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Kogi guber: Drop your second term bid, APC elders tell Bello

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Stakeholders in the All Progressives Congress (APC) have petitioned President Muhammadu Buhari, asking that Governor Yahaya Bello should not be given a second term.

The governor, they claimed, had received about N344billion in the last 38 months of his stewardship, without doing anything with the allocations.

The governor is owing salaries, pensions and gratuities, they said, adding that there are no visible capital projects on ground anywhere in the state.

They described Bello as non- performing and violent.

The petition, which was signed by the Convener of the Kogi APC Stakeholders Forum, Sen. Alex Kadiri reads:

“Governor Yahaya Bello was never elected by the good people of Kogi State. The death of Abubakar Audu made it possible for Bello to be Kogi State Governor. He has shown everyone that he lacks leadership abilities. He can’t fight for the rights and privileges of Kogi people.

“We request you to step down your support for the candidature of Governor Yahaya Bello for the forthcoming election in Kogi State.

“If the party fields him as a candidate, we are sure of losing the state to the opposition.”

The stakeholders gave insights into how the governor allegedly mismanaged the statutory allocations.

They said: “For the past 38 months including February 2019 Governor Yahaya Bello has not paid full salaries to the workers of Kogi State, despite the fact that the state received full allocation from the Federation Account as detailed below: Statutory allocation, Excess Crude and Value Added Tax (VAT) (N132b); Internally Generated Revenue by the state(N51b);  total allocations to local governments(N111b).

“Total funds received by the state and local governments: N294 billion. The other funds received by the state are as below: Bail Out (N20b); Paris Club refunds 1, 2, and 3 (N19b); and refunds for road construction by previous governments (N11b).

“The governor had conducted multiple staff screening for both the state and the local governments. And from the report of the screening, the monthly wage bill (state, local governments and pensions) at the inception of the administration stood at N5.8 billion. After screening, this figure reduced to N4.4 billion.

“From the table above it is evidently clear that the total revenue received by the state government was more than enough to settle all salaries, pensions and gratuities with huge balance remaining for overheads and capital projects.

“It is very instructive to note that even without bailout and other funds received outside statutory allocation, Governor Yahaya Bello could have still paid all salaries including pensions without conducting multiple screening and inflicting pains on Kogi State and local government workers. This must hurt APC at the polls.

“Even after the screening, all salaries and pensions payments were paid using arbitrary percentages, thereby still owing workers huge outstanding salaries.”

The stakeholders said they had tried to seek presidential and party interventions to call Bello to order, but to no avail.

They added: “We respectfully write to bring to your esteemed attention, the following facts and issues associated with our party and the governor of Kogi State.

“We had earlier, during the life of your administration petitioned against our governor, Yahaya Bello, on several occasions.

“The party, as a result, set up the Tony Momoh Committee to work on the issues in our petitions in Kogi State APC. The result of this committee’s work is kept secret in the cooler without the party or the government addressing any of the issues to date.

“Another committee was setup under the chairmanship of General Garba.  We appeared before the committee, and made far-reaching recommendations, till this day, that report is still also kept secret and under lock and key and no action taken by the party.

Last night Director-General Media and Strategy to the governor, Kingsley Fanwo said:

“Every financial statement has both income and expenditure. It is the height of mischief to push out the income of the state without juxtaposition of expenditure to set the idea for public perception.

“The Governor has only been in office for 39 months but has paid salaries for 38 months; including four months before his inception.

“Salaries take the chunk of our revenue as a state. However, we have been able to invest heavily on the other sectors of the economy.

To check insecurity in the state, we bought over 200 brand new vans, over 500 motorcycles and gadgets running into hundreds of millions of Naira.

“We gave teeth to the Vigilante Service in the State through a well coordinated training and mobilisation to complement the efforts of the conventional security agencies. Today, the security narrative we met has changed.

“The multi-million Integrated Rice Mill at Ejiba is 92% completed and will be one of the biggest legacies of our Administration.

“The administration has also made Lokoja and the other towns and cities in the state saner, cleaner and more habitable. We have completed the Ankpa Township Roads and many others are ongoing with quality jobs.

“The revolution to make water available to Kogites have paid off as the administration has delivered a lot of high-worth water facilities across the state.

“With all the development projects we are doing, it must also be mentioned that we are repaying loans taken and wasted by the previous administrations in the State.

“Sanitising and digitalization of our civil service didn’t come cheap. But the administration is proud of what has been achieved in that sector. “We have also electrified about 40 communities across the state. We have improved infrastructure in our schools, hospitals and Primary Health Centres.

“The Administration put in place, bumps to check financial misdemeanors and will be remembered after 2024 as the most disciplined administration in the history of the state.”

-The Nation

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Politics

Kogi APC Aspirants’ Forum rejects Yahaya Bello for second term, warns Buhari, Oshiomhole

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The All Progressives Congress (APC) Aspirants’ Forum, Kogi State chapter, on Monday, rejected the candidature of Governor Yahaya Bello for a second term in office over alleged bad leadership and non-performance.

This was made known in a communique issued by the forum at the end of
its meeting on Monday in Abuja.

The communique signed by its chairman, Mr Ben Adaji, appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari, the National Chairman of APC, Adams Oshiomhole and members of its National Working Committee (NWC) not to give the governorship ticket to Bello.

It added that giving the ticket to Bello to run for a second term would be a risk, saying the party may lose the state to the opposition.

It said Bello had remained adamant in spite of directives by President Muhammadu Buhari to all APC governors to reconcile and accommodate the party`s aspirants after the last primaries.

The communique alleged that Bello had continued to treat Kogi aspirants as enemies and second class citizens in the party they laboured for.

It said the forum had, therefore, resolved to mobilise and support one of its members to contest the forthcoming primaries and the subsequent governorship election slated for November.

It added that after much deliberations and debate, the forum nominated three of its members which included: Alhaji Yahaya Audu, Chief Adedoyin, and Dr Toyin Akanle for the contest.

“At the end of the deliberations, Alhaji Yahaya Audu was unanimously endorsed to contest the forthcoming election,” the communique said.

The also forum used the opportunity to pledge unalloyed support for the President Buhari administration.

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Politics

INEC withdraws 25 certificates of return

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The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says it has withdrawn 25 certificates of return issued to some candidates who partook in the 2019 general election.

Speaking at a media forum in Enugu state on Monday, Festus Okoye, INEC’s national commissioner for information and voter education, said the commission took the action based on court orders.

Okoye said 20 of the 25 certificates were withdrawn from members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and given to other APC members while two were withdrawn from members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and issued to other PDP members.

He said the other three were withdrawn from both the APC and PDP and given to other political parties.

“Before we left INEC national headquarters on Friday, the commission has withdrawn 25 certificates-of-return from the first owners to their new owners following court orders to do that,” he said.

Okoye lauded the media for its openness and “robust engagement” with the commission before, during and after the election, adding that the media had become critical stakeholders for the success of future elections.

He said the media had become the first line of reach of the masses as well as a platform for the explanation of INEC political and electoral decisions.

Okoye called on the media and its practitioners to dig deep into the electoral act to ensure that the import of the recently amended sections is made known to the public.

“The media should also center on the aspect of using Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) to resolve electoral issues especially at the party levels instead of going to the court,” Okoye said.

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Politicians that lost in the general elections are behind the increasing rate of insecurity – Buratai

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The Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai has accused disgruntled politicians who lost in  the 2019 general elections, of being behind kidnapping, herdsmen attacks and other forms of criminality in the country.

The Army chief made the allegation when he received the Chairman House Committe on the Army in Maiduguri on Wednessday May 15th.

Buratai during the meeting said

”The myraid of security challenges we are facing right now in the northwest, north central and other parts of the country, I want to believe and rightly so that it is a fallout of the just concluded general election.

“There are political class intrests, politicians in particular who saw their defeats as a way of trying to revenge, sponsoring these criminal activities even the bandits, the farmers and herders. There are strong political undertones and strong political influnces including (in these) kidnappings.

We use this opportunity to call on the chairman house committee on army to prevail on some of these politicains, to really look at national intrest first, before any political or sectional intrest.

We have some strong evidence but we are still being conscious so that we don’t get it wrong but the best is to advice these politicians”

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