Dear Kogites,

By, Simon Achuba

I write to thank you all for your patience, understanding and pains that you have endured thus far as a result of bad governance under the current governor of Kogi State, Alh. yahaya Bello.

 

 

 

 

Nobody would wish to quit being a deputy governor of a vibrant and promising State like ours the way I did based on the honour and confidence that overwhelming majority of Kogites reposed in me as well as the privilege of being called to serve our peace loving and progressive people. This is all the more so as my intention for accepting to serve was to render reasonable and selfless service to the people of Kogi State. However, no right thinking individual with the fear of God and love of the people will sit by and rather watch ruefully as scarce and limited State resources are wasted and pillaged with impunity. Hence my decision to speak truth to power openly after exhausting all internal mechanisms of conflict resolution within the government and the party that I belonged to, the APC. Pertinently, my expositions on Alhaji Yahaya Bello‘s maladministration, misappropriation and waste of scarce State resources rankled him and his criminal cohorts thereby making them to initiate an illegal and vindictive impeachment proceeding against me. Our Almighty God being a just God with the Nigerian judiciary that is still the hope of the common man, hindered them from removing me from office unjustly.

I therefore give Him all glory for His faithfulness and protection over all persons that follow and stand by the truth always. Importantly, the imposition of the Alhaji Yahaya Bello as Governor on the hitherto United and peaceful people of Kogi State against our general wish was the harbinger of the great suffering and retrogression that we have all borne over the past seven years or thereabout. We cannot and will never can forget these unfortunate development so soon; especially, whenever we remember the blood of many innocent persons that was shed to perpetuate a reckless and clueless administration that cannot initiate, execute and commission any tangible project in the State till date.

The unguarded and oft infantile display of courage and boldness against a backdrop of woeful performance in office is most unbecoming of a State Governor as we have witnessed in Kogi State.

Rather than being guided by native wisdom and remorseful introspection, the Kogi State Governor recently informed Nigerians at Eagle Square in Abuja that he will replicate what he has done in Kogi in Nigeria if he is elected as the next President of Nigeria. Based on what they know of his performance vis-a-viz Kogi State as it exists currently, many Nigerians including my beloved Kogites are If we asking rhetorically, ‘what is it that he did rightly in Kogi State that the nation needs to salvage it from its current challenges?’

They also ask me the same question by virtue of my humble self being once the Deputy Governor of the Kogi State. I wish I knew the answer! To illustrate the infantile fantasies and hallucinations that inform executive decisions and actions in Kogi State, the Kogi State Governor chose Nigeria‘s Eagle Square in the nation’s Federal Capital Territory to demonstrate his delusional fixation with power. I am not aware of any Nigerian Presidential Aspirant that declared his intention to run for the exalted Office of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria from Eagle Square. Oooh Yahaya Bello how wise art thou? Must you continue to impoverish Kogi State and Kogites through unbridled squandermania? For example, You collected the sum of N50.8 billion from the Federal Government to offset arrears of salaries and allowances of civil servants with those of political office holders in Kogi State. Till date you are yet to accomplish that objective but instead, squandered a chunk of that money on frivolities before the Federal Government retrieved the balance from where it was hidden. Mr Youthful Governor, how wise art thou? You flagged off Bassa, Ibaji, Omala, Ife olukotun, State Assembly etc. roads several years ago. What progress have you made on those roads as of today our Governor? You demolished the beautiful roundabout monuments within lokoja township that were constructed by your Predecessors under the pretext that they harbour certain diabolical powers. Ok fine, why have you not replaced them till date with more saintly monuments that could add beauty and splendor to the State Capital’s general landscape? Instead, what we see in the few places that your government exerted perfunctory effort at replacing the monuments are sub-standard and kindergarten type of structures! Such mundane and common projects to overwhelm a State Government? Your government event went to a ridiculous extent of erecting gates at both ends of the public road that traverses the government house to prevent certain persons from looking at the Governor’s abode with their ‘witchcraft eyes’. Why have the gates been abandoned till date? How about Kogi Hotel and the State Diagnostic Laboratory Hospital that was at 90% completion stage before you were smuggled into power? I can still vividly recall how you hurriedly started painting the hotel when the Mr President was coming to Lokoja for a political campaign on the 16/1/2019. With all the budgetary allocations to these projects over the years, where are you currently on them?

Let me remind us of the N16 billion that Kogi State received from the Federal Government under Alhaji Yahaya Bello as refund for the maintenance of some federal roads in the State that was undertaken by your predecessor. Now, does the government of Alhaji Yahaya Bello have anything on ground currently to show the people of Kogi State and Nigerians generally how the refund was expended? Certainly nothing as far I know because governance is an open book that is there for all to see and never in secrecy! Kogi State is blessed with abundant mineral and other natural resources that Nigerians and foreigners alike are scrambling for currently. Which of them has the State Government under Alhaji Yahaya Bello harnessed for the benefit of Kogi State and its people. Rather, the government has concentrated too long on immediate cash inflows especially from the Federation Account for immediate scooping up without leaving anything on the table for current and future generations of Kogi State. Till date, I am yet to witness any concrete investment plan of Kogi State that is to the credit of current administration. Instead, the Governor and his cohorts keep undermining previous investments as they carelessly refuse to service or rebuild them all in the name of politics and ethnic vendetta. The government of Alhaji Yahaya Bello has succeeded in closing down primary schools in Kogi State due to non-payment of salaries of primary school teachers. Is the Governor not aware of the dangers of his action? Or is his administration impervious to the mortal level of poverty of most parents that can hardly afford a meal for their families a day let alone afford to pay the exorbitant school fees of private schools? By this dereliction of responsibility by the State Government, is it not breeding serious social and security problems for Kogi State, and by extension the entire nation? What does any sane person expect from uneducated children when they grow up? If those before us governed the way Alhaji Yahaya Bello and his cohorts are governing Kogi State, would the Governor and the rest of us have been able to acquire any education?

The insatiable apetite for money by those in power in Kogi State today has no rival yet in Nigeria‘s history. For example, unsatisfied with the quantum of money accruing to Kogi State over the years from the Federation Account and internally generated revenue sources, the State Governor and his henchmen still went ahead to put all of the economically viable properties of Kogi state up for sale to raise more money for official waste and corruption. My advice to the buyers of Kogi State properties is that they should as well save more money for subsequent litigations than the ones that they used in procuring the properties wrongfully. If I may ask, can any reasonable and discerning person buy any property from the current government of Kogi State?

Certainly not unless such is ignorant of the maladministration that is going on in the State or like those in government, is driven by greed.
The sum of N20 billion that was hidden in Sterling bank by Kogi State Government was discovered recently by the EFCC. I suspect that the money is part of the N 50.8 billion that was received from the Federal Government as Bail-Out fund but which was grossly misused. The excuse that the State Government gave us was that the bank opened the said account without their knowledge and consent. Haba Alhaji Yahaya Bello, give us a break! How can an account be opened for a State Government without its knowledge and authorization? Was the account opened without signatories and if there were, what is the identity of the signatories that withdrew over N600 million from the said ghost account?

Furthermore, why did the Federal Anti-graft Agency (EFCC) that investigated and discovered the hidden State loot withdraw the case it instituted against Kogi State Government from court thereby gave room for the State Government to sue it instead? I had clearly articulated the reckless and corrupt financial dealings of Kogi State Government under Alhaji Yahaya Bello and his cohorts under various fora. I was once again vindicated particularly with the EFCC find and I thank God that I was not and will never be part of the dirty and criminal looting of Kogi State by a few privileged individuals under the guise of ‘governance’.
.No institution, including traditional institution is spared the corruptive influence of government in Kogi State. For the avoidance of doubt, our traditional institutions ably represented by our revered royal fathers are not and should not be dragged into the murky political processes of the State. I therefore watched with pain and disdain as I saw one of our revered Royal Fathers and Chairman of Kogi State Traditional Council, the Atta Igala at the Eagle Square to add some bogus royal blessing to Alhaji Yahaya Bello‘s declaration to run for office of President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. I am sure that the Governor must have cajoled, harangued and intimidated the royal fathers into attending the occasion Willy nilly. I thought that the Governor of Kogi State has grown up and widened a bit to quit the game of intimidation and harassment in order to have his ways all the time.

This came on the heals of a laughable query that Kogi State Government issued to Ohinoyi of Ebira Land for hosting a Senator representing the Governor’s Constituency without prior approval of Alhaji Yahaya Bello. The Kogi State Governor kept a respectable man that is old enough to be his grandfather under threat of deposition for months out of sheer show of power and wickedness. I must however remind him that power is transient and also that power belongs to the people who shall hold all those in authority today accountable some days no matter how long coming it may seem. It is only in Kogi State that the traditional institution is disrespected and ridiculed in the whole Nigeria and this is not supposed to be so; especially in Northern Nigeria. Let anyone that cares tell Alhaji Yahaya Bello and his cohorts in them government of Kogi State that traditional stools are is revered symbols of our rich cultures that must be respected at all times. The coercion of our royal fathers therefore by the Kogi State Governor is utter disrespect to our respective cultures and traditions. They should as a matter of urgency please desist from involving our traditional rulers in Yahaya Bello‘s thoughtless presidential ambition .
Ordinarily, all Kogites of goodwill ought to be part of a Presidential ambition from our zone; especially as no person from north central geo-political zone has ever been elected as President of our dear country democratically.

This sentiment cannot hold waters against an overwhelming evidence of poor performance, waste and reckless use of executive powers by the person currently seeking for the office from the zone. Currently, all those in the fray are in it for Kogi’s slush money as they know deep in their minds that their Principal was not fit to be a local government chairman in the first place. Many Kogites are sitting quietly watching bemusedly how far their current Governor can go with his Presidential carnival. To me, I wish the Governor can sit back quietly away from the maddening crowd around him and do an honest introspection. Examine yourself oooh brother!
And now that Kogi has become an oil producing State and therefore benefiting from the 13% derivation fund, can the government of Alhaji Yahaya Bello revisit some of the projects that he flagged off and abandoned?

Especially the vexatious Ibaji road where the 13% derivation fund proceeds are coming from? Let me advise and caution against using this and other funds of Kogi State on mundane or personal projects like Alhaji Yahaya Bello‘s presidential ambition. I say this because surely a day of reckoning shall surely come when this government shall be held accountable for any wasteful and corrupt use of State resources. Currently, neither the State workers nor indigenes generally are benefiting from resources of the State as they should. The State Government had embarked on a seemingly endless screening exercise of State civil servants over the past six years or thereabout without any tangible result.

For example, instead of reduction in the number of workers on the State nominal and wage rolls, the number has increased astronomically. What is going on please? Removing genuine workers especially from geographical areas that you don’t like in order to pave the way for your cronies? Why did the State wage bill increase after the screening exercises instead of reducing? The current administration in Kogi State killed local government administration in the State completely. What has the State Government been doing with local government funds over these years as no local government in Kogi State has initiated any meaningful developmental project and accomplished it because chunks of the funds meant for the local governments are hijacked by the State Government. Oooh Bello how wise art thou? The Ganaja flyover that was initiated by a previous government but condemned by Alhaji Yahaya Bello‘ administration as a white elephant project has suddenly become his administration’s pet project. It has been redesigned from a presumed bogus size; yet the cost of the project currently is behemoth compared to original cost. Ooh Mr Governor how wise art thou? All the judicial panels of enquiry that were instituted by current Kogi State Government to exhume facts and sins of those before them for possible trial, where are those panels’ reports? Oooh Bello how wise art thou?
I accused Alhaji Yahaya Bello of misappropriation and corruption and I was cleared and found not guilty by a 7 man panel that he instituted for the purpose. My vindication is certainly an indictment of the person of the Governor whom I accused to any discerning mind except Alhaji Yahaya Bello. Does anyone need a lawyer to tell him or her so? The pitiable case of governance in Kogi State under Alhaji Yahaya Bello can be likened to a man suffering from body odour who unfortunately can not perceive himself. When I sit back to ruminate over the numerous utterances and actions of Alhaji Yahaya Bello as a Governor in Kogi State all these years since I left the government, they clearly show that the youthful Governor so-called learnt only little or nothing in the seven years of leadership in Kogi. It is on this note that I call on Kogites to avoid the errors of the past as we approach 2023. We should be bold to ask questions about the sources of income of all aspirants/candidates of the various political parties that seek for your mandate.

For example when a public servant displays stupendous wealth and uses it to boast to intimidate his or her opponents, we should know that such aspirants are political hawks targeting our State treasury. We must reject such individuals. Money bag politicians will harm us than Alhaji Yahaya Adoza Bello’s government is currently treating us. We must therefore check their character, backgrounds, antecedents and manifestoes before following or accepting them. We must also note that most of the people that bore guns and led massacres in our various communities on behalf of their political masters during previous elections are the same people being currently sponsored by their political godfathers to canvass for our votes. The blood of many innocent Kogites that this group of murderous politicians killed is still dripping from their fingers up until this moment. Nothing can wash it off their hands and the law of karma will catch up with them soon. But we must resist their overtures no matter how tempting and reject them overwhelmingly in the polls. Having said this, let me admonish all Kogites of voting age to register and obtain their PVC(permanent voter card). Without a PVC we cannot bring the desired political change to our State and our country. I wish to assure you all that votes will count in all subsequent elections as a result of the revised electoral law that was recently signed into law by Mr President. By the new electoral law, nobody can vote except he or she has a PVC and is accredited by INEC officials at the Poll. Similarly, INEC is empowered to reject results that are at variance with corresponding data of its electronic voting system (Bivas). Therefore, there won’t be room for the type of massive rigging that took place in our State during the 2019 gubernatorial elections. We should also be vigilant against the tacit involvement of security agencies in the rigging process that we witnessed in the past. As general elections in Nigeria draw closer and the gubernatorial election in Kogi State following shortly in their heels, let us listen carefully to some of the idiotic and oft ignorant political dictates that will emanate from Government Quarters.

Already, Luggard House has chosen those to become your senators, house of representatives and State Assembly members as well as gubernatorial candidates for you. Reject all such and let’s be courageous to choose our own leaders of our liking come 2023. The leaders that current leadership of the State chooses for you will end up being worse than them as every tree bears fruits according to its kind . A mango tree for instance cannot produce yam. In that same vein, products of a bad governance like that of our State cannot produce good leaders. I appeal to all Kogites to be United to get rid of all the evil people that are ruling us today and their equally wicked cohorts. If we are enticed into accepting five thousand naira to vote for them in 2023, note that we shall simply be sentencing ourselves to another 4 years of poverty and suffering in the midst of plenty. In that case we shall have ourselves to blame and no one else. Be wise to know that your rightful monetary and social entitlements that the government of Alhaji Yahaya Bello has denied you by through diversion, embezzlement and under-development of our communities and is what he they have starched away for buying your votes and instal stooges that will continue to loot the state treasury for their individual benefits.

I therefore urge all Kogites to strongly resist the temptation of being bought over to vote for wrong and evil candidates that are currently being assembled by the government of Alhaji Yahaya Bello without giving room for primaries. I can assure you that even if they are pressured to conduct primaries, the process is going to be shambolic and compromised to favour their anointed candidates. So be vigilant and don’t be deceived by any semblance of due process. How long shall we continue to tolerate such undemocratic practices in our State?

The character and position of current State Assembly members in Kogi State tells us more about the fate of desperate politicians that come into office through an election process characterized by wanton violence, murder, arson, intimidation of opponents, vote buying etc. As we can see they have been politically emasculated and gaged into pitiable silence. Take note of their current plight and don’t allow a repeat of the type of electoral process that produced most of them in our State again. Just ask those representing your various constituencies what they have achieved thus far for themselves and their constituencies under Bello and hear their answers.

They unwittingly constituted themselves into a legislative extension of the executive arm of government in Kogi State and take orders on what to do or say daily from Luggard House. Greed and inordinate personal ambitions have rendered our State Assembly representatives dishonorable members in their various constituencies. I personally consider their case is worse than that of Esau who sold his birthright for a plate of porridge. What a dishonorable set of people! Mark them carefully because they will soon come around and tell you that they have changed.

That is a big lie as a Leopard cannot change it’s skin. Don’t trust them with any responsibility again, even within your various communities. I can assure you that even Alhaji Yahaya Bello himself does not trust them as he has virtually asked all the current members of the State House of Assembly to step down . Yahaya Bello is afraid that betrayal that is their trademark character will continue to prevail and also fears greatly that their insatiable greed and personal ambitions which he knows of very well will make them betray him undoubtedly when he leaves office. Good riddance you may say! The Kogi State House Of Assembly as currently constituted is an example of a watchdog that is compromised with a poisoned meat. May we never see this type of representatives in Kogi State again. Amen.

Let us learn one vital lesson that when we elect ‘yes men’ into the state assembly or allow such to be imposed on us, we give a governor; especially those prone to corruption the latitude for misconduct. Therefore, to have a viable State legislature that will serve our interests, we must elect only men of self worth, good reputation and integrity instead of greedy and groveling individuals as our representatives. State Assemblies are the strength of democracy in the States. Once the sanctity of the chamber is compromised as we have witnessed under current dispensation, opportunities for looting and political rascality by the Executive arm become opened automatically. Therefore I enjoin us for the umpteenth time to beware and elect only reasonable assembly members.

On the issue of the governorship of Kogi state come 2023; if I may ask, can any candidate presented by governor Yahaya Bello be allowed to govern Kogi state ever again? Can we afford to keep our treasury opened perpetually for continuous looting? I don’t think that will be in our common and overriding interests. But the choice is ours to make to either allow our dear State to be continually misgoverned as is currently going on or stop it for the sake of this generation and generations yet unborn. Simply get your PVCs as we get ready to show Alhaji Yahaya Bello and his gang of treasury looters the red card. Let them go to the center and replicate what they have succeeded in doing in Kogi State as they are currently promising Nigerians. If I may ask, what do they really want to replicate at the center in Nigeria? Is it Misappropriation of state and local government funds or Closure of secondary and primary schools in Nigeria?

Could it be political Thuggery, arson and murder during elections or treasury looting? Nigerians know better as they ‘don shine theirs eyes well well already!
Unlike Kogites, I know Nigerians will resist their policy of Non-existent and unstaffed health institutions and hospitals and Percentage payments of salaries? They will also not accept Misrepresentation of Nigeria to international communities as they have done to Nigerians about Kogi State.

Certainly Nigerians will not take their
practice of being economical with truth on salaries of workers or violent and brutal repression of any person or view that does not align with theirs. Or Tell us one area that you have represented kogi well that you intended to replicate at the national level, Ooh wise Bello when you and your government have become metaphors for bad governance in Nigeria.

Is it the kogi water works that your government cannot sustain let alone expanding it to all the senatorial districts as it was originally proposed in your usual style of grandstanding? May be you were referring to epileptic Kogi State radio that comes on air intermittently or the near moribund State Newspaper (the Graphic) that only sings the praises of Alhaji Yahaya Bello and echoes his many lies with deceits of his government?
Tell me, what can he point at today as the legacy of his government in Kogi State all these years if not a catalog of regrets and shame?

We humbly await to see Kogi State Government’s invitation to Mr. President that Yahaya Bello has been deceiving and who unfortunately believes him to come and commission the projects initiated and completed by Bello’s administration that are of any significant value and importance to the State. At least most States including PDP States have done so.

As an individual, especially, whenever I remember your good gesture of choosing me to be your deputy,I cannot cease from praying for you, your family and Kogi State for God to open your eyes to do what is right in His sight and in the interest of people of the State. I also enjoin all Kogites to continue to pray for both the Governor and the State but never to compromise on poor leadership or governance.

Rather, we must be courageous to speak truth to power in order to entrench good governance and rule of law in our beloved State.

Our youthful Governor had ample opportunity to write his name in gold, but uncannily sacrificed it on the altars of greed, inordinate ambition, arrogance, political thuggery and violence, impunity, lack of love and care for the people and most unfortunately, total absence of fear of God. But I don’t blame our leaders because this is the way we have deliberately reconfigured our nation. Otherwise, how can the very leaders of our dear country that looted our treasuries and abused their political powers be bold enough and be allowed to return shamelessly to Nigerian electorates to seek for higher offices and opportunities to steal more. Unfortunately, there has yet to be any serious consequences for any erring Nigerian leader despite the noises about fighting corruption in Nigeria by successive governments. Notwithstanding, we cannot continue in this degenerate fashion as the world is evolving fast and we as a nation desiring development and prosperity must vote out all our corrupt and wicked leaders wherever they can be found. We can’t afford to entrust power to those who have repeatedly misused it again.

Finally, I thank the good people of Kogi state for your patience, resilience and tolerance of each other despite the orchestrated plan of our current government to incite ethnic disharmony. We are not located in the place that we currently find ourselves in our beloved Kogi State by accident. Our stay is divine and for the purpose of advancing our individual and collective destinies through a collective and communal effort.

Therefore, we should not allow anybody to divide us or put asunder what has been divinely ordained through some divisive administrative policies of current government in the areas of employment, postings, political appointments, percentage salary payments and upgrade of traditional stools. God bless all of us and let us resolve to collectively recover our State from the hands of opportunists and despoilers as we match towards 2023.

Long live Kogi State! Long live Kogites!! Long live the Federal Republic of Nigeria!!!
Yours truly,

SIMON ACHUBA
Fmr. Deputy Governor
Kogi State .


By joshua

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