By Jonathan Nda- Isaiah, Abuja
Kogi State governor, Yahaya Bello, has dismissed reports that he registered twice during the voters registration exercise, describing the allegation as false.
The governor disclosed this to State House correspondents yesterday after observing the Juma’at prayers at the presidential villa, Abuja.
He expressed confidence in the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), saying the commission will not allow its name to be dragged into the mud with such illegality.
His words: “I travelled on the 19th (of May) to Dubai for a brief break and I saw the press release. I was taken aback that I did double registration on the 23rd. Probably it is my ghost that has done the double registration.
“I think INEC has earned itself a very high reputation and I think I am very confident that the leadership of INEC will not allow some elements in INEC to drag the name of the commission into the mud. Surely, that’s falsehood. I did not do double registration of permanent voter’s card”.
On calls by Senator Dino Melaye for him to resign or be impeached, the Governor specifically noted that he was too focused to be distracted by such calls, as he is bent on taking the state to the next level, adding that he won’t waste his time responding to Dino.
Bello said, “Honestly speaking, when a human being is talking then I will respond. Surely, I don’t see anything coming out of that and I don’t think I have to waste my time in responding to whatever side distraction. Honestly speaking, I am too focused to be distracted.
“Kogi State has suffered for over 25 years before I came on board and the good people of Kogi State are really appreciative of the efforts we are putting forward to make sure that the state is well developed. So, any side distraction is not something I should pay attention to because the people are with me”.
On calls for his resignation by certain prominent in persons in the state, Bello said, “When you talk of prominent Kogi People, I don’t think there is any prominent person in Kogi State that would say anything like that. So far so good, there are many achievements from security to infrastructural development to civil service reforms and pension reform scheme to job creation.
“You can see that there is a whole lot of multilateral agencies. Ambassadors are all visiting Kogi State. It is owing to the development and the efforts we’ve put forward to put the state on the development map that you are seeing them coming over. Go to Kogi State’s website you will see what we have done in 15 months that we have been in the office.
On reports that APC is factionalised in Kogi State, he said, “APC in Kogi State is one and indivisible; no faction, no division and by the grace of God, we are all strong and united”.
On how realistic is the resolution by the Governors’ Forum to clear salary arrears and pension backlog with the remains of the Paris club refund, he said the issue of salary arrears was a very worrisome problem to all the governors.
“With the other tranch of Paris club that will be paid to all the states now, the governors and Mr President all met and we resolved to make use of substantial part of that refund to clear some of the arears that are being owed workers. So, it is very realistic”, he noted.
Asked to comment on the assessment of the Buhari administration So far, he observed that the Buhari administration has recorded excellent result.
“When we look at where we are coming from and where we are today, and where we want to go to, going by the rate of achievement and successes recorded by the Buhari administration, surely, we are going to get to the promise land in no distant time from now”, he stated.