Since creation on 27th August 1991, successive democratically elected governments and administrations in the state have been criticized for not doing enough in amelioration the sufferings of the masses, creating ample job opportunities to meaningfully engage the teaming unemployed youth, prompt payment of workers’ salaries and pensions in order to dowse economic tension in the state, provision of basic amenities, availability of farm inputs like fertilizer, rural electrification and putting enduring measures in place to improve on the state’s internally generated revenue (IGR).
Even though some have described the last twelve year rule of the PDP in the state as an era of “chop-make-i-chop”, after one year of APC’s rule the present administration of Gov. Yahaya Bello is yet to prove to many that he would be able to match the achievements of the past administrations let alone surpassing them. Regardless of what anybody thinks, the present administration started on an impressive note, giving the caliber of men and women that made up the transition committee, of which one expected majority of those to be included in his cabinet with inclusion of more men of substance who have had several years of experience in politics, financial and economic management, healthcare and agriculture to assist the governor who is young and relatively inexperienced in piloting a state like kogi with its uniqueness and complexities. But this wasn’t the case, the people Governor Yahaya Bello chose to work with are people with lesser wealth of experience than himself, many of whom are complete novice and lacked the right orientation, attitude and mentality needed to add value to this government.
Our Youthful Governor again earned himself some accolades and respect when he was quick to identify the fact that the problem of ghost workers was one that has dragged the state backwards economically and development wise and needed to be dealt with as urgently as possible, but again the lengthy duration and manner with which the screening exercise was conducted further exposed the incompetence and inexperience of the present government, as the exercise ended up creating more problems than required and expected. The very serious business of governance was reduced to a comedy show in the state when aides of the governor went to the media to announce that it had paid all outstanding arrears of salaries owed “genuine” workers only for many of the state civil servants to start crying aloud that nothing of such had happened. One begins to wonder what the “digital governor” hoped to achieve by telling such wild lies.
Political appointments are made all over the world based on past records of achievement, wealth of experience and the capacity to contribute and add value. When one looks closely at the men and women around Gov. Bello he begins to doubt if these sets of individuals have got anything to really contribute. Obviously, the only things the aides and political appointees have contributed to this government since the past one year has being flashy wedding ceremonies, extravagant birthday parties and burials. Under the very watchful eyes of Governor Yahaya Bello, salaries of civil servants in the state were being siphoned into private pockets by some political appointees. Little wonder, despite the bailout of 20b from the federal government and 11.2b Paris loan refund the state government is still unable to pay arrears of salaries owed as falsely claimed, yet the chief of staff, Edward Onoja had several millions of naira to purchase food stuffs and share as Christmas largesse, what a fraud!
Kidnapping and armed robbery have become the order of the day and residents of the state can hardly sleep with their two eyes closed. People now fast and pray to God before travelling along Okene-Osara-Lokoja route as a result of the free reign of men of the underworld. It is disheartening and sad that the present state government with all the resource at its disposal has not been able to do much in halting the almost daily activities of criminally minded elements who boldly engage in these evil acts in the state. Giving the central location of the state and the fact that it serves as a gateway for the north to the south, one would have expected the present administration to consult widely and commit more resources towards reducing to the minimum the current spate of kidnapping and armed robbery which has and is causing the state a great deal of embarrassment and denting the already battered image of the confluence state.
Your Excellency, you don’t really need to have a slogan or tag your government as “new direction” before you make a meaningful impact or for people to know that there is a new administration in place. Within a short period in office, your counterpart in Kebbi state, Alhaji Abubakar Atiku Bgudu has placed that state in the “world map” by revolutionizing and modernizing rice farming. Today, kebbi state is the rice hub and the pride of the nation in terms of rice modern rice cultivation and production. Also, the Taraba state governor, Mr Darius Dickson Ishaku has within a short time as chief executive of that state been able to resuscitate the hitherto neglected and abandoned tea factory. Taraba state is now a reference and rallying point in terms of tea production nationwide. All these achievements and giant strides were made possible because these governors had the right men and women around them.
If you really wish to achieve anything meaningful, to show after your four years tenure in office as governor of kogi state, then you urgently need to show many of your appointees the exit door. Running a padi-padi government will do no good; instead it will end up ruining your administration. The condition of the state is already going from bad to worse under your leadership; time for you to do the needful is now.