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.

Suicide At Governor Yahaya Bello’s Gate

By Erasmus Ikhide 

We are innoculated from shocks of any harrowing news in Nigeria, however convulsing. This perhaps, may have accounted for the reason we were adjuded by the World Happiness Report (WHR) as the most happiest people on earth in 2003. We’re yet to descend to the lowest rung of the ladder as the saddest people on earth, just to prove Fela Anikulapo Kuti wrong that we’re not “Suffering and Smiling”!

It’s our way of life to wake up every morning to the news that our mothers have been violated and butchered in their sleep or on their way to the market, fathers maimed and killed on their way to the farm, daughters and sisters raped, children sold for less than a quarter of half a million naira.

The frightening trend is so nauseating and callous that you would wish that humanity swaps its place with the animal kingdom because the essential difference between animals and humans which is the ability to self-reflect seems literarily lustrated from Nigerians’ DNA.

Two months ago, a man was sluaghtered on his farm by Fulani herdsmen who came grazing with their herds of cattle over his farm in Ogun State, South West Nigeria. No arrest was made. Last week, in the same state, news of a woman who sold her baby girl came to light, while another lady was butchered by her yahoo plus/plus lover and her body parts such as eyes, breasts, ampits hairs and reproductive organ were dug out of her body!

Prior to that, three weeks ago, the news of Mr. Edward Kehinde Soje’s suicide death seized the country. Mr. Soje was a Kogi State civil service who committed suicide for his inability to draw wages from the state government after eleven months! Another news broke on the 28th of last month that Mr. Biodun Bashir, a staff of Universal Basic Education (UBE) in Kwara State, Oyun Local Government hung himself to death over failure of Kwara State Government to pay his salaries for six months.

Mr. Soje’s suicide death is mind blowing, at 54! He was a director in the Kogi State civil service with a family without salaries for 11 months. But the Kogi State Government said it was owing late Mr. Soje only 8 months salary arrears! Before his death, civil servants in the state embarked on industrial action to protest the non-payment of their salaries arrears with some being owed for upwards of 21 months.

A friend of the Soje’s family hinted that he might have taken his life due to the frustrations orchestrated by non-payment of his salaries coupled with the unsettling news that his wife gave birth to male triplets barely two weeks earlier.

In the suicide note, he quoted the scripture in Psalm 121:3, where the bible says, “God will not suffer your foot to be moved: He that keepeth you will not slumber. Amen.” Continuing, he said: “You and the three boys, the God Almighty will keep you and prosper you, amen. I love you.”

Family sources said that Soje had before the incident been going through a lot of financial pressure due to non-payment of his salary for 11 months by the Kogi State Government. As a way out, he was said to have sold his only car and a three-bedroom bungalow he was building at Otokiti area of Lokoja.

The building, which was at lintel level, was sold by Soje at a giveaway price of N1.5 million in April to meet urgent family needs, it was gathered. According to the sources, Soje’s financial woes became compounded when the wife gave birth to a set of triplets through caesarian operation in a private hospital in Abuja on October 7th.

Nigerians of today are worse than the governments at all levels which use, deride, deprive and pillage their existence because they lack the willpower to demand and fight for their rights. It could be the uncanny reason Nigerians were adjudged as the most happiest people on earth in 2003 and beyond.

If a citizen’s genetic propensity to happiness is measured by care, freedom, generosity, honesty, health, income and good governance is the basis for happiness, then a nation almost always on the brink of a cataclysmic disaster: terrorism, poor leadership, poverty, joblessness, food inflation, corruption can’t be a happy people.

According to the World Health Organization, as of 2015, life expectancy in Nigeria was 53 for men and 56 for women, respectively – one of the lowest in the world. Nigeria has an ‘alarmingly high’ maternal mortality rate and according to the Paediatrics Association Nigeria, as of 2017, one million children die annually from preventable diseases.

Despite President Buhari’s face-saving or minor dent on anticorruption, Transparency International still ranks Nigeria as 136th out of 178 countries on the Corruption Perceptions Index with a score of 28 out of 100. Is that a pass mark? Poverty is rife as is inequality. In spite the growing youth population, the first ever Global Youth Wellbeing Index in 2014 ranked Nigeria bottom, making it the worst country, of those ranked, to be a young person.

Ironically, a backward-looking country like Nigeria changed that perception of fake happiness in 2011. A twenty-six-year-old Mohamed Bouazizi who had been the sole income earner in his extended family of eight upset the apple cart in Tunis. He operated a vegetable or apple cart (the contents of the cart are disputed) for seven years in Sidi Bouzid 190 miles (300 km) south of Tunis. On 17 December 2010, a female officer confiscated his cart and produce. Bouazizi, who had had such an event happen to him before, tried to pay the 10-dinar fine (a day’s wages, equivalent to 7USD).

In response the policewoman insulted his deceased father and slapped him. The officer, Faida Hamdi, stated that she was not even a policewoman, but a city employee who had been tasked that morning with confiscating produce from vendors without licenses. When she tried to do so with Bouazizi a scuffle ensued. Hamdi says she called the police who then beat Bouazizi.

A humiliated Bouazizi then went to the provincial headquarters in an attempt to complain to local municipality officials and to have his produce returned. He was refused an audience. Without alerting his family, at 11:30 am and within an hour of the initial confrontation, Bouazizi returned to the headquarters, doused himself with a flammable liquid and set himself on fire. Public outrage quickly grew over the incident, leading to protests.

This immolation and the subsequent heavy-handed response by the police to peaceful marchers caused riots the next day in Sidi Bouzid that went largely unnoticed, although social media sites such as Facebook and YouTube featured images of police dispersing youths who attacked shop windows and damaged cars. Bouazizi was subsequently transferred to a hospital near Tunis. In an attempt to quell the unrest President Zine el Abidine Ben Ali visited Bouazizi in hospital on 28 December 2010. Bouazizi died on 4 January 2011 and the president was chased away from the seat of power thereafter.

Where is the Nigerian’s Bouazizi? Why the vocal collapse? Why did Edward Soje not commit suicide in front of Government House gate at Lokoja to ignite Arab-like uprising? Where are the Mohamed Bouazizis of Nigerian that brought down Tunisia and a few of other Arab countries?

Even with the statistics of terrible failures at governance, Governor Yahaya Bello and his Kwara counterpart are still shamelessly parading themselves as “Governors”, after dysmal performances and their failure to fulfil constitutional obligation to pay wages to workers and protect life and property. Yahaya Bello and Abdulfatah Ahmed’s unregenerated primitivity is tolerable in climes such as Nigeria where the people elect to be “Suffering and Smiling”.

Erasmus, A Public Affairs Analyst Writes from Lagos.

Email: [email protected]

Follow me on twitter @ikhide_erasmus1

Yahaya Bello Proscribes Union Activities In Kogi Tertiary Institutions

Governor of Kogi State, Yahaya Bello, has proscribed the activities of the Joint Action Committee (JAC) of Trade Unions of Tertiary Institutions and all other forms of unionism in the state-owned tertiary institutions.

The governor made this known Wednesday while addressing journalists at the Lugard House Lokoja.

The governor said he respects the rights of all citizens to responsibly associate and pursue their welfare within the ambits of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the laws of the state, the rights of other citizens and the general norms of a democratic society.

Bello added that he respects the rights of labour unions in relation to the responsibilities of the owners and proprietors of tertiary academic institutions.

He, however, accused the unions in the state-owned tertiary institutions of impeding the government’s efforts to carry out holistic reforms of the civil service through their “unjustified and unjustifiable industrial actions.”

The statement reads in part: “The branch of the Joint Action Committee (JAC) of Trade Unions of Tertiary Institutions Owned by Kogi State in Kogi State Polytechnic, Lokoja, has proceeded on yet another strike for alleged non-payment of salaries and emoluments irrespective of clear evidence of Government’s good faith and efforts contradicting JAC’s position.

“Evidence of massive embezzlement of the Kogi State Polytechnic’s earnings in excess of N157m committed under JAC’s nose and government’s efforts to bring the fraudsters to justice have not persuaded JAC to work with government to resolve all extant issues bedevilling the institution’s cash flow.”

It added that “the strike has grounded academic activities to a halt and thrown students out of their classrooms into an uncertain fate.

“The government finds the strike in Kogi State Polytechnic unacceptable and consequently declared all activities of the JAC of trade unions of tertiary institutions owned by Kogi State, as well as all forms of unionism in its tertiary institutions, banned forthwith.”

 

Kogi Govt. Reveals Why Late Director Commits Suicide

Kogi State Government has revealed the reasons behind late Mr. Edward Soje’s suicide.

The revelation was contained in a statement released by the state Head of Service, Mrs. Deborah Ogunmola on Sunday in Lokoja.

She said that Soje received his monthly salary up till December 2016 when it was suddenly stopped by the government.

“His pay was stopped after proof emerged that he falsified his age records. His confession to the offence is on video to justify government stoppage of his salary, ’’Ogunmola said.

Soje, a Director in the state Teaching Service Commission was found hanging on a tree at the back of army barracks in Lokoja.

He was among workers being owed arrears of salaries ranging from two to 21 months by the state government.

Ogunmola, however, explained that following engagements with the labour which spanned several months, the Kogi governor magnanimously commuted the disciplinary action due against Soje and other certain categories of offenders by granting them pardon.

“Pardoned members staff were processed for reinstatement and payment in batches. Mr. Soje was in the September 2017 batch and he was aware of this fact.

“The Kogi State Teaching Service Commission, where he worked has forwarded a template for payment to government and Mr Soje was aware that he was listed to receive six months back pay.

According to her, this leaves only 2 months (August and September) outstanding.

Ogunmola, who also hailed from Ogori, the same town with the deceased, said government was saddened in no small measure by the alleged action of Soje.

She described Soje as a level 16 officer and a director in the Kogi State Civil Service.

She, however, deplored media reports attributing Soje’s alleged decision to commit suicide to non-payment of salary.

“Edward Soje was not just my staff, he was also married to my sister-in-law. His death is shocking, both as one related to him in some way and one responsible for him in an official capacity.

“I met with him earlier last week and we discussed his situation, including the progress made in resolving his employment issues.

“There was no hint of this horrible decision in his demeanour.He did he appear to me as one who was depressed, let alone contemplating suicide. I am, therefore, understandably shocked by all of this.

“Government condoles with his family, especially his wife and three children. While we will not intrude into their grief over their sad loss, we will stand with them.

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.”

Labour: Gov. Bello Has Condemned Kogi Workers to Wheelchair

The organised Labour in Kogi State says the hardship inflicted on workers by Governor Yahaya Bello-led administration has condemned civil service to the wheelchair

They also called on civil servants in the state to be steadfast as their resolute determination to continue the strike action embarked upon 11 days ago had exposed the propaganda of the state government.

In a statement jointly issued by the leadership of the state chapters of the NLC, TUC and the Joint Public Service Negotiating Council (JPSNC); Olakunle Faniyi, Kolawole James and Isah Abubakar, Secretaries of NLC, TUC and JPSNC respectively, Labour said there was no going back on the industrial action until government met their demands.

They encouraged workers to brace up for the hard times that lies ahead in the course of the present struggle for their right.

“More hard times lie ahead because this government had vehemently refused to open the door of negotiation with organised labour.

“Therefore, be prepared for worst because in the state broadcast to mark 57th independence anniversary, government has not seen any reason to open dialogue with organised labour over the catalogue of workers’ demands that led to he ongoing strike action.

“For the umpteenth time, we are calling on government whose responsibility it is to initiate or open door of dialogue because it is the only approach to resolving disputes amicably for the state to move forward.

“There is a saying of our elders that ‘It takes only one day for truth to overtake falsehood of over two hundred years’. That is exactly what is playing out in our current struggle.

“All the efforts of the combined team of Government appointees and permanent secretaries have not been able to suppress the truth of the abysmal condition of workers in Kogi State under this administration.

“It has not suppressed the truth that workers in Kogi State are distressed, it has not suppressed the truth that civil service in Kogi State has been condemned to the wheel chair. It has not suppressed the truth that LG administration has been knocked down and put on a stretcher. It has not suppressed the truth that some top civil servants have not been cleared and paid for several months.

“Workers would not say all is well when it is not, neither would they say it is not well when it is well. For now it is not well and we are standing to say with all boldness that it is not,” the statement read.

Labour directed members to continue to stay away from work and be law abiding.

They appealed to government to tow the line of dialogue as a sine-qua-non to resolving the industrial dispute so that the state can make progress.

Yahaya Bello: Read Full Text of Governor’s 57th Independence Anniversary Speech

AN ADDRESS DELIVERED BY HIS EXCELLENCY, ALHAJI YAHAYA BELLO, EXECUTIVE GOVERNOR OF KOGI STATE TO COMMEMORATE THE 57TH INDEPENDENCE ANNIVERSARY OF NIGERIA ON OCTOBER 1, 2017 AT GOVERNMENT HOUSE, KOGI STATE.

 

My dear people of Kogi State,

 

I give all the praise to the Almighty God for another Independence Anniversary – the 57th for our dear Nation Nigeria. Everyone who has access to international news media knows of nations which have been confronted with the selfsame challenges that we face here and have descended into war and crises. Today is thus another perfect opportunity for gratitude, if not for the good we have achieved, at least, for the evils which God has kept from befalling us.

 

Poor leadership, corruption, terrorism, militancy, separatist agitations, even a Civil War which ended 47 years ago constitute some of the self-inflicted troubles which we contend with in the Nigerian Federation. Unlike other nations which have proved incapable of working through their differences and have gone up in flames, we Nigerians have had the good fortune, if not the good sense, to keep talking.

 

We may not always speak in polite tones, and our passion may sometimes be irrational, but we have maintained communication, and therefore avoided conflict. This is a wonderful blessing, and we must be grateful to God for it.

 

In Kogi State, I continue striving to exemplify inclusive leadership. I am glad that none of my traducers have accused me of ethnicism or tribalism yet (although now that I have reminded them, they may start tomorrow). If anything, some persons are angry at me for not stuffing Cabinet and other organs of governments with my own kith and kin. I do not owe anyone an apology on this score.

 

From the inception of my Administration, I have ensured that proportional representation of constituencies across the 3 Senatorial Districts as well as the personal merits of individual appointees have determined who serves where in Government. This posture is founded on my belief that one does not effect change by doing the same old things the same old ways.

 

In order to force a paradigm and generational shift in politics, I realize that I must keep justice, equity and merit as the moral compass for Government. The only way politics in Nigeria can change to accommodate more young people in high positions of leadership is for youths already in leadership to demonstrate competence and capacity to lead. I shall not speak for others but I repeat a solemn guarantee to succeed well as Governor of Kogi State.

I know that today is not a day to start reeling out a roll call of Projects executed by my Administration in the last 20 months, but I assure Kogites that tremendous progress is being made. In another 4 months, we will mark our 2 years in Office and I promise that the second volume of a Compendium which will contain all ongoing and completed projects will be released to commemorate it. The first volume has been out since January this year and continues to showcase our verifiable achievements. Till then, suffice it to say that we are racing to achieve as much as time and funds will permit.

 

We are careful to ensure even distribution of projects across all of our constituencies based on needs assessment. All of the 5 thematic areas in our New Direction Blueprint are receiving simultaneous attention. Education, Health, Infrastructure & Utilities, Job Creation & Youth Empowerment and Public Service & Pension Reforms remain vehicles from which to unload our Change Agenda.

 

While Education and Healthcare remain atop our list of priorities, communities across Kogi State are also being provided with electricity, water supply, roads, etc.

 

In Education, we have focused on providing quality learning environment and materials in order to unleash the genius of our students. So much has been done in the sector. For instance, I personally flagged off construction of 240 blocks of 2 classrooms each in 80 Primary Schools across the 21 Local Government Areas of Kogi State recently. Upon completion, each of them will be equipped with modern learning facilities and round-the-clock solar electricity to power the ICT components.

 

I was happy to hear from our Commissioner for Health a couple of months ago that we have met our 4-year target of 100% immunization against childhood killer diseases already. Our statistics on Maternal and NewBorn Health initiatives also show-marked improvement from what we met on ground. Most pregnant women in Kogi State today have access to free maternity kits and care today.

 

Primary and Secondary Health Care Centres across the 21 Local Government Areas have either been renovated or built from scratch and equipped with drugs and equipment. We also recruited scores of medical personnel to help improve access to medicare for our people. 12 state-of-the-art ambulances were bought and distributed across Kogi State to facilitate speedy evacuation of critically ill patients to larger medical facilities in urban and semi-urban areas.

 

Empowerment and welfare programs for our youth and other population groups have been held to one level or the other in all of the 21 Local Government Areas. We have also been lauded as one of the most responsive state to the Social Investment Programs of the Government. Like I said in my New Year message earlier this year, 2017 is going to be a hallmark year for projects.

 

The Administration will continue to apply dialogue where it can make a difference in any industrial dispute. However, at this stage in our Public Service and Pension Reforms, we have a duty to pay more attention to the law, including the Public Service Rules as well as the sustainability of the reforms we are putting in place. The whims and caprices of vested interests cannot therefore be admitted to determine our responses in any way.

We do not understand what could possibly be wrong with putting into the hands of individual workers the tools to determine their own rating (and therefore progress) on the job, even after we have left office. Our aim with the clock-in, clock-out devices which Labour Leaders are rejecting is to empower each worker to leave a digital footprint which authenticates his or her participation during the typical work day. If this aim is defeated, all of the aspirations of genuine and conscientious workers to be assessed based on actual performance will remain a mirage, like in the past.

 

Prompt payment of salaries is still a vexed issue, but we will do our best to keep our workers happy given the competing demands on the income of the state per time. However, it is inevitable that from time to time we must ask workers to stand with us in sacrifice. We hope they will oblige in the overall interest of the state.

 

In similar vein, prompt payment of Gratuities and Pensions is only possible within the ambits of a Contributory Pension Scheme. Like the automation of the workforce, a Contributory Pension Scheme for the Kogi State workforce is inevitable reform. We commend workers who come around to work to the overall interest of the State. We cannot allow ourselves to become deterred from implementing much-needed reforms. We also urge all workers not to be misled as Government is doing everything possible to address the various challenges confronting the workforce. We are a responsible Government and we shall live up to our responsibilities.

 

The Administrations was gratified to be invited by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to send a Team to the 72nd United Nations General Assembly in New York City as one of only four states in Nigeria considered success stories for their implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Our Team enjoyed a successful outing at the United Nations Headquarters, made a presentation at the Nigeria side event and signed a Memorandum of Understanding for deeper collaboration with the UN and her agencies. This is good for Kogi State and her people.

 

Let me remind us that the rains are still here and there is still need to remain vigilant against flooding and other associated natural disasters. The most potent tool against flooding is to keep existing drainage systems free of garbage and other rubbish. The next is to be wise and evacuate to higher ground if flooding appears imminent and you live in a low-lying area.

 

On our part as Government, we have designated camps for Internally Displaced People in each Local Government Area deemed at risk, and should it become necessary to deploy a Camp in any locality, Kogites can expect their Government to act with despatch in sending fast responders and launching emergency protocols.

 

As I conclude this address this 1st October morning, in the year 2017, I find myself in bitter-sweet mood. The sweet feelings flow from the GREAT POTENTIALS which Nigeria possessed long before Independence, and which remain unabated despite 57 years of checkered history. The pain comes from bitter emotions evoked when I consider the COUNTLESS MISSED OPPORTUNITIES we have had from October 1, 1960 to October 1, 2017 to transform our great potentials into great progress.

 

The British may have had their own ulterior motives when they amalgamated the old Northern and Southern Protectorates into one Nigeria in 1914, but I believe they also provided us an opportunity which hitherto did not exist, i.e. the opportunity to be much more greater than we would have become as individual tribes or territories.

 

In my opinion, and I think most Nigerians will agree with me, that even though we have not harnessed our gains after amalgamation, the present Government led by President Muhammadu Buhari GCFR is making efforts to optimize our potentials as a Nation. This is evident in a more secured Nigeria after years of terrorism threat, we are consciously diversifying our economy to Agriculture and Mining, the very vulnerable are now being focused on using various current programmes and policies – e.g Condition Cash Transfer at National level, N-power and Market Money, Home Grown School Feeding Programme etc. as a State, the GYB Food Security Project, Youth and Artisan Empowerment Project and the upcoming GYB water for life Grassroot Project and finally, GYB Model Primary and Unity School to foster cohesion amongst the upcoming young ones and quality education.

 

I reiterate our commitment in Kogi State and Nigeria where there is room for all citizens and constituencies to achieve their maximum potentials.

 

In the spirit of our 57th Anniversary as a Country, I wish all Kogites, Nigerians and our motherland, Nigeria, Happy Independence!

 

May the Almighty God bless us all.

YAHAYA BELLO

EXECUTIVE GOVERNOR, KOGI 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.

Kogi Governor Declares Public Holiday Over Buhari’s Return

The governor of Kogi State, Yahaya Bello has declared Monday, August 21 as public holiday and Thanksgiving day in honour of the return of President Muhammadu Buhari from his extended medical vacation in London which lasted over a hundred days.

A statement issued on Sunday in Lokoja by his Director General on Media and Publicity, Kingsley Fanwo, said the gesture was in line with the support of the Kogi people for “the renaissance of our nation by Mr. President”.

“We urge Kogites to also use the occasion of the Public Holiday to pray for Mr. President as he resumes his responsibilities of repositioning Nigeria.” the statement said.

Several welcome speeches, cheers and jubilation have trailed the president’s return.

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.