the Chairman, Kogi Coalition of Business and Professional Associations (KOCOBPA), Dr. John Alabi, alleged that the leaders have failed to utilise the state’s resources to develop it.
He said: “Kogi State has a total of 29 mineral resources in commercial quantities. These include coal, dolomite, feldspar, bauxite, iron ore, tar, limestone and gold. Each of the 21 local council areas has not less than two mineral deposits.”
Alabi solicited an economic summit where all stakeholders would come together to chat a new path to move the state forward. However, a statement in Lokoja by the governor’s chief Press Secretary, Petra Akinti Onyegbule said this administration has been able to tackle the menace of armed robbery, kidnapping and other criminalities in the state.
While urging the people to put the state first in all things, Bello promised to defeat poverty and ensure the state’s economic prosperity. The Executive Director, Centre for Human Rights and Conflict Resolution, Idris Miliki Abdul said past leaders in the state did not perform up to expectation.
“We don’t have good roads, no facilities in the state capital and there are no factories that can employ the youths. It is an unfortunate development for those who have been in power in the past 26 years,” he said.
But, in the opinion of a constitutional lawyer, Williams Aliwo, the state has fared well in its 26years of creation, adding that God has helped it to expand its socio-political economy.
Another constitutional lawyer and public commentator, Joel Usman called for sober reflection and prayers to move the state forward.
Credit: John Akubo | Guardian