Yahaya Bello @45: An Open Letter

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Dear Yahaya Bello,

With utmost regards to our dear democracy, let me, for first time ever, address you properly. His Excellency, the executive governor of Kogi state, Alhaji Yahaya Adoza Bello. Individually, I felicitate with you on this sumptuous day- your birthday and I wish that you live longer.

However, I would have been more extensive in my wishes, especially, that we all know life is not just about living but to fulfill why you live. Therefore, in as much as I wish you well in whatever you desire to achieve I am more conscious in adopting the word ‘achievement’.

Why? Because, achievements are in facets, and are generally not measured by the amount of money you have or the wealth you have amassed but the number of lives you impacted. Hence, as the executive governor of my dear state, and as the youngest and probably the most energetic governor in the federal Republic of Nigeria,

I wish to offer my prayers for you base on your achievements for Kogites.

Don’t get me wrong your Excellency, your achievements are scanty, if at all it exists. Hence I won’t force my dear readers to the boredom of trying to create what does not exist. Or do you have any? Can we say anything good about your five years? Well, I wish your handlers would clear my doubt soon.

Your Excellency, it is established that a performing leader is accessed via security and social welfare. Here, I won’t be economical with the truth, the White Lion’s government has not just failed, it may be losing out to propagandists once again.

I am not perturbed by what anyone is telling you. I don’t even care whether or not a media house has named you the most security conscious governor. These are facts echoing beyond political jingoism. The security architecture is in its latest decay. From banditry to human rituals, Kogi state is now the epicenter of carnage activities, some of which you have registered your disapproval.

Your Excellency, the formula for tackling insecurity in a fragile entity like ours is simple, leverage the existing information, (of course as the number one, you have access to first hand infos) to solidify and task security agencies to be more engaging in their duties. Secondly, do more of actions than the paraphernalia of media speech through which some of your handlers sponsor lies to your table daily. It would be more revealing and less tasking if information about government’s plans to tackle insecurity is scanty.

Your Excellency, the welfare of the people is at stake. Workers are not well-fed due to several months unpaid or percentage payments of their salaries. And this has not just affected the people socially, they are psychologically traumatized and emotionally deformed at the moment.

I won’t deny knowledge of a depleted revenue. But your Excellency, your government, just like your predecessors, failed to address these menacing facts from inception. How? Failing to reintegrate the IGR but depend absolutely on FAAC. Consequently, you have become the highest borrower governor Kogi state ever had. You have borrowed more than 90% percent of what is obtained in the last 20 years yet there are no evidential backup for this. Questions are been asked daily with little or virtually no answer in this regard. But your Excellency, I understand that the existing recurrent expenditures is huge and demanding.

As a way out, you must look inward and diversify the state revenue base. Such that, the tappable resources must yield impacts. Several resources are currently been illegally tapped and exported from the state sir. From coal to crude oil, Kogi state is serving countries like America, whereas, the citizens languishes in penury. If these miners account for taxes expected of them in full, the state revenue would be high in such that it cushion recurrent expenditures.

Your Excellency, infrastructure is also a crying shame. As matter of fact, the dream of attracting investors as initiated recently can only thrive in the figment of imagination except certain necessities are met.

To be candid, the dualization of Lokoja- Ajaokuta high-way would remedy the current Economic hiccups. The road has not just transcend from bad to worst, it is now the den of criminals. I understand your administration claimed over N10 billion for dualization of the road in October 2019 and I hope it’s given urgent attention.

Your Excellency, the wants are numerous, and to a business minded government, the resources are few and requires prudence in its utilization. I also understand that governance is a successive phenomenon. Therefore, as an outstanding governor, you can decide to open up the state’s economy by creating sea ports using the confluence River basin. You can also electrify the state using coal which is already available in excess.

Just as I said earlier, the scanty resources requires prudence in order to hit the ground running. Your Excellency, you can cut down the number of your aides, that of your deputy, your spouses and overall cost of governance. And put the state on paths of economic independence and prosperity. Permit me to jump educational sector as I very well understand today is your birthday. If not, everyone would go mourning if the rots in the Education system is exposed.

Having said these, I will wish that you live more and achieve better for the state in the nearest future.

Happy birthday!!!

– John Paul writes from Port Harcourt


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