Kogi State Government Remains Transparent, Focused

The attention of the Kogi State Government has been drawn to a spurious, libelous and malicious publication on page 50 of ThisDay newspapers dated 17th August, 2016, in which the paper raised a feeble and fallacious alarm of graft against the Kogi State Government.

Be that as it may, Governor Yahaya Bello has re-positioned the state to come to terms with the tenets of fiscal responsibility and financial discipline. Since January 27, 2016, Kogi State has joined the league of states that have put their feet down on transparency, accountability, prudence and fiscal-tailored financial management.

Therefore, it is farcical and preposterously derogatory for a newspaper that prides itself to be in line with Truth and Reason to write such a tempestuous streak of indefensible innuendos aimed at damaging the integrity of the Government of Kogi State.

The administration of Governor Yahaya Bello has remained the first in the history of the State to publicly declare the income and expenditure of government with copious references to State Government Accounts at different banks. This is the opium of transparency.

Brushing aside the impunity of the pen and disregard for investigative journalism as displayed by ThisDay newspapers, the general public must begin to look at the idiocy of the recycled lies by disgruntled elements, who are bent on thwarting The New Direction Agenda of the present administration.

Shortly before the Lower Tribunal judgement in the election cases instituted against the Governor, the same political elements took to town, through a discredited column in The Nation newspapers known as Palladium. The column was used to propagate the same falsehood against the Governor. The allegations lack truth, sense of responsibility, credibility and logical reasoning.

The judiciary rose to the occasion by toeing the path of law and delivered judgments based on the point of law and justice. The jubilant eruption in Lokoja over the Appellate Tribunal judgments is an indication of the popular acceptance of the People’s Governor. The tetra-kicks by agents of distraction is understandable. But, we shall remain committed to good governance. We have no reason to respond to the allegations as we have set the record straight on many occasions. However, the public must begin to see the character of those who aspired to lead them. It has become crystal clear that they do not love Kogi State.

Few days to the Appellate Tribunal judgments, the group of disgruntled elements whose ambition has hit the rocks also planted fictitious stories in the dailies to paint Kogi State as a corrupt State, despite all the drive of the Governor to develop the State and make it the key to the greatness of the nation. Again, their plans fail. Truth is sacrosanct. Truth is constant.

Now that the cases have gone to the Supreme Court , the detractors have stepped up their falsehood through attempts at mudslinging the Judiciary and the Government of Kogi State.

They should learn from history. The Supreme Court is the judicial hope of any nation. It is manned by people who are prepared to defend the point of law.

It is unfortunate for people who milked our state dry to connive with those who were aspiring to milk it dry to bring the name of the State to ridicule just for political mileage. The people of the State are unmoved by this desperate attacks by crass opportunists who have lost touch with the political state of the State.

At inception, the Governor was called "a toddler" and his Chief of Staff, Mr. Edward David Onoja, was called "a kindergarten Chief of Staff." Today, the “toddler” has restored the confidence of the Kogi people in their government. Today, the Governor has been able to save over 1.6 billion naira the “experienced” predecessors were paying to ghost workers monthly.

Today, Governor Yahaya Bello has mobilized contractors to rehabilitate our roads in all of the Senatorial Districts. Today, over 200 utility vehicles have been procured for delivery to security agencies to make Kogi people safe.

The achievements of Governor Yahaya Bello and their own failures have formed a chemistry of hate and a delicate determination of the enemies of the Kogi people to wage a relentless war against the people. Since they are so detached from the people, they have no choice than to use papers whose publishers took part in sharing arms fund, to discredit a government that has taken transparency as a top priority for good governance.

Aside the political desperation to intimidate the Judiciary, it is also instructive to note that the decision of the Kogi State Government to look into why high-class contracts failed in the State has no doubt jolted the incurably corrupt accusers. They have been running from post to post to save their necks from their past maleficence.

Contracts for which billions were paid in Kogi State were never executed. As a leader that abhors corruption, the Governor has directed the setting up of a Judicial Panel of Inquiry to unravel how the funds grew wings.

There have been multi-faceted pressure on the Governor to rescind the decision. But, in his characteristic way, Governor Yahaya Bello has decided to stick with the people and protect their Commonwealth. No amount of propaganda and falsehood can derail the good work the Governor is doing in the State.

We make bold to say that every contract awarded by the present administration in the State went through due process. The selling point of our dear party is transparency which is the bulwark of good governance. There cannot be development when resources are siphoned by people who are charged with the responsibility of safeguarding those resources for the common good.

For the umpteenth time, we wish to reiterate the fact that renovation contacts were awarded within Government House in line with the Public Procurement Act. We have been conscious of the fact that our good intentions must be matched by strict adherence to due process.

Those who want to trade the destiny of the State and those mismanaged our rainy days are busy sponsoring spurious allegations against a restoration government. We shall not be dampened by the serial idiocy, but emboldened by the strength of the Kogi people and the solidarity of our people.

Ultimately, Governor Bello is running a media-friendly government in line with his unassailable respect for the freedom of speech through a free press. A free press is a veritable vehicle for advancing the frontiers of freedom and development. On the other hand, an irresponsible press is sad reminder of the dark days of khakistocracy. 

The Governor has no plan to gag the press, but will always demand for explanations when the rules of journalism are blatantly and flagrantly poached. As a government, we will welcome constructive criticism, but we will frown at libelous publications against the State Government.

The onus of proof will always be on those who allege. We urge the media to desist from constituting themselves as pawns in the hands of perfidious politicians who are desperate to malign the person of the Governor. Our respect for the fourth estate of the realm should not be taken for granted. We will clinically curb the trend of sponsored media attack on our state.

The ongoing projects in the State are speaking for the government. We are silencing our detractors with solid performance. A number of approvals have been given by the State Executive Council for more projects to be executed across the state. After four years, our performance would have done enough damage to the sixteen years of locust under the People’s Democratic Party.

With improved security across the State, those who celebrated our security challenge are now shifting ground to peddling falsehood. Governor Yahaya Bello should be judged by his achievements.

The Freedom of Information Act has made it easy for citizens to track the performance and transparency of their government. Our doors are open. Our hands are clean. The people know what their government is doing. God and good are with us.

All we have for the Egalitarian Mission for Africa is pity. They have acted on a report built on falsehood and malice. Now they have become a subject of scorn for their incoherent, false petition.

The people of Kogi State are wise, intelligent and informed. They cannot be hoodwinked by those who had destroyed the State before the advent of the present administration in the State.

We are focused. We are marching forward. We believe in a new Kogi. We are moving towards a New Direction of unity, progress and development.

Signed: Kingsley Fanwo
Chief Press Secretary to the Governor