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OPINION

Bello: Redefining Grassroots Development In Kogi

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There is no doubt that Governor Yahaya Bello administration in Kogi State in the last three and a half years in office has recorded great success in taking dividends of democracy to the grassroots in all the 21  local government councils of the state.

Governor Bello who is known as the ‘people’s governor’ in the state, has done what past governors in the state were unable to do since the creation of the state through the Ministry for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs and other ministries like Rural Development and  Water Resources.

There is a saying that a tree cannot make a forest. Therefore behind  the success of Governor Yahaya Bello in delivering dividends of good governance to the people of Kogi State, there must be team of managers that helped in actualizing his aims and objectives for better Kogi  State for the good of all.

The appointment of Engr. Abubakar Ohere as a special adviser for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs has no doubt contributed greatly to the success story of Governor Yahaya Bello administration in Kogi State. Though perfection is of God, Engr. Ohere under the government of Governor Yahaya Bello has performed his duty to the best of his ability. Under his watch of the ministry and with the full support of Governor Yahaya Bello, Engr. Ohere was able to change the narrative of the local government administration in the state from what it used to be in previous administrations in state. He took dividends of democracy to the must needed people who are the rural dwellers in the state.

The appointment of Engr. Abubakar Ohere as a special adviser in this ministry brought innovations and reforms to the local government administration which today has been replicated in some of the states of the federation.  With the transparency of Governor Yahaya Bello in  getting things done in the right way  for the betterment of the people of Kogi State, the ministry and indeed the Kogi State government was the first state out of the 36 states of the federation and the FCT to commence the implementation of Local Government Financial Autonomy in Nigeria which today has helped the local government administrations in Kogi State in meeting their core values of grassroots governance.

Other achievements of Governor Yahaya Bello through the compliment of this ministry under Engr. Ohere, and other ministries include the upgrading of traditional rulers and creation of new stools which had eluded several communities in the state for many decades. This achievement of Governor Yahaya Bello through the Ministry for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs under Engr. Ohere is one of the greatest evidences of justice and fairness of Governor Yahaya Bello which can never be forgotten by the people of Kogi State.

This long awaited dream of the people which the previous administrations never had the political will to carry out because of its sensitivity and cost implications, was done by this governor who believes in equity, fairness and justice to all in the state.

The love and endorsement accorded to Yahaya Bello by traditional rulers in the state for his reelection for second term in office is a product of effective management of the ministry and his respect for traditional institutions in Kogi State.

The confirmation of Engr. Abubakar Ohere by Kogi State House of Assembly as a substantive commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs will go a long way in bringing more dividends of democracy to the grassroots which is Governor Yahaya Bello’s passion. There is no doubt that Engr. Ohere would make the ministry more vibrant and a model for other states of the federation to emulate. Thanks goes to his Excellency Governor Yahaya Bello for this great gift to the people of Kogi State.

The recent online media publications that Kogi State government is paying only the APC members’ arrears and gratuity in all 21 local government councils of the state is unfortunate and disgusting. How would the system know the members of APC and that of other parties as alleged by mischievous politicians who never appreciated the effort of Governor Yahaya Bello in rescuing Kogi State? For God’s sake, we should learn to commend our leaders in order to  motivate them to do more. There is no doubt that Governor Bello inherited this unpaid local government arrears and gratuity from the previous administrations, and he has been making all effort to pay since government is a continuum, yet some people are bent on spreading fake news in order to paint the Governor Bello in bad light.

Governor Bello will continue to do whatever that will promote the welfare of his people in spite of the fake media publications by desperate politicians in the state who have nothing to offer Kogi State. The 21 local government councils of Kogi State have never paid anybody arrears and gratuity based on his or her party affiliation.

The payment is ongoing and every duly qualified beneficiary will be paid. The public should disregard the fake news and continue to support Governor Yahaya Bello’s administration in its quest to move the state to the next level. They should also continue to support his reelection for second term in November, 2019.

– Bala, a public commentator writes from Abuja

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