Insecurity: I Will Not Negotiate With Criminals – Governor Bello

Kogi Governor Yahaya Bello addressed the press on November 17, 2020.
File photo of Kogi State Governor Yahaya Bello

 

Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello has said his administration will not negotiate with criminals.

He stated this on Friday during an interview on Channels Television’s Politics Today.

“Anybody that is carrying rifles or arms against the state, they are criminals. I will not subscribe to negotiating with criminals,” he said.

“The issue of kinetic or non-kinetic, when criminals hold guns against the state, let us get them out. When people are ready, we should be able to provide succour for lawful Nigerians to have lawful employment.

“He who takes arms against the state as a result of joblessness should be dealt with decisively,” he added.

On the issue of the Amalgamated Union of Foodstuff and Cattle Dealers in Nigeria who called off their strike on Wednesday, the Kogi governor said no amount has been fixed yet to compensate members of the union.

He also stressed the need for the traders to be compensated for their losses.

“The Amalgamated union crisis has been resolved and there are demands and one of the demands is compensation. As I speak to you now, there has not been any number or figure put forward or I have advanced to the Federal Government for compensation; it is just an agreement in principle that okay, we have heard you, please sheathe your swords, return back to your food supply.

“So, no figure has been ascertained at all. At least, there should be names, there should be police reports and worth of properties damaged and that has not been given to me by now.

“What Mr President has directed is that I should liaise with the police and other security agencies to ensure lives are secured and that extortion stops,” he added.

Governor Bello’s remarks come two days after members called off their industrial action, protesting what they described as incessant attacks on their members in the South and extortion by security agents on highways.

The members had blocked the movement of cattle and foodstuffs from the Northern part of the country to the South for almost a week.

Following the earlier strike, Governor Bello and a former Minister of Aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode intervened which led to the call off.

 

Nigeria’s Unity Not Negotiable, Yahaya Bello Says After Meeting Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari and Governor Yahaya Bello

 

President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday received Kogi State Governor  Yahaya Bello at the State House.

After the meeting, the Governor conveyed the President’s message that Nigeria’s unity is not negotiable as he promised a more secure and prosperous nation in the days ahead.

READ ALSO: Foodstuff, Cattle Dealers Agree To Lift Ban On Food Supply To South

The governor also spoke concerning the COVID-19 vaccination exercise. He maintained that coronavirus is not a novel disease, adding that he believes in vaccinations, but warns everyone to be careful when taking any form of the vaccine.

He further reiterated the call by a significant number of persons asking him to run for President.

Governor Bello’s meeting with the President comes less than 24-hours after the Amalgamated Union of Foodstuff and Cattle Dealers of Nigeria (AUFCDN) agreed to lift its ban on the supply of food to the southern part of the country.

The leadership of the unions took the decision following an extensive dialogue and deliberation with Governor Bello, at the state Governor’s Lodge in Abuja, on Wednesday.

The groups were led by the AUFCDN president, Mohammed Tahir, with former minister of Aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode who was also in attendance at the meeting.

 

See below photos from President’s Buhari meeting with the Governor…

 

Foodstuff, Cattle Dealers Agree To Lift Ban On Food Supply To South

Kogi State governor, Yahaya Bello with the national president, AUFCDN, Mohammed Tahir, and a former minister of aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode after the meeting on Wednesday. PHOTO: @realFFK/Fani Kayode

 

The Amalgamated Union of Foodstuff and Cattle Dealers of Nigeria (AUFCDN) on Wednesday agreed to lift its ban on the supply of food to the southern part of the country.

The leadership of the unions took the decision following an extensive dialogue and deliberation with the Kogi State governor, Yahaya Bello, at the state Governor’s Lodge in Abuja, on Wednesday.

The groups were led by the AUFCDN president, Mohammed Tahir, with former minister of Aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode who was also in attendance at the meeting.

READ ALSO: Lagos Govt Advises Residents Not To Panic Over Rising In Food Prices

The AUFCDN President, Muhammad Tahir, said the strike was called off following the Federal Government’s promise to pay  N4.75billion compensation, ensure the protection of its members and stop all forms of multiple taxation and intimidation from security officials on the highways.

“Yes, we have agreed to call off our nationwide strike. All the stakeholders and members of AUFCDN involved in our nationwide strike are glad; we achieved what we wanted to achieve.

“They agreed to pay the compensation and stop multiple taxations on Federal highways and allow us to engage in our business activities peacefully nationwide,” AUFCDN President said.

Tahir and chairmen of the union across the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and other critical stakeholders had earlier met with Governor Bello before another meeting with the Chief of Staff to the President, Professor Ibrahim Gambari, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

Governor Bello at the villa listed the demands of the union and noted that working with Fani-Kayode, he had been able to reach out to major stakeholders on both sides, as he insisted on the need for peace to reign.

He said the union had agreed to end the food blockade but insisted that their members must be protected anywhere they are in the country.

Insecurity: I Don’t Visit Abuja For Solution, I Do My Job In Kogi – Yahaya Bello

Kogi State governor, Yahaya Bello says he handles insecurity in his state without necessarily seeking a solution by visiting the President in Abuja.

The governor who made the statement on Thursday during an interview on Channels Television breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily stressed that he doesn’t pay lip service.

“The Nigeria Police that are in the country today are the same in Kogi State. The Army in the country is the same in Kogi State. All the law enforcement agencies we have in the country today are exactly what I have in Kogi State.

“So, when they provide such information, we act on it, we don’t pay lip service, we don’t pass buck, we don’t visit Abuja for solutions at all times. I don’t think there is any day I have ever visited Abuja for any solution. What I do is to sit down here and do my job,” the governor said.

READ ALSO: Nigerians Should Not Be ‘Cowards’ When Attacked By Bandits – Defence Minister

Speaking further on security in the state, he added that stakeholders in the state collaborate with security agencies to analyse intelligence to forestall the breakdown of law and order.

Governor Yahaya Bello on Sunrise Daily.

 

“We are corroborating, the commissioner of police, my director (of) DSS, my Army commander, my naval commander, civil defense commander, we are corroborating and they are relating very well with the citizens, they connected to the people and leadership at all levels are doing their best starting from the community leaders, ward leaders, the local government chairmen, and leaders, youth leaders, market leaders, farmers and what have you. We are corroborating very well,” he added.

The governor also said there is a need for governors to collaborate and implement policies that will put an end to the farmers-herders crisis affecting parts of the country.

He said the national livestock transformation plan by the Federal Government should not be allowed to go down the drain.

“When the issue of livestock transformation was muted, it was first given the name Ruga. Ruga means a settlement of herders or livestock farmers.

“When it broke out in this country, it was politicised. That ‘Mr President wants to take our lands.’ I think, when we stop politicising every government policy and programmes, we will get it right,” the governor said.

APC Primary: Appeal Court Dismisses Suit Challenging Yahaya Bello’s Candidacy

Kogi Governor Yahaya Bello addressed the press on November 17, 2020.
a file photo of Kogi State Governor Yahaya Bello.

 

The Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja has dismissed the appeal filed by Michael Elokun and two others challenging the emergence of Mister Yahaya Bello as the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the 2015 governorship election held in Kogi state.

In a unanimous judgment delivered by Justice Steven Adah on Thursday, the court held that the nomination of candidates is the duty of political parties and not that of members of any constituency.

READ ALSO: Nigeria Is Not Working Because People Are Recruited On Sentiment – Peter Obi

The three-man panel of the court further held that the appellants never contested the governorship primaries and therefore lacked the locus to challenge the nomination of Mister Bello as the candidate of the APC.

Justice Adah, while affirming the judgment of the Federal High Court delivered on the twentieth of March, 2018, said the appeal has become an academic exercise.

The appellants had asked a Federal High Court to declare that Governor Bello was not a qualified candidate having not been a registered voter in Kogi State.

There Will Be Safety When Nigerian Politicians Stop Using Thugs And Criminals – Yahaya Bello

Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello, says Nigeria will be safer and more secure when politicians stop the use of thugs and criminals during elections.

Bello made this on Wednesday during an interview on Channels Television breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily.

“When politicians begin to stop the use of thugs, touts, or some group of criminal that is when we will begin to have safety and security,” Bello said.

The governor also stressed that he won the November 16, 2019 Governorship Poll without the use of ‘boys’ or thugs.

READ ALSO: I’m Worried Banditry Will Lead To Low Food Productivity, Says Governor Bello

According to him, political thuggery and use of ‘boys’ during elections was the order of the day in Kogi before he came into power but he “refused to play that kind of dangerous politics.”

“When I came on board, I inherited a state that was largely divided along several lines. For you to aspire to be anything politically in Kogi State then, you must have what we call ‘boys’ or thugs or touts and then use it to intimidate people during political dispensations.

“Once the political exercise is over, the so-called boys or thugs or foot soldiers would be abandoned and left to themselves and by that, they breed into something else or a hydra-headed monster that you will not be able to curb at the end of the day. There are several histories, records, and intelligence to that effect across the country.

“But I refused to play that kind of dangerous or unnecessary politics when I came on board. My ascension to the office is known to everybody across the world. I chose my path immediately and decided to deal with criminals irrespective of political affiliations by simply utilising the laws passed by the Kogi State House of Assembly and the existing security architecture,” he said.

He boasted that Kogi State “run an open-door policy,” widely embraced by the residents.

Speaking further on how he was re-elected governor on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in 2019, Bello said evidence abound to show that he won the election freely

“I won my election free and square. The police, the DSS, the military, and all law enforcement agencies have their facts. Don’t listen to the lies they peddle out there. When I see those things, I simply laugh and say how I wished they come to Kogi State to see for themselves.

“There was no time in my campaign that any of my supporters or followers goes into the destruction of billboards, signposts, or installations of the state government, before, during, and after the election. I can say this boldly.”

The governor also spoke concerning the case of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Woman Leader of Wada/Aro Campaign Council, Ochadamu Ward, Mrs Acheju Abuh who was killed by suspected political thugs after the election.

Abuh was burnt alive after the thugs invaded her house around 2.00 p.m. and poured petrol on the building before setting it ablaze.

Governor Bello assured that investigation is still going on into the incident and promised to follow-up the case till the end adding that findings will be made public.

2023 Presidency: I Am Focused On Kogi Development, Says Yahaya Bello

Kogi Governor Yahaya Bello addressed the press on November 17, 2020.
Kogi State Governor Yahaya Bello addressed the press on November 17, 2020.

 

Governor Yahaya Bello has reacted to calls for him to contest in the forthcoming 2023 presidential election noting that he is focused on delivering his mandate of developing Kogi State.

The governor said his administration’s ability to curb insecurity in Kogi State and massive youth empowerment has been attracting support leading to the calls for him to join the 2023 presidential race, a call he does not want to be distracted with.

READ ALSO: Those Who Doubt FG’s Resolve To Protect Nigerians Are Mischievous – Garba Shehu

Bello said this on Monday through his Chief Press Secretary, Nnogwu Sani Mohammed at the ongoing security and economic summit of the Northcentral Governors Forum in Makurdi, the Benue State capital.

“Nigerians across all divide are calling on the Governor to run for the presidency in 2023 but His Excellency, Alhaji Yahaya Bello is totally focused and committed to delivering the mandate given to him by the people of Kogi State to run for the second term.

“By January 27, 2021, he will be one year in office, that is for the second term, so he has a lot to do and he has a lot of time to spend with the people of Kogi State to deliver the dividends of democracy to them,” Mohammed said.

He, therefore, called for support to deliver his second term mandate of rebuilding Kogi State.

Bello said the issue of the 2023 presidency should not be put on the front burner and heat the polity and assured that he is focused on his mandate of improved security, economy, and youth employment.

Kogi, Ogun Governors Felicitate With Buhari At 78

 

Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello and his Ogun counterpart, Dapo Abiodun have felicitated with President Muhammadu Buhari on his 78th birthday.

Bello in a statement he personally signed on Thursday described Buhari as a general, noting that the President has been a source of inspiration to him and many others.

“Your Excellency, you have been a great father, mentor and source of inspiration to me in particular and many of your loyalists across the federation,” he said.

“Over the last five years of your administration, you have shown strong leadership, dedication and commitment to the overall development and growth of all facets of our dear country, Nigeria.

“You have no doubt achieved a lot in delivering your campaign promises to the Nigerian amidst daunting challenges of insecurities which you have continued to tackle head-on over the past five years.”

READ ALSO: Governor Masari Declines Comment On Why Buhari Has Not Visited Kankara

According to Bello, Nigeria has continued to witnessed infrastructural development across all the geopolitical zones of the country under President Buhari’s administration.

On his part, the Ogun Governor wished President Buhari well in what he described as the arduous task of nation-building.

“As you continue to serve our nation with an uncommon sense of patriotism and unwavering dedication, I thank Almighty God for granting you a life of great accomplishments and abiding fulfillment,” Governor Abiodun was quoted as saying in a statement issued by his Chief Press Secretary, Kunle Somorin.

“I have no doubt that as you celebrate your birthday, you will be more concerned about the myriad of challenges facing the nation and how to resolve them to the advantage of our people”, he said.

“We in Ogun State share in both the joy and challenges and pray that this birthday will bring you the good fortune to address the security, economic and political challenges facing our country. Happy Birthday Mr President and many happy returns.”

Yahaya Bello Mourns Army GOC Who Died Of COVID-19

Late Major-General, John Olu Irefin

 

The Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello, regrets the demise of an outstanding Army Officer who hailed from the State, Late Gen. Olubunmi Irefin.

The late Army General who was the GOC, 6 Div. recently gave his late mum a befitting last honor. For him to die a few weeks after burying his mother is heart rendering.

In a statement by the Commissioner for Information and Communications, Kingsley Fanwo, like many outstanding Generals Kogi has produced, the Late Gen. Irefin was a chemistry of brilliance, bravery, courage and inalienable loyalty to the Nigerian nation.

For years, he defended Nigeria as a committed Army Officer and also the integrity of the Army. Nigeria has lost a Greenheart-fighter who gave all to his nation and her people.

As we mourn the demise of a son we are proud of, we also commiserate with the Chief of Army Staff as well as the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces, President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR.

The Late General Olubunmi Irefin was not just a brave soldier; but also an accomplished scholar of repute. To this end, the Kogi State Government shall be putting in place, modalities to rename the Government Science Secondary School, Okedayo as Olu Irefin Science Secondary School, Okedayo. This is to inspire a new generation of Kogi youth to embrace hard work and excellence.

“Our hearts are with his immediate family in this dark moment of grief. May God give you all the fortitude to bear this irreparable loss.

“May his soul rest in peace”.

 

Bello Confident APC Will Retain Presidency, Says Party Touching Lives, Developing Nigeria

Governor Bello believes the APC has done enough to get another chance in 2023.

 

Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State says the development strides of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) is enough for the party to retain the presidential seat in 2023. 

“APC has come to stay. We are developing the country, the people are happy with our programmes, we are touching lives and we are securing the nation,” the governor said when he appeared as a guest on Thursday’s edition of Channels Television’s Politics Today.

“Why won’t they (Nigerians) give us a chance once again to continue to produce the president of this country? APC by the grace of God will produce the next president and sweep across the legislative houses and the governorship across the country.”

READ MORE: ‘We Won’t Defect To APC,’ Ebonyi PDP Federal Lawmakers React To Umahi’s Defection

While the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) had accused the Presidency of political scavenging in the wake of the defection by Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi State, Bello sees the party as no match for the APC.

 

A Gone Party? 

The PDP, he argued, is building castles in the air and does not have what it takes to contend with the ruling party.

READ MORE: One PDP Governor Will Leave The Party, Says Wike

“APC is a party of the people, for the grassroots. You can see the exodus. I don’t know what is giving them (PDP) that confidence,” the governor added. “Even though power belongs to God and God gives power to who He wills, at this stage, I can assure you that PDP is gone and is going and going.”

 

‘Nine To Go’

Bello claimed that Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State and eight more governors from the PDP would soon join his party, saying that Umahi’s defection was a testimony of the progress in the ruling party.

 

A photo combination of governors Yahaya Bello of Kogi State and Nyesom Wike of Rivers State.

 

“I said it long ago, not today when the party (PDP) was going through some challenges; I did say that there are 10 governors from the opposition parties that will join APC.

“We have seen one; one that is even as equal as 10, he has joined us, nine to go. Just mark my words; I don’t lie, I will never lie, and I will never deceive anybody,” the Kogi governor stressed.

 

Umahi’s Defection: Wike, Eight More PDP Governors To Join APC, Says Yahaya Bello

 

Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello, believes more governors from the main opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) will join the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Following the defection of the Ebonyi State Governor, David Umahi, from the PDP to the APC, Governor Bello stated that the ruling party would welcome nine more governors from the opposition.

“I think probably, I can just give you an expo,” he told Channels Television’s political correspondent Seun Okinbaloye who asked him a series of questions on the latest development when he appeared as a guest on Politics Today on Thursday.

The governor added, “The expo I am going to give to you is that Governor Wike might be the last to join this party – the All Progressives Congress, others are lining up. They will soon be here.”

He commended the decision of the Ebonyi State governor to leave his former party for the APC, saying the defection was a testimony of the progress in the ruling party.

Channels Television’s political correspondent Seun Okinbaloye, interviews Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello, on November 19, 2020.

 

Eight Governors Knocking

According to Governor Bello, APC is a party that believes in fairness, equity, and justice, with a strong belief in the unity and oneness of the country.

He also believes the party has carried out people-oriented programmes and policies, saying that would encourage more opposition governors to join.

 

“I said it long ago, not today when the party (PDP) was going through some challenges; I did say that there are 10 governors from the opposition parties that will join APC.

“We have seen one; one that is even as equal as 10, he has joined us, nine to go. Just mark my words; I don’t lie, I will never lie, and I will never deceive anybody,” the Kogi governor stressed.

He added, “Umahi is here with us, more are coming. I am very sure that Governor Wike will be the 10th person (governor) to join the APC, the remaining eight are already knocking, and by the grace of God, we are working all the necessary platform for them to come in here in peace, so they are on their way.”

Bread Tax Is Evil, We Are Investigating Those Behind It – Yahaya Bello

Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State has vowed to investigate and punish those behind the imposition of bread tax in the northcentral state, describing the development as evil. 

“The particular incident of bread tax is being looked into as I speak, we are investigating those that are behind this,” the governor, 45, said while briefing the press after a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the State House in Abuja on Tuesday.

“It is evil and it is unaccepted, to say the least. I have ordered the Head of Service to issue queries to those that are responsible and they will face the law accordingly.”

Governor Bello while explaining that he held the meeting with the Nigerian leader to inform him about the challenges the state is facing, and the developments recorded so far, noted that security agencies are working with local vigilante groups to curb crime.

“The law enforcement agencies, to say the little, they are doing their best. From the Police to the Army, to the Civil Defence to the DSS, they are collaborating with the local vigilantes and the local hunters to ensure that our ways, our highways, our bushes and forests, our communities are safe,” he explained.

He also credited his grassroots leadership style for restricting lootings in the Confluence State in the aftermath of the #EndSARS protests.

“So, whenever there is any uprising or any threats whatsoever, they raise an alarm,” governor Bello added. “The locals exactly know who they are, they know the criminals among them. They know the strangers and intruders among them and they immediately swing into action by ensuring law enforcement agencies swing into action and the issues were contained amicably.”