Bello Promises To Make Kogi ‘Holland Of Nigeria’ Through Cattle Colonies

At a time thatvmany states have refused to go along with the Federal Government’s Cattle Colony agenda, Gov. Yahaya Bello of Kogi has pledged to make the state be the Holland of Nigeria in terms of dairy milk production and other livestock products for other states to patronise.

Bello made the promise at the Kogi State Agriculture Summit, tagged: “Moving Agriculture To The Next Level”, on Friday in Lokoja, as part of activities to mark his two years in office.

“In Holland, everyone knows that Holland produce more than a quarter of dairy milk and meats for Europe and America.

“Kogi will be the Holland of Nigeria where every other state in Nigeria will come and buy milk and other dairy products.

“They will also buy meat, hides and skin, bones, horns and even cow faeces for manure, which will translate into cash for our people.

“We are looking for opportunities to make money for our people.

“If you have a parcel of land that you are not using, what will happen is that the pastoralists will come and you rent it to them for money.

“Our youths and women will learn how to breed and keep these cows as well.

“And what will happen is that we shall have hire cross breed cows that will produce more milk and high quality meats where other states can come and buy,” Bello said.
Bellp refuted allegations that he was biased in favour of Fulani herdsmen, saying,“They said I am friend to Fulani herdsmen and hate farmers, but they are all falsehood on the pages of newspapers and television.

“We are telling the people that we are tolerant in Kogi, we love our neighbours and seizing and maximising the best of every opportunity.

“Very soon we will tell our Fulani brothers not to take their cows across border to sell again.

“We will ask them to drop their cows in Kogi, and we will rent your land to them to stay.

“A land where people can come and buy, pay tax to government and they will settle the land owners.

“That your land that is there and not generating anything will become a hot cake.

“These are the various benefits we will derive from our coexistence with Fulani herdsmen.

“This is the way we are going to go; in the next six months we shall begin to see the economy of Kogi transforming very rapidly.

“The Federal Government and international agencies are bringing money, grants to Kogi to support livestock production, including keeping these cows in form of ranches in one particular area with facilities called ‘cattle colonies’”.

The governor restated his determination to support President Muhammadu Buhari in implementing his manifestos as far as revolutionary in agriculture was concerned.

He charged youths to forget yhe era of “free money”. “We must return back to farm. Let us key into various programmes of this government, especially in agriculture, he said. “All that is required is your interest and the land… You own your land, we shall give you fund, farm implements and create the market for you, what else are you waiting for?

“Why can’t we tolerate our Fulani bothers and sisters who have lived with us for a very long time? And you want them to leave now to go where?

“We have to be tolerant, we have to tolerate one another, it is out of tolerance that we gathered here today.

“We develop the culture of tolerance by accommodating one another.

“Hold on to your land, we will teach you how to use it judiciously to make huge money in the state; our land is our oil wells that can never dry,” Bello said.

Kogi Government To Empower 99,000 Farmers

The Kogi Government has promised to empower at least 99,000 smallholder farmers across the state in pursuit of its food production and agribusiness policy.

This was made by known by the Commissioner for Agriculture, Mr Kehinde Oloruntoba, at the monthly meeting of the Core Delivery Team (CDT) of the State Partnership for Agriculture (SPA) in Lokoja.

The meeting was organised by the SPA in collaboration with Synergos Nigeria.

Oloruntoba said that the beneficiary farmers in 2018 would be those who engaged in the production of food and cash crops, including cassava, rice, fishery and poultry.

He said that the state had keyed into the Economic Recovery Growth Plan (ERGP) of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to boost food production and develop the agricultural sector.

He said the state’s agricultural sector was expected to generate about N22.05 billion, 15 percent of this year’s budget of N147 billion.

The commissioner said that all the sub-sectors of the agricultural sector in the state were expected to contribute to the success of the programme.

Oloruntoba urged farmers to change their attitude toward farming, saying: “We cannot continue to do things the same way and expect different results; attitude is everything.’’

He emphasised the need for representatives of the ministry in the CDT to always allow the knowledge they gained at the various meetings to trickle down to other members of staff.

He said that in 2018, the government would establish four prototype cassava peels processing factories in different locations across the state to produce animal feeds.

“This is an initiative that we borrowed from Synergos Nigeria and we intend to replicate it across the state. So, we are planning to execute many programmes in 2018.

‘‘We thank Synergos for their intervention and pledge to do more; we look forward to better a collaboration,” he added.

Speaking, Synergos Country Director, Mr Adewale Ajadi, said that there was high demand for poultry and fish feeds processed from cassava peels.

Ajadi, who was represented by Mr Victor Adejoh, Synergos Field Manager for Kogi, Benue and Kaduna States, thanked the state government for its policies and programmes on agribusiness and its interest in smallholder farmers.

Participants at the meeting gave an account of their various ministries, departments and agencies in their efforts to move the agricultural sector forward.

 

Bello: We’ve Borrowed N10bn To Pay Salary

The Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello, on Friday disclosed that his administration resorted to borrowing N10bn before it could clear four-month salary areas before the last Christmas.

He said the loan was added to the over N1.2bn that accrued to the state from Paris Club refund as well as the state’s November and December allocation before the feat could be achieved.

The governor spoke in an interview with State House correspondents at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

He said, “In Kogi State today, we are up to date as far as salary is concerned. In December, Mr. President magnanimously assisted us with another tranche of Paris Club refund. Our own figure was N1.2bn and some other change on top.

“We didn’t just stop at that, we borrowed up to N10bn and we added November/December allocation to our figures and we were able to clear four months at a stretch before Christmas and some leftover were cleared before this January in Kogi State.

“As you all know the salary was very bogus and according to the figure we had we were able to distribute it among these months. So glory to God as far as Kogi State is concerned.”

From January however, the governor said workers in the state would be earning salaries based on the number of times they are present at work.

“Moving forward from this January, we have decided that we are going to make use of our clock-in device for every civil servant in Kogi State-both at local and state levels.

“So, as you come to work and clock-in, that is exactly how your salary will be generated. It is online, it is automated so nobody is going to cheat anybody.

“That is how we are going to go in the state. So, Kogi State civil servants and pensioners are all happy with this administration. Thanks to God and Mr. President for this magnanimity,” he said.

The governor also claimed that his administration had worked so hard on the security situation in the state to the point that no case of kidnapping or armed robbery has so far been recorded in November, December and January.

“The security operatives are collaborating with us, we are spending a lot on security.

“So collaboration between the security agencies and understanding by the people, they are giving us a lot of information and we are treating them with utmost secrecy and we are working harmoniously together.

“The Fulanis in Kogi State are equally collaborating with us. Even the criminal elements amongst them, they are the ones even apprehending them and handing them over to the security agencies. So we are living very harmoniously with the Fulani herdsmen, farmers and the citizens.

“Travelers are safe day and night because anywhere you go, you see security operatives and we have even vigilantes, hunters that are equally assisting us in our farms and so many other deserted areas. So Kogi is very safe,” he claimed.

On the 2019 general elections, Bello recalled that his state has already endorsed President Muhammadu Buhari for second term.

He boasted that the state would return a number of votes that will dwarf that of the President’s home state, Katsina.

Governor Bello, Let Common-Sense Prevail

By Hussain Obaro

SIR; These past days, the internet and social media have been awash with news and pictures of the newly built mansion of Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State in his home town of Okene. Some news platforms have alleged that the expensive house is worth billions of naira, while others have described it as an architectural masterpiece of the century.

The question I asked some of the governor’s critics is: when and how has it become a sin for a sitting governor to build a house? If a similar house was built by a performing governor, would it have attracted the kind of reaction, condemnation and bashing that the palatial mansion has received so far?

It has since dawned on me that it isn’t really about the house, which some persons have described as a heaven on earth, but the timing, the funfair, extravagant ceremony and the unnecessary flaunting of the magnificent edifice by the governor’s praise singers and clueless appointees who go about posting and celebrating the mansion as if it is a sort of a dividend of democracy and a gift to the people of Kogi State.

Common-sense demands that since the governor is doing little or nothing to ameliorate the sufferings of the masses of Kogi State, he would stop doing things that will further increase their pain and frustrations. Erecting a gigantic multi-million naira mansion and rubbing it on the faces of the hungry masses is tantamount to dancing on the graves of those who have lost their lives to accidents while travelling to participate in the more than one year screening exercise that the administration embarked upon with no tangible result to show for it. It insults the patience and sensibilities of the workers who have endured hunger and humiliation as a result of the hardship imposed on them by the Yahaya Bello administration.

The families of those who have committed suicide as a result of the economic hardship in the state wouldn’t smile at the mansion whenever they walk past it. Aside the fact that many of the governor’s appointees have allegedly become so rich that they are also building mansions of their own in choice areas across the state and beyond. The only thing they seem to be good at is haul insults at constructive critics, using gutter and garage languages. It is said that a sensible leader selects the best of the best and empower them to deliver on set goals and objectives.

Our dear governor, you were not wrong to have built a house of your own in your home town, but the timing was wrong and so was the funfair and publicity it attracted. It makes no iota of common-sense that while President Muhammadu Buhari was away in Kano State commissioning state-of-the-art hospitals, roads and factories that has the capacity to employ more than 5000 unemployed, you were commissioning your mansion amidst hungry and poor Kogites.

Hussain Obaro,
Lokoja, Kogi State.

Murder: Kogi Govt Imposes Curfew In 5 LGA’s

A 24-hour curfew has been imposed by the Kogi State Government in five Local Government areas in the central Senatorial Districts of the State. Although there was no reason for the action, sources said it was not unconnected to incessant brutal killings in those areas.

 

Recall that recently, a labour leader was killed in cold blood alongside his friend after observing his evening prayers.

 

A statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the Kogi State governor Petra Akinti Onyegbule says the affected local government areas are Adavi, Ajaokuta, Okehi, Okene, Ogori/Magongo Local Government Areas.

 

The statement urged residents to comply to the directive as anyone who runs foul would have themselves to blame.

 

She said that “This curfew will last for 24 hours and it is absolute. No movement whatsoever shall be allowed.

 

“Government regrets every inconvenience this might cause and assures citizens and residents this decision has been taken in the best interest of the state.”

 

 

Kogi: Dino Melaye’s Sour Grapes

By  Bayo Eniojukan

The real and behind-the-scene motives for the unrelenting mischief by well-known enemies of the people of Kogi State should be obvious to all thinking people. Because the present administration in the state has blocked entrenched interests from feasting on the commonwealth and is embarking on efforts to develop all the sectors of socio-economic life of the people, it becomes very understandable that the mouth of detractors who had failed woefully in the past should be filled with sour grapes.

Because of the yawning developmental gap left between what was and what is now, it has not been easy for the people who were responsible for the state of hopelessness into which Kogi State and its citizens had been dumped, to accept the reality that, at last, the day of reckoning has come. Or that, indeed, a Daniel had come to judgment.

It is no longer news that as the result of the clamour of people from different walks of life, against the unrestrained bazaar that was the key feature of the last two Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) administrations in the state, that Governor Yahaya Bello had set up a judicial panel of enquiry to look into the mess that was the last two administrations. After open sessions, the panel arrived at the decision that sundry interests who were working in concert with the key elements in the former administrations were indicted.

It was further discovered that in spite of losses of such huge sums of money through various forms of looting, nothing much was left on the ground to justify that grand rape of the long-suffering people of Kogi State. If anything, the people inherited monuments of abandoned and uncompleted projects and HUGE LOANS TO SERVICE.

It is no wonder that as a way of trying to pull the wool over the eyes of the people, these shameless detractors who obviously have a lot of explanations to make to the Kogites, have instead, hired a well known rabble-rouser to tar the present administration in the same putrid hue in which they had wallowed in their 12 uninterrupted years of despoliation of Kogi State.

It is in that light that the recent ridiculous attempt by Senator Dino Melaye (Kogi West), leveling all manners of tendentious allegations against the Yahaya Bello administration, should be seen.

It is needless to state that from the mediocrity of the presentation of ‘situation report’ of the happenings in Kogi State on the floor of the Senate, it was obvious that the lawmaker lives in the gutters and is just desirous of dragging everybody else into his natural habitat.

No one should be surprised at Melaye’s reference to the people of his home state as Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs). He is a product of a discredited National Assembly where distorted personalities flourish unchallenged. Melaye as a Senator has never shown he is a robust adult thirsting for challenge and rigor. He trivializes serious issues with his nonsense and tomfoolery.

This is a lawmaker who knows nothing other than ostentatious consumption of goods in a manner that proves the anger of the poor Kogi people who voted him into office. On so many occasions, Senator Dino mocks at the very electorate that put him in office. He flaunts his exotic cars and jeeps to impress his poverty ravaged voters. Wouldn’t we be impressed if this “Distinguished Senator” had used his wealth to promote social causes and other philanthropic activities? Are the politician’s achievements determined by the number of exotic cars and jeeps he has acquired while in office, or by how many lives he touched?

Another obvious evil goal of the beer-parlor allegations against Governor Bello is to create the impression, that the current administration in the state is incompetent, as the day of reckoning for his recall from the Senate becomes imminent. There is, however, no doubt that attempts to erect such red-herrings would collapse.

It is also a matter of fact that in the affairs of governance, perception by the different levels of the governed often translates to the reality which they internalize. The detractors of the present government in Kogi State know this and that is why they are taking these diets of evil concoctions to the court of public opinion, knowing that the public is often gullible and would want to believe the worst about their leaders. It is, therefore, understandable and excusable that the state government usually takes equal space used by the detractors to publish their concoctions to refute them. It was a good information management strategy which tries to target the same audience at which the dangerous false allegations were targeted.

But rather than devote time and resources in responding to scoundrels like Senator Dino, whose stock in trade is scooping mud and throwing at people, what Governor Yahaya Bello and his handlers should do at this time is to ignore Dino and continue its good work, for the people, cognizant of the fact that the people are not fools and are aware of the great changes that are taking place before their very eyes.

Kogites are intelligent and discerning people who have watched governments come and go, and are, therefore, able to make comparisons. The people have been able to differentiate between administrations that have treated them with disdain from those who have taken their interests to heart and respected their feelings deeply enough as to have routinely consulted them to ascertain our feelings and listen to our heartbeats.

Yes, one must admit that the administration of Governor Yahaya Bello in Kogi State is definitely human and is bound to make mistakes and should, therefore, be given the opportunity to correct them.

It is important to call on all well-meaning people of Kogi State to come together and ensure that his detractors and unrepentant opposition elements that are hiding under Senator Dino are not allowed to succeed. Similarly, Governor Bello should continue his good work and by ensuring that the looters of the past are compelled to vomit their loot, in accordance with the prescriptions of the different judicial panels of inquiry so that the hapless civil servants can be paid all their entitlements at once!

While I am not trying to rationalize the owing of Kogi workers’ salaries, it must be said that Governor Bello is among the few governors who have committed to a reduction of its operating costs, including significantly slashing its overheads while freeing up more resources to meet his obligations to workers and to bridge the gap in the state’s infrastructural deficit.

It must be understood that as things stand, only four states; Kano, Katsina, Rivers, and Lagos can meet their recurrent expenditure obligations without resorting to borrowing or tapping from donor funds and extra-budgetary sources.

Official data released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) revealed that in 2016, thirty (30) states reviewed; minus Lagos State generated N515.61 billion internally generated revenue, which is one-third of the N1.479 trillion they spend on workers remuneration annually. So, Kogi State is not alone in this mess.

What should Yahaya Bello do? He should continue in the same proactive and transparent way he has been running the state affairs, working to improve tax collection efficiency and realign budgeting with statewide plans.

It is for the honest and ordinary Kogites to make the accurate assessments that would winnow the wheat from the chaff. The good people of Kogi State must continue to consign senseless allegations made by Senator Melaye to where they belong- the dustbins!

After all, one could allege to a blind man that there is oil in the food, but you cannot lie to him that there is salt, when there is none. Let all Kogites as well as the other Nigerians whom the detractors in Kogi State are trying to confuse learn to dismiss the fake allegations against the current administration in the Confluence State for what they are: futile efforts of drowning men who had betrayed their trust by the people they were supposed to govern well, to grab at any manner of straws.

It is important to note, as Governor Bello has consistently warned of the need for vigilance to ensure that that Kogites do not allow the inordinate ambition of other people to becloud our peaceful atmosphere and vision. Should a word not be enough for the wise people
of Kogi State?

Gov Yahaya Lash Out, Only The Blind Won’t See What We Are Doing

Kogi State Governor Yahaya Bello, says it is only those who are blind that are saying he has not done enough to promote tourism in his state.

Speaking in a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday, the governor said his administration is doing its best to ensure security.

He was asked: “What will you say you are not doing enough to promote tourism in your state?”

Responding, Bello said, “It’s only those who are blind that will not see what we are doing… Before you attract tourists to your state, you have to secure it.

“There must also be infrastructure. All these are being taken care of as we speak… Investors are coming in in their numbers. They are so many that are coming. It’s not out of place to say they see that the place is secure.”

Bello said he met with the president to brief him on the happenings in Kogi. He said the state was very stable, except for a “few Diaspora politicians that are making noise in the media”.

He asked the people of the state to be patient with him because “things are hard generally”.

“The only thing is that the good people of Kogi state should continue to be patient with this government. Things are hard generally and we are trying our best, and that is why we are transparent in everything that we do. I’m sure you are aware of the periodic publishing of our accounts, very soon we are going to publish all the salaries that we have paid to workers since inception in newspapers for people to see it. All the noise about Kogi not paying salaries will be in public domain,” he added.

He described workers of the state who are on strike as political civil servants.

Some workers of the state are on strike owing to the failure of the government to pay them a backlog of salaries.

He said he was trying to keep up with the payment of salaries, but that the “economy is biting hard everywhere”.

“Those workers that are on strike are political civil servants; the real civil servants are coming to work. We are trying our best to keep up with the payment of salaries. There is no denying the fact that the economy is biting hard everywhere and you will recall that I met four-month salary backlog, I cleared it and today we are keeping up to date. We are owing August and September as we speak,” he said.

“We are up to date in terms of salaries and those that come to work we shall pay them and those that don’t come to work, the no-work-no-pay rule shall surely apply.”

Court Dismisses Malaye’s Suit, Orders INEC To Continue Recall Process

Justice Nnamdi Dimgba of an Abuja Federal High Court on Monday dismissed the suit by Kogi West Senator, Dino Melaye, challenging his recall process, instituted by his constituents.

The judge ruled that the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, “shall proceed with the recall process.”

The Kogi West Senator had approached the court seeking an order nullifying the recall process.

Against this backdrop, the court had ordered INEC to halt the recall exercise, pending the determination of Melaye’s application.

However, Justice Dimgba said contrary to Melaye’s argument that he was not granted a fair hearing, the constitution does not require a special provision that mandates INEC to grant the senator an opportunity of fair hearing.

Consequently, the judge ordered the Nation’s electoral body to serve Melaye with the recall petition, schedule of signatures attached to the petitions and a full list of persons in support of the recall process.

The judge said his order must be carried out within two weeks before an amended time-table for the recall would be made.

 

Kogi To Partner NDLEA On Drug Abuse

Lokoja, Aug. 24, (2017) Mrs Bolanle Amupitan, Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development in Kogi, on Thursday said the state government would collaborate with the National Drug Law Enforcement agency (NDLEA) to control drug abuse in the state.

Amupitan, who disclosed this while receiving NDLEA officials in Lokoja, said the state government would participate in this year’s commemoration of the international drug abuse day in the state.

She also said that the state government would support drug addicts to overcome their challenges.

She described poverty, marital problems and lack of parental care as some of the causes of drug abuse and called for support to rehabilitate the addicts.

She assured the agency of the government supports, adding that there was an initiative of the Northern Governor’s Wives Forum (NGWF) to tackle the menace of drug abuse among the youths.

The commissioner said the governor’s wife, Mrs Rashida Bello, would participate in this year’s celebration to encourage parents to guide their children against drug abuse.

Earlier, the Commander of NDLEA in the state, Idris Bello, said the agency was ready to partner the state government to control the menace of drug abuse in the state.

Kogi State Gets Female Head of Service

The Kogi state governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello has appointed Mrs H.O.K. Lawal as the substantive Head of Service in the state.
The Director General on Media and Publicity to the Governor, Kingsley Fanwo announced this while briefing newsmen at the end of the weekly State Executive Council in Lokoja.
He said the Governor approved the appointment to replace the retired former Head of Service of the State, Dr. Moses Atakpa.
“The Executive Governor of Kogi State, Alh. Yahaya Bello has approved the appointment of Mrs H.O.K. Lawal as the Head of Service of the State. She is to replace the retired former Head of Service, Dr. Moses Atakpa.
“While thanking the outgone Head of Service for his service to the state, he charged the new Head of Service to ensure the fruition of the ongoing reforms in the Civil Service of the state for optimal service delivery. He said the success of his administration depends largely on the efficiency of the civil service”.
Mrs Lawal thanked the Governor for the confidence reposed in her and pledged to lead a well motivated and disciplined civil service. He said the entire civil servants in the state will key into the New Direction Agenda of the administration to take the state to new heights.
In the same vein, the Commissioner for Works in the state, Engr. Abdulmumuni Sadiq told newsmen that Council has approved the rehabilitation and construction of hostels for students of the Kogi State Polytechnic, Lokoja to ameliorate their suffering.
He said the present condition of the hostels is unacceptable to the present administration.
He also said contracts have been awarded to boost power supply in some areas across the state, saying the present administration in the state is poised to improve infrastructures.
The State Executive Council has also approved the total rehabilitation of the NYSC Camp in the state to make it befitting and conducive for corp members.

PMB’s Return: The Dawn Of Greater Things To Happen – Yayaha Bello

Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State has expressed heartfelt gratitude to God for the safe return of President Muhammodu Buhari to Nigeria.

President Buhari who has been away in London on medical vacation returned yesterday amid jubilation from Nigerians.
Governor Bello through a statement released by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Petra Onyegbule thanked Nigerians for their unfliching loyalty and faith in President Buhari’s leadership, adding that his return will deliver more dividends of democracy to the pupolace.
The statement read, “On behalf of the Government and people of Kogi State, express heartfelt gratitude to Almighty Allah for the restoration of health and return of our leader and President, Muhammadu Buhari back into the country following medical treatment abroad. Nigerians have shown how much they love and support the president through an uncommon demonstration of their unflinching loyalty and faith in the leader they overwhelmingly voted into office in 2015. This is an attestation to the fact that Nigerians are satisfied in the leadership of the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”
“The Governor enjoins Nigerians to unite and join hands with President Muhammadu Buhari to complete the work they had begun in setting Nigeria on the right path and building a country every Nigerian would be proud of.”
“Governor Bello acknowledges that the people have huge expectations of government at all levels and are eager for the APC to deliver the dividends of democracy to them. These expectations are legit. And the President has shown commitment to meeting the yearnings of his people. This is evident in the successes recorded in the areas of fighting insecurity, reducing unbridled corruption and improving the nation’s economy.
“As President Buhari carries on the leadership of our country Nigeria, Governor Bello urges us all to shun primordial and basic sentiments, put the nation first and rally round Mr. President to make Nigeria work for us even as he wishes him the best of health of mind, body and soul.
“Governor Bello also wishes to extend profound appreciation to the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, for showing excellent leadership skills in steering the ship of the Nation as Acting President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, his patriotism and sense of duty to Nigerians and unquestionable loyalty to President Buhari. It is my fervent hope and unshakeable conviction that this is the dawn of greater things to happen under this administration to the benefit of Nigerians.
Long live President Muhammadu Buhari
Long live the Federal Republic of Nigeria.