By Ikechukwu Okaforadi and Musa Adamu
The Governor of Kogi State, Yahaya Bello, at the weekend said his government has deliberately returned governance to the young people, adding that gender parity is being carefully pursued in both appointive and elective positions, with massive women inclusiveness in governance.
Speaking in Lokoja, the Kogi state hospital, while declaring open a Two-day 2020 retreat by the Senate Press Corps, which was facilitated by Senate leadership, in conjunction with the Kogi State Government, Bello, who was represented at the event by his Deputy, David Edward Onoja, said there is a benchmark on the ages of those to be given appointment by the Governor.
According to him, “The way women are being practically included in governance in Kogi State is the same way youths are also included.
“In doing this, the Executive Governor ensures that nobody up to the age of 50 is appointed as a cabinet member either as Commissioner or Special Advisers cum Assistants.
“This, to us in this state, aligns with the Not Too Young to Run Act of Parliament, put in place during the 8th National Assembly.
“The test of leadership as being demonstrated by Governor Yahaya Bello in the State is not in the number of roads or bridges constructed, but ability to balance diverse interests”.
To this end, he argued that Kogi ranks most eminent with regards to youths and women inclusiveness in governance, the current Secretary to the State Government and the State Head of Service are all women, which he pointed out are just few of the many.
At this point, he disclosed that in sustaining the policy of youths and women inclusiveness in governance, the State government is working towards deliberately ensuring that those that will contest the Deputy Chairmanship position in the 21 local government areas of the State are women.
He added that some of the women and youths will also be encouraged to go for the substantive local government Chairmanship position in the election slated for December 12, 2020.
Nevertheless, he said the new administration in the state is steering the state and its leadership towards a new direction, especially in the areas of economy, security, education, agriculture and health.
“In terms of infrastructure, it is not in anyway one sided, as required projects are being executed across the three Senatorial Districts like the Rice Mill in Ejiba town in Kogi West, series of road projects in Kogi East and Central Districts, among others.
“The most striking aspect of the administration is that it has broken the jinx of disunity among the various peoples of the State, today, no group of people is marginalised in anyway in terms of appointments into government positions or projects initiation and execution”, he said.
Speaking further, he added that in the spirit of oneness and unity on which the administration is steering the state, a Chapel has been built in the Government House coming 28 years after the existence of the state.
“There is no better way of promoting unity and oneness among peoples with diversities in religion, culture, language than what Governor Yahaya Bello did with the provision of a Chapel at the Government House after 28 years of non existence of a place for Christianas to worship. It is a commendable feat, moreso, being a Muslim”, he said.
I’m addition to the above, he said the present administration in the State has made tremendous impact in areas of welfare of citizens, security of lives and property, hence the rampaging kidnaping syndicates have been tamed.
“Armed bandits attempted to make the State another theatre of operation as unfortunately being experienced in some states in the North West and part of North Central, but the proactive measures taken by the State Government made them to relocate immediately”, he said.