The 35th President of United States, John Fitzgerald Kennedy in one of his speeches said: “The problems of the world cannot possibly be solved by skeptics or cynics whose horizons are limited by the obvious realities, We need men who can dream of things that never were.”
The above quote aptly captured the mind of Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Adoza Bello who assumed the number one seat by divine providence. His entrance into Lugard House, Lokoja symbol the change of guard from old political order to new order in Confluence state.
The gang up against the youthful, purposeful and energetic leader goes beyond issues relating to workers’ welfare or exaggerated ‘non performing’ status given to a governor who is giving Kogi state a facelift in area of infrastructural development.
Hence, it will therefore be necessary to understand the characteristics of old political order that orchestrated underdevelopment of the state in the last 28 years. The key stakeholders who have held Kogi state down are blackmailing Yahaya Bello with their connections, established media contacts and inciting people they improverished to suit their interest as well as ego in order continue to feed fat on Commonwealth of the state.
Furthermore, the old political order was elitist in nature as majority of beneficiaries of provision administrations are the bourgeoisie, local government workers richer than their council, political office holders with all their family members on state payroll, over populated civil services with a lot of anomalies and pilot of dependent economy. The major actors are extremely rich while hardworking kogites are subjected to live in abject poverty and also shut the down of opportunity for new bloods with potentials to make Kogi state great.
Having said that, the arrival of new sheriff at Lugard House with New Direction blueprint is swiftly changing the narrative by returning the state to path of glory with productive civil service, creating opportunities for youths and others irrespective of the status or class, uniting all the three tribes to fast track development and building sustainable economy.
For instance, how do you expect a state to grow when the state payroll system was corrupted with about 30,000 ghost, diaspora and absentee workers. Or how will one justify ‘ordinary’ cashiers that is having cash flow of N100million in their account? It will interest people to know that some Kogi civil servants are well traveled businesswomen who have abandoned their duty post.
Therefore, it understandable when the bourgeoisie joined their foot soldiers who have been used in the past to divert public funds in blackmailing Governor Yahaya Bello’s administration for introducing civil service reform and adopted new technology for governance activities like payroll, tax collection, payment and procurement process.
Although, inability of incumbent administration to clear outstanding salaries/pensions which stood at five months for state workers and over 20 months percentage for local government staff is their major shortcoming, especially in a ‘perceived’ civil service state but it’s would have worsen if not for dynamic leadership style of Governor Bello.
Besides, the new direction administration has made laudable gains by increasing internally generated revenue (IGR), taming insecurity, improving health service delivery, expand infrastructural development in three senatorial districts, implement agriculture policy to led to bumper harvest across the state, established Rice Processing Mill as well as Cassava City and introduce business friendly environment to attract investors.
Frankly speaking, every state of development/growth always comes with sacrifices but such sacrifices are necessary to build sustainable future for that society. It’s however heartwarming that latest stat from independent and international organizations show Kogi state is on the part of greatness. Recent National Bureau of Statistics report indicates reduction in unemployment in Kogi state despite increasing narrative nationwide, mortality rate has dropped while WorldBank would be releasing $3million to the state for transparency in financial system management.