Honestly, I wish to congratulate his Excellency Alhaji Yahaya Bello on his successful inauguration as the executive governor of kogi state. People choose their leader to lead them but God choose you to lead the people of kogi state. A divine mandate to lead the state in a new direction, we give glory to God for the success recorded at the inaugural ceremony. I wish to also appreciate the effort of the Nigerian police force and other security agencies that collaborated to provide adequate security at the inaugural ceremony.
The security agencies were able to avert our fears of proposed disruption of the inaugural ceremony by some disgruntled elements within the state. The epoch-making event of January 27th 2015 remains sacrosanct to the people of kogi state. To some school of thought, it is the birth of a new direction in the administration of kogi state, the leader they believe can bring about the change they have long being yearning for. To other school of thought, it is a day their denied victory was finally coroneted. Whichever the case may be, we must all accept the fact that, it is only God that chooses a leader.
The old and barbaric ways with which the previous governors governed the state is what some indigenes of the state are expecting to continue, most especially the people of central and western senatorial district. They felt it is pay back time for their marginalization in the leadership of the state; no other senatorial district has had the opportunity of governing the state since it creation in 1991. Only the people from the eastern senatorial district have had privilege to govern the state severally. Power they believe has finally shifted and everybody was expecting his Excellency Alhaji Yahaya Bello to continue with the ethnic cap and lopsided ways of appointing political office holders. Some political appointments have been reserved for only people from eastern senatorial district. Such positions are Chief of staff, commissioner for finance, commissioner for works, accountant general of the state, auditor general of the state, vice chancellor KSU, provost kogi state college of education, permanent Secretary to the government house and several other key positions. There are also several other imbalances, such as commissioners; East – 10, West- 5, Central -4. SA; East – 33, West – 16, Central – 8. S.S.A; East – 60, West – 10, Central – 4. Perm. Sec; East – 24. West- 4. Central- 4. Board Chairmen; East- 14, West- 8, Central-3. Board of directors; East- 198, West- 128, Central- 29. State civil service; East- 24,621, West-6,519 and central- 4,069.
These are some of the reasons why the people of central and western senatorial district are agitating for power shift. There is high level of distrust among the people of the three major ethnic groups in the state and this makes it difficult for the people of Eastern senatorial district to ever wish for power shift.
Beyond the problem of loop sided appointments, distrust among the ethnic groups, agitation for power shift, there is also a high level of debt profile in the state, which amount to the tone of N44.6 billion, lack of payment of civil servants in the state, owning of contractors, poor infrastructures, bad state of roads and above all, infiltrated civil service with ghost workers. Does the man of the new dawn in a new direction expected to continue his administration in this old manner? The answer is a capital NO. His Excellency Alh Yahaya Bello is a progressive minded individual, a detribalized kogits, who believes in equality and fair treatment of all citizen of the state. He is a leader with mission, vision, focused and above all, God fearing. He is the divine leader that God has sent to the good people of kogi state to come and alleviate the state from her present condition. The expectations from the people of state are high as regards dividends of democracy. His Excellency, the executive governor of kogi state is inheriting a state in a near state of comatose in the mist regressing federal allocation as a result of the fall in the International crude oil price and a state with low internally generated revenue (IGR). His Excellency Alh Yahaya bello in his inaugural speech has reiterate the quote of the President in person of President Muhammadu Buhari as “I belong to every body and I belong to nobody”. This quote he said defines the purpose and methodology of his Administration. His Excellency has started his administration on a good note by appointing the Chief of staff in person of Hon. Edward David Onoja from a senatorial district different from that of his Excellency. This has actually given hope to the good people of Kogi State that Alhaji Yahaya Bello is ready to work and not the ethnic leader some people had hope for, we believe he will build a new kogi of power equation and not shift.
To the credit of the new dawn in a new direction, his Excellency has reinstatement the unlawful sacked local government chairmen by immediate past administration of Captain Idris Wasa. He was also able to resolve the six weeks old industrial strike engaged on by the state labour union which has put the state civil service on hold.
We pray that his Excellency Alhaji Yahaya Bello continue in this holy and just path and pay little attention to those who never wish the state well.
Comrade Ahmed Omeiza Lukman,
Chairman Nigeria Community in Ukraine.