Gov Bello: wiping eyesores, tears in kogi
By Labaran Tijani
The creation of kogi state on 27th August 1987 that brought together the ethnic nationalities of Ebira, Igala and Yoruba-Okun, including other minorities tribes was an offspring of necessity.
These ethnic tribes who were bonded together in culture, tradition and norms in Kabba province of the old found themselves divided into Kwara and Benue states respectively due to the political calculation then.
As fate would have it , the same political expediency and realignment that scattered these ethnic nationalities were brought back to explore the old love of the old and for them to have sense of belonging in the modern day Nigeria.
However, thirty -two years after, the enclave has experienced different administrations via democratic experiment, with each administration trying to write its name on the sand of time, applying different policies, all this while.
Until Alhaji Yahaya Bello appeared on the scene due to the course of Providence , the enclave appears wobbling and fumbling in different fronts, as meaningful development was seen to be far from the enclave.
With about five months to go, the present administration under governor Bello has registered its foot prints in the sand of times by the establishment of legacy projects that dots nooks and crannies in the state.
The experience of the past immediate president of this nation, president Muhammadu Buhari is apt here, especially as it concerns the non-chalant attitude of the past administrations to state matters.
To the chagrin of all, the former president, then as a presidential candidate expressed his displeasure of the sad state of the then Lokoja township stadium, refering it to an eyesore in 2019 while on official assignment.
He assured then that he would restructure it to a beautiful edifice, befitting of a place of official assignment of governments.
“This is an eyesore. Is it the state official function place of the government?”, he said.
Then ,the Lokoja township stadium’s roof top carved in and part of the wall collapsed, presenting an ugly look,which do not fit for a place where a governor that worth his salt will use for official ceremonies.
The Lokoja township stadium that was then cynosure of eyesore to all was in that sad state till the administration of captain Idris Wada wind up without no attention.
However, governor Yahaya Bello has addressed that with a touch of masterpiece, given it a befitting face lift,in the mould of Eagle square at Abuja; naming it, “President Muhammadu Buhari Square.
The quest to resolve such eye sore places and projects that dot the state received the attention of governor Bello led administration, with heavy hammer, reshaping , retouching, rehabilitating and restructuring every sector to beautify the lives of the people of the state .
In the last three months, despite that the administration is drawing to a close by constitutional order, the government has moved on at high speed , throttling hard to ensure the state become beautiful in all ramifications to the goodness of all.
The government intensified its efforts in surgical operation in the field of education, health, infrastructure development, security, youth empowerment, security, agriculture, and many more in the last three months .
“We have taken remarkable strides that are both visible and impactful today – even to the worst naysayer or skeptic”, said governor Bello recently to buttress his efforts to give the state a beautiful new name.
For in stance, despite the establishment of a world class Reference hospital at Okene which was commissioned at the early part of the year,
in July the State Governor took a significant steps to enhance the healthcare delivery system in the state by procuring an additional 21 ambulances for rural hospitals across the local government areas to enhance “Bello Healthcare Plus” , which runs free of charge.
The Toyota Hiace high roof buses was “equipped with various features such as patient and driver cabin intercom, oxygen supply system, portable and rechargeable suction machines, first aid boxes with emergency drugs, fire extinguishers, and wash hand basins”, as well as “electrical systems, vinyl flooring, wall-mounted sphygmomanometers, and flexible examination lights”.
The “Bello Healthcare Plus’ package includes the free distribution of delivery kits, postpartum hemorrhage packs, hypertensive packs, episiotomy packs, and free maternal/newborn healthcare services to pregnant women from economically disadvantaged backgrounds”.
Not done, the State Government also inaugurated several medical facilities in various regions of the state to further enhance healthcare accessibility and affordability. More qualified doctors and health workers were also recruited to enhance efficient service delivery in this sector.
Equally, after numerous outcries to the federal government and its relevant ministries and agencies over the deplorable federal roads in the state in the past that was not heeded, the administration launched out in the honey mood of the newly constituted present government at the centre to effect action.
Latching to mood of the moment, the governor Bello knocked at the door of the new government at the centre, and the Minister of Works, Senator Dave Umahi visited the state on August 22, 2023 to access some of the key state federal road that have become an eyesore.
The move is to present to the newly formed government at the centre over how the state of these federal roads are creating hardships and hiccups to commuters/ motorists, affecting negative impact on trade and the economy of the state and the country in general.
In a clear terms, governor Bello told Umahi: The condition of our federal roads has been a source of great concern to our administration, the people of Kogi State and Nigerians in general, owing to the fact that Kogi is geographically the connecting point between the Northern and Southern Nigeria”, said governor Bello to Umahi.
That singular effort has yielded dividend as the federal government has resolved to redesign the Lokoja-Ganaja-Ajaokuta road, that has been travellers/ motorists nightmare which the state had initiated move to rehabilitate before, but was prevented by amended extant law to that effect.
Also, according to the minister the federal government will redouble its effort for the reconstruction of Koto-Karfe bridge,(Murtala bridge), Lokoja-Okene road and Lokoja-Kabba road to ease transportation system enrouting the stat.
Also, roads under the purview of the state witnessed a touch of the administration within the last three months.
The governor has awarded the contract for the rehabilitation of Sheria-Oguma road in Bassa local government that has cut off the headquarters of the council from other communities, obstructing socio-economic activities in the areas. Works is said to be in progress.
Pained by the hardships being experienced by motorists on the road from Itakpe Junction to Kabba Junction on Itakpe – Okene road, which has been causing uproar all year rounds , the governor commenced the reconstruction of a 13.71km road to alleviate the attendant hardships.
The road rehabilitation project that was expected to end at a total filing station at kabba junction at Okene is to be completed by the end of this year to put a permanent solution to grid traffic build up that always keep commuters for days/ weeks at that spot during wet season.
Not done , the governor Bello has set the necessary machinery in motion to commence the rehabilitation of the Ogori-Ageva road in the central district , directing ministry of works to move in immediately to alleviate the suffering of the people.
Education is said to be the light of human beings. The present government, standing by this truism established a kogi state university ,Kabba for the people of the west district that have been yearning for a university in that region for years . The KSU, kabba is the second university his administration has established while in office .
The new varsity have been accredited by the National university Commission and the process of taking off is at the top speed.
Recently, governor Bello expressed the virtue of human kindness in him when he gave succour to some people who were helpless in actualising a dream or suffering from life threatening ailments.
Among others , the governor granted a scholarship to Miss Oluwabukolami Adeyemi, the recipient of the British Council Outstanding Cambridge Learner’s Award who got admission to read law at a UK university but could not process it further due to want of fund and poor parental background.
In the same vein, the government bankrolled the eye operation of a publisher of local Tabloid in the state , Ali Edo who was incapacitated by an eye disease, myopia that got him blind totally.
As a leader that believe that government is a continuum, he ensure a person who will succeed him should have a compact character of development for his bequeathed ideals to state for the past years to continue.
In that direction,Alhaji Usman Ahmed Ododo has emerged as the his party flag bearer to succeed him in order to keep the flag of development, consistency, oneness and love to the next level. This quality was seen by many as an expression of a legacy of a good party man and great leader indeed.
Suffice to say, his astuteness in leadership has witnessed a drastic reduction of criminal activities which has dragged the state in the mud for years .
In such move recently was the destruction of kidnapping and armed robbery gang cell ,where its leader, one kabiru Bala (Okwo) was decimated in the ensued confrontation with the security operatives at Ejule in Ofu local government in the state.
As governor Yahaya Bello’s administration winds up on 24th January 2024, he will be remembered as one leader who came ,saw and conquered with legacy projects that awashq the state that will have over bearing positive influence on the people for years to come.