Wise Quote

"The neighbours we are competing with are several steps ahead of us, we must run while they walk and, we must stay awake while they sleep" (Youth Position paper, The Knell Tolls for Dark).

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Meritorious Service: THE AMERICAN JOE BIDEN EXAMPLE

For all her Foreign Policy misadventures the US has raised the bar of governance and responsible leadership that the world and those who seek to truly serve the people must learn from. Joe Biden had been in public office for 43 years. He was elected into the Senate at 29. Served in the Senate for 35years and 8years as Vice President yet he couldn't afford to pay for the expensive cancer treatment of his son who was the Attorney General of his State of Delaware. The son was a Iraq war veteran who served in the Army before he became Attorney General. Biden had to offer his house for sale to be able to pay for the medical care of his son, of course the son must have spent himself out before Biden, the father could come in to help pay the bill. Obama had to stop him from selling his house and offered to pay for the medical care from his own personal money. Unfortunately the son died but not after the father had given all his best. Delaware is very close to Washington and he had come to Washington by train from Delaware everyday for work at the Capitol Hill and back home as a Senator. He will join the train back home on January 20th when he ends his tour of duty as the Vice President of United States. Delaware loves Biden for his years of service to the State and the people of United State. They call him the great son of Delaware. The point here is a man served for 35years as a Senator and 8years as Vice President and no tonnes of money buried inside his compound and bank accounts. How and where do politicians in US get their contentment that our own here can't go and find same. Leadership is about service. It is not a place to become billionaires and millionaires. For Biden, nothing but my admiration and respect."
Ajayi Temitope.

.....and below is the video clip of how this selfless public servant was praised by his Principal, Barack Obama

https://youtu.be/N77AXnJ8Bsw

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Kogi Government To Procure Additional Fire Engines

The Kogi State governor said his administration has concluded plans to procure additional two fire engines for the effective operations of the Fire Service in the state.

Governor Yahaya Bello stated this on Thursday in Lokoja when the Comptroller General of the Federal Fire Service, Engr. Joseph Aniebe paid him a courtesy call.

The governor said that the service had suffered neglect in the state over the years in terms of equipment procurement but his administration took the bull by the horn to make sure fire engines are procured.

“When I assumed office as governor, the state had no working fire fighting truck, but the State executive council under my leadership has approved for the procurement of two fire fighting trucks", he added.

The governor further made a commitment to ensure Kogi State has the best fire fighting service in the federation.

The Comptroller General, in his remark, said that the visit was aimed at advocating support for the Federal Fire Service operation in Kogi State especially in terms of equipment to ensure preparedness to fight fire outbreak in the state.

He commended Governor Yahaya Bello for the approval of funds for the service to procure equipment.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

MEMBERS OF EPA NATIONAL EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE (2016 - 2020)

Names and contact of the newly elected executives of Ebira People's Association  (EPA)

S/N
NAME
1.
Dr. Musa AbdulRahman Adeiza
President-General
08034239202
ovavu64@gmail.com

2.
Alh. Musa Aliyu
Deputy President –General
08037116209

3.
Dr. Adinoyi Ojo Onukaba
Secretary General
08036424117
onukaba@hotmail.com

4.
Alh. (Daudu) AbdulKarim Adavi Bello
VP North Central Zone
08036234117

5.
Alh. Isa Aliyu
VP North West Zone
08033377066

6.
Alh. Mohammed Saliu Omadivi
VP South South Zone
08033927961

7.
Prof. M. E. Ibrahim
VP North East Zone
08023047897

8.
Alh. Abubakar AbdulSalam
Deputy Secretary -General
08035887077

9.
Alh. Sadiq Adaviriku Ibrahim
Asst Secretary General
08031853195

10.
Mall. Isa Abdullahi
Treasurer
08036143836

11.
Mr. Barnabas Ojiah
Member, Finance Directorate
08033141925
ojiah@yahoo.com

12.
Engr. Abdullawal Zubair
Member, Finance Directorate
08036323038
abdullawal2001@gmail.com

13.
Hajiya Rekiya Yusuf
Member, Finance Directorate
08062432114
opemiaug@yahoo.com

14.
Hajiya Mariam Shehu
Member, Finance Directorate
07064060802

15.
Hon. Mohammed Omuya
Member, Mobilization Directorate
08037876402

17.
Comrade Austyn Ochu
Member, Mobilization Directorate

18.
Mr. Joseph Anivasa
Member, Mobilization Directorate (DIASPORA)
08035884113

19.
Pst (Dr.) Halimat Saliu
Member, Media & Publicity Directorate
08035874481

20.
Franca Aiyetan
Member, Media & Publicity Directorate
08033058274

21.
Hajiya Zainab Okino
Member, Media & Publicity Directorate
08033209791

22.
Mall. Musa Jimoh
Member, Media & Publicity Directorate
08023099818
musaitopa@yahoo.com

23.
Alh. S. S. Salami
Member, Education / Culture / Artisans Directorate
08082028666

24.
Alh. Abubakar A. Garba
Member, Education / Culture / Artisans Directorate
08035967703

25.
Mall. Siyaka  Anda Sadiq
Member, Education / Culture / Artisans Directorate

26.
Mall. Iliasu O. Malik
Member, Education / Culture / Artisans Directorate

27.
Ismaila AbdulRahman Obansa
Member, Education / Culture / Artisans Directorate
08036188045

28.
Alh. Yahaya Yusuf
Member, Strategic Planning and Research Directorate
08065312698

29.
Dr. Sabita AbdulRahim
Member, Strategic Planning and Research Directorate
08070360161

30.
Alh. Hamza Usman
Member, Strategic Planning and Research Directorate
08033849720
hamzausman001@gmail.com

31.
Alh. Mohammed B. Attah
Member, Linkages Directorate
08034537392
attahmb@yahoo.com

32.
Hajiya Mariam Saliu Ibrahim
Member, Women Affairs Directorate
08033061852

33.
Alh. Mohammed Bello
Coordinator, FCT
08036011439

Gov Yahaya Bello's Speech as He Presents 2017 Budget of New of Direction

BUDGET OF NEW DIRECTION

TEXT OF A SPEECH BY THE EXECUTIVE GOVERNOR OF KOGI STATE, HIS EXCELLENCY, YAHAYA BELLO, AT THE PRESENTATION OF THE KOGI STATE YEAR 2017 BUDGET PROPOSAL TO THE KOGI STATE HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY ON THURSDAY, DECEMBER 22, 2016.

Protocols

1. I am grateful to the Almighty God for this opportunity to present the Kogi State Budget proposal for the year 2017 to this Honourable House today. This is a historic occasion because it is the first budget proposal I am presenting to you since I assumed office on 27th January, 2016.

2. I recall again the divine interventions which made possible my mandate as the 4th Executive Governor of Kogi State, and I am, as usual, deeply humbled before God. Along with this humility comes a burning sense of responsibility and an unwavering commitment to  accomplish everything that God intended for Kogi State when He called me into leadership.

3. May I use this opportunity to thank this Honourable House and all the good people of Kogi State for the  support we have received since we assumed office. Even today, Honourable Members had to specially convene for the purpose of accommodating us for this critical event. This support ensures that whatever achievements we have recorded is a Joint Venture between the 3 Arms of this Government, and the people themselves.

4. Mr. Speaker and Honourable Members of the Kogi State House of Assembly, you will recall that on January 27, 2016 at my swearing-in as the Governor of our dear state, I clearly identified the driving passion of this government in my Inaugural Address thus: “My administration shall exist for the sole purpose of serving the superseding interests of the people of Kogi State to the very best of its capabilities”.

5. This brief sentence encapsulates our creed and stated objective in this Administration. It is the core philosophy of our New Direction Agenda, and it influences our every action. Shortly after we assumed Office, and in order to further sharpen our focus, the Administration engaged consultants to fashion our campaign promises into actionable work-plans for reinventing the fortunes of Kogi State and her people.

6. This multi-disciplinary team of consultants came to be known as The New Direction Blueprint Team as they traversed the 21 Local Government Areas of the state meeting the people at the very grassroots. They developed a New Direction Blueprint for us which is a direct prescription by the people detailing exactly what they want from from Government.

7. The New Direction Blueprint is a definitive roadmap for accelerated socio-economic development of our state in all its constituencies. The New Direction Agenda is the Specific Purpose Vehicle for its actualisation. Both reflect our collective aspirations for the building of a new Kogi State.  Honourable members, this budget proposal before you today has been carefully prepared to meet this aspiration.

8. Dave Ramsey, the successful American investor once said, 'A budget is telling your money where to go, instead of wondering where it went.' Thus, we were careful to place great premium on the need for prudent management of available resources, in full consideration of the present economic realities in the state, and the nation.

9. On a more technical level, we made sure to prepare this budget in conformity with the terms of Multi-Year Budget Framework and Fiscal Strategy Paper (FSP). We have made a realistic and reasonable projection of our revenue and expenditure to avoid bogus and unattainable budgetary figures. Our aim is to match our expenditure commitments with available financial resources.

10. Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, bearing in mind the atrocious leadership which has bedeviled Kogi State in the past, the parlous state in which we met our people and state upon assumption of Office, the urgent need to turn around the fortunes of Kogi State as well as the applicable budgeting factors and perspectives mentioned above, we are pleased to announce that our proposed Budget for 2017 is dubbed the BUDGET OF NEW DIRECTION.

11. It is my fervent belief that the proposed BUDGET OF NEW DIRECTION is clearly indicative of our fair, sincere and frank assessment of the amount the State can generate on her own as Internally Generated Revenue in addition to what she can most likely obtain from the Federation Account and sundry other sources.

12. Given the earlier indices espoused, the proposed 2017 Budget is significantly higher  than that of 2016 on account of the frantic effort by my Administration towards increase IGR, and enshrine Transparency, Accountability, Fairness  and Discipline in the fiscal processes of the state.

13. Furthermore, all Ministries, Extra-Ministerial Departments and Agencies (MDAs) in the State are henceforth expected to cite IPSAS codes on the vote of charge in all requests for release of fund.

14. Honourable Members, this 2017 Budget Proposal was designed to make for better policy formulation, fiscal planning, budget analysis, accountability, routine financial management and international comparisons. In fact, so confident are we of its indices that it will be available on the internet for easy access and scrutiny from anywhere in the world.

15. Our aim in publicizing this 2017 Budget Proposal as stated is not so we can show off, but to alert the world that we are serious about our fiscal management processes in Kogi State and verifiably compliant with international best practices in budgeting. This presupposes that we have made it both realistic and scientifically populated. It also satisfies a condition precedent for attracting foreign investors to the State.

16.  Implementation of this Budget will accelerate the rate at which we can build physical infrastructure and develop human capital in our state and deploy them. It will help us scale up our expenditures in Health, Education, Infrastructure and Utilities, Job Creation and Youth Engagement,  Public Service and Pension Reforms.

17. Other areas that this Budget is designed to stimulate with equal importance include Agriculture, Water Resources, Environment (Waste Management and Sanitation), Housing and Support for Women and Youth Empowerment, Security of lives and properties, etc.

REVIEW OF 2016 BUDGET PERFORMANCE
18. Mr Speaker Sir, Honourable Members, you will recall that the total approved Budget for year 2016 was N99,998,674,261 out of  which the Recurrent Revenue was N63,127,700,000 and capital receipts was N36,870,974,261.

19. Out of N63,127,700,000 total recurrent revenue approved for the year 2016, N54,956,909,602 was collected as at end of November 2016 representing 87.05% performance.

20. A total of N56,281,981,318 was approved for recurrent expenditure in year 2016, however N36,870,410,490 was spent as at 30th November 2016 representing 65.51% performance.

21. Out of N36,870,974,261 in total Capital Receipts  approved for the year 2016, only N10,148,024,902 was collected as at end of November 2016 representing 27.52% performance.

22. A total sum of N47,316,692,943 was approved as capital expenditure for year 2016, however the actual expenditure as at November, 2016 ending stood at N26,543,714,398 representing 56.09% performance.

23. Some of the projects/programmes carried out in the year under review include:

• Renovation of Government House Buildings and Eleven other Offices.

• Purchase of Assorted Vehicles for both security and office use.

• Provision of Assorted Security Equipment for security Agents in the State

• Provision of Health infrastructural facilities to Hospitals

• Maintenance of Existing Roads in the State through the Kogi Road Maintenance Agency (KOGROMA).

• On-going Construction of Otokiti – Ganaja by-pass multi-lane carriage way.

• On-going Construction of Ogaminana Eboga Ipaku- Kuroko junction.

• On-going Construction of Obehira-Okengwe/Ihima Road.

• On-going Construction of Agassa-Upogoro-Okene Road.

• Complete Renovation of State House of Assembly Complex.

• On-going Construction of Ganaja Fly Over Bridge.

• Provision of Agricultural inputs to Famers in the State.

• On-going Construction of Idah-Oyadega Roads.

• Construction of Kogi State Revenue House.

• Asphalt overlay of Ejuku-Ijowa-Jege-Ifeolukotun Road.

Details of other projects/programmes embarked upon during the period under review will be given by the Honourable Commissioner, Ministry of Budget and Planning in due course.

REVIEW OF 2017 BUDGET OF NEW DIRECTION

24. Mr. Speaker, Distinguished Honourable Members, I hereby present the 2017 Budget, titled 'Budget of NEW DIRECTION. As already noted this budget was prepared in line with Domesticated National Chart of Account, Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF)/ Multi-Year Budget Framework (MYBF) which outlines key initiatives, assumptions and what is expected to be achieved by key spending Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) in the State.

25. The budget has an estimated outlay of N174,851,544,523.  The total budget outlay of N174,851,544,523 is divided into Recurrent expenditure of N58,531,404,254 representing 33.47% and capital expenditure of N116,320,140,269 resenting 66.53%. This is further shown in the table below:

Expenditure  Item Allocation %

Recurrent Expenditure N58,531,404,254 33.47%
Capital Expenditure N116,320,140,269 66.53%
Total N174,851,544,523 100%

The Recurrent and Capital Expenditure in sectorial outlay is given in the following sectors:

Code  Sectors  Allocation %
01 Administration 43,442,160,340 24.84
02 Economic 80,424,600,499 45.99
03 Law and Justice 6,886,015,914 3.94
05 Social 44,098,767,770 25.23
Total 174,851,544,523 100%

The preparation of this budget was guided by the harmonization of MDAs’ policy thrusts in line with New Direction Blueprint and actual appropriation to ensure that we have a Budget that meets the aspiration of the majority of the people in 2017.

BUDGET POLICY STATEMENT

26. The fiscal strategy of Government is anchored on the on-going Public Financial Management Reform (PFM). Over the period 2017-2019 the State Government fiscal policy will be directed at:

• improving the efficiency and effectiveness of spending;

•  achieving a better balance between capital and recurrent expenditure;

• gaining greater control of the wage bill;

• directing capital expenditure on critical infrastructure with special emphasis on the 5 thematic areas in The New Direction Blueprint, viz: Education, Health, Job Creation and Youth Engagement, Infrastructure and Utilities and Public Sector and Pension Reforms;

• boosting revenue receipts by identifying and blocking revenue leakages; and

• gradual fiscal consolidation in order to achieve a level of public spending consistent with macroeconomic stability and sustainable debt.

BUDGET OBJECTIVES AND TARGETS

27. The specific fiscal objective of Kogi State is effective allocation of scarce resources to identified critical programmes and projects, with the following major targets:

• To complete on-going projects and incrementally add new projects in the critical areas of need;

• To continue to expand the State’s revenue base in the area of Internally Generated Revenue (IGR);

• To enhance greater transparency and proper accountability in the State’s public expenditure management;

• To produce a conducive environment for investors and Donor Agencies to operate in the State; and

• To reduce the Domestic Debt Profile of Kogi State.

28. In our resolve to be a part of the Global Village, we cannot remain isolated from changes that are occurring in the larger system. That is why the Kogi State Government is adopting the reform process in line with Medium Term Expenditure Framework/Multi-Year Budget Framework as well as international best practices in quality information and record-keeping, and the management of modernized Government Accounts.

29. Mr Speaker and Honourable Members of the Kogi State House of Assembly, Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen, I now have the singular pleasure of formally presenting the Kogi State Year 2017 Draft Budget for consideration and approval.

30. The total Budget package for year 2017 is N174,851,544,523 (One Hundred and Seventy Four Billion, Eight Hundred and Fifty One Million, Five Hundred and Forty Four Thousand, Five Hundred and Twenty Three Naira) Only as against N99,998,674,261 (Ninety Nine Billion, Nine Hundred and Ninety Eight Million, Six Hundred and Seventy Four Thousand, Two Hundred and Sixty One Naira) Only approved for year 2016. This is an increase of N74,852,870,262 (Seventy Four Billion, Eight Hundred and Fifty Two Million, Two Hundred and Sixty Two Naira) or an increase of 74.85% compared with 2016 Approved Budget.

31. This Honourable House is invited to:
A. NOTE THAT:

(1)  We have budgeted a total estimated recurrent revenue of N81,666,312,024 consisting of N32,181,492,459 from internal  sources, N35,309,699,767 as State’s share from the Federation Account,  N8,085,355,569 revenue from value Added Tax (VAT), N2,209,764,229 from Exchange Differentials and N3,880,000,000 from Budget Augmentation.

(2) Fund available for recurrent expenditure in year 2017 stands at N81,666,312,024. Of the above, estimated personnel  cost for the period is N32,734,234,264 whereas N25,797,169,990 is overhead Costs thereby giving total recurrent expenditure for the year 2017 to be N58,531,404,254.

(3) From above therefore, we have a total estimated Transfer Surplus of N23,134,907,770 as Capital Development Fund.

(4) The estimated Capital Receipt is N93,185,232,499 comprising N63,185,232,499 of Capital receipt analysis by economic, N30,000,000,000 as Aids and Grants. However, if the Transfer Surplus of N23,134,907,770 is added to this amount, we shall have N116,320,140,269 as fund available for capital development projects.

(5) Total estimated capital expenditure therefore stands at N116,320,140,269.

(6) In summary, our total estimated revenue (i.e recurrent revenue and capital receipts) stands at N174,851,544,523 for the year 2017, making total estimated expenditure (i.e Recurrent and Capital) stands at N174,851,544,523 for the year 2017 thereby  making our 2017 Budget a balanced budget.

(7) Details of allocations to MDAs and highlights of Major activities relating to said allocations will be given by the Honourable Commissioner for Budget and Planning subsequently.

B:  APPROVE:

1. Total estimated revenue (Recurrent Revenue and Capital Receipts) of N174,851,544,523
2. Total estimated expenditure (Recurrent and Capital) of N174,851,544,523
3. A balanced budget of N174,851,544,523 for 2017 fiscal year.

32. Honourable Speaker and Honourable Members of this distinguished  House, Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen, the foregoing and the 2017 Draft Budget for your deliberation and approval.

33. I wish everyone of you a very Merry Christmas and a peaceful, prosperous and fulfilling New Year in advance.

God bless the Kogi State House of Assembly!
God bless Kogi State!

God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria!

I thank you all.

GOVERNOR YAHAYA BELLO
GOVERNMENT HOUSE
LOKOJA
KOGI STATE
22 DECEMBER, 2016.

Saratu Atta Appointed as Personal Assistant to Ghanian President-Elect

Ghanaian president-elect, Nana Akufo-Addo, on Wednesday announced 53-yr old Saratu Atta as his personal assistant. Saratu Atta the daughter of late Adamu Atta, the ex-Governor of Kwara State.

Saratu Atta – Personal Assistant To The President

Saratu Atta is a graduate of the University of Warwick, UK, and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Politics and International Studies. She worked as a Securities Trader at First Securities Discount House in Lagos, Nigeria from 1993 -1997, and then went on to establish her own security printing company in Lagos.

She was appointed NPP Campaign Secretary in 2008, and has been Office Manager and Executive Assistant to the President-Elect since 2009.

Monday, January 02, 2017

A Perilous Voyage to (Oral) History


By Adinoyi Ojo Onukaba

I would like to express my sincere appreciation to all members of Ihima Re-Union Group for inviting me to speak at this occasion. My special thanks goes to my brother, Razaq Obosi, for making sure that I honoured this invitation.
I commend the spirit behind the establishment of this group which is meant to promote peace, mutual understanding and the development of our community. Any platform that allows us to talk about how to advance our common interests as well as how to manage our differences is always preferable to the one in which we fight ourselves.
Therefore, we must keep this group alive and transform it into a formidable platform for the unity, progress and development of Ihima. Throughout history, the harbingers of change are usually no more than a small group of committed and dedicated individuals. So let us never under-estimate the power that this group wields in the age of instant communication which makes it possible for millions of people to share information, knowledge and ideas without the limitations of place, space, and time.
I have been given the latitude to speak on any subject I like. I have therefore chosen to interrogate the danger of relying on unwritten history.
History is an aggregate of past events which are usually documented. But history can be unwritten (oral history) and it is by no means unimportant. History, whether documented or not, is someone's account of past events. It is, therefore, subjective. It reflects the views, values, and biases of the writer. It can be challenged or contested.
Undocumented history, however, is worse. It is often unreliable, careless with details and imprecise. It is more prone to distortion, misinterpretation and manipulation than documented history. Unwritten history is a bomb in the hands of demagogues and hate mongers.
I have titled my remarks, "A Perilous Voyage to (Oral) History.". In it, I have argued that we should be careful in citing oral history as an authority on any matter because the narrators have many limitations and that it serves us better to be looking forward rather looking back.
Let me begin with an anecdote. My brother, Lawal Sani, told me about his experience during the 1991 national population census in which he participated as an enumerator. An old unlettered woman in her late sixties showed up to be counted and Lawal asked her, among other questions, what her age was. "Two hundred", she answered with all the seriousness she could muster. Lawal was flabbergasted. He wanted to know if the woman had counted months. "Two hundred years", she said.
Lawal told her it was not possible to be that old and still be alive. The woman said it was possible and added to Lawal's shock that she had even reduced her age. She said she was sure she was more than two hundred years old. She then spoke about her life, the migrations from one farming settlement to another, contemporaries that were no more and children who had themselves become adults.
That incredulous woman is one of the usual sources of oral history. Many of us might have heard such fabulous tales from old illiterate people in their hundreds. It is not that such narrators set out deliberately to lie or misinform their listeners. No, they say what they know and what they know is a function of their learning, exposure and cognitive ability.
In telling the story of the 200 years old woman, I am not saying that we cannot learn about the past from the mouths of elders. I am just saying that we need to be careful sometimes not to over-rely on their accounts because of the many limitations of such tale bearers.
My second anecdote is that of a retired British colonial staff who had returned to a city in northern Nigeria and was presented with a tourist brochure that listed a building that was constructed under his supervision 30 years earlier as "a 200-year-old monument".
This was an example of written history being distorted due to, I suspect, the carelessness of some indolent civil servants that prepared the tourist brochure. It buttresses the point that history, written or unwritten, cannot always be very reliable. There ought to be a warning attached to all historical accounts: read with caution.
Just as no normal human being is free from self doubt, history too is not free of doubts. One man's history is another man's "histo-lies." Every historical account is contestable. Someone who disagrees with such an account can always label it "a tissue of lies, inaccuracies and fabrications". So, let us be careful in the way we frequently cite oral history as an authority on many issues. They are not always reliable or helpful.
As witnesses to the digital revolution and the momentous changes taking place every day in our world, we should be looking forward rather than looking back. Let us stop dissipating our energies and wasting our time on primordial issues that will take us nowhere. We risk being left behind by the rest of the world if all that occupies our minds is clan rivalry and clan power struggle. Young people are making billions of US Dollars every day through Information and Communication Technology (ICT).
Our world is changing fast. Wars are being fought virtually. Unmanned aircraft are being sent daily to wreak havoc on targets that are thousands of kilometers away. Outer space has become the playground of curious astronauts. Great things are happening in many places, the frontiers of knowledge are expanded daily and we are not part of these great human strides. We are preoccupied with things that are not important. We fight and kill ourselves over primordial issues.
We - I mean all of us here - will have to provide the needed leadership. As enlightened people, it is our duty to lead the way. Let us not surrender this sacred responsibility to our less endowed brothers and sisters who delight in and profit from clan feuds and clan violence. The buttocks cannot avoid rubbing each other because they live together. Disagreements among us are inevitable but we must never allow them to generate into violence.
I spent a year between 1994 and 1995 as a humanitarian staff of the United Nations in Somalia along our current Vice President Professor Yemi Osinbajo. The Horn of African nation chased out its long time dictator, Siad Barre, and quickly descended into chaos. Till today, Somalia does not have a strong central government and its towns and villages are ruled by murderous gangs and militia. The deployment of African Union troops has not stopped the killings in Somalia. It is a failed state, a classic case of the Hobbesian state where life is harsh, brutish and short.
Somalia happens to be one of the few countries in Africa with one ethnic group, one language and one religion. But Somalia's misfortune is her numerous and ever warring clans, sub-clans and sub-sub-clans. Clan wars have brought Somalia to its sorry state today. Hundreds of thousands of Somalis have either died or were in these wars, and many were forced out of the country and have become refugees all over the world. The cost is huge.
I have lived there. I have witnessed war and I have seen human suffering at close range. I know what it is for a state to fail apart and descend into chaos. While we were there, one could buy Somali diplomatic passport for one dollar. There was nobody in charge. Hunger drove many of her beautiful women into prostitution. These are just a few of the horrible effects of (clan) wars.
When I see hate mongers and clan champions at work in Ihima and other places in Ebira land, I think of Somalia and I tremble with fear. Our most recent bout of madness left scores of people dead, many were injured, several houses were burnt and thousands were displaced. The fire next time could be worse.
Therefore, let us do the best we can as individuals and as groups never to let our homeland go the way of Somalia. Because we will all pay dearly for it.
I would like to end these remarks by quoting two African proverbs. The first says that if you want to go fast in life, go alone. But if you want to go far in life, go together.
The second proverb says that if snakes form the habit of moving together, it will be difficult for people or other animals to easily kill them. Snakes have made themselves vulnerable to predators because they move around individually.
We must go together if we want Ihima to go far.
I thank you.

Monday, December 05, 2016

NEW DIRECTION VISION CANNOT BE VISIBLE WITHOUT PASSION, SKILLS TRANSPARENCY WRAPPED IN TRUTH - by OGO'GU Mark

By OGO'GU Mark

Ladies and gentlemen, the patriotic citizens of Kogi state, there is joy and peace to join the most powerful silent worriors with the hope that someday and somehow God will rescue us from this political  misery  we have found ourselves as a people in the state. To me, I can never give up on calling the government to order in a bid to ensure dividends of democracy are delivered to the people. There are certain things i feel beautiful and good - which should top other priorities - and i must crave for them, doing the right thing at the appropriate moment is one of those.

It is only a fool that will fold his arms and watch his father's house being abuse by selected political rapscallions and remain silent. The reason we are this poor as a state is not really because we don't have natural and human resources, a point validated by his Excellency, Alhaji Yahaya Bello when he unambiguously stated that "Kogi has no business to be poor" and vibrantly campaigned for a total overhaul of the system in the caption, "New Direction". Our helpless journey to this level of poverty is partly attributable to the silence of our sleeping giants and worriors who never speak when it matters. Instead of speaking truth to power they sugarcoat lies for what they can get and remain perpetually silent in the face of misguided actions. They trade the future of the next generation because of their immediate gratification.

God forbid that I sell my voice for a morsel of yam porridge.

There are tons of hypocrites cum lazy men in the Corridors of power of Governor Yahaya Bello who are about pursuing their egocentric desires. They have redefine politics to suit their selfish ambitions and are kilometres away from the vision engrossed in New Direction mandate.

I have written several articles to his excellency Alh Yahaya Bello  the executive governor of Kogi state pointing to him the recipes that will ensure his new direction mandate becomes reality. Some read it via the prism of open-mindedness while others made some disappointing caricature of the articles. But I'm not perturbed for posterity will read of us and our contributions. I'm neither worried not wearied about those who think we can be shot down by their threat. Only the truth we do can set us free.

His excellency, pardon me again as I crave your indulgence to give me your listen ears to make clear to you what no one else might tell you. For want of time and space, I won't be able to list all your appointees including the Local Government Chairtakers in juxtaposition with their achievements since you entrusted them with responsibilities. However, it's clear to KOGITES that  your New Direction agenda of repostioning the state is presently under serious threat, no thanks to the accidental leaders in the territories of decision making - wolfs in human clothing - sabotaging your effort, presenting you to the public as if you lack what it takes to move the state forward by their lifestyles and conducts.

God didn't endow you with abilities for yourself alone, the skills and the wisdom is not for fun it is also for the benefit of mankind. Some of your appointees believe the purpose of political appointment is to make money, build houses, buy cars and marry more wives. They gather youths who are supposed to be demanding for good governance and give them peanuts to be singing praises and bombarding the social media with fake programs to cover their weaknesses.

Your appointee are not captivated by your vision, your new direction is a word of mouth not with action to them. You labor so hard with the help of heaven to get to where you are today and you must not let the assignment given to you be wasted without proper accountability. Separate emotion from governance and whoever is not living up to the new direction mandate should be dropped. 

There is no elevation to a New Kogi state without taking the stairs. It time to call all your appointees to round table and resound the vision to their ears. If a forest could be built by one strong man I would have rest my worries and sleep well believing that you alone can make it happen for us. But unfortunately, a tree no matter how gigantic does not make a forest.

With due respect to Engr. Abubakar Ohere, the Special Adviser to the governor incharge of local government and Chieftaincy affairs, if we say that all is well with our local governments, then we must be economical with the truth. We need to be just and fair in our activities for the purpose of posterity. Never will false information exalt a nation but righteousness, truth, skills transperancy is needed to birth a state that work.

My love for this government did not allow me to sleep in my tent and watch or to join our supper silent educated worriors. So I got  to speak.

As I wrap up my article, let me stress that until you, Your Excellency find men who are passionate, willing to invest their time and competences, and be committed to your New Direction vision, good governance will not see the light of the day. Your success or failure is tied and wrapped together and put in the hands of accidental leaders you appointed into strategic positions and if they don't wake up from their slumber regret awaits us. God forbid!

Before it is too late checkmate their activities and call a spade its true name. You are the helmsman navigating the ship of State, so don't be tired when we lampoon you for it is a call to reposition you for a better and robust governance. You must be interested in the affairs of the Local Governments else we bite our fingers with regret for barking up the wrong tree to a position of authority.

I say to those who the governor trusted and entrusted with responsibilities; if you don't feel a strong desires for the vision of his excellency, it is not because you have drank deeply and satisfied. It is because you have nibbled so long at the table of corruption and laziness. Your soul is stuffed with small things, corruption, abuse of opportunity to serve and there is no room to showcase the greatness in you. 

Ladies and gentlemen, my dear citizens of Kogi state, this is not intended to show relevance but an expression of my constitutional right and as one of the progressive minds that desire to see our digital Governor succeed. Thanks for your attention.

I pray the vision of His Excellency for a new kogi state be visible in our life time. By the time this administration phase out, Kogi state will be better in the name if the Most High God ...Amen 

God bless His Excellency GYB

God bless Kogi State

God bless Nigeria.

OGO'OGU MD. 

08035187340

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

OKENE CITY MARATHON RACE 2016

(RACING FOR THE ACTUALIZATION OF AJAOKUTA STEEL COMPLEX AND NIOMCO)!!!

Pursuant to  one of her objectives of encouraging sporting activities for recreational and vocational purposes for the empowerment of our youths, EYC, a coalition of youth Clubs and Associations in KCSD, hereby brings to you, the aforementioned race project.

Besides all the attendant health and socioeconomic benefits of the marathon race to our community, mobilizing massive public support for the actualization of Ajaokuta Steel Company Limited (ASCL) and National Iron Ore Mining Company (NIOMCO) projects remains a critical objective of the Okene City Marathon Race Project.

The race Programme is designed to offer a special platform for the people of the Host Community to bring to bear, our support to our dear president Muhammadu Buhari and our amiable governor of the host State (Kogi), Alhaji Yahaya Bello, in their restorative efforts at bringing the steel companies to fruition.

The support of all towards the success this Race Fiesta is earnestly solicited!!!

Signed: Comrade Ismaila Mohammed, National P.S. lll.
----------------------------------

RACE CONCEPT OUTLAY!!!

OKENE CITY MARATHON RACE (OKENE 2016),

CONCEPTUAL OUTLAY / PROJECT DESCRIPTION


The Okene City Marathon Race constitutes a component unit game in the Kogi Central Senatorial District Annual  Sport Programme whose maiden edition held in 2014, commencing with the Kogi Central Football League( the league featured 30 viable football clubs from across the 5 LGAs in Central with over 60 matches played).

The entire sports compendium draws its institutional framework from Article '2', Section 'D', Subsection 'ii' of the Charter/constitution wherein: "Encourage Sporting Activities for Recreational and Vocational Purposes".

2. RACE PROJECT OBJECTIVES: In addition to keeping our youths productively engaged with all the health and economic benefits the race offers, the OCMR 2016 is also poised to set to earnestly pursue the following objectives:

A. To mobilize massive public support for completion of ASLC and NIOMCO;

B. To promote value reorientation in the land;

C. To empower, at least, 3 persons into small scale enterprises for self-reliance with various prizes;

D. To further launder the image of Kogi Central Senatorial District;

We are strongly convinced that these objectives will go a long way in keeping social vice at bay.

3. ORGANIZER: EYC with possible collaborations with;

A. Nigeria Police Force(NPF);

B. Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC);

C. Nigerian Medical Association (NMA);

D. Tao Radio (101.9 FM);

E. Afims Hotels Limited(AHL);

F. Ebira Renaissance Group (ERG).

4. PARTICIPANTS: participation is opened to all well-meaning Nigerians who must be residents of Kogi State.

5. DISTANCE: 20 kilometers (being a maiden edition)

6. PRIZES:
a. 1st prize N300.000, b.  2nd prize N200.000k c. 3rd prize N100.000
Positions 4th - 10th receives consolation prizes of N10.000 each. 

7. REGISTRATION:
registration form costs a N1000k

8. DATE:  2/12/2016 for pre-race orientation/seminal, &
3/12 /2016 for race proper.

Form collection points:
Call any of the following numbers to obtain your form:

07063602848
07033024360
08068701040
08036539157
09075817472
09032586598
08064806994

Registration closes 18/11/2016

Signed: Mall. Alfa Jimoh Yusuf, Chairman, LOC.

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