By Awulu Attah
Two ago years Yahaya Bello was sworn in as the Executive Governor of Kogi State after high-wire politics and manipulations that played out in the night of long knives that dawned after the sudden and shocking death of Prince Abubakar Audu, the man that contested and won the election.
Governor Bello’s ascension to power was seen by most Kogites as an elixir to soothe the tension and bitterness that had come to define the quest for power shift by the other ethnic blocks in Kogi State despite their misgivings on his untidy coronation , just as expectations were high given the youthfulness and educational as well as the career trajectory of the young Governor.
Two years down the road, it is crystal clear that Kogi State is on a long thing and has to say, jumped from frying pan to fire,a journey that has been hallmarked by gross, crass incompetence, arrogance, immaturity, dehumanising treatment of the State workforce and the sacrifice of all that is decent and Noble.
With a government that is deaf to public opinion,driven by arrogance and empty gusto,it has been from one comedy of error to the other. Kogi has been in the news every other week for one wrong and queer reason or the other.
From the ghost of Gov Yahaya Bello caught on camera being registered by INEC, to an open ended staff audit that ended up producing more ghosts that it intended to remove from the staff role to workers being owed up to 20 months salaries to the mud fight with Senator Dino, an estranged member of the No Direction gang that culminated in the comical and failed efforts to recall him from the Senate. They was also the infantile inspired proscription of the KSU branch of ASSU,f forgetting that Labour is on the exclusive list and as such can not be legislated upon by the clownish KGHA.
O how are the mighty fallen. Kogi State and by extension her people have been brought to unprecedented disrepute by this thieving and ignoble No Direction gang. I recall with pain the embarrassment how I became a butt of cruel jokes by colleagues, neigbours and even customers the week Governor Ben 10 declared a public holiday to celebrate the return of President Buhari from his medical trip abroad.
The state has regressed on all fronts from the tangible to the intangible,no infrastructural development,no human capital development,no fresh and sane programmes. The third tier of government has been stripped and raped by the capricious gang, they have refused to conduct Local Government elections and have resorted to running the Local Councils with selected lackeys who get pittance out of the accruing allocation to that tier of government while the evil tripod shares the allocation.
Their attempt to hoodwink us failed with their embarrassing recommissioning of projects executive blew in their face as it was proven that not all Kogites suffer from collective amnesia. The Lokoja Mega park was the project of Gov Wada while the drug rehabilitation Centre was the project of Col Bzigu Lassa Afakriya of blessed memory.
Two years mark in a four year tenure can be safely considered as a mid -term,it presents the No Direction gang an opportunity to make a 360 degrees turn from the Political tsunami and legal embarrassment that awaits them at the end of their 4 year tenure as well as the assured place in Kogi’s hall of shame.
Instead of the hired crowd at the theatrical show of decamping ceremony, we would be glad to see such crowd at the flag off ceremony or turning of the sod to kick start works on signature projects that have been missing in the last two years.
They should at least revive a dying KSU, a University established by an Abubakar Audu that was not a graduate of any University being shamefully mismanaged by the White Lion and his white oracle who are both products of the Prestigious ABU and Unijos should move any patriotic Kogite to tears, preserving the labours of our heroes past should not be too much to ask of them.
The time of lamentations and muffled protests are over, let us rise and seize the initiatives collectively and privately. We can start by changing the narrative that we complain about the treachery and incompetence of Gov Yahaya Bello and his gang because he is not of the Igala stock. It is true we riled against some of our own while they were in office and now doing same to him because of our distaste for maladministration, lack of vision and outright stealing of our collective matrimony.
Let voters education become our daily civic routine starting from our extended family members and our villages, so our people should know that the office of the Citizen of the Federal Republic of Nigeria they occupy is the most important office in the land and carries with it enormous powers especially in collective.
We need a paradigm shift in our thinking that the Governorship of Kogi State is the all in all of our expectations and engagements as a people. You would all agree with me that the present crop crop of legislators holds the record of being the most incompetent and detached since the return of Democracy to Nigeria in 1999 especially in the State House of Assembly.
The time to give them the deserved red card is in the 2019 elections and we should also strive to raise the bar for Aspirants and send our first eleven to both the State and National Assembly.
The time to act is now. Let us rescue our State/land from the clutches of the children of Nebuccadnezer.
God bless Ane’Igala.
Bless Kogi State