Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State has defended President Muhammadu Buhari’s against accusation of dictatorship, saying instead that the one time military leader is the most democratic Nigeria has seen.
Speaking to State House correspondents after a meeting with Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on Thursday, he said Buhari has allowed things to go they way they should, noting that anyone who describes the president as a dictator is the true dictator.
He said: “Mr President is the most democratic president I have ever seen. This is the first time we are seeing a former military head of state that is so democratic to the extent of allowing things happening in his home front to be democratized not to talk of things happening in the country.
“Whoever is tagging him to be a dictator, I think that person wished to be a dictator himself not Mr President.”
Governor Bello also debunked the statement attributed to the National Security Adviser (NSA), Major-General Babagana Monguno (rtd) suggesting that in the conduct of the November 16 governorship elections in Bayelsa and Kogi States, the “unthinkable happened” during the exercise.
According to him, Monguno must have been quoted out of context because the exercise reflected the will of the people.
He said: “I think Mr NSA, General Monguno must have been quoted out of context. I can say that because the last general elections reflected the wishes of the people.
“When you said unthinkable happened in Kogi State, yes of course, my coming to power in Kogi from the very onset, the unthinkable happened and God brought me on board.
“When you talk of unthinkable, yes of course, because this is the first time the so called minority will contest an election in Kogi State win with wide margin.
“Unthinkable because this is the first time we are reducing the tempo of ethnicity in Kogi State. Unthinkable because this is the first time we are running a very transparent and digitalised government, where we are raising the revenue, blocking every loopholes. Unthinkable because this is the first time a governor is appointing a chief of staff from a different ethnic group. Unthinkable because this is the first time after 28 years a Muslim governor is building a chapel in government house in Kogi State.
“So ,there are a lot of good unthinkables, the NSA must have been misquoted out of context.”
Also speaking on the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), listing Kogi State as the most corrupt state in the country, Bello said: “You see, you have to look and read the details of that report before you can judge.
“You see, we shouldn’t just listen to somebody and quote him out of context.
“Like I said, Kogi State before now, civil servants, before you become a permanent secretary you must pay through your nose before you become permanent secretary, but this time around it has been merit based.
“Before you become local government chairman, or let’s take it from the political aspect, I am the leader of APC in Kogi State, no single person obtained form or become whatever and will claim or claiming to have paid one dime to any political leader.
“It is out out of blocking the loopholes and leakages that we have been able to raise the revenue of Kogi State from pittance of N300 million to over N1 billion on monthly basis.
“If you look at the percentage, then you can be the judge. So, if anybody is saying Kogi State is the most corrupt state, then that person must have his facts wrong.
“Kogi State is the most prized state in the country and it is out of fighting corruption as well because, the little resources we have we are so managing it that we are developing the state and fighting insecurity. If corruption is that prevalent then that wouldn’t have happened.”