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Kogi 2019: Anti-Bello group storms APC national secretariat

...Kicks against fresh ticket for Kogi governor

Certain All Progressives Congress (APC) faithful in Kogi state stormed the party national secretariat on Monday where they demanded that the incumbent governor, Yahaya Bello, be excluded from seeking the party ticket for a fresh mandate.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has fixed the governorship election for November.

Operating under the aegis of Concerned APC members, its coordinator, Jubril Yusuf said the defeat of the APC was imminent in Kogi state except it fielded a candidate other than Governor Bello.

The group with protesters carrying placards with several inscriptions, Second term ticket is a death sentence for workers in Kogi’, ‘We demand freedom from the diabolic and wicked GYB’, ‘Presidency, save Kogi from Bello’, ‘Bello, stop giving guns to our youths’, amongst others noted that workers in the state have been pauperised and are starting to take their pound of flesh.

He said: “We are here to place before the Nigerian public the plight of the people of Kogi State since February 2016 when Yahaya Bello became the governor of the state. We have also come here to call on all men and women of conscience to put pressure on the leadership of our great party, the APC, to provide a level-playing ground for all aspirants on the platform for the governorship ticket of the party.

“This level-playing ground will be provided if the party organises direct primary for the governorship ticket. Since February 2015, payment of salaries and pensions has become optional and not a priority. As a result, workers and pensioners are being owed many months of paid salaries and pensions.

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“It is only when workers are paid that other citizens in the state will be able to sell their goods and services. Consequently, the economy of the state is reeling on the ground. Many businesses have folded up and potential investors have been avoiding the state like a plague. Virtually all the indices about the state are negative. Among the workers of the state, cooperatives and thrift society contribution used to be a coping strategy.

“From their contributions, they borrow money to pay the school fees of their children, pay medical bills when necessary, repair their vehicles, pay their rents, etc. This coping strategy has been destroyed because when salaries are not paid, no deductions go to the cooperatives and therefore no loans, soft or emergency is possible anymore.

“Many parents withdraw their children from schools. Private schools in the state have had particularly tough times under this unwholesome circumstances; outright begging has become the lot of otherwise decent, hardworking and proud people of the state.

“In this circumstances, countless numbers of people have died an untimely death, and many others have out of the nightmare they have been going through, become disoriented emotionally, some others have become vegetables just waiting for anything, any consequence,” he said.

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