2023: Kogi Govt alleges smear campaign against Yahaya Bello
The Kogi State government has raised alarm over an alleged smear campaign against the governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello, ahead of the 2023 general election.
There have been speculations that Governor Bello is interested in contesting for the president of the country come 2023, a move which has unsettled the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC).
Addressing journalists during its quarterly press briefing, the Commissioner of Information of Kogi State, Kingsley Fanwo, who highlighted some of the achievements of Governor Bello, said the state government was aware of plans to paint the governor in bad light ahead of the 2023 general election.
“With all of these achievements, it is unfortunate that some disgruntled political liabilities are still bent on launching a smear campaign on the person of His Excellency, Alhaji Yahaya Bello and the Government of Kogi State.
“Fresh on the hills of the discredited allegations against the Kogi State Government by the EFCC backed by some other powerful vested interests in the country, the Kogi State Government is aware of several plots to paint her black in the public perception on a regular basis from now till 2023,” the commissioner said.
He said several bloggers and media-guns-for-hire have been contracted on a retainership basis to regularly sully the public space with claims of embezzlement of public funds by Governor Yahaya Bello and his administration.
Fanwo said some of the figures that will be thrown around in the days, weeks and months to come represent more money than the administration has even seen together at one time.
“We hope that you gentlemen of the press will be vigilant and activate your investigative offices before running with such fabricated and unfounded allegations.
“Despite intense pressure and lobbying from across the country and even Nigerians in diaspora, Governor Yahaya Bello has not told anyone that he is running for president in 2023.
“His position is that he will give an appropriate answer to his supporters at the appropriate time.
“Intelligence reports at our disposal show that a certain George whose other details we prefer to keep for now is at the centre of this conspiracy. If and when his madness manifests, we will respond to him with the applicable legal force. Our gentleness must not be mistaken for cowardice.
“We are aware that some vested persons smarting from the failure of the EFCC adventure have decided to move to the next stage, we know their plans up to the 12th stage.
“The first one was to go and concoct something through the EFCC, that has been sufficiently punctured; now they have moved to go and concoct statements and allegations that some billions of naira have been embezzled.
“We have been able to apply the resources of the state for the good of the people and that’s why we can achieve all that we have achieved.
“We just want the members of the public to be sufficiently aware that the reason they are doing this is to score political goals, paint the governor with their black grudge and ensure that people see him as a very corrupt person.
“We want to put it straight that the reason they are doing this is because of 2023. The governor will give an appropriate answer to the call on him by the citizens at the appropriate time,” he noted.
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