When the aggressive drive for converts to the New Direction administration of Alh. Yahaya Bello commenced, I was intrigued and guessed it was all about the quest of the White Lion to extend his tenancy in Lugard House for another four years. An aspiration he is entitled to according to the constitution.
Suddenly, the arrogance and cockiness subsided with efforts to portray governance as humane. The people now strangely matter and a propaganda blitz was commissioned to showcase the achievements of the past three years. Despite the apparent ineptitude seen in governance since the inauguration of Gov.Yahaya Bello, it will be mischievous not to acknowledge areas the administration have scored above average or very well. Irrespective of the recent upsurge in armed banditry, kidnapping, inter communal clashes and farmers/herdsmen skirmishes that has claimed lives and destroyed properties, Gov. Yahaya Bello should be applauded for the security structure he put in place.
Some people have blamed the isolated cases of insecurity in the state to the activities of political thugs who were armed by politicians before the last general election but have taken over the highways.
Agriculture is another area the government has been exemplary with various grants, aids and intervention programs it has attracted for farmers in the state. The rice mill at Omi and Green House at Osara, among others manifest the laudable achievement so far.
The success story of SUBEB in the state is also worthy of mention as it has provided vital infrastructure for education in the State.
The albatross of GYB is his inability to sort out the issue of salaries and pensions logically after a long period of screening. The outcome of his attempt to sanitize the civil service as courageous and laudable as it is, has wrought avoidable untold agony on workers in the state.
It is appalling that just a few months to the end of four years, Kogi State is still dependent on Federal allocation despite its huge endowments and potential for prosperity. Some people are of the opinion that the administration of Gov. Yahaya Bello do not have the capacity to turn the fortunes of the State around for good.
Agreed, the administration is composed mainly of young persons who cut across the state but it appears capability was grossly sacrificed in the selection process The result is a motley crowd of inept, confused and cowed individuals whose personal fortunes and status have been enhanced. At least, the financial and marital nomenclature has been upgraded. Unfortunately, just a few of them have been able to bring real value in terms of ideas to the government. They have an excuse in a system that has a single individual as its brainbox with others mere praise singers and court jesters.
The truth is that, the administration of Gov. Yahaya Bello has squandered the goodwill of Kogites despite the strange manner he emerged Governor. Some have tagged it divine but in the fullness of time, the truth will eventually be revealed.
The government is now expecting the balance of the bailout, its predecessor applied for after the N20 billion it got to reduce the burden of owed salaries and pensions. What then happens when bailout, which is a loan is no longer forthcoming?
It has been claimed by many that no government in the history of Kogi State have been as fortunate as that of Gov. Yahaya Bello in terms of resources with the tranches of the Paris Club refund, Bailout and Ecological fund among others. Sadly, its performance is not commensurate with the resources it has accessed. This is apart from clandestine loans taken and indebtedness to financial institutions. Can Gov. Yahaya Bello tell Kogites the debt profile of Kogi State and how much his government has added to it?
The fad now is to continue blaming the previous administrations for its pathetic performance. I don’t envy any successor to the present administration in Kogi State but if committed, focussed, capable and selfless leadership is put in place, the situation might change for good.
Amidst the chaos in the lives of the majority in the state, what is the fate of the ordinary man especially civil servants and senior citizens who devoted their productive years to serving the State?
What viable option do the people have to the profligate leaders presently in place in Kogi State? In taking a decision, Kogites must understand they need a Governor and team with all round capacity who can create wealth, and ensure an enabling environment for prosperous activities to thrive, through the exploration of the available opportunities in our dear state.
The next person should be someone who can think out of the box and take Kogi State, to where it ought to be. The platform on which that candidate is contesting might not really be relevant but the reality is that, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), seem to hold the ace if they put their house in order.
Recycling of leaders, imposition of candidates, lack of internal democracy and greed are issues the opposition must tackle if it hopes to chase the lion out of Lugard House.
Rain that thunders when it falls only soaks the fool. Kogites have seen that the New Direction government is a ruse as Alhaji Yahaya Bello fancies himself as the “messiah’ of Kogi State, a worn-out mask for self-interest.
But politicians, being politicians, they have only one motivation: power and how to keep or advance it at any cost and for as long as possible.
Have anyone asked why the much hyped Fairplus Transport Company is now moribund? A man incapable of successfully managing a business enterprise of less 100 personnel should reasonably not be trusted with the resources of a State as endowed and complex as Kogi State.
The way out for Kogites is to face their faces, ignore the lure of immediate but lucre that are not enduring and chase the Lion out of Lugard House. While doing that, they must ensure his replacement have the sense of value and strength of character to lead Kogi State to the land of milk and honey it right deserves.
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