By Abraham Soji
Once upon a time, a governor in Kogi State, late Prince Abubakar Audi built a university, polytechnic, a five-star hotel, commissioner’s quarters, permanent secrtaries’ quarters, phase 1 housing estate, phase II housing estate, radio station, dualized the main township road, opened up a road from Lokoja to Ajaokuta, etc.
He achieved this unprecedented feat just in less than one term in office. He didn’t spend four years in office to record these monumental achievements.
In his days, there were no bailouts Paris Club refunds or refunds for projects executed.
Thumbs up for the late Prince Abubakar Audu whose votes Governor Yahaya Bello inherited and which votes are tormenting Bello daily such that he cannot achieve anything but thuggery and truckload of lies.
Sometimes when we talk some government apologists will say we don’t like GYB. But the real question is “Does GYB like us?” It is more than ten days now that we were told that the Government of GYB received allocations from FAAC.
The total received was in excess of N7billion. Up till this moment, the Government of GYB has not thought it fit to pay salaries.
Workers are dying and Government does not care! Oh God, where did we get it so wrong? For how long shall we continue this macabre and abracadabra dance?
People are fasting on empty stomachs while being owed several months of salaries by the Government and some say it does not matter. ” There is God o”.
The total salaries of workers and pensioners in Kogi is about N4.4billion (State, LGAs and pensioners). So why can they pay?
The money that came in was over N7billion excluding the over N1.3 billion from IGR. We are receiving more allocations than Cross River which paid salaries in full and on time.
As we speak, Cross River has paid May 2019 salaries in full. But here, it is grammar, grammar, grammar. May the Almighty God deliver Kogi workers from this huge burdens.
However Unable to see Mr President, Intense lobbying and underground manipulation, scheming for APC governorship ticket, has extended the return of kogi governor from London, prompting kogi first lady to join her betahalf abroad.
The where about of the first kogi citizen had been shrouded in secrecy, not until sources confirmed his trip to London, after a failed trip to the party leader, Ahmed Bola Tinubu and Kaduna State Governor, Nasir Ahmed El-Rufai
Kogi governor has abandoned state matters and functions after series of indications that the party leadership will not allow the return ticket to the governor of kogi state.
Governor Bello’s major undoing was his reckless administrative decisions towards the payment of workers salaries and pension, dearth of infrastructural development, duplicated contracts and gross mismanagement of public funds.
He became restless after the visit of APC leader, Ahmed Bola Tinubu with Rotimi Amaechi to the governor’s residence and El-Rufai suggestions and support to the candidacy of Alhaji Sani Abdullahi Lulu
Governor Yahaya Bello recently allegedly funded the re-election of Kaduna state governor with the hope of his support towards his re-election in November this year.
Kogi governor had lobbied his way to securing the party’s ticket through the APC Zonal chairman north central, for a vote of confidence, with all efforts to reach out to the APC national chairman, Adams Oshiomole still adamant
Stranded back in London, the state work force on the first tranche pay roll of the state, took salary in the last six months, after the payment of one month salary in April, with several others ranging from 10 months to 38 months and above.
With glaring poor management of state resources, the state government is yet to respond to allegations of award of fictitious and bogus contract, particularly the moribund Ganaja junction flyover, were initial payment of close to 2 billion naira, with nothing to show.
Sources close to Ministry of Works and SA project management in Lokoja, revealed how the top notchers of the ministry had gone ahead to attract notable construction giant in Abuja, with a view to getting some preliminary constriction materials on the site of the project, as a lee way to distract kogians from the fraudulent activities of the state government.
PDP had demanded a response and clarification from the state government over the duplicated contract of ganaja junction flyover, that would have made alot of social and economic impact on the life of motorists, travellers and residence of Lokoja.
Billions of naira was spent by the present administration of governor Yahaya Bello from local government funds, to clear the roadside that cut across the state curtail the activities of kidnappers and criminal elements to no avail.
Local government workers and primary school teachers have been on percentage salaries between 10-20% after over 40 months of unpaid salaries as local government pensioners had little or no attention from the state government.
The state NLC and TUC have giving the state government condition for re-election to payment of outstanding salaries of workers and pensioners,an issue that is glaringly impossible
They equally begged INEC,security agencies and other stakeholders to ensure free, fair and credible election in November, to enable them pick a governor of their choice.
Meanwhile, the National Chairman of the APC Comrade Adams Oshiomole has said that
governors who do not pay salaries and pensions will not be given party ticket for second term.
He made this known recently while speaking in one of the private television station in Nigeria.
His words, “In the immediate past governorship elections, we lost Bauchi due to non-payment of salaries and pensions by the outgoing governor of the states”.
“We lost Imo due to politics of selfish interests and attempt to create self political dynasty by the outgoing governor of the state”.
“We lost Benue due to some selfish big wigs in Benue APC frustrating governor Ortom’s govt, which made Ortom to defect from our party”.
“So, we can’t afford to loose more APC state in the forthcoming governorship elections slated to take place in Bayelsa and Kogi come November 2 this year”.
“Therefore, this is to reaffirm the party’s decision that erring and non performing APC governors, who do not pay salaries and pensions will not be given our party’s ticket to pursue their second term bid”.
“Be informed, that even Mr president is not happy with such corrupt and failed governors, who siphoned and mismanaged the homoungus funds given to their states by the president”.
“In addition, our attention has been drawn to the claims by some individuals in some states that Oshiomole does not have the power to give or deny ticket. But such uninformed individuals should understand that by the party’s constitution, APC governorship and presidential primaries or tickets are purely the national affairs of APC, not state affairs. They should also know that the national leadership of APC has the the right and the power to sanction, discipline or stop any erring member of the party no matter his or her position or status in the party and in the state or federal govt.
“So, we stand firm and unwavering in our decision to field credible and charismatic candidates for Bayelsa and Kogi governorship elections”.