Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello has fired back at critics who accused his government of misappropriating the state’s financial resources as the civil servants are not paid their legitimate salaries and allowances for months.
Answering reporters’ questions today, Monday at the venue of an induction programme organized for returning and newly elected Governors of the 36 States, at the banquet hall of the Presidential Villa, Abuja, Yahaya Bello insisted that his government has been transparent and cannot be adjudged to be corrupt.
“When you talk about misappropriation of funds, from all our finances, starting from bailout funds to Paris Club refunds, we so much published all our transactions, to the extent that bank statements were published in the dailies and I want to believe that you also have the facts.
“The little resources that we are generating as well, we have been able to achieve a lot of infrastructure development for our state; security infrastructure and several others.
“This is what was not done for the state in the past 20 years of Kogi state’s existence before I came on board but under three years, we were able to achieve all these successes.
“Probably some might think we were using stones or sand to do all these but this is the prudent management of resources and the good hands that we were able to recruit in my cabinet and in governance of Kogi State.
“So, those that are making such comments, it’s a strategy; it is either that they want me to perform more or they are simply living in oblivion. They don’t know anything that is happening in Kogi state and they cannot participate in Kogi State politics as it stands today because we are doing politics of inclusiveness and not exclusiveness, the way it was done in the past.
The governor said that the Forum for the governors would make the governors to be proactive in delivering on the promises they made to the people.
“So, the outgoing and the incoming Governors need to be inducted so that we know the challenges ahead and it’s a very wonderful programme. We appreciate the Nigerian Governors’ Forum and the Federal Government of Nigeria for this wonderful induction course.
Speaking on the crisis in the Kogi State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Governor Yahaya Bello stressed that there is no such crisis, adding that real elders and real stakeholders, the youths, the women and people of integrity know that Kogi State chapter of the APC is intact “and that was why we were able to deliver Kogi State for the President. We were able to deliver two out of the three senatorial seats to our party; we were able to deliver seven out nine House of Representatives to our party and for the first time ever in the history of politics in Kogi State, we were able to deliver 100 percent, which is 25 House of Assembly members in Kogi State. If there is crisis there is no how we could have achieved this.”
“So I want to assure you that the APC in Kogi is intact and I remain a bonafide member of APC and as a matter of fact, I rebuilt the part in Kogi state from the scratch to what it is today and we are able to achieve this feat. So those that are making certain passes of me leaving the party I think that is their wish and by the grace of God their wish will never be granted.”
On remarks by the Ohinoyi of Ebiraland, Alhaji Dr. Ado Ibrahim alleging that he, the governor no longer have the support of Ebira people for his second term bid, Governor Yahaya Bello said that he does not believe the royal father said so.
“First of all, the traditional ruler, the Ohinoyi of Ebiraland is my father. I am his son, and in our tradition, there is certain age that when you attain, the right thing is what is expected of you. So I don’t believe that the Ohinoyi of Ebiraland will make such utterances or statements because he knows that upon my assumption of office, I restored the real value for the traditional institution.
“You know what security situation used to be in Kogi state and Ebiraland and today we are having a different story. We know that in the past, appointments and employment used to be lopsided in Kogi state if I decide to balance it, that is not a crime and the citizens of Kogi state rewarded us in the last general elections and I know surely that the good people of Kogi State, including the Ohinoyi of Ebiraland is my greatest supporter and he will continue to support me greatly.
“I don’t think he should be misquoted by the Press or anybody. The Ohinoyi of Ebiraland is a revered person. We hold him in very high esteem. He will continue to be my father, my great supporter and by the grace of God, he is urging me to re-contest and also to do more than what I have done in this first term and I promise the Ohinoyi of Ebiraland that he will never be disappointed in my performance by the grace of God.”