The Federal Government has ordered the reopening of the Obajana cement plant shut by the Kogi State Government last week.
Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, made this known on Friday at the end of the National Security Council.
The Kogi State Government and Dangote Group have been at loggerheads over the ownership of the Obajana Cement Company.
However, the minister said, “The council noted the development in Kogi and has ordered the reopening of the cement factory that is closed down and has advised that all issues related to that industry or factory should be resolved in accordance with the law, legally.
“Nobody must take the law into their own hands, either as a government or an individual. We are committed to guaranteeing and providing employment for Nigerians, whatever will hinder that or impede that must be discouraged.
“So, in that regard, the cement industry in Obajana must be reopened and all issues that are in dispute should be resolved legally,” Aregbesola said.
Similarly, the Minister of Police Affairs, Maigari Dingyadi, said “amicable solution has been reached to bring to an end this unfortunate development”.
“An agreement has been reached between the Kogi State Government and the Dangote Cement in Kogi on the need to reopen the factory and ensure that peace is restored in the state,” he noted.
Meanwhile, Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote met with the Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello on Friday but there appears to be no end in sight to the controversy surrounding the legitimate ownership of the cement plant.
He stated that the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET) and the Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency (NIHSA) have earlier predicted that the 2022 floods will be heavier than usual, lamenting that the flood has affected Lokoja, Kogi-Koto, Ajaokuta, Ofu, Igalamela-Odolu, Bassa, Idah, Ibaji and Omala local government areas which lie along the Rivers Niger and Benue.
The 2022 floods, Bello added, have been confirmed as Nigeria’s worst flood disaster that has surpassed the 2012 and 2018, stressing that his administration implemented Flood Early Warning Systems (FEWS) with efforts ongoing to evacuate victims to safer habitats.
In the short term, Bello explained that his administration is providing affected persons and communities with shelter at the various Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) Camps, as well as security, food, medicines, clothing and cash grants for necessities, maintaining that in the long term, the state government will need to gear efforts towards more sustainable solutions where possible.
He equally solicited assistance from the National Emergency Management Agency, the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Services, Disaster Management and Social Development to cushion the effect of the flood.
Speaking on the lasting solution to end the perennial flooding, the governor said there is a set of common sense and civil engineering solutions to the problem of flooding which could bring permanent solutions, noting that his administration has tried some of the solutions with varying degrees of success.
He added that despite all the efforts, the state continues to harvest an endless cycle of flood disasters every year, noting that the most common sense and humane option left now is to clear human habitations and businesses from the banks of the Rivers Niger and Benue where possible.
He assured that government will embark on clearing the lowlands along the entire floodplains in the flood-endemic local government areas, assuring that such effort will allow the rivers unimpeded flow during their annual flooding.
The Kogi governor pledged to widen the road shoulders along the banks of the River Niger from the NATACO area in Lokoja in order to establish a sufficient buffer zone between the city and the river.
He also assured that in the process of taking such lasting measures, affected communities will be relocated to higher grounds and structures which fall into the designated work areas will have to give way.
The governor promised that the government will ensure proper resettlement and rehabilitation of those who will be affected.
Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello has scored the Federal Government high in tackling insecurity, saying the challenges met in 2015 have been largely solved.
Bello stated this during an interview on Channels Television’s Newsnight, a pre-recorded show which airs every Monday, adding that the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) has not failed to deliver on its electoral promises to Nigerians.
He also commended the APC-led government for improving the equipment of security agencies as well as taking care of the welfare of personnel.
“On security, the challenges of then have largely been solved. We are facing emerging challenges not only in Nigeria but across the world, ” he said.
“If you compare it with the situation before the 2015 general elections, the difference is very clear. There are several other things that are done to prevent this insecurity that can never be brought to the media to discuss.
“This is the first time we have a President that could buy hardware that was never in existence (before). Some were obsolete and some were just not in existence before today.”
While admitting that a lot more needs to be achieved in tackling what he described as the emerging security threats in the country, Bello expressed confidence that the armed forces are capable of dealing with the situation.
The Kogi governor commended President Buhari’s government for making things better than it was in 2015.
On the economy, Bello said the current administration has done well, regardless of some challenges, especially with regard to inflation.
He explained that the corruption war is being fought to expose individuals that have stolen from the nation’s resources.
Bello added, “Which country of this world is having it rosy? There is still a lot more that needs to be done, I know that very well.
“It is this administration that will rather expose the few corrupt elements in our midst. In the past, you dare not talk about it.”
Watch the full interview on Newsnight on Monday at 9 pm
Governor Yahaya Bello on Monday dismissed the Anap poll which favoured Labour Party (LP) presidential candidate Peter Obi, maintaining that online agitation is different from grassroots mobilisation.
The poll result, released last week, indicated that the former Anambra governor is leading the race, way ahead of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)’s Atiku Abubakar and the All Progressives Congress (APC) flagbearer Bola Tinubu.
But Bello, an APC chieftain, admitted that while Obi is doing great, the LP candidate’s support base is online, a development he says does not translate to grassroots mobilisation.
“Peter Obi – I respect him. A gentleman, one-time governor; a businessman who everyone knows has engaged in several businesses including the importation of the majority of the products we consume today in the country,” the Kogi governor said during an appearance on Channels Television’s Politics Today.
“He is doing well in his own right but let me tell you: online agitation is different from grassroots movements and mobilisation.”
The governor recalled that prior to his re-election in 2019, several polls conducted in the north-central state projected his failure in the exercise.
“I simply laughed because they are not on the ground. They fly in the sky. They don’t move by the road,” the 47-year-old maintained.
“They don’t have a connection at all with the people. I knew exactly what I had put on the ground and the connectivity I had on the ground and I won the election like never before in the history of Kogi State.”
He also dismissed claims that Obi has the backing of Nigerian youths going into next year’s poll.
“Well, during the contest before the presidential primaries of all political parties, the only person that commands the respect and control of Nigerian youths is Governor Yahaya Bello,” he said during the show.
Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State has been appointed as the National Youth Coordinator of the Tinubu-Shettima Presidential Campaign Council.
The appointment was conveyed in a letter addressed to Governor Bello and signed by the Presidential Candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu.
Tinubu, in the letter, dated August 8, 2022, stressed that Bello, who was an aspirant in the party’s presidential primary, deserved the appointment owing to his impressive political achievements and the exemplary leadership he had demonstrated as governor of his state and as a party member.
He added that he was confident that the governor would do his best in the new responsibility given him to ensure the party run an effective and message-driven campaign that would lead to its victory in the 2023 presidential election.
The letter titled, “Appointment as National Youth Coordinator for Tinubu/Shettima Presidential Campaign Council,” read, “By way of this letter, we are pleased to formally convey your appointment as National Youth Coordinator of the Tinubu/Shettima Presidential Campaign Council.
“This appointment is fitting and appropriate, given your impressive political achievements and the exemplary leadership you have demonstrated as governor of your state and as a party member. We are grateful that you have joined our campaign team. We know you will do your utmost in this new responsibility, so we conduct an effective, message-driven campaign leading us to victory in the 2023 presidential election.
“Together, not only can we ensure victory for our party in the February 2023 election, but we shall also move Nigeria along the path of national greatness by building on the achievements of our party and the President Muhammadu Buhari administration in providing progressive good governance to Nigerians. We wish you God’s speed and guidance.
“Congratulations. Please, accept the assurances of our highest respect and regards always.”
In his acceptance letter, Governor Bello pledged to deploy all in his capacity, working alongside the presidential candidate, to ensure victory for the APC.
“Your Excellency is one great Nigerian I know, who not only exemplifies but abundantly demonstrates, through transformational leadership and good governance, my own aspirations for a Nigeria that is secure, united, and prosperous,” he stated.
“Nigerian politicians should be more mature; we should take politics out of it,” he said on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily Friday.
“Senator Ahmed Bola Tinubu and his Excellency Shettima is a perfect match. When you have a one-on-one with these gentlemen, you will know that we are coming up with a combination that, largely, Nigerians will be happy with.”
The former APC presidential aspirant said despite the outrage that followed the party’s ticket, the duo of Tinubu and Shettima is a “complete departure from what is happening now”.
He told those criticising the party’s same-faith ticket to have a rethink, asking: “who told you that it cannot be Christian-Christian tomorrow?”
Away from politics, the governor noted that he has been monitoring the impasse between the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and the Federal Government, a faceoff he blamed on the country’s elites.
Nigerian elites, he argued, are toying with the country’s future, explaining that they “cut across board – both those in government and ASUU themselves”.
Governor Bello criticised those handling the dispute. He said they are unseriousness about Nigeria’s progress, maintaining that the lingering strike would have been resolved if they wanted the nation’s progress.
The APC chieftain sympathised with students and their parents over the protracted industrial action and asked Nigerians to quit playing politics with the country’s future.
Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello has directed the suspension of the Ohi of Eganyi and Chairman, Ajaokuta Traditional Area Council, HRH Alhaji Musa Isah Achuja with immediate effect.
In a letter to the Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Kogi State, the governor also directed that the Chairman of Ajaokuta Local Government Area, Hon Mustapha Aka’aba be queried over the breach and should reply within 24 hours.
The governor’s directive against the affected persons is in connection with the recent security breach in the area which led to the untimely deaths of some security personnel on their legitimate engagements of maintaining law and orders.
The governor strongly warned other traditional rulers across the state who may have connection in one way or the other with criminal elements in their domains to desist forthwith, saying that his administration will delt ruthlessly with anybody who romances with criminal elements no matter how highly placed they are.
In the same vein, Governor Bello also directed that all unofficial movements of the local government council chairmen out of their territory and other journeys without due process are hereby restricted
The governor warned that no amount of connivance with criminals will deter him from his fundamental responsibility of protecting lives and property of the citizens and residents of the state.
Some unidentified gunmen on Saturday afternoon ambushed security men at Jidda-Bassa community in Ajaokuta Local Government Area of Kogi state, killing three police officers and five vigilantes.
It was gathered from a reliable source who craved anonymity that some persons living in Jidda-Bassa community reported to the Divisional Police Officer that some unknown people had attacked their farms, carting away produce.
The source further stated that the DPO mobilised some of his men and the vigilantes to the scene, but before they could get to the farm, they were ambushed by some unknown gunmen.
Governor of Kogi State and former presidential aspirant of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has hinted that he will relaunch his presidential ambition in the near future.
He made the declaration in a chat with State House correspondents on Wednesday after he met with the President in his office.
Governor Bello, who was at the Villa on a ‘thank you’ visit to the President for allowing him to contest in the presidential exercise, said that what he did with the presidential race is test his might, promising that his next attempt will be supersonic.
Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello on Tuesday warned the northern governors and the All Progressives Congress (APC) National Working Committee that excluding him from the presidential primary will plunge the party into crisis.
He issued the warning while briefing State House correspondents in the Villa, saying that the northern governors did not consult him when a resolution was reached for power to be rotated to the southern region.
According to the Kogi governor, the only thing that could make him not contest the presidential primary is only if President Muhammadu Buhari tells him to step down.
Bello said that the APC will retain power at the centre if only it plays by the rules.
“I am a unifier; I have demonstrated that severally in my state, I have demonstrated that severally in the various tasks that I was given by the party,” Bello said.
“Nobody consulted me over the decision that they (northern governors) took. I will rather say that they were re-rolled by certain interests who want to be VP at all costs.
“Today is the special national convention of our party where a presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) will emerge. Leading up to today, there has been various controversies and issues before you.
“Certain videos went viral that I got angry and left a particular meeting. This is a period where a lot of lies, and misconceptions will fill the air. Then we have our father, the leader of our party, who should always know the reality or the truth and I came to brief him on exactly what happened. That is what happened.
“Some of my colleagues led by the self-acclaimed leader of them ganged up to suppress the voice of the people. The voice of over 26 million Nigerians, the voice of the women, the voice of people living with special needs, the voice of the choice of the party, that is exactly what I revolted against.
“I remain the leading candidate into this general election and I decided the leave the meeting where such concoctions were ongoing, that’s exactly what happened. I wouldn’t mention a name because I am honourable enough.
“The office I occupy today is an office that should be dignified and I have respect for elders even if some elders don’t respect themselves, so I wouldn’t mention names.”
“By June this year, I will be 47. I am still the young of the young people, the voice of the younger generation, the voice for the women, the voice for people living with disabilities, and the voice for Nigerians irrespective of religion, region, or tribe because we have demonstrated it in Kogi State,” the governor said.
If the APC gives him the opportunity to fly its flag next year, the Kogi governor boasted that he will defeat the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar.
He claimed that he would be celebrating his victory by 2 pm on the day of the presidential election if the APC gives him the ticket.
Bello also spoke on his plans to revamp Nigeria’s security challenges, recalling that when he came on board as Kogi on January 27, 2016, the state was experiencing security challenges.
When asked if he has the solution to Nigeria’s security challenges, the governor did not directly answer the question.
Rather, he explained that he has demonstrated his ability to solve tackle insecurity based on his experience in Kogi State.
“I have demonstrated that well enough in Kogi State. By the special grace of God, we are going to achieve it within the first 12 months of Governor Yahaya Bello’s presidency,” he added.
Former Minister of Transportation and presidential aspirant under the platform of All Progressives Congress (APC), Rotimi Amaechi has said that Kogi State Governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello should withdraw his presidential ambition for him because he has more experience than the governor.
The former Governor of Rivers State stated this when he came to Lokoja, the state capital to woo delegates ahead of the presidential primary of the party.
He was accompanied on the visit by the former Army Chief, Gen. Tukur Buratai.
Speaking at the Government House, Amaechi called on the delegates to prevail on Governor Bello to step down his ambition for elderly people like him.
He said though Bello is qualified to contest for the presidency, he’s still young and should make way for him to become the party flag bearer.
“This is the 28th state I will be visiting. I can no longer be called one of the APC aspirants because I have become the leading aspirant,” he said.
Amaechi further said that he deserved the ticket ahead of other aspirants,
“I was Speaker at the age of 34, Governor at the age of 42, and a minister in my early 50s. I have acquired the needed experiences to lead Nigeria.
“I am a former Chairman of Speakers forum, two-term Chairman of Governorship forum, coupled with my interaction as Presidential DG campaign, I have what it takes to lead a country like ours.”
He noted that even though he was aware that Governor Bello is a contestant, he as an older, with more experience should be given the chance to lead so that he will provide him with the needed experience in governance.
“I am aware that His Excellency is also a contestant, but I am the only leading contestant, older with more experience and I want to inform him that I will provide him with the necessary experience he needs to govern when the time comes,” he added.
The Deputy Governor of the State, Edward Onoja who received the presidential aspirant on behalf of the Governor urged Amaechi to visit the governor and deliberate with him, saying only Governor Bello can tell the delegates the direction to follow.
He stated that the state remained an APC strong hold, assuring that they will deliver for the party in the next year general election the way they did in 2015 and 2019 general elections.