By Lateef Ibrahim Abuja
A governorship aspirant for the November 16 governorship election in
Kogi State, Senator Dino Melaye has declared that governor Yahaya
Bello lacks the competence and intellectual capacity to rule a
sophisticated state like Kogi.
Similarly, another governorship aspirant from Kogi State, Mr Aminu
Abubakar Suleiman has pledged to secure the state, create jobs and
also return the economic fortunes of the state if elected.Both Dino
and Suleiman spoke yesterday when they came to picked their
governorship Nomination and Expression of Interest forms at the PDP
Headquarters, Wadata House, Abuja.
Dino, who is presently representing Kogi West senatorial district at
the National Assembly, said that governor Bello’s abysmal performance
was due to the fact that he did not contest the last election as he
was a child of circumstance following the death of Abubakar Audu who
contested and won the election but passed on before the final result
was declared. According to him,, “We are resolutely determined to
chase the mediocre in Lugard House. We are too sophisticated to have
Yahaya Bello as a governor. We are too intellectually mobile to have a
classless character like Yahaya Bello as governor.
“He never won an election,. He is a coronated governor. Now for the
first time, he is attempting to contest to be the governor through
electioneering process. This is his first time and we will prove to
him that we are masters in the game and we will separate the boys from
the men”, he said.The aspirant pledged to make Kogi a tourist
destination centre and establish a ‘boat party’ in the eight hour
river bank that runs from Lokoja to Onitsha. He said that over 200
solid minerals are lying fallow under the soil of Kogi which he will
explore under Public Private Partnership and make Kogi a tourist
destination like Dubai and Las Vegas.
Dino promised to rebuild the state, ensure adequate security and
eradicate the harrowing experience of workers through prompt and
regular payment of salaries.
His words, “There is the dire need to recover our state which has been
completely battered, shattered and destroyed. “Today, the magnitude
and intensity of killings in Kogi State surpasses any other time in
the history of our state. Unemployment is on the high side.
“Retrenchment, sack and non payment of salaries and pension is now a
tradition in Kogi State. The economy and the economic activities in
Kogi State have completely depleted.”I have looked for people who
believe that the welfare of the workers of Kogi State is the basic
priority of government and people who believe that security and the
welfare of the people shall be the primary purpose of government and
all these we will achieve.
“We will look at tapping the available of over 200 mineral resources
in Kogi. We will look at environment, agriculture, we will tap into
mining. We will look at education that is bedrock of our people that
has completely collapsed”, he said.
In a similar note, another governorship aspirant from Kogi State,
Aminu Abubakar Suleiman has pledged to secure the state, create jobs
and also return the economic fortunes of the state.
Suleiman who picked his Nomination and Expression of Interest forms
yesterday, lamented that Kogi has witnessed the worst form of
government and promised to revive the economic fortunes of the state.
According to him, “It is a well known fact that today in Nigeria, Kogi
state civil servants have been turned to beggars, simply because their
hard earned money does not go to them.
“When you look at Infrastructures, the basic education from primary
school to tertiary institutions, they are all in deplorable state.
“Only in Kogi state over 100 qualified lecturers and teachers have
left their job. Similarly in the health sector and other sectors.
“This is really worrisome to people like us and we believe that we can
do better by the grace of God”, he said.
The aspirant pledged to tackle salary payment and increase the revenue
base of the state.
His words, “Kogi at the moment generates almost N1 billion per month
as IGR, plus an average of N3.5 billion that come into the federation
account. So I think with the number of civil servants, the state
should be able to pay minimum of 30,000. And if the resources in the
state is properly put to use, that could be another source of
The aspirant was full of hopes that he will be victorious at the primaries.