I am writing to wish Your Excellency a happy birthday and to thank you for your service to our great State; Kogi. Your Excellency, a day like this offers great opportunity to appreciate Your selflessness and unflinching commitment to move our state forward. You have been a role model and an example of selfless leadership to this generation and we are proud to hold you as a leader worthy of emulation.
Regarded as a dark horse when you were running for Governor at the primary stage in 2015 and as a neophyte when you assumed Office providentially as Governor Of Kogi State, you steer the ship without rocking even in the face of unimaginable turbulence and intermittent political tidal wave. You have exhibited uncommon wisdom, remarkable vision, and exemplary leadership.
Your Excellency , there is no gain saying that Kogi State was in the cusps of economic and infrastructural comatose and a State where status quo of ethnicity, nepotism, poor governance should be maintained at all cost before the coming of your administration. You have fostered strong unity amongst the indigenous and non indigenous people of the state through the formation of Your cabinet and other appointments in Your purposeful administration. The policies and programmes of Your administration favour all; from infrastructural and human capital development.
As the popular saying; we cannot continue to do the same thing in the same way and expect a different result, it’s practically impossible. You came with the finesse and the charisma to turn things around. Those who benefited from the status quo and never expected anything good from the state termed some of your policies as draconian and fought vehemently to have you surrender to their whims and caprices but today, the results of your bravery, determination, tenacity in formulating long-lasting and sustainable roadmap for Kogi transformation are attracting accolades from even your Hardline critics.
Your Excellency, one of your achievements as Governor Of Kogi State which has endeared you to the hearts of many Nigerians, even Your diehard enemies has been Your stand on security. This is because a people free to choose will always choose peace. The people are with you because you are making our society crime- free and investor-friendly.
Your Excellency, a critical comparison of the volatile security conditions before your administration and the evident progress made under your leadership within the first six months until date had since become a model, which other Governors had adopted. This success stories have also attracted awards from stakeholders within the security strata.For instance, the State between the periods of January to June 2016 recorded 167 kidnapping cases, acts of terrorism held sway with record of attacks on churches, residences, security operatives’ offices and even Boko Haram cells, which served as factories for manufacturing Improvised Explosive Devices, IEDs, were discovered in some parts of the State between the year 2012 and 2015.
During this period; a serving Commissioner was kidnapped while on his farm with his orderly murdered by the kidnappers. In the month of May, 2014, not less than two High Court judges, expatriates and missionaries were among a countless number of kidnapped victims in Kogi state. The assassination of high profile persons including traditional rulers were recurring decimals.
Under this period, Kogi State recorded mass exodus as influential citizens have had to relocate their families to a more secure environment such as the Federal Capital Territory while vulnerable citizens set up refugee camps in neighbouring States like Enugu and Anambra. Bank robberies also took place in sixteen banks in different parts of the State including Lokoja, the state capital between the year 2011 and 2015 with deaths and casualties recorded.Aside from these,there was a lack of right logistics for the security agency to operate and the state was proliferated with political thuggery. It was quite imperative that these security challenges required immediate solution, if your Administration was ever interested in successfully delivering on its plans and programmes to move the Confluence State towards a New Direction.
You succeeded by putting up strategic measures in combating crimes. These Measures include the establishment of a well-structured intelligence gathering mechanism, creating the needed synergy among the security agencies in the State for smoother operation and intelligence sharing, identification of critical stakeholders like traditional rulers, youth leaders, women leaders and ensuring that they were incorporated as vital security stakeholders in the State.The state in order to improve on intelligence gathering, established the Kogi Vigilante Service, and has so far recruited, trained over 6,000 operatives in the last three years. It is interesting to know that we live for months without any records of kidnapping and years without incident of bank robbery in Kogi today. You have turned the one-time hell on earth to a confluence of Peace and Tranquility, making it the 2nd most secured and peaceful states in Nigeria today.
Reliably gathered from the National Bureau of Statistics, Kogi is one of the 9 States that has taken millions of her indigenes out of unemployment status between 2019/2019. You have created jobs through your administration’s agricultural programmes and social investment scheme while creating a conducive environment for business to thrive.
On the scale of Ease of Doing Business in Nigeria, the National Bureau of Statistics revealed again that Kogi State is among the top 15 states in Nigeria. This is because you have created an enabling environment for investment to thrive as insecurity is a thing of the past.
In the area of infrastructure, testimonies abound. Today, your administration has completed the following roads; Kuroko – Ikaturu – Eika Ohizenyi road, Ohinoyi palace junction-GRA road, Inoziomi Road, Agasa Round About -Iruvicheba, Iruvochinomi Roads, Adavi – Eba – Ihima road, Ankpa township roadThe ongoing construction of Ibana-Okpo-Ikeje-Ogugu-Ete road, Umomi-Akpagidigbo-Ugwolawo-Ajaka-Idah Road, Ankpa-Emere-Enabo-Ola-Abejukolo Road, Agasa-Upogoroh road, Ijowa-Ife-Olukotun road will definitely bridge the infrastructure gap in the state.
You have a distinction in the Agricultural revolution in Nigeria. The Omi Rice Farm and Ejiba Confluence Rice Mill will combat food security in the state and provide employment for the teeming youth while increasing the IGR of the state. The proposed establishment of Cashew and Oil palm processing factories will provide more jobs and boost the state IGR as well.
These and more have endeared you and the APC led government in Kogi State to the hearts of the people which was attested to in all elections that have taken place in the State since your administration.
Just like our bathrooms and toilets; when cleaning them, we wear nose masks because of the pungent smell that comes out of them but at the end of the cleaning, we feel so comfortable in using them again. Kogi needs such cleaning and a man who’s doing so is Your Excellency, Alhaji Yahaya Bello and should be supported for our collective comfort at the end.
It is unthinkable for just one man to satisfy the yearnings and aspirations of over four million people within a twinkle of an eye, the reason the good people of Kogi State; the commoners, the rural dwellers, the lovers of peace and security, the traditional leaders, the religious leaders, the farmers, the traders, the artisans are begging you to run for another term in office as our governor with candid assurances of our collective assistance and supports.
Your Excellency, You are a wonderful leader to the world of yesterday, today, and the future. There is no better time to appreciate and congratulate you than on the occasion of your birthday. I, on behalf of my beautiful family, pray that the days ahead bring you more of God’s strength as well as glory, honour, and peace! We are glad to celebrate your special day with you.
Congratulations! May your day be filled with joy and blessings!
– Onogwu Muhammed
Chief Press Secretary to the Governor.