WAEC Fees: Insincerity, Deprivation From Kogi Govt and the Need for Transparency and Accountability Like Leke Abejide

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It is not a hidden fact that the Governor Yahaya Bello administration of Kogi State has used his veto power to stall Rep. Leke Abejide from extending his gesture of free WAEC to all Kogi State Secondary Students.

It is worthy of note that Leke Abejide has been running this free WAEC program for 6 years now, but was hijacked in this 2023/24 academic session and inordinately copied by the State Government to deceive Kogites and gain underserving popularity in desperation to win the November 11 Governorship election for Usman Ahmed Ododo.

Leke Abejide, the governorship candidate of the African Democratic Congress (ADC) in Kogi November 11, 2023 election has since, declared interest in different publications and announcements earlier 2023 to pay for this 2023/24 WAEC Fees for all eligible Public and Private Secondary School students across Kogi State. Governor Yahaya Bello who has denied Kogites this gestures for 8 years of his reign as Governor woke up at the 11th hour and was threatened by this, then, vetoed all Public Secondary Schools Principals against receiving the gesture from Leke Abejide in benefit of the students and their parents.

While it is a good move to copy good ideas and gestures, the Governor Yahaya Bello administration is popular for its insincerity and lack of transparency in delivery of good governance. Hence, the poor execution-in-view, if not curbed.

Governor Yahaya Bello should learn from the Leke Abejide school of good governance and management of resources by carefully investigating how the free WAEC payment has been prudently executed and successful.

Governor Yahaya Bello, via his Chief Press Secretary (CPS), Onogwu Muhammed has announced that the purported payment of WAEC Fees will be for students of only Public Secondary Schools, there by, depriving students of Private Secondary Schools from benefitting from this gesture as intended by Leke Abejide. In other words, Leke Abejide was out to pay for all eligible (Public and Private) Secondary School Students, until Yahaya Bello came to thwart the whole effort. In fact, the Leke Abejide Foundation Committee in charge of the WAEC Fees payment was almost through with their data collection before Yahaya Bello disrupted it.

Worthy of note also is the obvious insincerity and corruption laced with the Greek gift. The Government in its publication claimed that it is paying N497m WAEC fees for 15,033 students. WAEC Fees per student is N18,000, when multiplied 15,033 it equals N270,594,000.

The public should please ask Governor Yahaya Bello and his administration where over 226m is going to?

This is lack of accountability and fraud.

Leke Abejide practiced and practices transparency whenever he embarks on such public projects. On this WAEC Fees payment, he issues bank drafts to each secondary school and publish same.

The Yahaya Bello administration should please show evidence of payment of this WAEC Fees to the public in other to gain public trust on this project.

– J.O. Abel-Ontop writes from Lokoja.

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