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Ogbeha, Bello trade words over governance in Kogi

A former senator representing Kogi West senatorial district, Senator Tunde Ogbeha, on Sunday, said the Kogi state governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello, has not justified the power shift that many leaders of the state agitated for.

He opined that the governor, in the last nine months, had not lived up to the expectations of the people of the state as governance is at its lowest ebb.

Speaking in Lokoja, the state capital, the former military governor of Akwa Ibom and Edo states, also alleged that  the planned probe of past administrations in the state was an escapist method by the present government over its failure to have something tangible to deliver to the people.

He said: “That (the probe) is an avenue of laziness and devoid of any initiative to do something, I believe in life, you look forward and not backward. The state is wasting resources and you could see the vengeance in it. You are going back to two administrations, what are you going to look at? Is there a specific case of corruption, or illegal things happened?

“There is no particular case; government is only going on a wild goose chase and that is going to commit resources. With such things, will you be able to do anything? The roundabouts were destroyed here and nothing has been used to replace them.

“It is easy for you to accuse your predecessors of all kinds of things. You should practically demonstrate and make a difference so that the people will say this administration is better than the previous ones, because they have done so and so things. But when you talk and talk and denigrate people, you are not doing any good.

“For the state, I believe that the present administration is not doing enough to justify power shift, because one would have thought that the administration would do well to justify it (power shift). For me, I have not seen that. The governor is a young man but, he has not done anything to justify being a youth or to help the youth. You need people with pedigree to run an administration; it is should not be rhetoric every day.

“He came  some months back, destroyed all the roundabouts claiming he wants to put modern ones. Nothing has happened. He is just defacing the state and he comes with a slogan, New Direction, where is the direction? What is most disheartening to me is the inability of the state government to pay salaries, in spite of collecting the bailout funds. Yet ,the state government has the effrontery to utilise funds in other areas that are non-productive, buying cars,” Ogbeha fumed.

But in his reaction to the allegation, the governor s said he was not interested in the tales of power shift as he was elected by the entire people of the state to take care of their interest.

Bello, who spoke through his director general of media and publicity, Kingsley Fanwo, emphasised that none of his policies,  programmes or actions was meant to be vindictive or for vengeance,  adding that he was only interested in issues of development in the state.

He said: “The governor holds no grudge against anyone. Vengeance is not one of the attributes of Governor Yahaya Bello. He is only asking questions on how we have managed our resources in the past. Former governors will be happy to give account of their stewardship. If they have not stolen our resources, they have no need to fear anything.

“Governor  Bello has proven his mettle as a visionary leader who has shown a clear direction of where Kogi should be. We are not interested in the power shift story. Governor Bello is a leader of a generation of Kogites that believe in unity, development and progress. He represents a new generation of leaders who are poised for greatness and the fruits are beginning to manifest.

“The Staff Verification Exercise has opened our eyes to the waste and fraud of the past. The state was wasting billions of naira on ghost and unintended beneficiaries while our infrastructure suffer. It takes a courageous leader to unearth the misery of the ghost workers’ syndrome in the state. Lokoja roads are better now and “m sure Senator Tunde Ogbeha would secretly be happy that the governor has been able to fix the Lokoja roads.”

“Also, the state capital is cleaner now due to the proactive stride of the ministry of environment and natural resources. Road projects have been awarded across the state. Zango Daji is now expecting the completion of the power intervention project while the Fair Health System is set to give affordable healthcare to the people. Abejukolo, home town of a former governor, is now to have electricity after being in darkness for over nine years. This is the difference we have made. Governor Bello is changing the face of leadership in Kogi State.”