By Juwon Jacobs, Abuja
A caveat emptor has been issued to prospective buyers of properties and assets belonging to Kogi State, which have been advertised for disposal by the administration of Yahaya Bello, governor of the state. Such subscribers to the commonwealth of Kogi State, have been warned to refrain from committing their resources into a fraudulent venture, which will not stand the test of time.
This admonition was made in a communique issued at the end of a retreat organised by the Renaissance Group of the Peoples’ Democratic Party, (PDP), in Abuja today. The event was chaired by former President of the Senate, Dr Abubakar Bukola Saraki, with erstwhile Minister of Information and National Orientation, Professor Jerry Gana, as guest speaker.
The communique which decried the decrepit and degenerate conditions of physical and social infrastructure in Kogi State, under Bello, interrogated the rationale for the advertisement of state-owned assets for disposal, by an administration which has contributed the least to the physical development of state, in its 30 year history.
In less than six years of the Bello dispensation, Kogi State has received far more resources from the federation account, than all the previous administrations put together. Yet, the Bello milieu, has zero identifiable projects to show for the humongous sums that have continually accrued to the state treasury.
On the contrary, Bello has raised the bar of electoral intolerance and violence in the state, as reflected by the gangsterism and bloodshed, witnessed during the 2019 gubernatorial in Kogi State. Indeed, the retreat noted that the ruling All Progressives Congress, (APC), has instituted a regime of the barrel of the gun, unknown in the nation’s electoral history. Husband of Mrs Salome Abuh, the lady politician who was locked up in her house and incinerated by agents of the APC, after the November 2019 governorship election in the state, Elder Simeon Saidu Abuh, recounted the horrific murder of his wife and the wanton destruction of the family’s physical estate, in the unfortunate event. The retreat enjoined the electorate to fight electoral bestiality in any form.
Also speaking at the programme, Saraki enjoined the PDP to institute a regime of intra-party unity, equity and fairness, and to ensure cohesion and oneness, in the pursuit of electoral success. According to him, no effort should be spared in ensuring that the party and its candidates at various levels, proceed into elections only after adequate housekeeping and realignment within its ranks.
Saraki, who is also at the head of the national reconciliation project of the PDP, expressed delight that in the cross-country tour of his team, Kogi State did not feature on the list of states and chapters of the PDP, whose leaders and members, needed to be addressed. This, he observed, is indicative of the fact that the party in the state is one solid block, without factions and divisions, a pedestal which the Kogi State PDP must build upon, going forward. He stressed the need for consensus building in the decision making processes of the party, adding that forgiveness is key for reconciliation, and members must be able to forgive wrongs of the past, for the progress of the party.
Professor Gana commended previous PDP-led administrations in the state for their efforts in the provision of infrastructure and impacting the socioeconomic development of the state. He noted that the geographical location of Kogi State in the middle of the country, surrounded by nearly a dozen states and the federal capital territory, makes it incumbent on every government in the state. According to him: “There’s no hiding place for Kogi State. It is the gateway between the north and the south. Commuters can form their opinions by just driving through the state to the South West, South East and South South. States abutting Kogi State in the north including Nasarawa, Niger and Kwara, can easily make their impressions. On current form, it is clear that the APC government in the state has failed. We need to mobilise to get them out.”
Ibrahim Idris, former governor of the state, expressed delight that younger elements in the Kogi State PDP, picked up the gauntlet to put the retreat together. He noted that the programme and the quality of attendance, will send a strong message to the opposition that the PDP is reinventing itself.
In his welcome address, Chairman of the Kogi PDP Renaissance Group, David Ogu, noted that the party remains the only pathway for the people of Kogi State and indeed Nigerians at large, out of the impoverishment, despair and disillusionment which the APC has foisted over the country in over six years. He said the party will collaborate with all lovers of justice and democracy, to rescue Kogi State and Nigeria, from the grips of its retrogressive overlords.
The retreat was also attended by Shaba Ibrahim (member representing Lokoja/Kotonkarfe in the house of representatives); Humphrey Abah, former Minister of Police Affairs; Nicholas Ugbane (former senator representing Kogi East) and Musa Wada (PDP candidate at the 2019 governorship election); Musa Ibrahim (former member of the house of representatives); Femi Ajisafe (former general manager at the National Inland Waterways Authority, NIWA); David Ehimony (former director in the civil service) and Philip Orebiyi (a former parliamentarian in the Kogi State house of assembly).