Reinstate Suspended Kogi, Okene LG Chairmen or Conduct Supplementary Polls to Replace Them – KONGONET

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A coalition of civil society networks, Kogi NGOs Network (KONGONET) has frowned at the rate of suspension of elected local government council chairmen without immediate investigation to ensure they return back to office, if cleared of allegations levelled against them.

In the 4th Quarter 2021 report by KONGONET presented to journalists on 1st January, 2022, by Idris Ozovehe Muraina and Mrs. Henry Hellen, Chairperson and Secretary respectively, the coalition called for supplementary elections to replace the suspended council chairmen if found guilty of any crime.

“On Kogi and Okene local government chairmen currently on suspension, the outcome of the investigation should be made public so the right steps are taken either they return back to their position if no substantial wrong doing has been established against them or conduct supplementary election to fill the position, we cannot afford to go back to the idea of appointing local government administrator in the name of acting, not again,” the report said.

KONGONET called on the good citizens of the state to join in the decision making arena and develop the state.

“We cannot afford to all stay aloof while those who never really had the developmental interest of the state find themselves administering the state. We call on you all to join developmental politics and sanitize the system.”

They also called on the state government to ensure that budgetary allocation to the ministry of agriculture is released timely to prevent the state from sliding into major food crisis, adding that special attention be given to women farmers across the state.

“As usual, less than 30% of budgetary allocation for ministry of Agriculture was expended in 2021, lots of activities planned for the year as provided in the agricultural budget 2021 suffered lack of implementation, the rains are gone, the 2021 budget cycle has ended.

“All these anomalies in the management of Kogi State Agricultural sector will continue to pose serious challenge for the state in terms of food security and well-being of the citizens.

“It will be recalled that the new direction blueprint of the current administration states that ‘based on prevailing economic realities, Agriculture is the key to unlocking the enormous economic potentials of Kogi State’. It also promised that the Government will boost the Agriculture sector and its value chain as a profitable State stimulated venture and encourage organized business enterprise to lead development of Agriculture in the State.

“The Governor of Kogi State, Alhaji Yahaya Adoza Bello whilst declaring a state of emergency in Agriculture to boost food production and diversify the State’s economy in January 2017 promised to make farmers in the State especially women farmers rich and that the government have strategizes and plans in place to revolutionise Agriculture by giving necessary support to farmers in form of loans, land, cooperatives and other relevant assistance.

“We put the question to his Excellency, how can we revolutionize the agricultural sector of Kogi state with less than 20% budgetary allocation releases out of 6.58% budgetary allocation to the agricultural sector in 2021 as at August 2021 and less than 5% budgetary allocation for year 2022. Are we better of, in terms of food production in the state after four (4) years of the promise? Do we have affordable agricultural produce in the state now?,” the report queried.

The coalition of civil society networks called on the State Government to appoint and inaugurate board members for Kogi State Agency for the Control of Aids (KOSACA) to improve coordination of the State HIV response.

 




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