The Director General, Media and Publicity to the Governor of Kogi State, Kingsley Fanwo has assure the people of Kogi State that Governor Yahaya Bello will not be cowed by media attacks on his person and government by people who are “threatened by the rising profile of the Governor in the State.”
The Governor’s image-maker said it is “reckless on the part of those who failed the people of Kogi for 13 years to turn around to blame a Governor who has performed excellently in 9 months.”
According to him, the people of Kogi State know who their real enemies are.
His words: “When I first read the interview of Sen. Tunde Ogbeha, a PDP leader in the State, my first reaction was that he was probably quoted out of context. Nothing suggested any iota of statesmanship in the interview.
“Senator Ogbeha is a respected statesman, who is expected to place the good of Kogi State above partisan arbitrariness. If he did say those things he was quoted to have said, then we have reasons to be worried about how much he has moved away from the poles of statesmanship.
“As far as we are concerned, Governor Yahaya Bello has paid verified workers up-to-date salaries. Those who are yet to be paid are people who have issues to clear about their verification exercise.
“The Governor met arrears of salaries on ground when he assumed office. What did the Distinguished Senator do to ensure his party-led administration pay salaries to Kogi workers?
“If anyone refuses to acknowledge the giant strides of the present administration just because the era of using state resources to pay workers in their private firms is over, we need to question his interest in the people of the State.
“While PDP was in power, Kogi State funds were used to pay salaries of workers of companies owned by some of the party’s leaders. Also, government was responsible for buying diesels to power the companies. This is unfair to the people of Kogi State.
“Since inception, Governor Yahaya Bello has been working on the Lokoja township roads. He has also ensured the street of Lokoja are cleaner than he met them. The archaic round-abouts had to go because they are at variance to the architectural Masterplan for Lokoja.
“Within nine months, the administration has been able to undertake a holistic Staff Verification Exercise to stop the waste of resources on unintended beneficiaries. Who smuggled fake names on the payrolls?
“Recently, Kogi State Government has awarded contracts for the rehabilitation of roads across the state and contractors have moved to sites. Governor Yahaya Bello cannot afford to fail the people, the generation he represents and the change he promised.
“New Direction is a departure from the era when billions of naira meant for Youth Empowerment Loans are shared by political dealers.
“New Direction means giving good roads and electricity to communities whose son was in Lugard House for nine years, yet, they were in darkness for nine years.
“New Direction means having programs such as Fair Health Scheme, which will crash the cost of accessing affordable healthcare.
“In the past nine months, Governor Yahaya Bello has built a solid foundation for excellent performance in office. He has shown courageous leadership and readiness to institutionalize good governance across the state.”
Fanwo said it is unfortunate that political opponents are disappointed in the great achievements of the Governor so far, saying Kogi State has begun a journey to greatness.
“At inception, Governor Yahaya Bello met a security situation that gave the State an almost irreparable image. Today, the story has changed through proactive measures borne out of the determination to secure the people of Kogi State from the fangs of insecurity.
“Our security situation was partially a product of failed governance. Politicians in the past were busy arming the youth rather than empower them to contribute meaningfully to the development of the State. After elections, they abandoned them and they were forced by circumstances to resort to crime.
“To curb crime, the Governor has gone through different approaches, including raising the bar on intelligence gathering and preventive measures through surveillance. But he has not lost sight on the need to empower the youth and make crime unattractive.”
He dissociated the Governor from the power shift mentality, saying the term is a “political siege to enslave the people.”
“As far as Governor Yahaya Bello is concerned, power shift is a fraud against the well-being of the people of Kogi State. The promoters were only using it to defraud the people and divide the State.
“The Governor is leading a united Kogi State where the issues on the front burners are development, progress and unity as encapsulated in the New Direction Agenda of his administration. Power shift died on January 27, 2016.
“The fact that appointments and projects of the present administration are spread across the three Senatorial Districts shows the beginning of a new era in Kogi State. We shall never be divided again.
“Our problem is not about ethnicity. It was a wrong sociological diagnosis by the previous governments. Our problem was about failed leadership, which the present administration is out to correct. Past leaders hid under ethnic division to cover up their lack of vision.
“Change is never cheap. Resistance is expected from those who have lost out in the political calculus of the present.
“Hence, they have resorted to spurious attacks, unfounded claims, and reckless brigandage.”
“If they so love the Kogi people and workers, why did they connive with people in power to pay workers in their private companies when civil servants were owed arrears of salaries?
“The decision to probe past leaders was not targeted at anyone, but to ask questions and get answers on how our resources were managed in the past. Those afraid of probe should tell the world what they are hiding.
“Governor Bello will remain focused on his passion for development just as we will continue to call on our opponents to join us in developing our great State.”
The Director General said the Governor has also directed a “drastic reduction in the cost of governance” in order to “concentrate available resources on the people of the State.”
“Recently, the Governor directed that efforts should be made to cut the cost of governance. He said the era of luxury for political appointees is over as leaders must be prepared to sacrifice for the good of the led.”