Opinion: Kogi under Yahaya Bello: So far, not good
Editor's note: Alhaji Yahaya Bello of Kogi state assumed duty on January 27, 2016 as the governor following the death of Prince Abubakar Audu, the former governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Hussain Obaro in this piece talks speaks on the administration of the present government under Bello which unfortunately is the worst performed in key areas.
To submit that things have falling apart since the inception of the Yahaya Bello administration in Kogi State is to simply admit the obvious. One of the purposes of leadership is security and providing sustainable future for the youth who are the future leaders, not providing a platform for their destruction.
One of the ways a responsible government is expected to bequeath an enduring legacy to its future leaders is by investing on education, because it is the best legacy. Unfortunately, the present administration in the state has not only neglected and relegated matters of education to the background; history will remember the current government as the worse performed in education.
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The recent avoidable five month long industrial action which has been suspended for a month to enable the state government fulfill its part of the agreement reached with the unions of the state owned tertiary institutions is a pointer to the fact that the state government has no clear direction or cogent policy on education whatsoever.
The dilapidated state of public schools across the state which is begging for the attention of the government calls for concern. Many public primary and post-primary schools in the three senatorial districts of the state are in shambles and nothing to write home about, as pupils seats on stones to receive lessons.
The lack of sanitary facilities like toilets, teaching aids and instructional materials needed to enhance teaching and learning has further made the whole system really pathetic and chaotic. It is sad that rather than spend funds belonging to kogites on things that really matters we currently have a government that spends several millions of naira of tax payers’ money on re-branding bags of rice with the governor’s pictures before they are distributed to the masses.
Aside the fact that the millions incurred from re-branding should have been used and channeled into other things that would benefit the state, the issue of re-branding is nonsensical, frivolous and a reckless abuse of public office, which portrays this administration as one that lacks wisdom and prudence in spending and managing the very lean financial resources of the state.
Shamefully, even as aids of governors of other states continue to post and share pictures of landmark and milestone developmental strides and achievements on the social media for all to see, governor Bello’s aids were busy posting and sharing pictures of people queuing at automated teller machines (ATM) terminals, claiming they were workers withdrawing salaries and pension allowances.
How they reached the conclusion that anyone seen near an ATM was a Civil servant is laughable, amidst the claim by agents of the state government that salaries of all genuine workers have been paid up to date, even as majority of the civil servants continue to wallow in penury and extreme poverty. This isn’t the first time that salaries and pension allowances are being paid on the social media by the present state government though.
The fact that mediocrity and financial recklessness is the modus operandi of the present occupants of Lugard House was further displayed a couple of days ago when governor Bello led a convoy of over 25 luxury vehicles to an elaborate and flamboyant ceremony just to commission a single transformer.
If the state government always has to spend almost twice the amount spent on purchasing a transformer on its commissioning ceremony then many of the people around the governor should be evaluated by a competent psychiatrist before things really get out of hand.
The funfair that greeted the flagging-off ceremonies of capital and infrastructural projects across the three senatorial districts of the state a couple of months ago could best be described as colorful and memorable, just that many of the contractors suddenly disappeared alongside their equipments as soon as the flag-offs were over.
The level of deceit being witnessed under the Yahaya Bello administration is unprecedented in the history of the confluence state.
Sadly, rather than focus on how best to tackle head-on the myriad of problems and challenges currently confronting the state and seeking ways to fix the state’s institutional and infrastructural decay with the aim of ameliorating the sufferings of the masses and delivering the much craved dividends of democracy, the state government has initiated an exercise that is sure to end in a fiasco.
The operation ‘recall Dino Melaye’ has been activated as a legacy project of the present administration. Wasting the resources of the state on a recall exercise that would end in futility is one of the dumbest ideas the dull brains around our dear governor had came up with in recent time.
Not much have been done in the areas of water supply, agricultural revolution, sports development, harnessing the vast mineral deposits of the state and healthcare delivery, even as freedom of speech that is guaranteed and enshrined in the Nigerian constitution has been taken away from kogites under this administration.
Senseless arrests and unlawful detentions of members of the public who do not share the thoughts of the state government or dare to speak against the current high level of administrative ineptitude, financial indiscipline and official recklessness of the Yahaya Bello’s government is the order of the day.
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It’s time for our dear governor to review some of the policies and programs of his administration, the need to carry out a total overhaul of his cabinet and key appointees with the aim of giving his government a bit of direction is sacrosanct and inevitable at this point in time because this government has been so far, not good.
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Watch this Legit.ng video of Kogi West Senatorial District making plans to recall Senator Melaye: