By Amuda Dan Sulaiman Fab
The dramatic end to Governor Yahaya Bello’s presidential quest is prayer answered for unpaid workers, pensioners and the downtrodden in Kogi State, the Kogi State Chapter of the New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP), has said.
Speaking to journalists shortly after the governor lost at the presidential primary of the All Progressives Congress (APC), on Wednesday in Abuja, the State Publicity Secretary of the NNPP, Alhaji Musa Audu Dankano, described Mr Bello’s loss as “a timely good riddance to the financial banditry, resource haemorrhage and complete absence of governance in Kogi State.”
“It was difficult for God not to hear the solemn heart-wrenching prayers and tears by civil servants who have not been paid their salaries and promoted in the past seven years; pensioners owed pensions and gratuities since this governor came into office and the teeming people and residents of Lokoja who now share living space with garbage, stench, rodents and diseases arising therefrom,” Dankano said.
“Despite persistent calls by civil society groups and the opposition on the governor not to shirk his responsibilities as the Chief Executive Officer of the State, the governor ignored everyone and abandoned governance in the State. The height of this was his disengagement of waste management contractors in Lokoja for some months now which has turned the Confluence City of Lokoja into the garbage capital of Nigeria with diseases and rodents competing with human beings for space and existence.
“Sometimes one is perplexed and wonder how the governor sleeps without his conscience troubling or pricking him that he has abandoned those that he found himself in government to care for as their governor.”
Speaking further, the NNPP spokesperson advised Governor Bello to have a change of heart and priorities governance over politics or resign.
Dankano wondered how the governor ever dreamt of seeking higher office of president when his understanding of development and performance remained pedestrian and brick and mortar.
“Sometimes one wonders why Governor Bell ever imagined that he could become President of Nigeria. Was he deceived by the yet to be completed overhead bridge he is building in Lokoja in the name of flyover? What is his record on other sectors such as human capital development, education, agriculture, health, investments, etc? Why has he abandoned the state-of-the-art ultramodern primary and secondary schools he inherited from his predecessor? What about the Kogi Hotels, supply of water and others? Why did he instigate the destruction of shops? What about the gigantic and paradigm abandonment of Confluence Beach Hotel and the Conference Stadium?
“More worrisome is the demeaning of the personae of the average Rivers man and woman who are known to conduct themselves with candour, grace and civility. Today we are perceived as election riggers, hooligans and toxic people who compromise INEC to win elections, no thanks to the impression given to Nigerians by Governor Yahaya Bello.
“There is no doubt that the task of rebuilding Kogi State and her image will be a daunting one by Gov. Bello’s successor after the bashing the governor has subjected the State, her treasury and image to in 8 years of misgovernance.
“Now that the governor’s daydream and Presidential cookie has crumbled in his face, let the governor immediately reconstitute the State Executive Council and allow governance to continue in the State even at the abysmal level we have lived with in the last seven years. He should, as a matter of urgency, put in place an improved structure to urgently and sustainably tackle the challenge of refuse management in Lokoja.”