Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello on Monday described the exit of the Edo State Governor Godwin Obaseki from the All Progressives Congress (APC) as painful but maintained the party will outlive its present internal crisis and expand its coast in upcoming elections across the country.
Governor Bello was speaking to State House correspondents after a delegation of North-Central Governors paid a visit to the new Chief of Staff to the President, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari.
He noted that the APC, despite the exit, is poised to win the Edo state Governorship elections in September.
“APC is going to win Edo State,” he said. “But unfortunately, I really feel the leaving of my colleague, His Excellency Governor Godwin Obaseki in whatever circumstance to another political party, is painful anyway, but as a political party, we are going to take Edo back.”
The Kogi state Governor, who has been appointed to head a committee to look into security in the North-Central said he is liaising with all security agencies to keep the region safe.
Kogi State Governor Yahaya Bello has ordered the closure of both land and waterways in the state and issued guidelines to residents to prevent the spread of the deadly coronavirus.
The governor gave this order in a statement signed on Wednesday by the Commissioner for Information and Communication, Kingsley Fanwo. He also instructed both public and private schools are to remain closed for now.
“All entry points into Kogi State (land and waterways) are now closed. Entry and transit by any vehicle are subject to a successful health check of all passengers.
“To prevent avoidable delays, which may extend to preventive quarantining, persons with any disease condition which mimics CORVID-19 symptoms, including elevated temperatures, should have a medical report from a reputable hospital/medical practitioner explaining their condition before venturing through the state.
“Directive shutting all educational institutions in the state, both public and private, from Monday, March 23, 2020 remains in effect until further notice,” the statement read in part.
The state governor also directed civil servants to on grade level 1-13 to remain at home and work from home.
This is except those on specified essential services – medical personnel, revenue officers and law enforcement officers.
Bello in the statement also ordered that all social, cultural and religious activities in the state are suspended and essential activities must not have a crowd beyond five persons.
“Tricycle (keke) operators may carry only one (1) passenger at a time and must provide hand sanitizers for use by their passengers. Relevant officials are empowered to stop and enforce compliance. Defaulters will be arrested.
“Regular 4-wheeled taxis may carry only three (3) passengers at a time (1 in front and 2 behind) and must provide hand sanitizers for use by their passengers. Relevant officials are empowered to stop and enforce compliance. Defaulters will be arrested.
“Buses may carry only two (2) passengers per row of seats, subject to a maximum of 10 passengers per trip for any type of bus. Relevant officials are empowered to stop and enforce compliance. Defaulters will be arrested,” the statement added.
The governor also noted that all public gatherings should not exceed five persons at a time and all transport companies and unions must keep a travel manifest for inbound and outbound passengers,
He warned that breach of these guidelines, unjustified inflation of prices of any essential commodity and the making or spreading of fake news or hate speech during this period of trial will be regarded as sabotage and punished accordingly.
According to mr Achuba he described his ordeal as the height of the disobedience of the rule of law which should be the major driver in a democracy.
He further disclosed tto pressmen that even as a sitting deputy governor he was treated like a common criminal, held under house arrest, his house disconnected from the public power source.
He described the treatment given to him as completely illegal and inhumane, adding that the situation in Kogi is a shame and an insult to the state, and nation in general.
While insisting that he remains the Kogi State deputy governor, he described the sitting by the State Assembly that impeached him as Kangaroo, saying their process goes contrary to section 181 of the 1999 constitution.
Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State has declared his intention to run for the second term in office.
Bello declared his intention while speaking with journalist shortly after inaugurating Assembly service commission.
According to him his declaration his coming up after sorting the blessings of God.
Meanwhile, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) says it will win the November 2019 governorship election in Kogi state and salvage the state by enthroning a people-oriented government.
This is just as the leadership of the party assured that the Presidential mandate, which Nigerians freely gave to Atiku Abubakar on February 23, will be retrieved at the tribunal.
The position of the party came at the end of a crucial meeting of Kogi PDP critical stakeholders at the Party’s National Secretariat, in Abuja on Wednesday, where the leaders resolved to forego all personal ambitions and work together for the interest of the party and the Kogi people ahead of the election.
Speaking at the opening of the meeting, PDP National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan said that PDP’s winning streaks in the just concluded governorship elections in Bauchi, Imo, Rivers, Adamawa, Bauchi, Osun among other states will be reenacted in the forthcoming Kogi governorship election.
Ologbondiyan said the party has the support of the people of Kogi state, who are now looking up to it to rescue the state from the misrule of the All Progressives Congress (APC) under Governor Yahaya Bello, adding that the PDP cannot afford to fail them.
“As we all know, our people have gone through pains, pangs, acute poverty, hunger, dehumanization, brutalization, job losses, untimely deaths, suicide and all sorts of anguish as a result of the misrule of the incumbent APC government.
“The people of Kogi state are therefore looking up to the PDP for rescue and we cannot afford to fail them. We must therefore not allow anything to demoralize us as the winning streaks, which our party displayed in Imo, Adamawa, Bauchi, Osun among others, will be repeated in Kogi state by the grace of Almighty God.
“In this race, we must also bear in mind that we have the support of the people. Kogi state has always been home to the PDP notwithstanding the temporary setback of the APC. We must, therefore, prepare ourselves, stand with the people and salvage our dear state from the pangs of misrule. Our people yearn to move forward and we must give them that leverage which they earnestly seek”, he said.
Ologbondiyan reiterated the already expressed commitment of the NWC to ensure free, fair, transparent, rancor-free and credible processes for all activities toward the governorship election so as to throw up a candidate that is collectively acceptable to the people of Kogi State.
“Our great party will not engage in any form of imposition but as usual will strictly adhere to demands and fulfillment of our internal democracy processes”, he stated.
Stakeholders at the meeting included former Kogi governors, Capt. Idris Wada, Alhaji Ibrahim Idris, former deputy governor, Arc. Yomi Awoniyi, Senator Tunde Ogbeha, Chief Patrick Adagba, federal legislators from Kogi state, state PDP Chairman, Engr. Uhotu as well as other critical stakeholders drawn from all the local government areas of the state.
The Commissioner for Health in Kogi state, Dr. Saka Audu, has asked the rural community dwellers to shun all social norms that could discourage vaccination of children in the state.
He stated this during the official flag off of the National Immunization Plus Days
(NIPDs), in Lokoja, the state capital.
The commissioner noted that the vaccines were meant to prevent child killer diseases and cause no harm to the child.
The event which took place at the Government House premises, was attended by women and their children from the 21 Local Government Areas of the state.
Dr. Saka in his address, pointed out that NIPDs was set aside in the country to immunize children between the ages of one and five years old, with oral polio vaccine, along side other vaccines in accordance with the national schedule.
He therefore implored the administrators from the 21 LGAs in the state to make available adequate funds and other required logistics to the programme and ensure that the target groups were immunized.
He stressed that Kogi state has been polio free since 2009 and it was indeed a thing of joy for him that they were getting it right.
Furthermore, he noted that Nigeria was at the verge of being certified polio free by the W.H.O.
“I encourage you all to keep up the good work until we achieve total eradication of wild polio virus in Kogi state in particular and Nigeria in general.
“The health policies in this administration’s new direction blueprint, will bring great relief to all the people of Kogi, when it is finally operational,” he stated.
In his speech, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Health Matters, Dr. Ahmed Attah, commended the governor for graciously approving the release of counterparts fund for all health programmes in the state.
He noted that poliomyelitis was a deadly childhood disease that could cause disability by crippling the affected children and even killing them in some cases.
“One of the ways to deal squarely with the disease is the National Immunization Plus Days that has been scheduled from March 25 to 28, 2017 and every household in the state would be covered.
“Children would be immunized against childhood preventable diseases such as polio, diphtheria, pertussis, pneumonia, whooping cough, hepatitis b, measles and yellow fever according to the national schedule”, he noted.
Representative of the World Health Organisation (W.H.O), Kennedy Adejoh, in his keynote address said Nigeria was clarified as an endemic country.
Mr. Adejoh, therefore, reaffirmed the commitment of the W.H.O including the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) to eradicate polio in Kogi state and in Nigeria in general.
On the other hand, representative of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Mr James Folayan, hailed Governor Bello for his efforts and commitment to the progress of the programme.
“Everything has been put in place and the stage is set for full implementation.
“I urge the state and all the Local Government Areas to continue the support with proper monitoring,” he stated.
The Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar III, has tasked the Nigerian state governors to give priority to job creation and youth empowerment.
The Sultan, who is the President of the Nigeria Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, proposed that the recommendation would end the menace of restiveness and violent crime bedeviling Nigeria.
He noted that if youths were fully engaged in meaningful ventures, they would not avail themselves as tools for perpetrating violence and other heinous crimes in the society.
The monarch made the recommendation in Lokoja during the inauguration of the Kogi State Revenue House which was built by the Governor Yahaya Bello led administration.
He commended Governor Bello for striving hard in bringing development to the people in the face of the economic recession and dwindling resources.
The Sultan urged the people of Kogi State to support the governor in the development of the state.
“Today we’ve gathered to (witness) this very important occasion after praying at the mosque this afternoon.
“We are here to commission the building which of course, you all know the importance of money.
“Nothing works without money; money is needed in everything to achieve a goal.
“We are therefore grateful to God for us to be part of history to commission this project,” he said.
Lack Of Vision
In his address, the Executive Chairman of the revenue board, Mr Yakubu Oseni, said that what existed as a revenue house before the building was erected was nothing to write home about.
“In retrospect, we may recall that at his inauguration ceremony, his excellency (Governor Bello) declared unreservedly that he will take this state to an enviable height.
“True to this declaration, we have gathered here to witness the commissioning of the revenue house.
“There is no better way to walk the walk than for us to witness the commissioning of this revenue house today.
“Your royal majesties, distinguished ladies and gentlemen, let me emphasise for better understanding that what existed as revenue house before we came on board left a lot to be desired, it was in a state of comatose.
“This was largely due to lack of vision and mission, accountability, transparency and sound leadership,” he said.
The event was witnessed by top government functionaries, royal fathers, religious leaders and indigenes from the 21 local government areas of the state among others.
The ceremony also marked the first year of Governor Bello’s administration as the fourth Executive Governor of Kogi State.
The Federal Government’s N-Power Social Investment Programme has been launched in Kogi State, targeting about 4,521 indigenes of the State.
At the flag off of the programme on Wednesday, beneficiaries were asked to be good ambassadors of a new Nigeria which was practically demonstrated in their selection without giving room for political consideration.
The state coordinator of the N-Power Social Investment Programme, Adoga Ibrahim, gave the admonition while flagging off the programme in the Central and Eastern Senatorial Districts of the state.
He urged the beneficiaries to give out their best in the two-year period of the scheme aimed at creating employment for the teeming Nigerian youths.
In Okene Local Government Area of the state, Mr Ibrahim, who represented Governor Yahaya Bello, lauded the exercise of President Muhammadu Buhari which he said would reduced poverty and unemployment.
He urged the beneficiaries to display a good sense of responsibility in the discharge of their duties.
”The N-Power Corps is an initiative which will engage 500,000 young unemployed graduates and will harness the energies and skills of graduates to provide teaching solutions in education, agriculture extension services and public health,” he said.
The Kogi State Social Investment Programme’s office has designed a grassroot plan which ensure registration of the programme at all 21 local government areas of the state before the deadline of August 31, 2016. Registration for the programme was done via N-Power website – www.npower.gov.ng
Following the successful registration and screening of the applicants, the Social Investment Programme office domiciled in the office of the Vice President and headed by the Special Adviser to the President on Social Investment Programme has released the first batch of successful N-Power applicant for the various programmes.
The Kogi state government has resolved to set up a committee to check arbitrary and illegal felling of trees in all the existing forest reserves across the state.
The State Commissioner of Environment and Natural Resources, Rosemary Osikoya, disclosed this while briefing journalists at the end of the weekly State Executive Council meeting in Lokoja.
The commissioner also told newsmen that the state government has placed a fine of 1.5 million per truck on anybody caught in the act of deforestation of the reserves.
She condemned the destruction of 36 designated forest reserves across the state, assuring that government will not relent in its efforts to check the ugly trend.
”the state executive council today approves for the setting up of a committee to review kogi state specific laws, deterrent to illegal tree felling activities with severe penalties”.
Osikoya informed journalists that the council approved the recruitment of 100 forest reserves in the three senatorial districts of the state.
The Director-General Media and Publicity to the Governor, Kingsley Fanwon, who also spoke to journalists, re-iterated the council’s resolve to ensure that transaction of government business in the state, followed due process in order to boost transparency and accountability in the system.
He intimated newsmen of the council’s resolution to retrieve all government vehicles that were illegally carted away by the immediate past political appointees.
Mr Fanwon expressed the council’s appreciation over the recent visit of the governor, Yahaya Bello, to some companies in Germany to seek their collaboration towards further development of the state.
The Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello has said he will transform and make the state a tourism destination for foreign investors.
The governor who was represented by his Deputy Governor Simon Achuba stated this during the opening ceremony of the 2016 World Tourism Day Celebration in Lokoja the state capital, he noted that the state has a lot to gain if the tourist sites in the states are well developed.
Lokoja popularly called the Confluence City is where River Niger and Benue meet.
Most of the historical lyrics that would have been a tourist site for the state are now in a deplorable state, as they were not well taken care of, the first prison yard in the northern Nigeria that was used for prisoners up till 1945 has been taken over by weeds, the oldest treasury in the northern Nigeria is now a home for hens and dogs.
Joining the rest of the country to celebrate this year’s World Tourism Day which took place at the Confluence Beach Hall in Lokoja with the theme ‘Tourism for all Promoting Universal Accessibility’ is the reason for the gathering of top government officials and some stakeholders in the tourism sector.
In his opening speech, the Commissioner for Information Culture and Tourism in the state, Mohammed Imam called on tourism policy makers in the industry, service providers and destination managers to evolve policies that would grant easy access to all tourism products and consumers irrespective of their physical challenges.
The Deputy Governor while reading the governor’s speech noted that his administration has provided an actionable framework for tourism among other critical areas.
A combined team of security personnel trained for a special assignment has been established by the Kogi State government.
The operation tagged ‘Operation Total Freedom’ is an effort introduced by Governor Yahaya Bello’s administration, to ensure a secured environment for the people and investors willing to do business in the state.
The security personnel have been dispatched to their various location in the 21 local government areas of Kogi State in north-central Nigeria.
The Special Adviser to the Governor on Security, Navy Commander Jerry Omodara (rtd), announced the establishment of the team while adressing reporters at the Maigumeri Barracks in Lokoja, the state’s capital.
He said the combined force would be on 24 hours patrol to ensure a crime free environment for both travellers and residents of the state.
Mr Omadara described Kogi State as a gateway to several states, including the Federal Capital Territory, which made it to witness an influx of people including criminals.
The ‘Operation Total Freedom’ include personnel from the police, navy, army, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps as well as the Department of State Services.
Some of the security personnel have been deployed to the Okene-Lokoja highway which is identified as a dead trap for travellers.
The activities of the kidnappers and cults in the area have attracted the attention of the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai, who promised to deploy a special military task force to curb the menace.
Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State has directed traditional rulers in three various local governments to immediately identify and hand over those perpetrating crimes in their domains to government for prosecution.
Governor Bello gave the directives through his Special Adviser on Security, Commander Jerry Omodara (Rtd) while unveiling government’s new initiative on community policing in response to the rising wave of kidnapping, armed robbery, cultism and other violent crimes in many parts of the state.
He said traditional rulers would henceforth be required to provide information on the people in their domain and their movement, assuring them of the the government’s financial support to enable them carry out the new assignment.
Commander Omodara, however, warned the youths to stop indulging in crimes saying anyone caught in the act will be made to face the law.
The State Commissioner of Police, Mr Abdullahi Chaffe, and the Commandant of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, Mr Evaristus Obialu, who spoke at the event, solicited the cooperation and understanding of the traditional rulers, religious leaders and the youths in the area for intelligent information.
Done with Kabba-Bunu, the team then carried the campaign of the community policing to Ebira land.
It is no longer news that kidnapping and other vices of crime are on the rise in Kogi State.
The Lokoja-Okene highway is now a dangerous route for travelers, as a result of the fear of being kidnapped which is now a daily event.
Governor Yahaya Bello has named the Kogi State University after Abubakar Audu, the late initial candidate of the All Progressives Congress in the State’s governorship election of 2015.
Governor Bello renamed the university “Prince Abubakar Audu University” in a broadcast on Friday to the people of the state at his office in Lokoja, the Kogi State’s capital in northern Nigeria.
He said the announcement was made as a mark of honour to immortalise the name of late Audu who died in November 2015, a day after the election which was later declared inconclusive by the Independent National Electoral Commission.
Late Audu was leading in the election.
After his death, he was substituted with Mr Bello who later won the election.
No Victor, No Vanquish Governor Bello’s victory was contested by the running mate of late Audu, Mr James Faleke, who said he was the candidate in line to take over from late Audu.
But an election Tribunal dismissed his petition.
In his address on Friday, Governor Bello described the judgement of the Kogi State Election Petition Tribunal as ‘no victor, no vanquish’.
He appealed to all the parties in the dispute to join hands with him and develop the state.
Bello’s declaration is sequel to his final confirmation as the validly elected Governor of Kogi State by the Tribunal in Abuja on Friday.
The petition filed by the running mate of late Audu made it the fifth case he won.
He noted that the Tribunal had consistently dismissed all petitions from June 6 – 10 on lack of merit.
Governor Bello expressed regret on the petition filed by Mr Falake who is a co-party member of the All Progressive Congress (APC).
He said the petition indeed polarised the APC in Kogi State, especially when the party was meant to unite after the death of the leader, Prince Audu.
The Governor also called on the members of the State Assembly, who had withdrawn involvement in the activities of the legislative arm, to return in the interest of the state.