Armed robbers kill two police officers in Kogi State

The Police Command in Kogi said on Thursday that two of its officers were killed during an invasion of a commercial bank by suspected armed robbers.

The Police Public Relations Officer of the command, William Aya, told journalists in Lokoja that the officers died while warding off the armed robbers that stormed a branch of UBA at Odo Ere in Yagba East Local Government Area of the state.

Mr. Aya, an assistant superintendent of police, said that the incident occurred on March 28, saying that the two slain officers were sergeants.

He said the Commissioner of Police, Wilson Inalegwu, had set up a committee headed by the Deputy Commissioner of Police in charge of operations to investigate the incident.

He also said that reinforcement had been sent to the town to enhance security of lives and property, saying that the robbers would soon be arrested.

 

Source: NAN

Kogi Governor places N500,000 bounty on instigators of violence.

Governor Yahaya Bello on Monday announced a N500, 000 reward for any resident who provides authorities in Kogi State with “useful information” that leads to arrest and successful prosecution of those who spread rumours to cause public disorder.

A statement from the governor’s office said the decision became necessary because a recent surge in dissemination of inaccurate information had assumed a worrisome dimension.

The statement, signed by Chief Press Secretary, Petra Onyegbule, said Mr. Bello wants to “ensure the reduction of crime and criminality in the state and to also curb the attitude of some politically sponsored persons who spread false information against the government with a view to causing disquiet and rancour amongst the citizenry.”

The government encouraged citizens to come forward with information about anyone who deliberately orchestrates circulation of unfounded claims with a view to causing untold damage to lives and properties.

Successful prosecution of such individuals will guarantee N500, 000 to the whistleblower, Mr. Bello said.

But some critics said Mr. Bello was trying to stifle free speech through the back door.

“This policy may be attractive, but it will not work and it could lead to endless litigation over freedom of speech,” a member of Kogi State Elders’ Council in Lokoja told PREMIUM TIMES by telephone Monday afternoon.

The critic, who pleaded anonymity because of his closeness to Mr. Bello, said the announcement marks the latest indication yet that Mr. Bello did not stack his cabinet with individuals who understand public policy and governance.

“The governor had so far refused to yield to calls for him to appoint knowledgeable individuals to his cabinet,” the source said. “That’s why he’s making all these blunders which are unnecessary, to be honest.”

But Mr. Bello rejected the claim that his policy will violate the Constitution.

Gbenga Olorunpomi, a media adviser to the governor, said the state had become too fragile of late.

“Without any doubt, the people of Kogi State know that the governor encourages free speech. In fact, he recently held a meeting some labour union leaders in Lokoja during which they freely expressed themselves,” Mr. Olorunpomi told PREMIUM TIMES by telephone Monday afternoon. “No one disturbed them from speaking despite how offensive some of their comments were towards the governor.”

“It’s a very fragile situation in the state right now,” Mr. Olorunpomi said. “The state has borders with at least nine states and we’ve been experiencing a lot of cross-border crimes and many are linked to false information.”

“You’re free to express yourself, but don’t put people’s lives in danger because of that. And we will only pay out the N500, 000 after successful arrest and prosecution of suspects based on the information provided by a good citizen.”

Mr. Olorunpomi said the identities of whistleblowers will be kept strictly confidential.

 

Source: Premium Times

Kogi lawmakers condemn kidnap of four council workers

The Kogi House of Assembly has condemned the abduction of four workers of Mopa-Muro Local Government Council on their way to Lokoja for staff audit.

The House condemned the incident in a resolution to the state government on Wednesday in Lokoja.

It called for a quick intervention in the deteriorating security situation in the state.

A member of the house, Obaro Pedro (APC-Mopa-Muro) had in a motion said that unknown gunmen abducted four of the council workers among those declared as ghost workers by the Staff Verification Committee in its final report.

According to him, in two separate incidents between Tuesday and Wednesday, Olu Abraham, Fehintola Osho and Balogun Blessing, all workers of Mopa-Muro Local Government Council and its Head of Department, Works, were abducted by the gunmen.

Mr. Pedro stated that the problems of insecurity in the state had escalated in spite of the huge investment of Governor Yahaya Bello’s administration in security.

He said that the Obajana-Kabba road had become a hideout for kidnappers and armed robbers because of its dilapidated state as it provided escape routes for criminals after their operations.

“Just yesterday in broad day light, the HOD Works of Mopa-Muro Local Government Council, while on her way to Lokoja to collect her statement of account with Access Bank over the ongoing screening exercise fell into the hand of kidnappers.

“Her destination is presently not known.

“This morning, around 9.45 a.m. on the same Kabba-Obajana, I was informed that three staff members of Mopa-Muro Local Government Council were kidnapped.

“The driver of the vehicles the victims were travelling in and my Personal Assistant who were eye witnesses narrowly escaped,” Pedro said.

Members in their contributions condemned the security situation and resolved that the state government should deploy sufficient security personnel to the affected roads.

The house further urged the government to ensure the provision of 24-hour security patrol on other roads in the state, especially during the workers’ screening.

In his remarks, speaker of the house, Umar Imam, directed the House Committees on Security and Judiciary to liaise with the Commissioner of Police to work out proactive measures to tackle the situation.

 

Source: NAN

Ex-Deputy Governor accused of hiring an SSCE holder as Medical Officer denies allegation.

Philips Salawu, a former deputy governor of Kogi state, has denied the allegation that he employed a secondary school certificate holder as medical officer while in office.

Speaking to reporters in Kano on Wednesday, Salawu appealed to the administration of Yahaya Bello, the incumbent governor, to spare his reputation.

A committee set up by Bello to screen staff under the employ of the government, had said one Vivian Salawu, an in-law to the former deputy governor, had confessed that he approved her appointment as medical officer on grade level 13, step 6.

She was quoted to have said her husband’s brother directed his personal assistant to write an application letter on her behalf, while she signed.

“I was taking the salary to the wife of the former deputy governor through her personal assistant, while they gave me only N15,000 every month,” she had reportedly said.

“When they were about to leave government, Salawu quickly directed that I should be converted to a clerical officer and I was posted out of his office to the office of the head of service.”

But Salawau denied the allegation, saying it was not in line with his position to recruit appointees.

“Appointees in deputy governor’s office are indeed employee of the governor, and wish to state that the position of the deputy governor remain a spare tyre in our democracy and I don’t have the power to employ, hire, fire or fix the emoluments of such political appointees,” he said.

“It is on record that all the political staff in the then deputy governor’s office who wanted to get employed into civil service were regularized at least 3 months to the exit date of the deputy governor.

“I made a proposal to my boss for employment of political staff which was approved and further gave them enhanced civil service package as against consolidated salary.”

Salawu said those employed based on his recommendation were still in the civil service as “real workers, not ghost workers”.

“In fact, they are also receiving their normal civil service grade level salaries, including this particular Vivian Salawu, who had been receiving a clerical level salary since her conversion into civil service, 5 years ago.”

Kogi governor presents N174.9 billion budget for 2017

Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi on Thursday presented an Appropriation Bill of N174.9 billion to the state House of Assembly for deliberation and approval for the 2017 fiscal year.

Presenting the budget on the floor of the House at a special session in Lokoja, Mr. Bello said the budget was made up of N58.5 billion (33.47 per cent) Recurrent Expenditure and N116.3 (66.53 per cent) Capital Expenditure.

He said the total budget package for 2017 tagged; “’Budget of New Direction’’’ was N74.8 billion or (74.8 per cent) above the N99.998 billion appropriated for 2016.

The governor said the budget was based on estimated recurrent revenue of N81.666 billion and estimated Capital Receipt of N93:185 making up the N174.851 billion.

The estimated revenue of N81.666 billion according to him consists of N32.181 billion from internal sources; N35.3 billion as the state’s share from the Federation Account; N8.08 billion from Value Added Tax (VAT), N2.2 billion from Exchange Differentials and N3.8 billion from Budget Augmentation.

The estimated capital receipt of N93.185, he explained, comprised N63.185 billion Capital Receipt analysis by economic and N30 billion as aid and grants.

Mr. Bello said the 2017 budget was prepared in line with Domesticated National Chart of Account, Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and Muti-Year Budget Framework (MYBF) which outlined key initiatives, assumptions and expected achievements of MDAs.

The governor described the budget as a balanced one as “Our total estimated revenue (Recurrent revenue and capital receipts) and our total estimated expenditure (Recurrent and capital) stand at N174, 851,544,523.’’

Mr. Bello noted that the specific fiscal objective of his administration and the state was effective allocation of scarce resources to identified critical programmes and objectives.

Earlier, Speaker of the House, Umar Imam, said the house would strive through its committees to give the budget accelerated consideration to ensure the dividends of democracy to the people of the state.

Kogi, Edo to get fresh revenue as FG approves 13% derivation for non-oil producing states

The federal government has given approval for the implementation of the constitutionally guaranteed 13 per cent derivation from mineral revenues to deserving states.

This will lead to fresh revenues for Kogi state, Edo state, which are producing limestone in large quantities, and other Nigerian states producing non-oil minerals.

Kayode Fayemi, minister of mines and steel development, announced this on Tuesday at a 2-day workshop on Special Purpose Vehicles (SPVs) in the development of mining sector in Sokoto.

He said the workshop would encourage beneficial participation of state governments in natural resources governance.

“We have gotten approval for the implementation of the constitutionally guaranteed 13 per cent derivation for mineral revenue to states,” Fayemi said.

“This is similar to the derivation that oil-producing states are currently enjoying from the Federation Account.”

Fayemi said that the federal government was working closely to build the capacity of state governments in the structuring of the vehicles to participate in mining in their jurisdictions.

He added that this was without undermining private sector players nor discouraging mining enterprise within their states.

Aminu Tambuwal, governor of Sokoto state, said that the state would work with the federal government to formalise and manage the artisanal miners.

Tambuwal assured that the government would also work with defence and security agencies to curb illegal mining in the state.

Bello Goronyo, the state commissioner for solid minerals and natural resources development, said the programme was part of efforts by the federal and state governments to diversify their economies through  effective use of the solid mineral resources.

Goronyo said that the state government had taken a giant stride in the drive to diversify the state’s economy through exploration, mapping and identification of the locations of the minerals in the state.

He explained that the state government had given the ministry all necessary support and cooperation to enable it to discharge it’s duties without hitches

Herdsman Allegedly Chops Off Farmer’s Hand & Ear In Kogi [Graphic Pic]

In Idah, a Fulani herdsman narrowly escaped mob-justice on Monday, Dec 12 for allegedly cutting off a farmer’s hand and ear.
Omojuwa.Com learnt that the herdsman led his cattle to Mr Okpanachi’s cassava farm leading to a heated disagreement between the duo. The herdsman allegedly attacked Okpanachi and cut-off his hand and ear clean off in the process.
The herdsman then proceeded to hand over his cattle to another herdsman and made efforts to run out of town.
While waiting for the cab he boarded at the popular Ibro Park to take-off, drivers at the park became curious with the herdsman’s behavior which led to questions and a full body search. A human hand was discovered in the herdsman’s bag and the crowd descended on him before soldiers came to the scene to rescue him from the mob.
It was later discovered that the human hand is that of Mr. Okpanachi. Residents are still enraged and are calling for justice.

OPINION: Kogi State Governor Bello Going Astray – By Adewale Giwa

If Nigerians did not protest against the anti-social media law sponsored by Bala Ibn Na’allah, a member of the ruling All Progressives Congress from Kebbi State that made the Senate throw out the bill into the dustbin, Yahaya Bello, Kogi State governor, would have been one of Nigeria’s toughest governors towards journalists. One would have thought that being the youngest governor in Nigeria, is his age pushing him presently to be going astray?

 

 

Bello was recently quoted in a broadcast to have vowed to deal with any journalist writing or publishing negative stories against his government. Can somebody say the governor is fulfilling his promise to suppress the media in the state by embarking on the arrest of a journalist? What the governor should focus on is how to ensure he delivers the good governance to Kogi people having looked at his mates who are not fortunate to be governor at his age.

 

 

In case Yahaya Bello fails to study Nigerian constitution before becoming the governor, Barrister Mohammed Ibrahim, the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice in the state should kindly educate and call the governor to order. Why I embark on this piece is to speak out against the continued detention of a publisher of one community-based newspaper in Kogi State, Mr. Friday Ogungbemi by men of Department of State Services, DSS in Kogi State who was alleged to have published a negative story against Bello’s government on November 23- December 15, 2016 edition of the magazine.

 

 

Ogungbemi was later arrested and he is currently spending 6 days in the custody of the state officials of DSS. Despite protest and letters written by the state chapter of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) to Hon. Bello, the governor has turned a deaf ear to it by ensuring Ogungbemi suffers for the offense he had committed. In the said publication, Ogungbemi was said to have focused on the Chief of Staff to the governor of Kogi State, Edward Onoja. The article had criticized Onoja, describing him as overzealous and acting as if he was the governor of the state.

 

 

Let me quickly urge Mr. Bellow to read and internalize chapter four of the 1999 constitution of Nigeria, which gives liberty to freedom of expression. The young Kogi State governor should not have allowed himself to be misled by sycophants, considering the factor that led to his emergence as governor of Kogi State.

 

 

Being the former President of Kogi Youth Arise Forum, one must surely know that the governor was once a realist and fighter. In case Bello has forgotten history, he should be reminded that journalists contributed immensely to his victory.

 

 

Also, with the teeming support from youths across the state to lead Kogi into a brighter future, Bello presented himself to vie for the position of Governor in the gubernatorial election of 2015 under the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC). His mandate however came about after the death of Audu Abubakar, the winner of the 2015 Governorship elections who died of a heart attack shortly after the declaration of the election results announcing him the winner.

 

 

An appeal filed by James Faleke, the running mate to the deceased APC governorship candidate in Kogi State, Abubakar Audu, aimed at nullifying the adoption of Yahaya Bello as the APC candidate in the state’s governorship election, was dismissed by the Appeal Court at Abuja and Supreme Court respectively. With this, Bello should see himself as governor for all the people in Kogi State and stay away from what could dent his government image.

JUST IN: Kogi commissioner quits after 7 months

Tim Diche, Kogi state commissioner for agriculture and natural resources, has resigned his appointment.

 

Kingsley Fanwo, director-general, media and publicity to the governor, confirmed the resignation in a statement.

 

Fanwo said Diche resigned on personal grounds.

 

Diche, a Pharmacist, served in that capacity for seven months.

 

He and Yahaya Bello, the incumbent governor, participated in the All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship primary conducted in August 2015.

Lt Col Abu-Ali: Governor Bello Calls For Better Welfare for Nigerian Soldiers.

The Governor of Kogi State, Alhaji Yahaya Bello, has called on the Federal Government to pay greater attention to the welfare of Nigerian soldiers on active servive and families of fallen soldiers.

Gov. Bello made this call while on a condolence visit to the immediate family of the late Lt. Col Muhammad Abu Ali in Kaduna on Sunday, 20th November. He was accompanied  by the Speaker of Kogi State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Imam Umar, where they both met with the widow of the deceased, Mrs Samira Abu Ali, and the three children.

Gov. Bello, while acknowledging the improvement in the welfare of soldiers, which has resulted in the increased morale of the rank and file and a decimation of insurgency in the North East, asked that military men and women be treated with respect and dignity as they continue to sacrifice their all for our peace and unity.

“We must give honour to whom it is due and our soldiers deserve the best of everything,” Gov. Bello said. “They give up their comfort, happiness and families just to keep the rest of us safe. They must be encouraged and I call on the Federal Government to make their welfare and that of the families of the soldiers that we lose top priority. No member of a soldier’s family should suffer financially when we they die.”

Lt. Col Muhammad Abu Ali was killed by Boko Haram insurgents on November 4 at Mallam Fatori in Borno State. He was 36 years old. Nigeria and Nigerians mourned him.

Gov. Bello was on a 2-week vacation when this unfortunate incident occurred. In a condolence message released by his Chief Press Secretary, Gov. Bello described  the late officer as one of modern Nigeria’s finest officers, who gave his all in service to his country paying the supreme price in the process. To this end,  a high powered state delegation led by the Speaker of the State House of Assembly was at the national funeral held in honour of the fallen officer and some of his colleagues.

On his return to Kogi State, the Governor paid a condolence visit on Brigadier General Abu Ali, the late soldier’s father, in his palace at Bassa-Nge.

While in Kaduna, Gov. Bello said the Kogi State Government will not only immortalise the late Lt. Col Muhammad Abu Ali but will also take the responsibility for the education of his three children up to university level.

To the officers and men of the Nigeria Armed Forces who are in danger zones, Gov. Bello said he appreciates their work. He is optimistic that given the commitment of President Muhammadu Buhari to ending insurgency in Nigeria, Boko Haram threat will soon be a thing of the past. He therefore urged them to not lose hope adding that Nigerians acknowledge and appreciate their sacrifices and all they do for Nigeria.

The death of your husband is the will of God – Kogi governor’s wife to Lt. Abu-Ali’s widow

The wife of Late Lt Col Muhammad Abu Ali, Mrs Abu Ali has been urged to submit to the will of God concerning the loss of her husband.

 

Wife of the Executive Governor of Kogi State, Her Excellency, Mrs Rashida Bello gave the advice during a visit to the wife of Late Lt Col Muhammed today with the Secretary to the State Government, Dr Arike Ayoade and the Honourable Commissioner of Women Affairs and Social Development, Mrs Bolanle Amupitan and wife of the Accountant General of Kogi State, Mrs Momoh.

 

While Mrs Rashida Bello observed with regret that Lt Co Muhammed was still a young man at the time we lost him, she consoled Mrs Abu Ali that the Late Army officer had lived a life of purpose and died for a worthy cause, adding that he is one citizen that Nigerians will never forget as he spent his life time pursuing the safety of the Nigerian citizenry.

 

Mrs Abu Ali who expressed her appreciation to Mrs Rashida Bello, Kogi State government, the people of Kogi State and Nigerians for identifying with her at this trying period, also expressed hope and prayed that the Boko Haram insurgence would soon become a thing of the past.

 

In a related development, Mrs Rashida Bello expressed her condolences to the mother of the slain soldier Hajia Ali, encouraged her to hold unto her faith, and prayed for the protection of God on other members of the family.

 

Mrs Rashida Bello called on family, friends, and relatives to rally round Mrs Abu Ali to help ease the pain of this terrible loss and prayed God to grant Late Col Abu Ali Aljannan Fridaus.

FG, Kogi Mourn Slain Army Commander

Minister of Defence, Mansur Dan Ali has described the death of Lt.-Col. Muhammad Abu Ali as a tragic and unfortunate development in the theatre of operations against the Boko Haram insurgents.

This is contained in a statement by the Public Relations Officer to the minister, Col. Tukur Gusau in Abuja yesterday.

Gusau said the minister received the sad news of the death of Lt.-Col. Abu Ali, while in Sokoto and prayed Allah to grant the war hero eternal rest. Also Kogi State Governor Yahaya Bello has expressed shock and sadness over the death of Abu Ali, an indigene of the state, who was killed in an ambush by Boko Haram insurgents in Borno on Friday.

In a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mrs Petra Akinti-Onyegbule yesterday in Lokoja, the governor described the death of army commander as “unfortunate and a monumental loss to Kogi state and Nigeria.”

Both the federal government and Kogis state commiserated with father of the deceased, the Etsu Bassa Nge Kingdom, retired Brig.-Gen. Abu Ali and prayed God to give him and the entire people of Bassa the fortitude to bear the loss.

He is a member of the 50th Regular Course. He joined the Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA) in 1998 and was commissioned on September 27, 2003. He was described by his colleagues as a gallant and brave soldier. He participated or even led many major operations in the North East, including the liberation of Mubi from the hands of Boko Haram.

He enjoyed an accelerated promotion from the rank of Major to Lieutenant Colonel and was decorated by the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General TY Buratai at Gamboru Ngala on 9th September 2015 during an operational visit. He did YOC Armour, YOC Infantry, Platoon Commander’s Course, Tank Auto Instructor’s Course, Junior Divisions Course, Scorpion Conversion Course, Command and Staff Officers Operational Skills Corps.

He participated in the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL), United Missions in Darfur (UNMO), among others.

Credit: dailytrust

Kogi government overhauls revenue system, to begin TSA.

With recommendations for adoption of the Treasury Single Account (TSA) and the establishment of a legally sound and operationally efficient post-autonomy process for the Board of Internal Revenue (BIR), Kogi State is set to rejig its revenue system.

The move, which is part of efforts to fight corruption and wastes in public finance management, has already received commendations from the state government as the Adhoc Committee on Fiscal Responsibility submitted its report.

In recent times, the need to engage professional accountants and financial experts in charting a sustainable path in states’ revenue drive, management and plugging of loopholes against corruption has been canvassed at various levels.

A nine-member committee, led by a professor of Public Sector Accounting at Kogi State University, Steven Ocheni, while delivering the report to the state governor, said the members had painstakingly sourced and collated vital information, which led to the various recommendations in the report.
Other members of the Committee are Asiwaju Idris Ashiru, Commissioner for Finance and Economic Development; Oloruntoba Kehinde, Commissioner for Budget and Planning; Momoh Jibrin , State Accountant-General; and Okala Yakubu, State Auditor-General.

The committee still included Alhaji Ahmed Ododo, Auditor-General for Local Government; Alhaji Bako Mohammed, Ag. Permanent Secretary (Administration), Secretary to the State Government’s Office; Mallam Sairu Mohammed, Ag. Permanent Secretary (Establishment), Office of the Head of Service; and Alhaji Yakubu Oseni, Chairman, Kogi State Board of Internal Revenue.

Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello, while receiving the report, said it was meant to reposition the state’s fiscal policies, enthrone transparency and fight corruption, as the terms of reference include the establishment of a legally sound and operationally efficient TSA; efficient Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS); and autonomous revenue board.

He assured that the sound operational guidelines for prudent management of the state’s revenue and financial discipline with a view to total elimination of wastages, drastic reduction in outgoings and rapid increase in revenue generation during this administration and beyond would be implemented.

Already, the committee has recommended for adoption the approach and methodology of Lagos State Pension Commission.To arrive at this, Ocheni said that the committee constituted three sub-committees, which had interactions with the representatives of Kogi State Pension office, representatives of Pension Commission and Pension Fund Administrators.

Again, it engaged the Organised Labour Union and other stakeholders in a Town-Hall meeting to interact on the implementation of the scheme.

“We recommend Kogi State Pensions Commission for both the state and Local government pensioners, adopting the administrative set up of the Lagos State Pension Commission (LASPEC) for convenience and cost effectiveness,” he said.

He however, said the success of the scheme requires a huge investment in ICT to enable state and Local government pensioners’ records to be fully automated and a database maintained for constant update.

Corroborating the need for investment in technology to achieve success in the new drive, the Secretary to the Kogi State Government, Mrs. Ayoade Arike, noted that the implementation of TSA would be be a major issue as it is about online communication.

“I noticed that the internet level in Kogi State is not superb. We need a strong internet facility to aid the TSA,’’ she said.

The committee suggested an execution of an Irrevocable Standing Payment Order (ISPO) from the state to the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation for deduction of pension contributions at source.

“Technocrats experienced in pension and financial matters be appointed to man the State Pension Commission. The state government should establish a Pension Transition Agency to service the Old Pension Liabilities with a reasonable monthly allocation to be determined by the Actuary, sufficient enough to defray the outstanding pension liabilities in five years,’’ he said.

As part of the repositioning, there is need for a new bill for a legal backing for the autonomy of the Board of Internal Revenue Service to be passed by Kogi State House of Assembly.

For effective performance, the state Internal Revenue Service is to have five Directorates, each headed by an Executive Director, who is a professional tax practitioner and member of the Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria (CITN) experienced in taxation and management.

The Directorates are: Tax Operations; Compliance; Enforcement; Corporate Services; and Secretary to the Internal Revenue Service.While it also recommended the immediate adoption and implementation of the TSA and the contributory Pension Scheme (CPS) for Kogi State Public Service, there was a pre-qualification of banks, with eight eligible to be used for the policy.

The banks are Access Bank Plc, Zenith Bank Plc, Ecobank Plc, First Bank of Nigeria Plc, Fidelity Bank Plc, Guaranty Trust Bank Plc, Skye Plc, and United Bank for Africa. By the report, the would now establish a Project Team/Secretariat to be headed by the State Accountant-General, made up of Director Treasury, Director Budget, Staff from Main Accounts in the State Auditor-General’s Office, Inspectorate Unit, Board of Internal Revenue, Director, State Auditor-General’s Office, and the Bursar, Kogi State University representing tertiary institutions.

“The team has a primary responsibility for the coordination of all pre-implementation, implementation and post-implementation programmes required for the successful take-off of the State Government’s Treasury Single Account (TSA) scheme.

“The committee recommends that after the first three months of operations, a policy of No-Pin, No-Pay should be applied to ensure all and sundry comply for the success of the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS),’’ he said.

Upon implementation of the report, the retirement benefits of certain category of public office holders may be treated in line with the statutory requirements of such benefit schemes, like the Governors and other State Political Office Holders.

Addressing the governor, the Don said the state’s “New Direction Agenda,” which emphasises public accountability, transparency and financial discipline in treasury management, is an affirmation of the administration’s determination to reposition the State Civil Service.

“It is therefore, our belief, that these recommendations, if implemented by your administration, will launch the state on the path aimed at bringing to the door steps the long expected dividends of democratic governance,’’ he said.

Responding, the state Governor, said he was proud of the performance of committee, as well as the work done by the members.“We set up the Adhoc Committee on Fiscal Responsibility to advise us on ways to manage our scarce resources- prioritise and put to use judiciously,” he said.

He pointed out that his administration is much in a hurry to get the committees working because time was against the government, assuring that he was not just setting up the committees, but has the political will to implement to the letter the recommendation of those committees.

“We set up a committee to look into the state’s bloated workforce and uncovered that over N1.3 billion was being paid monthly to ghost workers. We are already implementing certain recommendations that were adhoc in nature.

“We want to stop the menace of armed robbery and kidnapping in the state. We reduced the level of insecurity in the state from what we met it to half. Before this committee comes up with its report, we had implemented 50 per cent of the report,’’ the governor said.

Assuring that the recommendations of a sound committee like this would not be swept under the carpet, he warned that no corrupt official would be harboured and those who want to manipulate the system of TSA and test our might, will face law.

Breaking: Bello Wins As The Supreme Court Upholds Election

The Supreme Court on Tuesday affirmed the election of Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State.

The court in a unanimous judgement dismissed the appeal filed by Hon. James Faleke, the deputy to Late Abubakar Audu, candidate of the APC aand Captain Idris Wada of the PGP.

The court said it will give reasons for its judgement on September 30, 2016

The election petition tribunal of the state and the court of appeal dismissed their petitions against the governor for lacking in merit.

The apex court is expected to hear the appeal today and determine it one way or the other.

The Court of Appeal in dismissed the appeal filed by Faleke, who and Captain Wada’against Yahaya Bello’s election by four-to-one split decision.

The All Progressives Congress substituted Bello as its governorship candidate and retained Faleke as its deputy governorship candidate after Audu died at the conclusion of the first round of the election held on November 21.

Police Arrest late Abubakar Audu’s son, Family Members In Kogi

The Police in Kogi state have arrested the son of late Kogi state governor, Abubakar Audu, Mohammed and about 15 other members of the late governor’s family. According to the former governor’s younger brother, Mustapha, Mohammed and other family members were arrested today and are being detained at the Lokoja Police Division.

He accused the state governor of ordering the arrest of his family members. He alleged that the state governor was using the police to intimidate their family because Mohammed in a statement he released recently, mocked the governor for using the scarce resources in the state to organize an award ceremony to mark the state’s 25 years anniversary, instead of using the money to pay salaries.

Meanwhile the state governor, Yahaya Bello, has denied having any links with the arrests made.

A statement from the governor’s Chief Press Secretary, Fanwo Kingsley, reads “The Governor did not order the arrest of anybody. However, law enforcement agents are free to effect arrest when anyone infringes the Law. If members of Audu family run foul of the Law, they would not be spared just because they are members of Audu’s family”.

#KogiAt25: Celebrating Kogi’s Silver Jubilee, Silver Lining And Silver Bullet.

BEING TEXT OF A SPEECH BY HIS EXCELLENCY, GOVERNOR YAHAYA BELLO OF KOGI STATE ON 27TH AUGUST, 2016 IN COMMEMORATION OF THE 25TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE CREATION OF KOGI STATE

Happy Silver Jubilee, Kogi State!

Almighty God Alone deserves all the Praise today. Without the help of God, we will not be marking this day. For keeping our Nation Nigeria and for keeping our State Kogi, I thank God with all my strength and from the bottom of my heart.

I felicitate with each Kogite on this important milestone. The journey has been long, and the road was not always smooth but you stood your ground. You did not let challenges diminish your allegiance to the Federal Republic of Nigeria or your devotion to a united, peaceful and progressive Kogi State. Happy 25th Anniversary, Great People!

I cannot hide my admiration for my father and mentor, President Muhammadu Buhari. I said as much in my Inaugural Address and I repeat same here today. I admire his ironclad will that saw him contest against incredible odds for the Presidency of Nigeria and win on the fourth attempt. Mr. President’s unbending determination to rid Nigeria of corruption continues to provide me with much needed example in a political terrain that is nearly barren of heroic personalities. On this 25th Anniversary of my state, I celebrate my boss.

On 27th of August 1991, Kogi State was created, along with Abia, Adamawa, Anambra, Delta, Edo, Enugu, Jigawa, Kebbi, Osun, Taraba, and Yobe States. It was the joyful reunion of a people who shared historical roots dating back to the defunct Kabba Province in the old Northern Region.

I was about 16 years old at the time and I still remember how Kogites erupted in spontaneous celebration wherever the glad tidings reached them. Everyone was excited by the promise of a new dawn. We were confident that with faith in God and handwork our new state would achieve unparalleled heights in Nigeria.

Kogi State appreciates former President Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida during whose tenure as Head of State our dear state was created. Every Kogite owes the colorful General whom Nigerians fondly call ‘IBB’ an undying weight of gratitude. Today as always we hail his remarkable courage, especially that singular exercise in which he carved out Kogi State from parts of Kwara and Benue States where we had been completely neglected. We wish our benefactor a long and happy life. May he live to see the emergence of a Kogi that justifies his founding visions for it. Allah Ya kara maka lafiya.

Many sons and daughters of Kogi State, too many to mention individually, also contributed beyond belief to the efforts that led to her creation. I speak of such eminent founders and fathers as General Salihu Ibrahim (former Chief of Army Staff), Alhaji Aliyu Attah (former Inspector-General of Police), and Retired General Theophilus Jemibewon (a fine officer and gentleman).

Others, equally as distinguished, include Late Chief Sunday Awoniyi (consummate technocrat), Late Dr. Stephen Makoji Achema (politician and community leader), Late Pa C.H.N Lapini (elder statesman), Chief P.S Achimugu (elder stateman) and His Excellency, Late Prince Abubakar Audu (First Executive Governor of Kogi State). The list is inexhaustible. I honor their collective achievement today.

Geographically, Kogi State is strategically located as the intersection of  all parts of the country. We share borders with 9 States and the Federal Capital Territory. This makes us the gateway to the heart of Nigeria.  The mighty Rivers Niger and Benue enter Kogi as individual flows only to find Confluence in our land. Likewise, Nigerians from diverse background find connectedness in Kogi, either as residents or travellers.

Demographically, there are about 3.5 million wonderful people currently living in Kogi. This large population help create multi-sectoral business opportunities, especially in agriculture, trade and commerce. With alluvial plains along the riverbeds and fertile uplands Kogi is a farmers’ haven, and modern Agriculture for the cultivation of numerous crops have proved very lucrative.

The State also boasts some of the most extensive solid minerals deposits in Nigeria. Our Tourism potentials are almost limitless. Innumerable historical sites, wonderful geological features and the incredible biodiversity across the State make it a very attractive tourist destination.

On August 27, 1991, our dreams of steering our own destiny became a reality. We accepted responsibility for our own success and our journey to discover greatness began. Everyone was full of great hopes for the future. Kogi State, with her massive endowments had no reason not to become a 21st century industrial and agricultural powerhouse, even without crude oil earnings, so our optimism was not foolish.

I would love to report today that Kogi State has lived up to her potentials. Truly, nothing would give me greater pleasure than to have the privilege of speaking to you today on how Kogi achieved greatness. Unfortunately, if I tried to tell you that Kogi State, after 25 years of existence, is where any patriotic Kogite dreams it would be none of you would believe me for a moment. In fact, you would laugh at me and dismiss me for a liar.

I am saddened by what we could have become. I imagine the long journey to statehood for Kogi State and the sacrifices of those who fought for that vision. Many of them, some of whom I have recognized above, laboured to plant this tree knowing they will never get to sit in its shade. Others are alive today, but unsung. It would be most disrespectful to them all if I claimed that the Kogi State we live in today is the one they envisioned. It is not.

The sad reality is that we are well below the expectations and capabilities we started out with. Some argue that Kogi State is not alone in that sad corner of under-performance. They would say it is a general reflection of the nation we live in. I disagree. It is time we owned up to our mistakes. We must stop the practice of comparing ourselves to any other under-performing states as an excuse for low achievement.

Fellow Kogites, it is far better to admit the harsh realities on ground so we can get creative about changing them than to live in denial and continue to wallow in squalor. Somewhere along our journey to greatness we were derailed, not by a mechanical fault but by deliberate acts of sabotage by those entrusted with the job of driving us to our desired future. The missed opportunities in Kogi State, and all over Nigeria for that matter, are traceable to poor and uninspiring leadership of the past.

We cannot be glad that we are not doing well like others. How is it any consolation to a wiseman that he is in the same leaky boat with others? If the boat sinks, everyone perishes. It is my belief that every state in Nigeria has had a chance to chart a course for herself different from the malaise of bad governance which permeated the nation, particularly in the last 16 years. Some states actually did and today they are way ahead of others in critical socio-economic indices.

The painful thing is that Kogi State did not join this league of visionary states. We seemed unable to find leaders who loved Kogi above self, family and friends. Thus successive Administrations posted lackluster performances leading to severe underdevelopment of the state and increased poverty among our people. If they had been merely incompetent their failures would not have been so terrible. Instead they added corruption and criminality to the mix. Simply put, some of our past leaders were utterly godless. They stole us blind.

This malaise is of course not limited to Kogi State alone. Nigeria itself was on life support when President Muhammadu Buhari came to Office. As it is, the President is still working hard to move it out of the Intensive Care Unit. Most Nigerians know this but only a few will admit it. A christian cleric recently reiterated the deep-seated wickedness shown to the people of this country, including Kogi State, by those who held power before the All Progressives Congress (APC). He lamented as follows:

‘Our past leaders, no, not…leaders, our past looters…embezzlers…have eaten the cake of this country and now everybody is suffering it…All the money voted for road constructions (and other public utilities) were swindled, eaten. Many of them became millionaires and billionaires in Naira, in Dollars, in Pounds, in Euro. Billionaires, when they have no workshop, no business centre. Somebody who has nothing he’s doing, yet he’s a billionaire, because he’s a politician…they succeeded in removing the liver, kidneys, and cardiovascular systems of this country…paralyzed the neurological organs and handed over to Buhari, the new president, shambles, skeleton almost, a nation that is (comatose)…Kidnapping was a child of the past administration. They delivered that ugly baby, and that baby resembled them…’

I am one of those who believe that the The truth must be told as bluntly as possible. I am saying it this way now so that when I am no longer Governor, posterity can have my words today as a precedent to judge me. I want Almighty God and Kogi People to judge me harshly too if I follow the same path of wanton corruption and criminality while in Office. I want us to recall the past correctly so we can drop it in the trashcan of history and move on to capture the greatness which has eluded Kogi State for 25 long years.

The Change which swept the nation with the election of President Muhammadu Buhari presented us with an opportunity to reinvent ourselves and make great strides in Kogi. Mr. President’s commitment to the Change Agenda in Nigeria provides us with a role model for Change here. We are assured of Mr. President’s support as long as we act with probity and accountability.

This 25th Anniversary is therefore an opportune time to unveil a new epoch of greatness for Kogi State. Accordingly, it is my utmost pleasure to introduce the New Direction Agenda of this Administration once more. This is especially for the benefit of our esteemed guests here who may be hearing about it for the first time today.

When I began to nurse the aspiration to run for Governor, it was clear to me that Kogi State needed more than body fillers. A lot of engine work was necessary too. The state called for overhauling and thorough servicing to get it running effectively. Once that was done, it must be turned around completely to travel in a new direction. This simple premise became the foundational philosophy for our New Direction Agenda, and it remains the basis on which we have designed our Governance Blueprint.

We are convinced that good governance is a catalyst for quick development of our communities. The New Direction Blueprint, as promised during our Campaigns, is a Marshall Plan, an actionable proposal, for how we intend to reinvent Kogi state and activate all of our potentials. Beyond that, it is our roadmap to lifting at least One Million Kogites out of the National Poverty Index during the tenure of this Administration.

The needs are many and the resources lean which means we cannot possibly do everything. The Blueprint focuses on 5 thematic areas, namely, Education, Health, Job Creation and New Ventures, Infrastructure and Utilities, and Productive Public Service and Pension Reforms. These five focal points are designed to interlock. Each  Ministry, Department and Agency of Kogi State will find that one or more, if not all, of these five focal areas provide direction for their work.

My dear people of Kogi State, The New Direction Blueprint was designed with you in mind. It is not needlessly complex nor is it full of obscure, diversionary concepts. It is simply an inventory of priority projects with estimated dates of delivery. In fact, most of the projections came from your responses in the Questionnaires sent out by our New Direction Blueprint Team and your contributions at the LG  Town Hall meetings.

To enhance access to the Blueprint by everyone, we will place reference copies in libraries, schools and other public places. It will also be uploaded online. Government will rely a lot on your feedback to monitor compliance with the Blueprint by functionaries at Local Government and other levels. Accordingly, we are working to set up a Call Centre directly under my Office through which you can make inputs. It will be manned by Special Assistants properly trained in Customer Care and appropriate etiquette.

As I begin to conclude, let me say that my considerable business experience has taught me to take the resources available per time and do my best with it. I will always provide the political will for this Administration to consistently do the right thing. We will continue to ensure the totality of Kogi’s resources work for the totality of Kogi’s People.

There is no time to enumerate all our accomplishments over the 7 months we have been in Office. I will mention a few in order to give an idea of our commitment and our momentum. On assumption we focused on workers welfare. Over the space of two months, even before we got the the bailout funds, we managed to pay 3 month’s salaries. More has been paid since the bailout came. For the records, we have only accessed 40% of the Bailout Funds approved for us by the Federal Government. We will pay more as we access more.

We commenced a staff screening and verification exercise which has removed over 18,000 unintended beneficiaries from the the state civil service payroll. This will save the state N16.6bn per annum at the rate of N1.3bn per month. Affected individuals have also been afforded the opportunity to present their cases to an Appeal Committee. No genuine worker or pensioner affected for any reason will be denied fair hearing.

The screening exercise also revealed the level of complicity in the rot by all strata of the society. It was a conspiracy to rob the state. The involvement of clerics of both major faiths in these rackets was perhaps the most disappointing. I warn that people who by their calling are meant to be societal role models must endeavour to live above board. We will not hesitate to hand them over to law enforcement if need be.

We are now better able to focus on the welfare of genuine workers. I have directed the Commissioner for Finance and the 21 Local Government Administrators to pay at least 3 months’ salaries to all workers before the  Sallah Holidays. In line with our resolve to ensure our payroll caters for only bona fide workers, it goes without saying that only those who passed the screening exercise will be paid.

Once again, and I cannot repeat this enough, any person who believes he or she was was unjustly screened out should please reach to the Appeal Committee at the appointed times and places and present their case. Schedules have been sent out several weeks ago to all Local Government Secretariats and the State Secretariat so people can avail themselves of this opportunity.

In June, 2016, I trimmed the number of ministries in the state from 20 to 15, appointing the same number of commissioners. This eliminated the duplication of roles, cut the cost of governance and increased productivity.

In order to grow our Internally Generated Revenue, we granted autonomy to the Kogi State Board of Internal Revenue, moved them to modern premises and strengthened their operational capacities. There is currently a perceptible increase in our Internally Generated Revenue. It will surely grow.

We abolished the State and Local Government Joint Account, granted financial autonomy to the Local Government Areas and strengthened oversight of their activities. This is a way of boosting this administration’s resolve to govern with transparency and accountability.

We commenced construction of rural and township roads in the three senatorial Districts of the State. Some parts of the state which had been in darkness for 5 years or more have been provided electricity with several of such projects awaiting commissioning.

This Administration resuscitated the monthly sanitation exercise and it has gone a long way in cleaning up our cities and banishing the mountains of refuse and other health hazards which dotted everywhere when we came in.

The State Ministry of Environment spearheaded the planting of thousands of trees all over the State as part of efforts to protect our environment. This is part of a greening initiative that will ultimately see millions of trees planted during the tenure of this Administration. With lessons learned from the devastating floods of 2012 our flood and erosion preparedness measures are in top gear. We are confident that the steps we are taking today will help us manage natural disasters easier and make every part of the state safer for residents.

We came into office on 27 January, 2016. The Security Agencies informed me of 18 recorded incidents of kidnapping and numerous armed robberies in that month alone. We immediately prioritized security and took the battle to the criminals. By end of February we had only 5 incidences of kidnapping along with a reduction in armed robbery. We will not relent in this war. Any such criminal remaining in Kogi State is aware that he has signed his own death warrant.

I salute the gallant men and officers of our security forces – police, military, and paramilitary for their exceptional bravery. Also worthy of honorable mention are members of our revitalized Vigilante Services. Together, we have continued to checkmate the perpetrators of violent crime within our boundaries.

I am overwhelmed with the massive support we continue to receive from His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari in this area of security as well as others. His Excellency directed his Security Chiefs to render me full support in securing Kogi State. These officers have also gone over and beyond the call of duty to respond.

General Tukur Buratai, the Chief of Army Staff and the Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Kpotum Idris, took this directive very personal and have availed us of both their physical presence and the elite resources of their respective services.

I must at this juncture appeal to community leaders, parents and guardians to take deeper interest in the escapades of their children and wards. Mischief very easily crosses over into criminality if young ones are left to their own devices. We again admonish young ones to refrain from physically engaging security operatives on or off duty. By their training, law enforcement agents will perform their constitutional duties as circumstances may require. People, including youth, who do not have respect for the law will find to their bitter regret that the law is no respecter of persons.

We cannot grow Kogi unless we attract genuine business people and provide the climate they need to thrive. Security is key to creating such an investment-friendly state. This is why we have purchased over one hundred Police Patrol Vehicles to assist the agencies in combating security challenges within the state. These vehicles were commissioned before all of us not long ago as part of activities marking this Anniversary and distributed to the various Law Enforcement Agencies.

Kogi is open for business. The Administration is revitalizing bi- and multi-lateral relationships with international development partners as well as collaborations with Nigerian businesses. We have a preference for Public Private Partnerships and similar private sector driven investment portfolios. We are committed to fostering a business climate that attracts and retains all viable investment options.

Just this week I signed an agreement with a US consortium for agro-allied investments in Kogi State that will eventually exceed the billion dollar mark. In similar vein, an automobile assembling company doing business in Nigeria displayed the prototype of one of their SUVs to me in Government House today. They will be assembling those in Kogi State before the end of 1st Quarter of 2017. Soon my people, we will have ‘Made In Kogi’ vehicles!

Today, and as always, I celebrate the life and times of Prince Abubakar Audu, the 1st Executive Governor of Kogi State. He laid a good foundation in Kogi State and is the architect of this Change that we see today. I am here today because of his labours. ‘Allah (SWT) is the Protecting Guardian of those who believe; He leads them out of the darkness into the light.’ [Qur’an 2:257]. May our leader continue to rest in peace.

I have severally extended my hand to my opponents in the elections that brought me in, seeking their brotherhood for a greater Kogi State.  We are Kogites first and foremost. We must be guided by her best interests. Without prejudice to the cases in court, I repeat that gesture again today.

I urge those whose desperate resort is to foment trouble to rethink their actions. I guarantee them that misusing the media in vain attempt to paint my Government as corrupt or clueless has absolutely no effect on me or the Administration. A clear conscience such as I have, fears no accusation. They may unsettle some of the People some of the time, but the majority of Kogites have subscribed to the New Direction Agenda and can see such antics as the childish tantrums they really are.

We do not invite any media to do any cover ups for us. Conversely we will not tolerate further fake advertorials on non-existent sleaze against us. We have drawn the absolute last straw and are very willing now to test criminal and civil laws in this regard, notwithstanding any retraction.

We support a free Press, but we will no longer condone an irresponsible one. I sincerely hope that going forward our friends in the media will give factual reportage of events in Kogi State. I still believe that media ethics transcend financial rewards. A reputable media house ought not to publish anything that is an obvious lie, irrespective of the amount to be paid.

Dear Kogites, and all our Distinguished Guests, I am excited because today our celebration is three-fold – Silver Jubilee, Silver Lining and Silver Bullet. On this Silver Jubilee the New Direction Agenda constitutes a Silver Lining of Hope tearing apart the black clouds of longstanding misgovernance and using the New Direction Blueprint as a Silver Bullet to slay the monster of backwardness confronting Kogi State.

Today is not just a time to Celebrate, but also a time to Contemplate. In Psalms 90 verse 12 The Bible says, “So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.” When we take out time to contemplate and think over our lives and our choices, we can plan for the future better. It will be an abomination for our children to grow into adults and on the Golden Jubilee of our state find themselves face to face with our failure to prepare for their future.

In the Qur’an, Abu Hurairah narrated that the Prophet (pbuh) said, “Allah said: ‘The son of Adam hurts Me by abusing Time, for I am Time; in My Hands are all things and I cause the revolution of night and day.” (Bukhari 6/351; 9/583). May we be wise not to hurt Allah Himself by abusing the time entrusted to us.

We must start today to prepare for the next 25 years by doing the right things now. It is my prayer that if God wills for us to be alive to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Kogi State, the foundations we lay together in this Administration may contribute to making that day the Golden Jubilee of a vastly improved, truly developed and heavily industrialized Kogi State.

Once again I wish Kogi State Happy Silver Jubilee!

God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

God bless Kogi State.

YAHAYA BELLO
EXECUTIVE GOVERNOR
KOGI STATE
27 August, 2016.

Security: Governor Bello Advises Citizens To Be Vigilant.

Kogi State Governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello, has called on the people of the state to be vigilant and security conscious by checking movement of strange persons in their neighbourhood  and report suspicious individuals to security agents.

The Governor stated this today in Lokoja at the Jumat Mosque Prayers  to mark the 25th Anniversary of the creation of the state.

Bello disclosed that some people have recruited some miscreants and imported them  to the state to cause trouble, warning the trouble shooters to relocate from the state or meet the superior power of the law.

He assured the people of the state that the law enforcement agencies are working hard to fish out the miscreants out of the state.

The Governor vowed to continue to ensure the unity of the state, adding that he is poised to lead the state through necessary reforms that will bring about even development in all sectors of the economy.

I am conscious of the circumstance that brought me to power and will only be answerable to God and the people of Kogi State,” he stated.

Boko Haram Members Planning Attacks In Kano, Kaduna & Kogi Nabbed

The Department of State Service (DSS) says it has arrested Boko Haram members planning attacks in Kano, Kaduna and Kogi states.

A statement today from a DSS official, Tony Opuiyo, said a Boko Haram leader Mudaisiru Jibrin, was arrested on the 17th  of July 2016 at Sauna quarters in the Yankaba area of Kano.

Opuiyo said preliminary investigation revealed that he was also the mastermind of the shooting of some students at Government Secondary School (GSS), Mamudo village near Potiskum, Yobe State, in 2013.

He added that the service also arrested a notorious Boko Haram fighter Mukhtar Tijani and three of his accomplices Isiaku Salihu, Abdullahi Isah and Hindu Isah at Kinkinau area in Unguwar Mua’azu, Kaduna metropolis.

He said the four suspects were apprehended while perfecting arrangements for major coordinated attacks on selected targets and locations in Kaduna State.

Opuiyo also said the Service arrested three members of the Ansaru terrorist group in Kogi state. He said they were arrested on 12th August 2016.

He explained that Usman Abdullahi, Abdulmumuni Sadio and Ahmad Salihu were arrested while making arrangements to launch attacks on some selected targets in Edo and Kogi states, before escaping to join ISIS in Libya.

Credit: dailytrust

5,000 Rice Farmers To Benefit From CBN Anchor Borrower Programme In Kogi

No fewer than 5, 000 registered rice farmers in Kogi will benefit from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) anchor borrower programme.

The state’s Chairman of Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN), Mrs Rabi Emaiku, made this known in a town hall meeting of Rice Value Chain Farmers and stakeholders on Friday in Lokoja.

Emaiku said that over 5,000 farmers in the state had registered and completed the necessary documentations required by the CBN to qualify them to access the rice fund.

Emaiku urged stakeholders involved in rice production to harmonise ways to boost and ensure adequate rice production in the state.

She advised farmers in the state to make good use of the opportunity provided them by the Federal Government through the CBN to boost production.

“Our associations are ready to give our trust and support to the CBN, Federal and State governments, and all other stakeholders to ensure the success of the programme in Kogi,” she said.

The chairman also commended the State Governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello for his efforts and total support to farmers in making the programme a reality in Kogi.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the state governor was represented at the meeting by the Commissioner for Agriculture, Mr Tim Dichie.

The governor restated the strong commitment of the state government in making sure that food security is given priority attention in the state.

The CBN representative, Mr Idris Usman, who is the Head of Development Finance Office of CBN, Lokoja, said he was there to witness the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that would be signed by all stakeholders for onward transmission to the CBN for implementation.

Usman noted that 50 per cent guarantee of any amount agreed on in the meeting would be taken over by the CBN, while 40 per cent by State Government and 5 to 10 per cent by individual participants.

The stakeholders present at the meeting includes; CBN, ADP, UNDP, Federal Ministry of Agriculture, RIFAN, Kogi State Ministry of Agriculture, Off takers from Kano, Edo and Anambra States.

Others are Seed Suppliers, Tractorization Company, Sterling Bank, AFAN, SWOFON, KSARPFUL and various farmers’ associations in the state.

Credit: NAN

 

Kogi Sues National Assembly, AGF Over Assembly Takeover

The Kogi State Government has sued the National Assembly and the Attorney General of the Federation at the Supreme Court, asking for an order nullifying the House of Representatives resolution to take over the legislative functions of the state’s House of Assembly.

The House of Representatives had, on March 9, 2016, passed a resolution to take over the legislative functions of the Kogi State House of Assembly.

The House passed the resolution following the crisis that broke out as a result of the tussle for the speakership of the House between two factions of the Assembly.

In the said resolution, the Reps directed the Inspector-General of Police to seal off the House of Assembly until the crisis was resolved.

But the Kogi State Government, represented by the state’s Attorney General and the House of Assembly, filed its suit on April 29, 2016, before the Supreme Court to challenge the House of Representatives resolution.

The National Assembly and the AGF are the two defendants in the suit.

The plaintiffs in the suit number SC.340/2016, filed under Order 3 Rule 5 of the Supreme Court Rules, asked the apex court to declare that the House resolution was passed in breach of Section 11(4) of the Constitution.

They also urged the apex court to nullify the resolution.

They contended in their statement of claim that “the factional disagreement” between members of the House of Assembly was normal in a democracy.

According to them, the crisis started on February 16, 2016, following a disagreement between two factions in the House of Assembly on the position of the Speaker of the Assembly.

They claimed that following the disagreement, a faction of the members of the House of Assembly filed the suit, FHC/LKJ/CS/16/16 (Kogi State House of Assembly & 3 Ors V National Assembly& 2 Ors.

They said while the suit was pending, the House of Representatives invoked its power under Section 11(4) of the Constitution to take over the functions of the House of Assembly.

The plaintiffs said the House of Representatives declared the impeachment proceedings embarked upon by five members of the House of Assembly for the removal of the Speaker, as clearly violating Section 92(c) of the Constitution.

But the plaintiffs claimed that the said “disagreement” between the factions in the House of Assembly did not create any “adverse security situation” in the state.

Their statement of claim, accompanying the suit, added, “There is no security report by the Governor of Kogi State, the police or any security agency in Nigeria that the disagreement among members of the Kogi State House of Assembly caused insecurity and danger to public safety in the state.

“At all times material to the passage of the resolution of the National Assembly to take over the Kogi State House of Assembly, Kogi State was and is calm and peaceful as citizens go about their lawful business.”

The plaintiffs therefore sought the following two prayers, “A declaration that the resolution of the House of Representatives on Wednesday, March 9, 2016, which purportedly took over the legislative functions of the Kogi State House of Assembly, is passed in breach of Section 11(4) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended).”

 

Kogi Workers To Resume Strike Over Non-Payment Of Salaries

Organised labour in Kogi said on Monday in Lokoja that it would resume strike to impress it on the state government on the need to pay outstanding five-month salary arrears to workers.

 

This is contained in a communiqué issued by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), the Trade Union Congress (TUC) and the Joint Negotiating Council (JNC) at the end of an emergency meeting.

 

The communiqué was jointly signed by Mr Onuh Edoka, the state NLC Chairman; Mr Ojo Ranti Matthew, Chairman of TUC and Mr Aaron Akeji, the Chairman of JNC.

The communiqué stated that previous promises by the state government to pay the salary arrears had not been kept.

It also condemned the payment of salary in piecemeal; adding that salaries for the months of October and November, 2015 were paid three months after each of the month was due.

The communiqué also decried the exclusion of workers employed between January and December, 2015 from receiving the November, 2015 salaries.

It urged the state government to pay those affected because they worked for the month.

According to the communiqué, “the state government is claiming that the employment of the concerned workers was irregular, since there was an embargo on employment in the state.’’

In a reaction, Mr Kingsley Fanwo, the Chief Press Secretary to Gov.Yahaya Bello, said it would be inappropriate for the workers to blame the government for the failure of the past administrations.

Fanwo said Bello’s administration was able to offset two months’ salary arrears within his 57 days in office.

“Labour was on an indefinite strike before the inauguration of the present administration, but the governor intervened to settle the industrial dispute”, he said.

He said the governor would undertake a holistic appraisal of the situation after the ongoing screening exercise with a view to addressing the salary issue once and for all.

Kogi APC Stalwart Asks Bello To Resign

Credit: NationalMirror

‘Return Government Cars Or Get Arrested’ – Gov Bello Warns Ex Govt Officials

Kogi state governor, Yahaya Bello, has warned former political office holders in the state to return official vehicles they made away with while leaving office or risk being arrested. A statement issued by the state government released today reads;

“The refusal of the former political office holders ?involved in this act to return the vehicles despite several appeals made to them has led to the constitution of the Vehicles Recovery Committee by the State Governor, Yahaya Adoza Bello,”

The Committee, which was inaugurated yesterday, April 11th, was mandated to go after the vehicles and recover same in order to accelerate the smooth running of the current government and its programmes. The committee which is chaired by the ?Adaidu Akoh, who is also the Special Adviser to the Governor on Special Duties, says it has so far recovered 7 cars.

Kogi Assembly Passes N99.9bn Appropriation Bill 2016

Kogi House of Assembly on Tuesday passed N99.9 billion as the State’s Appropriation Bill for 2016 and called on the executive to ensure its proper implementation.

 

The budget is N25.00 billion higher than the N74.99 billion proposals presented to it by the executive arm of government.

 

The passage followed the third and final readings of the bill after clause-by-clause consideration under the chairmanship of Speaker Umar Imam at plenary session in Lokoja.

 

Estimated recurrent revenue was put at N63.12 billion, while the expected capital receipts were put at N36.87 billion.

 

The recurrent expenditure summary showed that salaries and allowances are expected to gulp N42.45 billion with overhead cost standing at N15.83 billion.

 

Mr John Abah (PDP-Ibaji), Chairman of Committee on Finance, Appropriation and Budget Monitoring presented the committee’s report on the appropriation bill.

 

He said legislation on the bill was premised on principles of effective allocation of scarce resources to identified critical programmes and projects.

 

According to Abah, they include completion of ongoing projects and addition of new ones in critical areas of need and expansion of the state’s revenue base through Internally Generated Revenues.

 

Others are enhancement of greater transparency and proper accountability in public expenditure management, creation of environment conducive for investors and donor agencies to operate; and reduction of domestic debt profile of the state.

 

Speaker Imam charged members to be alive to their oversight legislative functions in ensuring that the budget was strictly adhered to.

 

Friday Sani (PDP-Igalamela-Odolu), said the passage of the bill would ginger Gov. Yahaya Bello to deliver dividends of democracy to the people and urged legislators to properly monitor the budget.

 

(NAN)

Kogi: Stop Harassing My People – Faleke Tells Bello

The running mate of the late Prince Abubakar Audu in the November 21 governorship election in Kogi state, Hon. James Faleke has called on the state Governor, Yahaya Bello to stop harassing his supporters and kinsmen over their political tussle.
Faleke claimed that his loyalists were being framed up and arrested in questionable circumstances by the Governor.

He added that they were also charged to court simply because they do not believe in the emergence and leadership of Governor Bello.
According to the federal lawmaker, “We are law abiding citizens. When a supplementary election in Kogi was announced, of course we were angry but we did not take the laws into our hands, we took our case to the Tribunal.

“It is important for me to state clearly that some weeks ago, my community received information that my community -Ekirin-Ade, in Ijumu local government – that the wife of the governor was coming to commission a healthcare centre. A health centre built in 2007 and commissioned in 2007.

“To compound matters, the community leaders have been contributing to run the centre and the people decided to stay at home and refused to receive the governor’s wife. But the police, induced by the governor went after my supporters, breaking into their houses and arresting them.”

Faleke added that arrests of his supporters have continued unabated as security agents on Monday night, arrested one Hon. Cornelius Olowokere and was taken to the Kogi state police command and subsequently charged to court on Tuesday, April 5.
“We want the federal government to call him (Governor Bello) to order because Kogi is known for so many bad things. If you are there to govern the people, you should offer service within the time that you are there and stop harassing people.

“I’m appealing to Governor Yahaya Bello to leave our people alone.? He should leave the people of Ijumu alone.

“In Benue, it is the Fulani herdsmen killing people, but in Kogi we are talking about our own government wanting to kill our people. We have reported to the party leadership in the state. But the governor has told the chairman that the party did not vote for him. We have written to the IG of Police. I believe the IGP will take action,” he said in a statement.

Police Seal Off Kogi Assembly

Armed policemen yesterday sealed off the Kogi State House of Assembly complex.
Inspector-General of Police, Mr Solomon Arase had stated that he needed the advice of the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice before enforcing the resolution of the National Assembly.

 

The Senate had on March 17, 2016 agreed with the resolutions of the House of Representatives on the lingering crisis in the Kogi State House of Assembly.
Lawmakers belonging to factional Speaker Imam Umar, who had planned to conduct budget defense at the assembly, were prevented from entering the complex.

 

The road leading to the complex was barricaded by the policemen, who allowed passage to only Assembly staff.

 

The deputy to the embattled Speaker, Momoh-Jimoh Lawal, Mr Aliyu Akuh, said the crisis remained unresolved as earlier directive by the House of Representatives was snubbed by the group of five lawmakers led by Imam.

 

“What happened with five members seeking to impeach a Speaker in a house of 20 members is an aberration, unheard of and more so, some members’ names and signatures were forged and included as being part of them,” Daily Ttrust quoted him as saying.
“We had to go to the higher authority, which is the National Assembly vested with the constitutional powers to intervene in such situations. The House of Representatives ordered the seal-off and it was concurred by the Senate,” Akuh said.

 

The factional speaker, Alhaji Umar Imam, however, described the seal-off of the assembly as illegal.

 

Imam, through his Chief Press Secretary, Umar Ali, said the action of the National Assembly was aimed at hampering progress of the state as all legislative businesses, especially the passage of the 2016 Appropriation Bill would be affected.

Party Supporters Protest At Kogi Governorship Election Tribunal

Many political party supporters on Monday in Abuja staged a protest at the premises of the Kogi Governorship Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Jabi area.

 

The protesters carried handbills and placards with different inscriptions.

 

The swift intervention of security personnel, including the police, prevented the situation from degenerating into violence.

 

Meanwhile, a statement signed by the Director, Media and Publicity, Audu/Faleke Political Organisation, Mr Duro Meseko, condemned the protest.

 

It called on the Inspector General of Police to deploy more policemen to cover the tribunal’s proceedings, to forestall breakdown of law and order.

 

(NAN)

Barry Eneji Yakub: Of Governor Bello’s Bulldozers and Mahmud Jega’s Buried Amulets

The recent demolition by the Kogi State government of some landmarks in Lokoja, the state capital has caused not a little stir among the general public. From the media reportage of the demolitions of the former Paparanda Square; Lugard, Lokoja City, NTA and Government House Roundabouts, one is inclined to think or believe that the Yahaya Bello administration had perpetrated a Taliban or ISIS-styled destruction of UNESCO World Heritage sites in Kogi State.

Nothing could be farther from the truth.

Governor Yahaya Bello during his inaugural address on January 27, 2016 at the Confluence Stadium, Lokoja had stated his administration’s resolve to, among others; reposition Kogi State as a tourist destination of choice, tapping into her unique and strategic position as a gateway to the Northern, Eastern and Western parts of Nigeria. The rich colonial history of Lokoja as the first administrative base of the British colonialists in Northern Nigeria is added boon to the latent tourism potentials of Kogi State. These, more than anything else, must have informed the decision of the Kogi State government to immediately begin the task of rebranding Lokoja by getting rid of, to be quite honest, the monstrous architectural eyesores that passed for city landmarks, and that had over the years serve to reinforce popular opinion of Lokoja as the dirtiest State Capital in Nigeria.

It is worth noting that contrary to widespread reports in the media, none of the 5 demolished landmarks quite fit the billing of a ‘monument’. Governor Yahaya Bello administration committed as it is, to repositioning Kogi State as a tourist hub, could not have at the same time, destroyed monuments that are major draws for potential tourists and visitors to the State.

Kogi State is renowned for its diverse tourist attractions. Lokoja on its own, can boast of historical monuments such as the official residence and office of Lord Frederick Lugard, the first colonial Governor General of Nigeria; the Iron of Liberty, European Cemetery, Confluence of the Rivers Niger and Benue, Mount Patti, the first Primary School in Northern Nigeria, Holy Trinity Primary School founded by the famous Bishop Ajayi Crowther amongst others. None of these UNESCO World Heritage designation-worthy monuments were demolished by the State government during the recent exercise.

The Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mr. Kingsley Fanwo in a press release on the issue said that the demolitions were the beginning of a process to make Lokoja more attractive. “The nodal status of Lokoja as the gateway to the North, East and West is supposed to be an attractive state capital in order to meet the expectations of potential tourists. This is with the intention of replacing them with beautiful ones, befitting of its status,” Mr. Fanwo explained. He added further that there will be no stones left unturned by the Yahaya Bello’s administration in its resolve to fulfill its major policy objective of making Kogi State a tourism hub as a way of further diversifying the State’s economy and increasing her Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) base.

Sadly, these rational explanations from the State Government has had little effect on some commentators who since the demolitions, have gone to town with numerous rumours and false insinuations on the  reasons for the demolition of the 5 landmarks in Lokoja city. The most laughable is the one that His Excellency, Governor Yahaya Bello ordered the demolitions in order to remove the portent ‘jujus’ planted beneath these landmarks by his predecessor, Captain Idris Wada.

Ordinarily, one would have dismissed all these with a wave of hand as the handiwork of desperate political traducers but for the views expressed by Mahmud Jega, Managing Editor of Daily Trust Newspaper in his Monday Column titled ‘In Search of Buried Amulets’ published on February 29, 2016 where he all but implied that the fetish leaning of His Excellency, Alhaji Yahaya Bello was the real reason behind the demolition of the 5 landmarks. Coming from a respected and seasoned journalist of Mahmud Jega’s standing, it smacks of a willful attempt at impugning the character of Governor Yahaya Bello. It was most unfair and uncalled for.

In the said column, Mahmud Jega displayed a surprising lack of insight into the very issue he was writing about. Rather, he descended into a farcical narration of the demolitions and in a manner most unseemly, proceeded to recount a fantastical story based on rumours and hearsays of how Governor Yahaya Bello’s predecessor, Captain Idris Wada had buried amulets and human remains as juju sacrifices to ensure his victory in the November 21 Governorship election in the State and the demolitions were but Governor Yahaya Bello’s way of removing the fetish objects.

One expected Mr. Mahmud Jega, a widely respected columnist, to have sprinkled his decidedly bland fantasy broth with some tasty seasoning of objectivity. Alas, he quite literally jumped into the fray, dismissing the reasons advanced by the Kogi State Government for the demolition of the landmarks as in his words, they “hold no water because Yahaya Bello inherited a state in deep financial and labour crisis and it is difficult to believe that demolishing roundabouts and building more beautiful ones is his top priority.

Yes, Governor Yahaya Bello inherited a deeply troubled state; fiscally and infrastructure-wise, but to conclude that because of these problems Governor Yahaya Bello will be unable to focus on his stated mandate of delivering good governance and responsible leadership to the people of Kogi State is downright patronizing and an underestimation of the true measure of the man whom God has chosen to lead Kogi State in quite extraordinary circumstances. Governor Yahaya Bello is aware of the enormous challenges facing Kogi State and since taking the oath of office; he and his team have been working assiduously to bring Kogi State out of the present gloom into the sunshine of sustainable development and growth once again.

Some of his early actions such as the swift resolution of the industrial strike action embarked upon by Kogi workers over months of unpaid salaries by his predecessor, reinstatement of 15 illegally sacked Local Government Council Chairmen, abolition of State and Local Governments Joint Account, institution of voluntary environmental sanitation and immediate clean up of Lokoja, comprehensive staff audit to rid Kogi State Civil Service of the menace of ghost workers’ amongst others, has marked out this chartered accountant and astute businessman as one with a firm grasp of the issues bedevilling the state and also, the panaceas. There is nothing thus far to suggest that Governor Yahaya Bello is ill-equipped to handle the multifarious roles, or perform the countless socio-economic balancing acts required of a responsible government that seeks to provide strong, dynamic, focused and driven leadership to the people.

Governor Yahaya Bello does not believe in juju; terrestrial or subterranean. He therefore has no need to demolish any landmark in Lokoja or any part of the state to excavate buried amulets and other fantastical weavings of overactive imaginations. His belief is centred solely on God who has brought him “a young boy, fatherless while still a baby” through the vicissitudes of life to his present station as Governor of Kogi State and the lodestone of the aspirations of her 3-million odd inhabitants.

The forces against Governor Yahaya Bello are many and varied. It follows then that in their desperation they are hell-bent on using every policy and action of the administration, no matter how trivial or harmless; to justify their hollow narrative that he is a usurper to the Lugard House. Nevertheless, Governor Yahaya Bello will not be deterred from his administration’s core mission of “serving the superseding interests of the people of Kogi State to the very best of its capabilities.” In this regard, Governor Yahaya Bello waits upon none but the affirmation of God and the people of Kogi State.

Mahmud Jega was right on one score. “Bello’s bulldozers” are very busy in Kogi State, clearing and laying the foundations of a modern Kogi which shall arise from the rubbles of every demolished relics of the recent past when Kogi State was nothing more than a glorified farm centre. Governor Yahaya Bello is hard at work indeed.

Barry Eneji Yakub (BEY) is a member of the APC. He is a businessman, public affairs analyst and grassroot politician. He sent this piece from Eika-Adagu, Okehi Local Government Area of Kogi State.

Email: bey4okehi@gmail.com

 

Views expressed are solely that of author and does not represent views of www.omojuwa.com nor its associates

Kogi House of Reps Members Take Over Kogi Assembly

Following the one month crisis that has rocked the Kogi state House of Assembly, members of the House of Reps today March 8th, resolved to take over the function of the state assembly. The Kogi state House of Assembly was thrown into crises after five members impeached the speaker Momoh Jimoh Lawal and elected Umar Imam as new speaker last month.

A panel set up by the House of Representatives to resolve the issue was shunned by the Assembly members. In taking the decision at plenary, the House of Rep members said its action was in line with the provision of Section 11 (4) of the 1999 Constitution, which says the National Assembly could
take over the functions of any state assembly that is enmeshed in crisis.

They urged the Inspector General of Police Solomon Arase to immediately seal off the Kogi Assembly since the House has taken over its functions.

Kogi Gov’s Wife Gives Birth To Twins

Wife of the Kogi State Governor, Hajia Hafi Bello, has given birth to twin boys.

A statement by the Special Adviser to the governor on Media and Publicity, Mr. Abdulkarim Abdulmalik,? today said the children and the mother were in good health.

He added that the governor received the news of the birth, barely one month after he assumed office, with joy.

Hajia Hafi, the second wife of the governor? gave birth in the early hours of today in Abuja.

Credit: Punch

No Plan To Impeach Gov. Bello – Kogi PDP Lawmakers

The members of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the Kogi State House of Assembly said they had no agenda to impeach the Governor of the state, Alhaji Yahaya Bello.

 

The Majority Leader of the House, Mr Matthew Kolawole, said this during interview with newsmen in Abuja on Tuesday.
Kolawole said the concern of the members was to resolve the leadership crisis rocking the state assembly.

 

“The state governor is just like new born baby without sin. For what reason will anybody want to kill the baby.

“To me, the governor has not done anything wrong to us and none of us here is talking about impeachment of the governor at all”, he said.

 

Kolawole said it was baseless to say Mr James Faleke, the running mate to the late Prince Abubakar Audu in the Nov. 21 was sponsoring the crisis rocking the House.

 

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), recalls that Audu, who contested the election on the platform of APC, died on Nov.22 before the result of the election was announced.

 

“If anybody is saying that Faleke is sponsoring us, he is misleading the public. Faleke is not part of this struggle.

“The struggle we have today is that we want to stabilise Kogi State House of Assembly as an independent arm of government”, he said.

 

On outcome of members’ meeting with the National Chairman of PDP, Sen. Ali Modu Sheriff, he said they agreed with the party’s directive that the status quo should remain.

 

“We have passed another vote of confidence on the leadership of the House under Speaker Momoh Jimoh-Lawal and all of us have signed.”

 

He added that Mr John Aba, one of the five members who had the intention to impeach Jimoh-Lawal was also present at the meeting.

 

He, however, said that Aba was yet to sign the resolution of the meeting adding that he stepped out after the meeting.

 

“So far so good, eleven of us here have signed. We are waiting for him to come back because the party has directed that we sign and he agreed.”

 

The majority leader said that maintaining status quo under the leadership of Jimoh-Lawal was temporary in order to resolve the crisis on ground.

 

He was optimistic that the House could not be rubber-stamped for allowing the Speaker and governor to come from the same zone of the state pending the time a new speaker would be elected.
According to Kolawole, even if Jimoh-Lawal resigns, the onus lies on the House to unanimously agree on the new speaker that will pilot the affairs of the House.

 

(NAN)

Kogi Gets New SSG , Accountant-General, 20 Special Advisers, Others

Gov. Yahaya Bello of Kogi State has appointed Mrs Folashade Ayoade as the new Secretary to the State Government ( SSG).

In a statement issued in Lokoja on Tuesday, signed on his behalf by his Chief of Satff, Mr David Onoja, the governor also named Alhaji Momoh Jubril as the new Accountant-General of the state.

The list of appointees included 20 new Special Advisers and three Senior Special Assistants on print media, electronic and new media.

The new Senior Special Assistant on print media is Mr Ademu Idako who was until the appointment , the Correspondent of the Newswatch Daily and Chairman of Correspondents’ Chapel of Nigeria Union of Journalists in Kogi

Mrs Petra Akinti Onyebule and Mr Gbenga Olorunpomi are the new Senior Special Assistants on Electronic Media and New Media.

Also appointed are Brig-Gen. Olusola Okutimo as the Security Adviser to the governor, Mr Ibrahim Mohammed, Legal Adviser and Mr Abdulkareem Mohammed as the Director-General, Protocol.

The governor also approved the appointment of five special assistants for the Deputy-Governor.

Credit: Leadership

I Have No Hand In Kogi Assembly Crisis – Yahaya Bello

Amid the crisis rocking the Kogi State House of Assembly, Governor Yahaya Bello, on Thursday, disassociated himself from the impeachment of the Speaker, Momoh Jimoh Lawal, noting that has never interfered in the affairs of the state legislature in line with his determination to promote the rule of law and strict adherence to separations of power.

 

In a statement by his Special Adviser (Media and Strategy), Abdulkarim Abdulmalik, the Governor said dragging his name to the crisis in the State House of Assembly is in the least, uncharitable.

 

His words: “The attention of the Governor of Kogi State, Alh. Yahaya Bello has been drawn to the spurious allegations by some group of legislators in the legislative arm of Kogi State to the effect that the Governor was the person stoking crisis in the Assembly.

 

“The Governor wishes to inform the general public that the Governor has never interfered in the affairs of the state legislature in line with his determination to promote the rule of law and strict adherence to separations of power.

 

“To drag the name of the Governor to the crisis in the Kogi State House of Assembly is in the least, uncharitable. The crisis in the House of Assembly predates the present administration in the state.

 

“It would be recalled that before the advent of the present administration, the Assembly crisis assumed a violent dimension when vehicles belonging to the different caucuses in the House were vandalized.

 

“The Governor urges all aggrieved parties in the Kogi State House of Assembly to close ranks and work in unity for the progress of the state. He also pledges continued collaboration with the legislative arm to actualize his dream of a better Kogi State.”

 

Credit : Vanguard

Kogi State House Of Assembly Speaker Impeached

Five members of the Kogi State House of Assembly on Tuesday morning impeached the Speaker, Hon. Momoh Jimoh and chose Umar Imam as the new Speaker.

Friday Sanni who briefed journalists about the impeachment said the Speaker was impeached for not carrying other members of the House along in the affairs of the House.

He also claimed that since the new Governor, Yahaya Bello and the Speaker are both from the same senatorial district, the Speaker should vacate the seat.

Meanwhile, 15 members of the House who were seen at Hon. Jimoh’s residence insist Hon. Jimoh remains the Speaker and that their signature was forged to perfect the impeachment.

Source – Channels tv

Bello Sacks Kogi Accountant General, Perm Secs, Others

Kogi State Governor Alhaji Yahaya Bello yesterday sacked the Accountant General of the state, Mr Ibrahim Idakwo and all permanent secretaries except the Permanent Secretary in charge of Government House.
A statement issued in Lokoja by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Kingsley Fanwo, said the governor also directed all Heads of Administration to proceed on compulsory leave immediately.

The statement said the Accountant General had been relieved of his post while his deputy should proceed on the compulsory 30-day leave.
“At the local government level, the Directors of Local Government Administration, treasurers, education secretaries and cashiers are also to proceed on compulsory leave. The decision is geared towards ensuring a more efficient and productive civil service. The directive takes effect from tomorrow (today)”, the statement said.
The latest development according to our correspondent means that over 100 top government officials in the state might as well be on the verge of losing their jobs.
There are 21 local government areas in the state, implying that 21 directors of local government administration, 21 treasurers and 21 education secretaries got the hammer. The directive also affects 37 permanent secretaries.
Bello had on assumption of duty dissolved all government boards and parastatals except the Judicial Service Commission, State Independent Electoral Commission and Civil Service Commission.

Credit:dailytrust

Muhammad ‘Din Shehu: Governor Yahaya Bello And The Politics Of Early Appointments

It is no longer news that His Excellency, Alhaji Yahaya Adoza Bello of the All Progressive Congress (APC) has been sworn in as the 4th Executive Governor of Kogi State on Wednesday, 27 January 2016. What has raised not a few eyebrows among some political stakeholders in Kogi State are the first political appointments made by the Governor in the immediate aftermath of his inauguration. In a statement released in Lokoja, the State Capital and signed personally, Governor Yahaya Bello announced the appointment with immediate effect of Mr. Edward Onoja as his new Chief of Staff. Also appointed is Mr. Abdulkarim Abdulmalik as Special Adviser, Media and Strategy, and Mr. Kingsley Fanwo as Chief Press Secretary to the Governor.

The appointments to neutral observers reflect the stated aim of His Excellency, Alhaji Yahaya Bello in his well-received inaugural speech, to run “an all-inclusive and equitable administration which shall exist for the sole purpose of serving the superseding interests of the people of Kogi State”. The staunchest critic will agree that the three (3) key appointments are truly “all-inclusive”. Mr. Edward ‘Eddy’ Onoja, the new Chief of Staff hails from Ogugu, Olamaboro Local Government Area in the Eastern senatorial district of Kogi State; while the newly-appointed Special Adviser on Media and Strategy, Mr. Abdulkarim Abdulmalik is from Ihima, Okehi Local Government Area in the Central senatorial district, and lastly, the Chief Press Secretary Mr. Kingsley Fanwo is from Takete Ide Amuro, Mopamuro Local Government Area in Kogi West senatorial district.

However, the appointment of Edward Onoja from Kogi East as Chief of Staff has caused quite a stir amongst some supporters of the Governor and competing political interest groups in the State. In line with the general belief that the position of Chief of Staff is akin to that of an all-powerful ‘administrative usher’ who determines who have access to the Governor’s  eyes and ears or not, some have opined that the position should have been filled by an individual from either Kogi central-the Governor’s senatorial district- or Kogi West as appointing an Igala man; never mind one who has demonstrated so practically his depth of loyalty  and whom Governor Bello perhaps in an unprecedented manner acknowledged his “doggedness” and “forthrightness”  during the course of his inaugural address, negates the spirit of the power shift that has just been achieved in Kogi State.

While Fairwin, a political support network of friends and associates of His Excellency Alhaji Yahaya Bello have pledged their total support for Mr. Onoja’s appointment hailing it as ‘’a just reward for his unquantifiable loyalty’’,  another political pressure group known as Old Kwara Initiative Forum- a forum comprising political stakeholders from Kogi West and Central Senatorial Districts who came from the old Kwara State into Kogi State- has kicked against the appointment  as in their opinion, the position of Chief of Staff to the Governor must be ‘the exclusive preserve of old Kwarans from Kogi West or Kogi Central Senatorial Districts’ and warned against any appointment that undermine the longstanding partnership and confidence-building between the two senatorial districts.

In the view of this writer, the slight tremors over the appointment of Mr. Onoja stem from a misconception of the roles and functions of a Chief of Staff. According to the online resource site Wikipedia, ‘the title ‘Chief of Staff’ identifies the leader of a complex organization, institution, or body of persons, who is the coordinator of the support staff or a primary aide-de-camp to an important individual such as a President, Governor or a Military Officer.’

Administratively, the Chief of Staff provides a buffer between a chief executive and the executive’s direct reporting team. He generally works behind the scenes to solve problems, mediate disputes, and deal with issues before they are brought to the attention of the chief executive. Additionally, the Chief of Staff acts as a confidante and adviser to the chief executive, acting as a sounding board for ideas.

From the foregoing, it is clear that the multifarious roles and functions of a Chief of Staff necessitated Governor Yahaya Bello appointing a politically tested, trusted and proven strategist in Mr. Edward Onoja to the position.  The position of a Chief of Staff in Nigeria’s present political dispensation is too sensitive to be filled by all but one in whom the chief executive reposes deep faith and confidence.

Since 1999, the trend among successive Presidents and Governors has been to appoint trusted and loyal lieutenants as Chiefs of Staff. From 1999 to 2007, former President Olusegun Obasanjo appointed Major-General Abdullahi Mohammed, a long-time aide from his days in the military as Chief of Staff. Major-General Mohammed distinguished himself in that capacity as a loyal, competent and adroit ‘behind-the-scene’ administrator during the eight years of the Obasanjo administration. His expertise in that role was such that the administration of Late President Musa Yar’adua deemed it fit to retain him in that capacity until his voluntary resignation on May 30th, 2008.

Former President Goodluck Jonathan also picked as Chief of Staff a long-time associate in Chief Mike Oghiadome SAN. It is instructive that Oghiadome’s eventual removal in 2014 was occasioned by his perceived inability to smoothen the frayed political relationship between his principal and some State Governors, thus underlining the extremely dicey political balancing acts required of a Chief of Staff.  He was replaced by former President Jonathan with Brigadier-General Jones Arogbofa, another political ally and close associate. Presently, the Chief of Staff to President Muhammadu Buhari is Abba Kyari- a lawyer, former banker and trusted lieutenant of many years standing.

The most famous Chief of Staff in contemporary Nigerian political history is arguably Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola SAN who served as Chief of Staff to former Governor of Lagos State and National Leader of the ruling APC, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu from 1999 till May 29, 2007 when he succeeded his principal as Governor of the State. It was a veritable reward for his selfless loyalty, dedication, competence and administrative dexterity as Chief of Staff in Nigeria’s most complex State.

The days of parochial political appointments based on ethnic and tribal sentiments are over in Kogi State. It is no longer about where a man is from, but his capacity to make meaningful and positive contribution to the development of the State. Governor Yahaya Bello stated in a recent media outing that he intends to run an inclusive government where every citizen of the State has a stake. If it is anything to go by, the Governor’s initial appointments have shown that he is ready to match action to words in this regard.

Change has indeed come to Kogi State. Champions of petty ethnicity have no role whatsoever to play in the current dispensation.  The era of ethnic politics is forever condemned to the wasteland of history where it belongs, never to be revisited! Governor Yahaya Bello quoting President Muhammadu Buhari’s now famous apophthegm “I belong to everybody and I belong to nobody” during his inaugural speech declared it his “guiding principles for fair action and equitable governance in Kogi State”. It follows then that every action, policy and programme of the Yahaya Bello administration must be viewed by supporters and critics alike, in this light.

The enormous social and economic challenges that his administration inherited has made it imperative for well-meaning citizens of Kogi State to close ranks and support the youngest Governor in Nigeria in the onerous task of of bringing Kogi State out of gloom into the sunshine of sustainable development and growth once again.

 Governor Yahaya Bello having taking the oath of office is now sworn to a binding contract with the people of Kogi State for the next four years. What he needs now more than anything is the peoples’ prayers and support for him and his chosen team to lead a responsible, people-oriented government that provides good governance, leadership, and the enabling environment for every citizen to fulfill his dreams and her aspirations.

Muhammad ‘Din Shehu, a writer and public affairs analyst wrote in from Lokoja, Kogi State

Follow on Twitter: @dinstots

Email: dinisalive@gmail.com

Views expressed are solely that of author and does not represent views of www.omojuwa.com nor its associates

APC Constitutes Committee To Replace Faleke As Bello’s Deputy

Ahead of today’s inauguration of Alhaji Yahaya Bello as the governor of Kogi State, All Progressive Congress, APC, has raised a committee to find replacement for the unwilling deputy- governor elect , Mr. James Abiodun Faleke.

 

 

Similarly, APC leaders from Kogi East have distanced themselves from media reports endorsing one Gowon Usman Egbunu as Deputy Governor, claiming the purported endorsement was forged.

 

 

This came as chieftain of APC, Mr. Joe Igbokwe, said the inauguration of Alhaji Bello as the governor of Kogi State, was an aberration that would be addressed by the Supreme Court in the fullness of time.

 

 

The Committee, “Kogi West committee for selection of Deputy governor”, is expected to submit its report to the party’s national secretariat within the week.

 

 

It was gathered however that the committee has penciled down Mrs. Justina Abanida, Dr David Atte and Mr. Kola Bamisaye, for consideration.

 

 

 

According to reports by Vanguard, the Committee headed by Mr. Samuel Mogbole narrowed the list from initial seven to the three based on their political strength and contributions to the party in time past.

 

 

Mrs. Abanida who hails from Egbe, Yagba West local government, is a prominent politician and was Attorney- General of the state between 1994 and 1996.

 

 

Dr Atte on his part, was once the Commissioner for Education in the defunct Kwara State, and hails from Itakete-Ide in Mopamuro Local Government area of the state.

 

 

Though not much is known in the political scene about Bamisaye until now, but works at the National Assembly commission in Abuja.

 

 

In a related development, A cross section of APC leaders from Kogi East told Vanguard that the purported endorsement of Egbunu was not a part of the resolution of the meeting of the Kogi East caucus.

 

 

Some of the leaders who confirmed to Vanguard that they never discussed the Deputy Governorship issue nor endorsed anyone. Those who spoke were Sule Amodu, Yahaya Meyanga, Peter Akasakowa, Friday Adejoh and Jubril Usman.

According to them, a purported endorsement clause was smuggled into their resolutions by perceived “self-serving politicians.”

 

 

 

Meanwhile, Igbokwe, who is the Publicity Secretary of the party in Lagos State, while speaking in his personal capacity on his Facebook page, described Bello as an interloper, who was foisted on the state by vested interests.

 

 

 

He contended that it was wrong for the national and state chapter of the APC to choose Bello as a replacement for the late Prince Abubakar Audu, claiming the former’s loyalty to

Why Kogi, Bayelsa Elections Were Inconclusive– Prof Yakubu

Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Prof. Mahmoud Yakubu, has said the spate of inconclusive elections conducted under his tenure is a reflection of the competitiveness of the polls, stressing that elections are getting better.

He also added that the use of card readers and smart cards for elections have come to stay in spite of the regrettable glitches experienced during its use.

He further stressed that the process of declaration of winners of election as contained in the electoral guideline will never be compromised.

The Kogi and Bayelsa State governorship elections conducted by Yakubu were declared inconclusive at the first ballot. While the polls in Kogi has been concluded INEC is yet to fix a date for the supplementary polls in Bayelsa State.

Yakubu stated this while making his opening remark at the 11th public lecture of The Electoral Institute (TEI) titled “between refuge and rights: internally displaced persons (IDPs) and inclusive electoral process in Nigeria,” which held in Abuja.

Credit: Leadership

Kogi: Wada Sets Up Transition C’ttee To Challenge Election Results

Kogi State governor Idris Wada has set up a Transition Committee to drive the process of handing over to a new government in the state.

According to the governor, the committee which is headed by the Secretary to the State Government, Professor Olugbemiro Jegede, is expected to manage the process leading to the handover of power to a new administration by January 27, 2016.

The transition committee, the governor noted, is to work with a similar committee by the All Progressives Congress, APC to ensure a smooth transition of power and to avoid any vacuum in government.

The governor also set up a Steering Committee to be headed by the deputy governor, Mr. Yomi Awoniyi.

The two committees which are expected to put the performance of the administration in clear perspectives before the handover date are to be inaugurated today.

Meanwhile, Governor Wada has said that he will challenge the result of the November 21 governorship election in the state in court.

The governor made this known while addressing stakeholders of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP at a meeting in Lokoja.

Wada said the decision to challenge the result of the election in which the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, declared Alhaji Yahaya Bello of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as winner of the election is to seek proper interpretation of the law and relevant sections of the constitution and the Electoral Act in connection with the election.

Credit:Leadership

Massive Crowd Welcome Kogi State Governor-Elect, Yahaya Bello, As He Arrives Okene Town

Kogi state governor-elect, Yahaya Adoza Bello arrived Okene to see the Ohinoyi of Ebiraland, causing traffic lock-down as thousands of residents trooped out to the streets to welcome and celebrate their new governor. What was meant to be a quiet visit to the palace of Ohinoyi the Ebira nation, was hijacked by the people to welcome back home the man they described as a ‘saviour’

Court Dismisses Wada’s, Faleke’s Suits

A Federal High Court has dismissed five suits arising from the death of the All Progressives Congress’ governorship candidate in the November 21 election in Kogi State, Abubakar Audu, clearing the way for the Independent National Electoral Commission to conduct the supplementary poll scheduled for Saturday.

Justice Gabriel Kolawole in two separate judgments on Friday , held that the court lacked jurisdiction to entertain the five suits as the dispute had crossed the “threshold” of matters for the court since results in most of the polling units had been declared.
The judge ruled that the suits qualified as a post-election dispute that could only be entertained by the election petition tribunal which would be set up by the President of the Court of Appeal in line with section285(2) of the Constitution.
He ruled that he had not decided the cases on their merit, so “the issues can be re-argued at the election petition tribunal”.
The judge delivered the first judgment on four consolidated suits, including the one filed by the Peoples Democratic Party’s candidate, the incumbent Governor, Idris Wada.
In his suit, Wada sought to be declared as winner of the November 21 poll being the surviving candidate with the highest votes.
But the rest of the suits consolidated with it sought an order compelling INEC to conduct an entirely fresh poll.
By his own suit, Faleke asked the court to declare him the governor-elect on the basis that the joint ticket which he shared with Audu had already won the election and in view of Audu’s death he (Faleke) as deputy governor-elect?, should be declared the governor-elect.
The candidate whom the APC presented to INEC as substitution for Audu, Alhaji Yahaya Bello, was during the hearing on Thursday joined as a party to all the suits.
He opposed all the suits, arguing that there was no basis to grant the prayers sought by Wada, Faleke and the plaintiffs in the rest of the three suits.

Kogi Awaits Court’s Ruling A Day To Supplementary Election

It is less than 24 hours to the supplementary governorship election in Kogi State, and attention is presently in Abuja, Nigeria’s Federal Capital Territory, where the Federal High Court, will, on Friday, determine whether the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) should go ahead with its plan to conduct a supplementary poll in Kogi State on Saturday.

The presiding judge, Justice Gabriel Kolawole, adjourned for judgment after all the parties adopted their final written addresses on contentious legal issues that arose after the sudden death of the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr Abubakar Audu, before the election was concluded.

Credit: ChannelsTV

INEC Office In Kogi Set Ablaze With Materials Meant For Supplementary Election

The office of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Dekina Local Government Area of Kogi State has been set ablaze by unknown persons.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) learnt in Lokoja on Friday that the office was burnt with materials to be used for Saturday’s supplementary governorship election in the area.

NAN reports that Dekina Local Government Area is among the places where the supplementary election in 91 polling units is scheduled to hold.

The Resident Electoral Commissioner in Kogi, Malam Halilu Pai, confirmed the incident but added that the incident, suspected to have occurred at 2a.m., would not affect the election.

He said that the burnt election materials would be replaced and that INEC had relocated to a temporary office in the area.

“We will not succumb to the undemocratic antics of some few, replacement of the election materials are already on the way; the election will go on as scheduled,” Pai said.

Credit: NAN

DPC Suspends Kogi Gov Candidate

The National Working Committee (NWC) of Democratic People’s Congress (DPC) has suspended the party’s governorship candidate in Kogi State, Hon. Philip Ezekiel Koleola indefinitely.

His suspension followed a petition from the party’s Kogi State Chapter against the governorship candidate who was accused of gross anti-party activities.

DPC National Chairman, Rev. Olusegun Peters, yesterday said the NWC had ratified his suspension by the Kogi State chapter of the party.
Rev.Peters said a disciplinary committee would be set up to look into his anti-party activities during the governorship election in the state.
He said the committee would also look into his purported decision to go to court in collaboration with the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship candidate, Idris Wada to challenge the INEC directive to All Progressives Congress (APC) to substitute the late Abubakar Audu, its candidate in the  inconclusive election.

“Having reviewed the political quagmire in Kogi State, DPC has resolved not to challenge INEC’s decision in court in the interest of the nation. The party disowns any legal action taken by its suspended governorship candidate, Hon. Philips Ezekiel Koleola.

“As a mass movement, DPC shall at all times promote democratic ideals and ethos that will deepen and strengthen our political process,” he added.

Credit: DailyTrust

Kogi: INEC Confirms Bello As APC’s Candidate

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) yesterday said Alhaji Yahaya Bello is the APC governorship candidate for Saturday’s supplementary election.

He replaces the late Abubakar Audu, who died before the conclusion of the election process.

The INEC’s Deputy Director, Publicity, Mr Nick Dazang said: “They have sent the name of their replacement candidate, the runner-up in their primaries, that is Yahaya Bello, to the commission”.

The INEC spokesman assured the people of Kogi State that the commission is fully prepared to conduct both the Kogi Supplementary and Bayelsa governorship elections. Both polls are slated for Saturday,

According to him: “Commission is committed to conduct the two elections, that is why in respect of Kogi, in spite of what happened, we came out with public notice which invites the APC to submit its replacement candidate for the election”.

Credit: Nation

Kogi: APC Officially Presents Yahaya Bello To Replace Late Audu After Long Hours Of Meeting

The National Working Committee of the All Progressives Congress has unveiled Alh. Yahaya Bello, popularly known as Fair Plus as the replacement for the late Prince Abubakar Audu. It would be recalled that Alh. Yahaya Bello was runner-up in the APC governorship primaries.

Unveiling Bello at the National Headquarters of the party in Abuja, Monday after about 3 hours of meeting, the national chairman of the party, Chief John Odigie Oyegun urged party leaders and stakeholders to accept the decision of the party leadership and ensure the party become victorious in Saturday’s supplementary poll.

The party also announced that Hon James Abiodun Faleke will be Bello’s running mate but the former Chairman of Ikeja Local Government Area rejected the offer.

Credit: Vanguard

Kogi: PDP Drags APC, INEC To Court

Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, yesterday dragged the Federal Government, All Progressives Congress, APC, and Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to court over plan to substitute the candidacy of late Abubakar Audu in the inconclusive gubernatorial election in Kogi State.

Rising from an emergency National Caucus meeting in Abuja, the party also demanded that INEC returns the incumbent governor, Capt. Idris Wada as winner of the November 21st gubernatorial election, as the APC candidate, who was leading in the inconclusive election died during the process.

The party also said the proposed supplementary election would no longer be necessary as APC is not backed by either the constitution or electoral laws to substitute its candidate within the election period.

The resolutions of the caucus are that it: “Completely rejects the decision of INEC in yielding to the unlawful prompting of a clearly partisan Attorney General of the Federation, AGF, Mallam Abubakar Malami, to allow APC to substitute a candidate in the middle of an election, even when such has no place in the Constitution and the Electoral Act.

“Insists that with the death of its candidate, Prince Abubakar Audu, the APC has legally crashed out of the governorship race as no known law or constitutional provision allows the substituting of candidates, once the ballot process has commenced.

“Insists that with the unfortunate death of Prince Abubakar Audu, APC has no valid candidate in the election, leaving INEC with no other lawful option than to declare the PDP candidate, Capt. Idris Wada as the winner of the election.

“Notes that the combine reading of the provisions of the constitution and Electoral Act does not in any war whatsoever support the substitution of candidates for election in the middle of the ballot process.”

Credit: NationalMirror

UK Indicates Interest In Kogi, Bayelsa Elections

The United Kingdom has told the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) that it is very much interested in how events playing out in Kogi State’s inconclusive governorship election finally unfold.

British High Commissioner, Mr. Paul Arkwright, who dropped the hint when he led a delegation on a courtesy visit to the Chairman of the electoral commission, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, at the commission’s headquarters in Abuja, further expressed happiness over conduct of credible elections in Nigeria.

Charging the INEC boss to surpass the 75 per cent name recognition of his immediate predecessor, Professor Attahiru Jega, the UK Government equally promised to help Nigeria in improving on visible deficiencies noticeable in computerised electoral system in the country.

His words: “We are here to see how we can work with you in future in alliance with your commissioners. We want to see how we can continue our relationship with you. We also came to congratulate you on your appointment as the commission’s chairman .

“I heard that you did a very good job during the confirmatory hearing  and you showed huge amount of confidence in the structure. I want to also congratulate the new commissioners. It is really wonderful to know that you have some outstanding individuals among the commissioners with rich international backgrounds.

“I appreciate all you said and hope that in the future you will live up to expectations as the commission’s chairman. I was told that your predecessor, who did very well on the job, has 75 per cent name recognition in the entire country. That was a very impressive statistic and it will be nice if you have the same or above such record.

“I want to equally tell you that we are interested in your plans concerning Kogi elections. The death of the APC candidate for that election was a very sad news. We are equally happy about the plans for the Bayelsa election. We appreciate the professionalisation of your elections,” he assured.

Credit: Sun

I Am Kogi’s Governor Elect, James Faleke Writes INEC

The running mate to late Abubakar Audu, the candidate of the All Progressives Congress in Saturday’s governorship election in Kogi State, has asked the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to declare him governor elect.

James Faleke, in a November 26 letter to INEC Chairman, Mahmood Yakubu, insisted that under Section 187 of the 1999 Constitution, he was duly elected as deputy governor of Kogi State.

While expressing sadness over the demise of his principal, Abubakar Audu, the deputy governorship candidate said INEC had no right under the law to declare the election inconclusive.

He accused INEC of deliberately creating what he called “legal conundrum” and urged the APC not to be a party to the action.

“In law and logic, no new candidate can inherit or be a beneficiary of the votes already cast, counted and declared by INEC before that candidate was nominated and purportedly sponsored,” Mr. Faleke wrote through his counsel, Wole Olanipekun.

“Assuming without conceding that INEC is even right to order a supplementary election, the votes already cast, counted and declared on Saturday, 25th November 2015, were votes for the joint constitutional ticket of Prince Abubakar Audu and our client.

“Therefore, no new or ‘supplementary’ candidate can hijack, aggregate, appropriate or inherit the said votes.”

In another letter to APC Chairman, John Oyegun, Mr. Faleke urged his party to distance itself from the “Greek Gift” being offered to it to nominate a new candidate for a planned supplementary election in 91 polling units.

He said the election had already been won and lost, and that the party should rather support him in actualizing the mandate already given to APC and its candidates.

Credit: PremiumTimes

Kogi: Behold APC Candidates Likely Contending To Replace Audu

With the coast now clear for the All Progressives Congress (APC) to use its discretion in nominating a suitable replacement for its late governorship candidate, Prince Abubakar Audu, based on the doctrine of necessity, indications emerged yesterday that the party may select its governorship candidate for the supplementary governorship election from among four choices.

By declaring yesterday that it will allow the APC to fill the vacuum created by the death of its governorship candidate in Kogi, it is obvious that INEC has heeded the call that the doctrine of necessity be adopted in the process on the grounds that the issue in Kogi is time-bound, since everything had been programmed by INEC to terminate at a specific time.

It was gathered that the party may pick from among James Ocholi (SAN), Isah Jibrin Echocho, Hon James Faleke and Alhaji Yahaya Bello as replacement for the late Audu.

Credit: Leadership

Kogi: PDP Demands Resignation Of AGF, INEC Chairman, Calls For Emergency Caucus Meeting

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has demanded immediate resignation of the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF), Malam Abubakar Malami and the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Mahmood Yakubu.

 

PDP National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh who briefed newsmen on Tuesday in Abuja, also rejected INEC’s call on the All Progressives Congress (APC) to replace its governorship candidate for the Kogi poll.

 

He said that the AGF should vacate his office for “hurrying and misleading’’ INEC into arriving at an “unconstitutional decision’’ to allow the APC substitute its candidate in the inconclusive Kogi election.

Metuh said that PDP was ‘shocked’ that INEC could allow itself to succumb to the antics of unlawful directive of the AGF to substitute a candidate in the middle of the ballot process.

 

He said: “We are all aware of the two legal documents guiding INEC in the conduct of elections; the Constitution and the Electoral Act have provisions for electoral exigencies.

 

“The legal documents also empower the electoral body to fully take responsibility for any of its actions or inaction without undue interference from any quarters whatsoever.

 

“We are therefore at a loss as to which sections of these two relevant laws INEC and the AGF relied on in arriving at their bizarre decision.

“Bizarre decision to substitute a dead candidate in an on-going election even after the timelines for such has lapsed under all the rules.’’

Metuh said that the PDP was taken aback why INEC, a statutory body with full complements of technical hands in its legal department would wait for directives of external party on the matter.

“Consequently, the PDP rejected in its entirety, the move to circumvent the laws and ambush the yet-to-be concluded election by introducing a practice that is completely alien to the constitution and the electoral act.

“The clear implication of this action of the AGF and INEC is that the APC would be fielding two different governorship candidates in the on-going Kogi election.

“This means that INEC would be transferring votes cast for late Prince Abubakar Audu to another candidate, scenarios that have no place in the constitution of the land,’’ he said.

 

Metuh said that since the PDP in respect for the dead, had since Sunday refrained from making comments on the Kogi election, the party could no longer maintain such in the face of the ‘barefaced attack’ on Nigeria’s democracy.

 

He said that INEC under the leadership of Yakubu had shown itself as ‘partisan, morally bankrupt and obviously incapable’ of conducting a credible election.

 

“In view of the foregoing therefore, the PDP demands the immediate resignation of the INEC chairman.

 

“The call is important as the nation’s democracy cannot afford to be left in the hands of an electoral umpire that cannot exert its independence and the sanctity of the electoral process.’’

 

He said that the PDP National Working Committee had summoned an emergency National Caucus meeting on Wednesday, Nov. 25 to take decision on the “obvious threat to Nigeria’s democracy.’’

 

(NAN)

Anthony Ademiluyi: The Tragic End Of Prince Audu Abubakar

The nation was jolted on November 22nd, 2015 with the death of former two time governor of Kogi State and APC candidate for the 2015 gubernatorial elections, Prince Abubakar Audu. In a string of coincidence, that day marked the 52nd anniversary of the death of the charismatic former United States President, John Fitzgerald Kennedy. The only difference between the two deaths was that one was violent and the other was by natural causes.

Three possible reasons were adduced for his death which was rather untimely as he was on the verge of becoming a three time governor of the confluence state, a feat only achieved by Senator Bukar Abba Ibrahim of Yobe state.

The first reason was that he was a victim of food poisoning as he was said to have vomited blood before dying.

The second was that he was hypertensive and vomited blood before he went to cast his vote in his hometown of Ogbonicha with the doctors having to give him a blood transfusion to give him the energy for the arduous trip. He returned home and started vomiting blood all over again.

The third was that his health had been failing for quite some time and may have died from complications from some serious medical condition which was not disclosed. His death was not sudden as he had been ill for quite some time.

Chinua Achebe in his treatise, “The Problem with Nigeria” put the failure of the Nigerian State squarely on that of leadership. He was meant to have been rushed to Abuja and then flown abroad for proper medical treatment before the inevitability of death played a fast one on them. Why can’t our leaders or rulers invest massively in our healthcare system? If Kogi state had a good healthcare system, there won’t have been any need to first take him to Abuja and then use that as a transit route to fly him abroad. Why wouldn’t death come when so much man hours had been wasted? What goes around seems to be coming around for our parasitic political class who have been worse than irresponsible with our enormous human and financial resources. Nemesis seems to be on the ruthless prowl. It has now become the norm for our rulers to meet their maker abroad. Billions of dollars is been transferred to the west and even India in form of health tourism because we have failed to get our axe together in the healthcare sector. It is a monumental shame that thousands of our doctors are servicing Western and Asian hospitals while ours have been left to deteriorate into something worse than mere consulting clinics apologies to the late General Sani Abacha. Former Bayelsa State Governor, Diepreye Alameiyeseigha also died in similar circumstances when there was no functional clinic in his hometown of Amassoma. By the time, he got to Port Harcourt; he had given up the ghost. There is no consideration for the hapless common man who can’t afford the medical bills of the West or even India. The largely inept National Health Insurance Scheme does not even cover the treatment of the cancer ailment which has been ravishing Nigerians in recent times. The irony is that it is the looted funds that is been used by the inhumane political elite to fund their medical expenses abroad.

Some of late Audu’s critics opined that at 68 and having being in Lord Lugard House twice, he had no business contesting again for the coveted office. I see nothing wrong in his taking a shot at the highly exalted office. It was his constitutional right to do so and age is not a barrier to seeking to lead the people. Madiba Nelson Mandela became South Africa’s President at 76, Ronald Reagan became the oldest American President at 69, Winston Churchill was back to Downing Street for the second time at 76, Golda Meir became the first female Prime Minister of the State of Israel at 71. There was nothing wrong with his aspiration but he owed a duty to the people of Kogi State whom he wanted to serve to disclose his health challenges. As a servant-leader, they deserved to know. It would then be left to them to decide if they could take a gamble with him. There should be a constitutional provision compelling intending public office holders to make a full disclosure of their medical history to avoid this ugly reoccurrence.

His death has plunged the state into controversy. Technically, he won the elections as he had higher votes than that of the incumbent, Captain Idris Wada. However, it was declared inconclusive because the voided votes were more than that of the difference between his and that of Wada’s. This is the first time a death of this nature is happening in the country and the constitution is silent on its implication. It has propped up legal fireworks and the controversy is something that would linger for a long time to come. The National Assembly has a huge job to do to ensure this lacuna is well covered.

Whoever becomes the next governor of the state should devote a huge chunk of the resources to revamping the healthcare sector. There is no big deal in having a well-equipped hospital devoted to heart ailments for instance to avoid needless deaths. A lesson from Audu’s death which should have as a lesson to all future governors is to ensure that the masses have a better deal especially with regard to the health care sector as health is wealth. The death of two former governors because of the health sector neglect has shown that a boomerang can be the price of non challance. Two deaths from the lack of vision should be enough lessons for the present occupants of the various government houses and a lesson in the ephemeral nature of power. At the end of the day, the filthy lucre wouldn’t save the beneficiary from the harsh verdict of posterity. The fast cars, posh houses, voluptuous women, choice food and wines would fade into cruel oblivion. What would matter would be the worthy and positive legacies left behind? Health is wealth goes the age-long aphorism. It won’t be a bad idea for our leaders to etch their names in the sands of time by ensuring their led get a better deal in healthcare services and avoid the shame of having to turn into mendicants to foot their bills.

May the soul of Prince Abubakar Audu rest in perfect peace!

Tony Ademiluyi

Views expressed are solely that of author and does not represent views of www.omojuwa.com nor its associates

Kogi: INEC’s Decision In Order – Lawyer

A lawyer, Mr. Pat Anyadubalu, has endorsed the decision of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to continue with its plan of conducting supplementary elections in 59 polling units instead of a state wide governorship election to resolve the constitutional logjam in Kogi.

Averring that supplementary polls is the surest legal way out of the crisis created by the death of Prince Abubakar Audu, the All Progressives Congress, APC governorship candidate, who was leading in the inconclusive polls held last Saturday,

Anyadubalu picked holes in suggestion that the Attorney General of the Federation should approach the Supreme Court for interpretation or the Alhaji Atiku Abubakar/Boni Haruna (Adamawa) and Rotimi Amaechi (Rivers) instances should be applied.

His words: ”The Attorney –General of the Federation or the State has no locus standi to seek for the interpretation of this  issue at the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court, being an appellate court, except in matters between States or between States and Federal Government, where it enjoys original jurisdiction.

”Again, Section 133(1) of the Electoral Act 2010 as amended (referred herein after as “the Act”) says that no election or return at an election under this Act shall be questioned in any matter except by petition presented to the competent tribunal.

”Also section 181 of the 1999 constitution as amended is also not applicable because no person has been duly elected. Those who refer to Boni Haruna’s case are missing the point because Boni Haruna’s case is not on all fours with the present Kogi case.

In Boni Haruna’s case, the election had been concluded and Alhaji Atiku Abubakar and Boni Haruna were announced winners as Governor and Deputy Governor respectively unlike in the present case where nobody has been Rotimi Amaechi’s case is also inapplicable because, the Supreme Court’s decision in Amaechi’s case has been overruled through legislative enactment of section 141 of the Act, which provides that an election tribunal or court shall not under any circumstance declare any person a winner at an election in which such a person has not fully participated in all the stages of the said elections.

Another prominent view expressed by some legal practitioners is that the entire process should be cancelled and the election commenced a fresh.

” This is also laced with another bottleneck because section 68(1)( c) of the Act provides that a declaration of scores of candidates shall be final subject to review by a tribunal or court in an election petition proceedings under this Act, therefore INEC has no power to annual or cancel any result already announced.

Kogi: Police Uncover Plan To Dress Thugs In Police Uniform

The Inspector-General of Police, Mr Solomon Arase, said police were aware of plans by some politicians in Kogi to clothe thugs in police uniform during the governorship election in Kogi on Saturday.

Arase, who made the disclosure on Tuesday in Lokoja, at a stakeholders’ forum, said that the intention of the perpetrators was to disrupt the election and cause mayhem.
He described the action of those behind the act as “wrong and wasteful investment “.

According to him, measures have been taken to properly identify 12, 000 policemen that will be on duty during the election.
“We intend to dominate security space that day; if you want to test our strength, have a rethink,’’ he said. Arase said that 6,000 out of the 12, 000 policemen who would be on election duty would be drawn from police formations close to Kogi.

He said that one unit of mobile policemen would be deployed to each of the 21 local government areas in the state ‘’for effective policing’’. He said that the men and officers will be backed up by armour personnel carriers, vehicles and other security apparatuses, adding that restriction of movement would be strictly enforced.

The police boss also said that police would be supported by the military, Civil Defence Corps, Immigration, Customs and Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) to provide effective security during the poll. He urged people in the state to feel free to come out and vote for candidate of their choice, saying a level playing-ground would be provided for all stakeholders.

On the safety of electoral officials, Arase said that nobody would be allowed to threaten or intimidate them. He said that Assistant Inspector-General of Police in charge of Zone 8, Mr Lawal Tanko, and three commissioners of police would be deployed to coordinate police activities before, during and after the election.

 

Credit : Vanguard

Buhari’s Meeting With INEC, Police Not To Rig Elections – Presidency

The Presidency says President Muhammadu Buhari’s meeting with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the Police was geared towards ensuring credible governorship elections in Kogi and Bayelsa.

 

A statement issued on Sunday by the President’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, dismissed PDP’s insinuation regarding the meeting.

 

NAN reports that PDP had earlier said the meeting was part of plans by the APC to rig the forthcoming governorship elections in the two states.

 

“The President called the meeting cited by the PDP to warn in particular INEC and the Police, to prepare to give the nation a credible election.

 

“He said he expected nothing short of a free, fair and credible election.

“He said he had suffered election manipulation in 2003, 2007 and 2011 and would not like to have any Nigerian go through that again.

“He also warned against the intimidation of voters in any way and vowed that he was prepared to move with all the forces available to him against anyone who undermines the rights of any citizen.

“The meeting was short and straight to the point. It ended after five minutes.

“Furthermore, he asked the Vice-President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, if he had anything to say and Osinbajo had added nothing to what the President said,” the statement had quoted Shehu as saying.

 

The presidential spokesman advised Nigerians to be wary of PDP’s fruitless attempts to destroy the national institutions President Buhari was determined to rebuild.

 

“They started with the courts, then the EFCC, then on to the Police and now they are on the one-week old INEC.

“When will PDP allow our national institutions to do their job?” he said.

Kogi, Bayelsa Polls: PDP Urges Members To Protect Votes

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has advised its members and supporters, especially in Kogi and Bayelsa, to use lawful means to protect their votes in the forthcoming governorship elections.

This is contained in a statement signed by the PDP National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh, in Abuja.

Metuh said that the call became necessary following the “continuous violation of electoral rules and intimidation of opposition”.

Metuh said this was a fallout to an alleged open manipulation of Saturday’s Borno Central Senatorial by-election.

He said that the by-election fell short of ” all acceptable standards and was characterised by high-level manipulations”.

He added that a party, during the by-election, used compromised electoral officers and security forces to muscle votes.

“This barefaced rape on our democracy is completely unacceptable and must not be allowed to continue in the country.

“The national leadership of the PDP charges all our supporters across the country, especially in Kogi and Bayelsa states, to be on the alert ahead of the Nov. 21 and Dec. 5 governorship elections.

“They should use every lawful means as citizens of Nigeria to protect their votes and ensure that no one, no matter the force or manipulation, is allowed to subvert the will of the people.

Metuh said as a party that nurtured and sustained the country’s democracy for 16 years, the PDP during the period strengthened the safety net of ‘one man, one vote’.

“We insist that the sanctity of the ballot box and the overall electoral process must be upheld at all levels and at all times.”

He said while PDP rejected the processes of the Borno by-election, the party would not “by any means allow a replay of such manipulations in Kogi and Bayelsa states.”

 

 

(NAN)

Kogi: More PDP Groups Defect To APC

No fewer than 20 interest groups and supporters from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Kogi State have defected to the All Progressives Congress (APC) ahead of November 21, 2015 governorship election in the state.

While receiving the PDP defectors in Idah Tuesday, the APC governorship candidate, Price Abubarka Audu assured the people of Idah that the APC government will be fair to them.

Audu stated that all the township roads are in bad shape, and said that if elected his administration will address the issues.

He urged the people of the area to vote en-mass for the APC come November 21.

A vote for the APC is a vote for change in Kogi State, he said.

Credit: NationOnline

Suspected Terrorists Attack Military In Kogi Again

The Nigerian Army said, on Wednesday, that two suspected insurgents and a soldier were killed during an attack on troops on cordon and search operation in Okene, Kogi State.

A statement by the acting spokesman of the army, Colonel Sani Usman, in Abuja, said that a cache of arms and ammunition were recovered in the operation.

“Our troops on cordon and search in the general area of Enike Mosque, Okene, Kogi State, were attacked by some suspected terrorists at about 5.30 a.m. on Wednesday.

“The troops responded and two of the attackers were killed. In addition, a rocket-propelled grenade and empty cases of expended ammunition were recovered.

“Unfortunately, we lost a soldier while another sustained gunshot wounds,” Usman said.

The spokesman said that the situation had been brought under control and urged the people of the area to go about their normal businesses.

Read Moretribuneonlineng

Nigerian Troops, Militants Exchange Fire In Kogi

Reports from Okene town in Kogi state say troops of the Nigerian Army are currently engaging some unknown gunmen.

An Islamic cleric in the town told newsmen that the gunmen were “terrorists”.

He said residents remained indoors as the clash continued.

“We are presently in our houses, no any movement at all! Gun shooting everywhere!” the cleric said.

Read More: premiumtimesng

INEC Approves 50 Observer Groups For Kogi, Bayelsa Polls

The Independent National Electoral Commission said it has approved 50 groups to observe the forthcoming Kogi and Bayelsa governorship elections scheduled for November 21 and December 5 respectively.

This is contained in the commission’s daily bulletin issued on Monday in Abuja.

The bulletin quoted the Director of Elections and Party Monitoring Department, Bala Shittu, giving the breaking down of the figures as 43 local and seven foreign organizations respectively.

It directed that the approved groups should obtain, complete and return Form EPMC 002 for the two elections from the Elections and Party Monitoring Department, INEC national Headquarters, Abuja.

It stated that the office would be opened, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday to Friday, October 2 to October 23.

“The photographs of members of staff to be deployed by approved groups in the two states along with their names should be submitted in hard and soft copies to the said department latest October. 23.

“Late submission will not be entertained.”

Read More: premiumtimesng

Mustapha Ismail Alhassan: The Kogi Debacle

When bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall one by one, an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle.

Edmund Burke

The just recently gubernatorial primary elections in kogi state gives me cause to worry like many, however my cause for worry is far different from the humongous commentaries that has since abashed social media by this rather unfortunate development. What amazes me is simple; as a people we claim to have aversion toward poverty, underdevelopment and lack of progress in our public space yet on the other hand we seem to be forerunners in celebrating mediocrity.

Abubakar Audu polled 1,109 in the primaries defeating his closest rival Yahaya Bello, is it not rather disturbing that a man arraigned on a 36-count charge bordering on criminal breach of trust and misappropriation of public funds to the tune of over eleven billion naira of tax payers money clinched the ticket of a party whose cardinal objective is to fight corruption? On the other hand incumbent Governor Idris Wada’s incompetence as an administrator is of course not debatable and the party he represents did not seem to care to find a worthy replacement. In all of this the people are yet in the middle of this shameful fiasco. This is a perfect scenario of what is popularly referred to as one chance and kogites are to choose between the devil and the deep blue sea: alas the battle to Lugard house is sheared not only in dilemma but an undiscerning anomalous.

Considering Kogi state has extensive arable land for cultivation, with good grazing grounds for livestock breeding and large water bodies for fishing. Agricultural products such as grains provide the needed raw materials for cereals, flour beverages and other food processing industry Livestock and fisheries could provide raw materials for meat and fish canning industries; the state can borrow a leaf from India as the seventh-largest in the world, India’s agriculture and allied sectors accounts for 17% of the GDP and employed 51% of the total workforce in 2012. It is still the largest employment source and a significant piece of the overall socioeconomic development. Imagine what would happen if this success is replicated in our sphere.

Kogi state is also rich in mineral resources, Most of these minerals are available in commercial quantities and these remain unharnessed potential sources of input for industrialization, if properly developed.

In 1992 the state could boast of about sixteen industrial establishments operating in the state some of which included the The Itakpe Iron Ore Mining Company and the Ajaokuta Steel Company, both of which could generate subsidiary industries such as iron and steel,
foundries, cement plant, tar installation plant, carbon black and carbon graphic electrodes industry light forging, metal fabrication and many more are not in existence. Alas nobody is thinking about these possibilities.

Today how many of such initiatives are in existence and who amongst these contenders has demonstrated the will to recreate such? As a reactive population as against been proactive elected officials have failed to utilize these gifts of nature; little wonder why we struggle to pay salaries.

Similarly, the water resources of Rivers Niger and Benue and their several tributaries
could provide ample water supply for people, animals and various industries when fully harnessed. The confluence of Rivers Niger and Benue could be an important tourist attraction but not in this case as the political elite would rather go holidays abroad, contributing to the economies of other nations.

How we continue choose mediocrity above everything else is mind boggling. And there is a serious need for us to redefine progress for it seems like there’s a lacuna in the search of bright minds, it is more like there is a deliberate death of intellectualism, and dissolution of ideas, are we to conclude that there are no bright minds from Kogi? Absolutely not!
Whoever emerges governor amongst both men, the next four years would not a biblical tale, and no miracles should be expected we all have seen Wada’s gross inapt ability to administer and his challenger’s presumptuous and corrupt antecedence.
Our collective inability to see beyond the ethnic lines that divide us is not only pitiable but also obtuse and generations yet unborn shall marvel at this conjunctive stupidity.
In the end, every politics is local; as we sit at the comfort of our cushions in Kaduna, Lagos, Brussels and Abuja and continue to let this evil prevail, one thing is but certain if we don’t fix our mess, nobody would do it for us.
Alas history would judge us and posterity would never forgive us.

   Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the center cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity
.

William Butler Yeats

Mustapha Ismail Alhassan is a trained archaeologist and a freelance writer.

@The_mustyhassan on Twitter

Views expressed are solely that of author and does not represent views of www.omojuwa.com nor its associates

Protesters Storm APC Secretariat Over Audu’s Emergence In Kogi

Dozens of placard-carrying protesters on Wednesday besieged the National Secretariat of the All Progressives Congress to protest against the emergence ?of Abubakar Audu as the party’s governorship candidate.
Audu defeated 27 other contestants to emerge as the party’s flag bearer in the forthcoming Kogi State governorship election.
While the candidate was waiting to collect his certificate of return, scores of protesters, carrying placards, stormed the gate of the secretariat, urging the party to get a credible candidate to fly its flag.
Some of the placards had such inscriptions like ?’Kogi State say no to Audu’, ‘We need a credible leader’, ‘APC, do the right thing’.
Read Morepunchng

Graft Suspect, Audu Emerges APC’s Kogi Flagbearer

Former Governor of Kogi State, Prince Abubakar Audu, on Sunday received the nod of the All Progressives Congress (APC) to seek a return to the office he had occupied twice.

He is currently being prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for alleged contract scams totaling N10 billion.

After a landslide victory at the election primaries of the party, Audu pledged to repeat the feat at the coming election in the state. He also pledged to run an all-inclusive government and invest in critical infrastructure for the benefits of the state.

Read More: dailytimes

INEC To Conduct Voter Registration In Kogi, Bayelsa On September 2 & 7

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has said it will commence Continuous Voter Registration in Kogi and Bayelsa States on September 2 through September 7, ahead of the governorship elections in both states.

According to the commission’s daily bulletin issued and obtained by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) monday in Abuja, the exercise will take place at the local government areas in the states from 8a.m. to 4p.m. daily.

It stated that the five-day exercise would afford opportunity for three groups of eligible persons to be registered.

The groups, the commission said, were those who were eligible but did not register before the 2015 general election and who were registered but their names were not in the voters’ register.

“The other is those who have attained the age of 18 since the last registration exercise,’’ it added.

Read Morethisdaylive

Kogi Refunds N276.8m WAEC Fees To Parents

Kogi State Government has approved the re-reimbursement of N276.8 million to candidates that sat for the 2014/2015 West African Examination Council (WAEC) in the state.

The state government’s plan to pay the fees earlier was allegedly stalled by some officials in the ministry of education and the Teaching Service Commission, who were suspected to have inflated both the number of prospective candidates and the total amount expected to be paid to WAEC as examination fees.

Governor Idris Wada had set up a seven-man WAEC Fee Verification committee headed by Hajia Maryam Ladi Ibrahim that authenticated the correct number of candidates that sat for the examination.

Read Morengrguardiannews

Olukoya Obafemi: Unite! Kogi West and Kogi Central Unite!! #Kogi Decides

Glory to the Almighty – for tapping the Okuns and the Kogi Central people out of their protracted comatose and for awakening them to the reality they are faced with today.  Today, we cannot substitute the urgency of power shift in the State, after several years of political circumvention and secular subservience. We have finally decided to confront the seeming “default” with our collective voices.

“All’s well that ends well” – an ancient proverb which became popular by William Shakespeare. The power shift wish is not yet well until it ends well. the rhetoric – “power shift” – will only be a mere cliche if we refuse to come to a startling truth.  We have to ensure that the everyday sang song “power shift” goes beyond being a mere abstraction to take its place with empirical reality by adopting a phenomenon that can validate the abstraction.

We cannot deny that the effects of the chasm opened by several years of PDP dogma in kogi state have not only ravaged our physical environment, but it is gradually having deterring effects on our collective minds. However, as much as we must accept heterogeneity as the material constituent of democratic setting, we (Kogi West and Central) must congregate our difference at a convivial point. Let us see beyond the plurality of our pluralism. We must learn to institute tolerance as the basis of democratic debate. Tolerance does not mean we have abandoned conviction; on the contrary, it gives variety of political options.

The plethora of candidates in our home front is very disheartening. We have decided to profuse our political ground with such hotch potch approach which will divide our votes even within our own homes. Revisionism is known as the tapestry of history. Going down memory lane, the defunct political party – AD – collaboratively supported the candidacy of Gen. Olusegun Obasanjo of PDP in 2003 just to unite the Yoruba home front against whosoever candidate. Okun and Kogi Central, such unification beckons on us, in coherence, similarity and fullness of phenomena. Collectively supporting a candidate is not a sign of weakness or cowardice, rather, it that of strength and enviable maturity.

Today, all signs tell us it is possible and imperative that learn the brave and startling truth. The current Governments with its insatiable drive for autonomy will stop at nothing cement its continuous hold of power. A Government which is supposed to civilize power by accepting constructive criticism, but rather, it relegated itself to a corner of contempt and complacency. Be as it may; only unity will be the most active tool in the hands of the Kogi West and Central.  United, we are beyond formidable. We are unstoppable. We are the possible. Together we stand, divide we will fall. Every seeming political Goliath of Kogi east will be resigned to defeat in the face of our unification.

Unite Okun, Kogi Central, Unite! Eni a wi fun, oba je o gbo!

Olukoya Obafemi

Omo Okun!, Architect, Writer, Political Critic

Views expressed are solely that of author and does not represent views of www.omojuwa.com nor its associates

Finally, Gov. Wada Joins Kogi Guber Race

Captain Idris Wada, has decided to run for second a term, following, “sev­eral months of persuasion and pressure mounted” by the elders of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and other relevant stakeholders in the state.

The governor yesterday, formally declared his am­bition to contest the state governorship election slated for November 21, this year.

Captain Wada in his acceptance speech said he had appreciated in the last few weeks that, “before elders speak, they must have employed experience, patience, can­dour and courage.”

He pledged to surpass the people’s expectations, “God helping me,” if re-elected.

The governor, who ad­dressed a well-attended meeting comprising no­table PDP leaders in the state, commended the el­ders for their support for his administration.

Read More: sunnewsonline

No automatic ticket for Idris Wada in Kogi -PDP

 

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), says it will not offer automatic ticket to any aspirant in the November 21 governorship election in Kogi state.

 

The National Organising Secretary, of the party, Abubakar Mustapha, announced this when he briefed newsmen after the National Working Committee (NWC), meeting in Abuja on Wednesday.

 

Mustapha said the party would not impose any candidate on the people and credible people would be used to conduct the party’s primaries.

 

“Kogi state is PDP and we are ready to retain the state. We have found it necessary to conduct free, fair and credible primaries.

 

“We appeal to all, especially our teeming supporters in Kogi, to go about the primaries in peaceful manner,” he said.

 

According to Mustapha, the party has fixed August 17 to August 24 for the sales and return of nomination forms for Kogi election, while screening of gubernatorial aspirants is on August 27.

 

He explained that ward congresses for the election of three ad hoc delegates for the state would take place on September 3 as against state congress for gubernatorial primary on August 10.

 

On Edo governorship election, Mustapha said sales and return of completed nomination forms had been scheduled for September 1 to September 9, while ward congresses for election of ward executives is September 12.

 

He said the party in Edo had informed the NWC that the state, local and wards executives tenure would expire in September.

 

The organising secretary said local government congresses for election of local government executive members and national delegates would be September 16.

He said, however, that state congress for the state executive members would come up on September 23.

 

It would be recalled that the Secretary of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Staff Welfare, Dan Ochu-Baiye accused the National Working Committee of the party of requesting N1billion from Governor Idris Wada to enable him contest for a second term in office.

 

Source : PM News

20 Persons, 25 Cows Die in Kogi Road Accident Caused By Robbers

No fewer than 20 persons were killed on Monday in an early morning crash around Irepeni, along Abuja-Lokoja-Okene highway. About 25 cows were also killed in the incident.

Vanguard gathered that the accident was caused by a road block mounted by armed robbers along Irepeni axis of the highway. The robbers were said to have fled the scene afterwards.

An eyewitness said a luxury bus with number plates KRD 799 LC, which was heading to Abuja from Lagos, suddenly ran into the road block mounted by armed bandits. As the bus was trying to avoid
the blockade, a truck, with number plates KTN 711 YZ, loaded with cows, reportedly rammed into it, killing several people on the spot.

The eyewitness said the impact of the accident caused the truck to separate from the trailer and compressed the front section of the bus with passengers and driver inside the wreckage.

He said scores of corpses and mangled bodies of some of the victims littered the road before men of the Federal Road Safety Corps, FRSC, arrived the scene to evacuate them.

He said: “About six heads were severed from their bodies. FRSC officers, police and sympathisers all combined to gather body parts into nylon bags, which were conveyed along with the corpses to the mortuary.”

Vanguard also gathered that 25 dead cows were counted at the scene of the accident, while the surviving ones were seen milling around the scene of the accident.

The accident was said to have resulted in a traffic gridlock along the highway, as motorists had to take bush paths to escape the gridlock. When contacted, the state sector commandant of FRSC, Mr. Charles Abochi, who confirmed the accident, however put the human casualty figure at 12.

Hundreds Defect From PDP To APC In Kogi

It was celebration galore in Onyedega, headquarters of Ibaji local government in Kogi State, as thousands of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) members in the local government defected to the All Progressives Congress (APC).

The leader of the decampees, Engineer John Ibrahim Ocheje, who led all the 10 former councillors, PDP ward chairmen and their supporters to the venue of their defection at Onyedega, said that the decision of the people to dump PDP for APC was borne out of their conviction that the local government can thrive better under the All Progressives Congress.

According to him, Ibaji under the present administration of Capt. Idris Wada did not enjoy any dividend of democracy that is worth praising, saying the area could not remain with PDP while there was continuous dearth of basic social amenities.

Ocheje who contested the House of Representatives primary election on the platform of PDP and failed said, “We need a sense of direction through a purposeful leadership. I am decamping because of my people; they need the leadership that could lead them into a positive change that will reflect in their lives”.

He lamented that the people of Ibaji have been voting PDP en masse since 2003, but have nothing to show for it under PDP leadership, noting that the people are not happy with the total neglect of the area by the party.

Receiving the multitude of the decampees, the zonal leader of APC in Kogi East, Mr. Daniel Isah, commended the courage of the people in joining APC, and urged them to always speak with one voice to enable them enjoy the dividends of democracy under the party.

He said, “This is the right time for Ibaji people to belong to the mainstream of Nigerian politics. APC is a party of development; that is why all the states governed by the party enjoyed significant development”.

Anambra, Kogi Bloody Clash: 2,500 Displaced- Community Leader

No fewer than 2,500 people have allegedly been displaced since the commencement of the Anambra and Kogi states communal bloody clash about 18 months ago.

Disclosing this yesterday, a community leader in Aguleri, one of the warring communities in Anambra, and Patron of Omambala Indigenous Youth Foundation, Chief Ifeanyichukwu Abala, regretted that the states and Federal Government have not put a stop to the war.

According to him, “these displaced people on the side of Anambra state need medication, food and shelter to help curtail the suffering they are going through”.

He stressed the need for the warring communities of Odeke and Echeno in Ibaji Local Government Area of Kogi State and Enugu Otu Agulueri, Eziagulu Otu, Mkpunando and Agulueri, Anambra East Local Government Areas of Anambra State to have a covenant and boundary demarcation to end the war.

“The traditional ruler of Igala, HRM Attah Agabaidu Michael Idakwo Anieh Oboni, HRH Rev JJ Agbata the Doga of Echeno community,   traditional ruler of Odeke, HRH Dominic Urana, the Doga of Odeke, Igwe Christopher Idigo of Aguleri and Eze Akajiofor Chukwuemeka Ezeani, were among the traditional rulers who endorsed our call for covenant and boundary demarcation”, he disclosed.

Creditvanguardngr

Wada Dissolves Kogi House Of Assembly

Governor Idris Wada of Kogi on Wednesday dissolved the 5th Kogii House of Assembly after completing the statutory four-year tenure from 2011 to 2015.

Wada performed the function at a valedictory session held to mark the end of the assembly inaugurated on March 3, 2011 at the Ibrahim Saba Assembly Complex in Lokoja.

The governor said that the constitution of the country empowered him to dissolve the house.

“I, Capt. Idris Wada, Governor of Kogi State by the powers conferred on me by Section 105(3) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) today make a proclamation that the 5th Kogi State House of Assembly as presently constituted, having successfully completed its mandate, stands dissolved.”

Earlier, the out-going Speaker, Momoh-Jimoh Lawal said: “For every endeavour there is a time to begin and a time to end…as tenants of the house, we must by the same proclamation, vacate our seats.”

Lawal said that the house had upheld the principle of Separation of Powers as enshrined in the constitution and carried out its oversight functions with the cooperation of other arms.

He said that no particular arm of government could carry out its functions without carrying the others along, adding that the success of one arm was dependent on the other and the failure of one is the failure of all.

“The legal framework makes governance a collective responsibility and cooperation, a crucial element in the administration of state.
The speaker, who was full of thanks to the governor, the legislators and staff, said in spite of daunting challenges, he could say with pride that the house in the past four years had achieved remarkable success.

“We have worked very hard, using the instrument of legislation and oversight machinery to drive the economy effectively and accelerate development of the state.”

Members took turns to make their valedictory speeches.

Credit: NAN

Kogi Radio Station Bombed, 4 Killed

There was a bomb blast on TAO FM in Okene, Kogi State, last night at about 8pm which had 4 people, suspected to be security personnel killed.

The radio station which was located at the centre of Okene town, which is the headquarters of Kogi Central Senatorial District has been reduced to nothing. The radio station which broadcasts mainly in Ebira language was popularly known for its radical stance on politics of the people of Ebira.

Kogi state Police Public Relations Officer, Shola Collins, confirmed the incident said that police detectives had already been mobilized to the scene of the incident.

The reason for bombing the radio station was not known as no group has claimed responsibility for the attack.

The bomb explosion destroyed the radio station at about 8pm on Monday 27th April.

The police have promised to capture the perpetuators of this crime and are currently investigating the case.

15 Arrested Over Election Violence

The Police Command in Kogi on Thursday said it arrested 15 persons for various offences during the April 11 Governorship and House of Assembly elections in the state.

The command’s spokesman, ASP Shola Adebayo, in a statement in Lokoja said the suspects would be charged to court after investigation.

He said that two of the suspects were arrested in Ofu Local Government with ballot boxes and ballot papers and one suspect at Ankpa for unlawful possession of firearms.

According to Adebayo, 12 of the suspects were arrested at Gegu-Beki community in Kogi Local Government for post-election violence.

“There is a case of someone arrested with eight stolen explosive detonators by the police on the eve of the election.

“This is a situation that would have spelt doom for the state but salvaged by the police,” he said.

The police spokesman assured that all issues related to security breaches during the polls would be thoroughly investigated.

He described the election as generally peaceful, attributing it to the proactive measures put in place by the police and other security agencies.

Credit: NAN

Prison Attack Frees 144 in Lokoja

Reports from Reuters say an attack has been launched overnight in central Kogi state,  with gunmen using explosives blew their way into a prison in the city of Lokoja, killing one person and freeing 144 inmates, said one Adams Omale, who is the prisons coordinator for the state.

Omale said 26 of the Lokoja prison inmates freed in the Kogi raid had been recaptured. He did not comment on whether any of the escaped prisoners were Boko Haram members.