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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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Tribunal Sacks Dino Melaye, Orders Fresh Election

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The National Assembly/State Assembly Election Petitions Tribunal sitting in Lokoja on Friday sacked Senator Dino Melaye as the Senator for Kogi West.

In its judgement, the tribunal ordered that fresh elections should be held in the senatorial district.

More details soon.

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Saraki? No more godfatherism in Kwara, says Gov AbdulRazaq

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Kwara State Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq has said that the dislodgement of Saraki dynasty in the last general elections put an end to godfatherism in the state’s politics.

The governor said this in Ilorin at a national youth summit organised by the Youths Assembly of Nigeria (YAN). The theme of the summit is ‘reforming education.’ The governor added that “the godfathers still want to remain as godfathers anywhere in the world. Thank God we have destroyed godfather in Kwara state politics. And never will godfathers come to the state again.”

Represented by his Deputy Kayode Alabi, Mallam AbdulRazaq urged the youths in Nigeria to take over the reins of power through their permanent voter’s cards (PVCs). Said he: “The old men and women will never hand over power voluntarily to the youths.

There are so many things around power that will never allow them to hand over power to you. You have to take it not violently but through your voter’s cards. The guys that came up with the slogan ‘otoge’ were between the ages of 30 and 35. When I listened to the proposal and heard ‘otoge’ a sweetness welled up in my belly as I was sure that the ‘Otoge’ slogan would win the election.

“We used the slogan to educate the people. Our opponents spent money but we did not spend money. The ‘otoge slogan went into the mindset of the people and did the wonders. We won the election because the youths woke up in Kwara and decided to take their destinies into their own hands.

There is nothing like godfather. There is only one God the Almighty. Let nobody intimidate you. But you and I allow godfathers to survive. “The people listened to the slogan of otoge and came out massively with God on our side voted for us to win the last election.

It is time for the youths in this country to say no to old order.” He disclosed that “our pact with the people of Kwara state is to deliver qualitative and quantitative education under conducive environment. There is no going back on that as you shall see in the next few years.

There is a nexus between education, employment opportunities, youth empowerment and crime rate. The society has two options to either empower and guide young people to the right path or spend resources fighting crimes. We choose the former. We will key into all the development agenda to help our youths become responsible.

We will also show good example for young people to emulate. We will continue to identify and partner with you.” Speaking, YAN vehemently opposed the called for revolution in the country by the publisher of online newspaper Sahara Reporters, Omoyele Sowore.

Rather the youths urged their members to revolt against the old order through the use of their permanent voter’s cards (PVCs) in subsequent elections in the country. National Speaker and Kwara state Ambassador of YAN Samuel Godstime and Musbau Esinrogunjo told reporters on the sideline of the summit. Said Godstime:

“Nigerian youth are opposed to any form of revolution. Therefore, we are appealing to all the youths in the country to revolt against the old order by using their voter’s cards not buy force of arm. “Let us use our PVCs and ensure that the youth take over the leadership of this country not by trying to cause mayhem in any part of the country.

“The youth should use their PVCs in the next elections for the so-called revolution. We have discovered that the youths in the country constitute about 65 percent of the electorate. We are saying no to revolution. Let us use what we have, which is our PVCs, to get what we want in the next general elections.

The unity of Nigeria is paramount and non negotiable.” Esinrogunjo, a former senatorial aspirant in the state said “It is even strange that somebody that contested for the presidency of the country and lost would be the one instigating the youths to revolt against the government. We say no to that. We don’t want bloodshed in Nigeria.”

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New Twist In Edo Saga As Obaseki Pays Oshiomole, Surprise Visit

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The Governor of Edo State, Governor Godwin Obaseki appears to have set aside the alleged rift between his administration and his predecessor, Comrade Adams Oshiomole when he called on the Iyanmoh residence of the latter in celebration of Eid al Adha.
 
In his special Sallah message to the Muslim community last week, the governor had enjoined all citizens to eschew bitterness and rancour and work for the development of all of Edo State.
 
The Governor demonstrated the virtues of the season with his visit to the Party Chairman and his mother, Hajia Aishetu Oshiomole, in spite of the rumoured differences between both men.
 
During the visit, Governor Godwin Obaseki expressed his delight at the incredible support he received from the Muslim community and reiterated his commitment to the transformation of Edo State and the empowerment of all its people.
 
In response, the Otaru of Auchi commended the governor for his uncommon leadership and advised him not to succumb to the forces of darkness preaching division in Edo State. He encouraged the Governor to remain prayerful and continue to strive in the interest of the people.
 
Speaking after the visit, the Special Adviser to the Governor on media and communications, Mr. Crusoe Osagie congratulated the Muslim community and lauded the Governor for his demonstration of exemplary leadership. He suggested that the visit would likely unnerve a tiny fraction of the people of the state.
 
“The notion that these two men are adversaries is being propagated by morally and financially insolvent people seeking to profit off of the challenges they have been working so hard to foment. You cannot blame such people really. Their talents and abilities are severely limited, so it is in their collective interest to stoke tension and drive division, but I can tell you that they have already failed” he posited.
 
“It is not in their interests for Edo State to peacefully progress, so they will try to mis-categorise this visit. This is what they’ve always done and it’s their stock in trade”.
 
“True leaders understand that they represent the people in whose interests they must serve. This is why His Excellency has always said that the resources of the state, are for the people only, and not for a negligible minority and nothing can ever change this” he concluded.

Asked whether this means that a new proclamation of the State House of Assembly will be issued by the Governor in conformity with the directives of the National Assembly, Osagie was unequivocal. “I cannot speak on this matter as it is sub-judice. But I think the whole world knows that the Edo State House of Assembly has already been inaugurated. No person or group of persons or institution other than the judiciary can order a state governor to do anything on a matter that is presently before courts of competent jurisdiction.We are a nation of Laws and by the special grace of God, will all be alive to witness the law run its full course” he concluded.

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