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).

Friday, August 05, 2016

As GIHL returns to Itakpe Iron Ore Mining Company


AS GIHL RETAKES ITAKPE IRON ORE MINING COMPANY, ANOTHER LOOK AT THEIR ANTECEDENT IN OUR COMMUNITY IS NECESSARY TO REMIND THE GOVT AND THE COMPANY OF THE OLD WOUND THAT MAY BE RE-OPENED BY THEIR RETURN.

The links below reference the agony in a community that dared sharp practice of a company now hailed by the gullible Nigerians!

1. Black Day in Ogaminana   http://ebiraview.blogspot.com/2008/02/black-day-in-ogaminana.html

2. Nigeria: Tears, Sorrow Trail Police Invasion of Ogaminana    http://allafrica.com/stories/200803030508.html


…and the article below reveals more!

Category:Politics | Date:2008-03-27
Olafemi and the Ogaminana massacre
By Adinoyi Ojo Onukaba
AS expected, there have been lots of finger-pointing and denials between the people of Ogaminana in Kogi State and the Nigeria Police since last month when a senseless orgy of killings and burning left over 50 people dead, hundreds injured, 5,000 rendered homeless and more than 20 vehicles, 65 houses and 150 stores burnt. The true sequence of events and the roles played by each group in the horrific killings of defenseless people in Ogaminana remain contentious. But here is what has been established so far:
On February 22, this year, six trucks loaded with iron ore concentrates were on their way to Port Harcourt from Itakpe Iron Ore Mining Company in Kogi State when youths from nearby Ogaminana intercepted and detained them. The youths, who were peacefully protesting against the systematic looting of the Itakpe iron ore deposits by Global Infrastructures Limited, the Indian firm to which it was concessioned in controversial circumstances by the Olusegun Obasanjo administration, were said to have deflated the tyres and smashed the windscreens of the trucks.
Two days later, on February 24, a unit of the Police Mobile Force was dispatched to Ogaminana "to prevent further damage to the (detained) vehicles and products", according to Kogi State Police Commissioner Ibe Aghanya. It was in the process of carrying out this assignment that the police clashed with the protesting youths, leaving an Inspector, a Sergeant and a Corporal seriously wounded and Corporal Raphael George abducted. A search and rescue police team sent on February 26, according to police official report, found Corporal George’s mutilated body along Kabba Road after another bloody clash that the police said claimed the lives of two of the intrepid youths.
Police Commissioner Aghanya cleverly left out in his report the fact that after retrieving the body of their fallen colleague the police descended on Ogaminana at 8.30 pm on February 26, killing and brutalizing mostly elderly men, women and children in a reprisal attack that has sent shock and outrage throughout the country. Aghanya also did not admit that it was the summary execution of one Haruna Sule - shot several times by the police - that provoked the youths into attacking his men. Of course, Aghanya’s selective account of the mayhem his men visited on Ogaminana is designed to demonize the community and to make the police look innocent. Already, Clarence Olafemi, the acting governor of Kogi State, is so convinced of the collective guilt of the Ogaminana people that he has been raining curses on them for the death of Corporal George.
Olafemi did not care to conduct an independent investigation into the killings before rushing to condemn the entire people of Ogaminana and the Kogi Central Senatorial District for their penchant for violence and other anti-social behaviour. He has not even cared to visit the community to see things for himself before apportioning blame. It will be surprising if Olafemi knows where to locate Ogaminana on the map of the state he claims to be governing. This is the real tragedy of the April 2007 elections. The charade threw up all sorts of persons at the helm of our affairs, including those ill-equipped to run a hunters guild who have suddenly found themselves in charge of complex entities like states.
In a manner reminiscent of Odi (in Bayelsa State) and Zaki Biam (in Benue State) reprisal attacks by the army following the killing of their colleagues by the two communities during the Obasanjo administration, it was reported in the newspapers that the police ran amok killing anybody in sight including women, elderly men and children. They did not spare even domestic animals. Gated houses had their fences pulled down before being broken into. Petrol station attendants were ordered at gun point to fill up containers that were later used to douse houses and shops before being set on fire. Vehicles passing through the area, the report added, were stopped and passengers were ordered to disembark "and any Ebira man or woman found in the vehicles was allegedly shot instantaneously".
Who authorized the attack? Did the leadership of the Kogi State Police Command inform Olafemi about the plan to wipe Ogaminana out of the state? How much did Olafemi know and when did he know it? How come that Olafemi and Police Commissioner Aghanya are only concerned about the death of Corporal George? What about the 50 or so innocent souls killed by the police? Is each of those killed by the police less important than the one killed by the youths of Ogaminana? Has Olafemi ever queried Aghanya about the killings – assuming he did not know about the attack? Is it possible for the police to embark on such a murderous raid without the permission of the chief security of the state?
At a memorial ceremony for Corporal George in Lokoja recently, Olafemi spoke in a manner unbefitting of a man occupying the high office of a governor, even if in acting capacity. "May they never see favour in their lives again", he said of the killers of Corporal George while announcing some monetary compensation to his survivors. He went on to describe the killing of the police man as satanic and that "the incident has to be condemned in its entirety". What about the 50 victims of police killings in Ogaminana? Olafemi made no mention of them beyond categorically ruling out payment of any compensation to them. Barely hiding his disdain or contempt for the people of the Central Senatorial Zone, Olafemi said "nobody had briefed him about the magnitude of the damage". Yet, he was quick to blame the traditional ruler of the area for the crisis.
The Ogaminana massacre has already been raised on the floor of the Kogi State House of Assembly by Hon. Momoh Jimoh Anda and it was unanimously condemned by members. Both the Senate and the House of Representatives have set up separate investigative committees to look into the killings – thanks to the efforts of Senator Salihu Ohize and Hon. Abdulkareem Salihu. Yet, acting governor Olafemi said he had not been briefed about its magnitude. Is he running Kogi from outer space? With such an incompetent and highly partisan fellow running the government - not matter how briefly - any wonder therefore that Kogi is in such a mess. Again, the state government has failed the people from which it derives mandate. The callous disregard for the plight of the people of the area by both Olafemi and the previous government of Idris Ibrahim continue to confirm lingering suspicions that the state government prefers to treat the area as a lawless fiefdom because it is the base of opposition Action Congress (AC).
This is one massacre that cannot be swept under the carpet. Without prejudice to the outcome of the investigations by the National Assembly, the families of those killed as well as those who lost their houses, vehicles and shops must sue the Nigeria Police to court and demand compensations. The Nigeria police will have to pay for this. It cannot be swept away like Odi and Zaki Biam. People must be held accountable, including the youths who killed Corporal George. Aghanya should be sent on compulsory leave pending the completion of the various probes. We will never have a country we can all be proud of if our supposed protectors kill us with such impunity.
The Nigerian Police Force has long been notorious for abusing the very people it is supposed to protect. Its style of operation, crime fighting approach and general orientation are outdated, crude, immoral and anti-people. The force behaves with absolute disdain for the rights and dignity of the people whose taxes sustain it. Members of Hitler’s murderous special squad would appear far more civilized and humane than some of the men and women in our police force. The question being asked by reasonable Nigerians was why the police did not fish out the killers of Corporal George instead of waging a senseless war against a whole community. Was Corporal George killed by the entire Ogaminana community? Why visit the sins of a few youths on a community? Can the loss of 50 lives in Ogaminana bring back Corporal George?
• Onukaba, a journalist and playwright, lives in Abuja.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Yahaya Bello Leads General Tukur Buratai to Ohinoyi of Ebira Land


By Alex Adeiza (EbiraReporters.com)

To crown the visit of the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen Tukur Buratai to Kogi state, the Governor of the state, Alhaji Yahaya Bello on Wednesday, extended the courtesy to the palace of the Ohinoyi of Ebira land, Dr Ado Ibrahim.

The visit which was geared towards addressing the alarming nature of criminal activities in the state was graced by key traditional rulers and stakeholders across the central senatorial district of the state.

Buratai stated that his visit to Kogi state was part of the movement to know the state of affairs of the headquarters, Command Army Records in the state, hence providing solutions to their challenges.

“We are not unmindful of the challenges being faced here in Kogi State in terms of logistics and movements. We are going to make sure that the state is rid of the elements operating,” he said.

He reiterated that Special Forces would be deployed to the state in earnest, adding that they would go after criminals wherever they are hiding.

Buratai sought for the cooperation of the Ohinoyi and the council of Chiefs, promising more presence of the army in crime ridden areas of the state.

While speaking, Yahaya Bello noted that Kogi central senatorial district is blessed to have for the second time, the presence of Nigeria’s Chief of Army Staff, identifying the first as Retired Gen. Ibrahim.

“We have been able to put our heads together with the army and all other security agencies to root out all the criminals,” he said.

He sought for the support and cooperation of all and sundry in providing credible information to security agencies, adding that the time where disclosers of security information are victimized has passed.

He added that henceforth, any building where kidnappers, cultists, armed robbers are apprehended will be clamped down.

“I want to further warn the criminals in the Kogi state, and those who harbor and abate them, those who conceal them that they have come to the end of the road.

“There is a law in place to cater for those aiding and abetting criminals in the state. If other leaders did not enforce it, I will.”

On his part, the Ohinoyi of Ebira land commended the efforts of the army in bearing what he described as the pains of Nigerians, saying that they are saviours.

He pleaded with the Chief of Army Staff to return the withdrawn military detachments in the Central Senatorial District of the state.

THE TASK BEFORE OUR GOVERNOR YAHAYA BELLO IN KOGI STATE.

The political events of the past five months that GYB took over the mantle of leadership of Kogi State needs overview in order to guide us as to what lies in wait for us. The governor inherited lots of crisis ranging from House of Assembly to nonpayment of workers' salaries, the menace of ghost workers and infrastructural decay that all characterized the immediate and past administrations. The youthful governor has tried within the means and availability of resources at his disposal to surmount the lingering problem of arrears of salaries owed to workers, checkmating the menace of ghost workers and rehabilitation of decayed infrastructures in Kogi State. One area I find disturbing and which has not received the genius attention of the governor is the political crisis rocking the sail of the State's boat.

God, in His infinite mercy has sustained the electoral victory of our governor through resounding victories (one after the other) at the Kogi State Election Tribunal. However, the ugly scenario playing out in Kogi State is that a group of 5 members of Kogi House of Assembly purported to impeach the Speaker in a House of Assembly that comprises of 21 members!! The court has ruled that the group of 15 members led by Hon. Momohjimoh Lawal is the authentic leaders. The group of 5 members has appealed against the judgment. The recent development is that the group of 15 members approached the court on their inability to access the House of Assembly having been taken over by the group of 5 members with the help of security agents. The court ordered last week that both groups (5 & 15) should seize conducting legislative functions until the pending case is determined. This means that the Kogi House of Assembly will be in limbo and will not be able to make laws for the good of Kogi people pending when the case is finally determined.

Although the government inherited the assembly crisis from past administration and has also denied involvement in their current crisis, a courageous, enlightened and politically conscious mind will see that there is government's vested interest in the leadership crisis facing the Kogi House of Assembly. The governor, as the leader of all, should be able to call the two warring groups for a meeting for amicable resolution of their differences. This does not amount to interference of executive into the workings of legislature. We have seen PMB called a meeting between him and National Assembly members. A meeting aimed at fostering good working relationship between the executive and legislature and between the legislature inter se does not amount to interference.

The second issue at hand is the APC panel set up by APC leaders in Kogi State on allegations of anti-party activities set up by APC leaders. The allegations borders on the appointments made so far by the governor which, the party leaders alleged, favours the opposition party (PDP) more than APC. The Governor, through his aides, have denied this anti-party allegations. The party leaders had constituted a panel of 11 members disciplinary committee and anchored their action on Article 12(8) of the party's Constitution. It remains to see how the party APC can prove the allegations or how the governor will defend himself. To me, this is another ugly political situation in Kogi State.

Surprisingly, some of the members constituting the APC panel are notable APC leaders from Kogi Central, the senatorial district that produced the governor. The immediate reaction of my people within and outside government circle is to tag the people as 'anti-Ebira', 'people fighting God' 'people pursuing selfish interest' etc. This reaction of my people is understandable and is premised on 'the governor is our own', 'It is our time', 'we must protect our own'. However, beyond this sentiment, we need to look far beyond our noses and see what consequences await us in all these political crisis, especially in Ebira land.

The governor may be right on this issue. It actually might be a political vendetta orchestrated by the APC leaders just to get at the governor. In politic, just anything happens. But the mentality of some of us that 'the governor will always be right' or 'the governor cannot make mistake' is, to me, an absurdity. Only God is imbued with such attribute of infallibility. Therefore, anybody who believe that he has valid and genuine reason to be aggrieved by the governor's decision should not be seen as 'fighting God'. We should ask question of our leaders where the need arises. Constructive criticism of a leader is a service to humanity and, we owe that duty to the society. The governor is truly a product of divine intervention in Kogi State politics. But the divinity should also be maintained divinely.

The governor and some of his perceived detractors are sons of Ebira. God chose GYB today as our governor. God may decide to chose any of these other people tomorrow. Who knows? There is need for us to give sincere advise to the governor to see that most of the political crisis, especially among Anebiras, be resolved. My fear is that this crisis may take a wider dimension of clannishness. Before you know it, our people will start burning their houses and killing each other. It happened in the past and only people of shallow memories fails in learning from past histories.

Am not unaware that the governor may not want to go along with old politicians of Ebira extraction. He may want to develop his own political dynasty by bringing up new people. But there is a way he can achieve it without too much of these crises and rancour. It is however difficult to remove food from one's mouth and expect him to dance with you. But if he choose to dance with you, beware of what he stores behind.

The governor as a leader should be able to douse this political tension in Ebira land. I support him wholeheartedly to succeed to the glory of God and uplift of Anebira. He will definitely make us proud. But the task before him is to clear the obstacles on his way to succeed and he should be advised to deploy the means to achieving it. He should deploy means to reduce the number of his perceived enemies and detractors in Ebira land. These perceived enemies; Senator Mohammed Ohiare, Hadi Ametuo, Momohjimoh Lawal and others are political heavyweights in their own right. Some of them are members of the said APC panel. I could remember how Senator Mohammed Ohiare stood against Falake and his people at the APC national secretariat in November 2016 when the issue of nomination of GYB hots up. Everyone was praising Senator Ohiare for his outstanding and fearless display at the party Secretariat in support for GYB. We seem to have forgotten so quickly without asking what suddenly happened between GYB and Senator Mohammed Ohiare. These people that are now seen as enemies have contributed one way or the other to the stage we found ourselves today. Dino Melaye is only being very clever. He saw that there exists serious division and fights among Ebira politicians in Ebira land, he capitalized on the situation to establish the committee with active support of Ebira politicians. That's what happens when a house is divided against itself.

The supremacy of the party was re-echoed in the recent judgments in which our victory was sustained by the election tribunal. It is that doctrine of supremacy of the party that makes our governor to step in and continued from where late Audu stopped in the election. It is the same party that has now set its machinery in motion to probe our governor for anti-party activities. Aside the legality or otherwise of the party's actions, it does not augur well that the governor be at loggerhead with his own party while contending with court cases of the opposition party (PDP). The remote cause of this APC petition is the state of disunity and lingering political crisis in Ebira land. That's the genesis and, no one should blame it on Dino Melaye.

These perceived enemies have their followers and sympathizers in large numbers. They have the means and potentials to cause trouble for the larger society. Anyone who underrate them does so at his/her own peril. A leper (ojavu) said: 'if I cannot make tea, I can use leg to pour it away'. Any adult that is familiar with the political terrain of Ebira will easily remember the play-out of this particular adage at certain point in our political history. Whatever is their motive, it is still my belief that the governor can diffuse this political tension as the leader of all. It is not to call their bluffs or demonize them or crucify them. Such cause of action only breeds and invites political chaos, turmoil, disunity, violence, tension and eternal crisis. The governor should, as a matter of urgency, call the leadership of Ebira Peoples Association, the traditional rulers and Ohinoyi of Ebira land to wade into this matter. The national secretariat of the party should not be left out of the peaceful resolution. Political crisis occurs everywhere and you see parties to the dispute succumb to mediation. The governor should not listen to people goading him on. Some of them are sychophants, praise singers and political layabouts looking for what will come into their pockets. It is dangerous to listen to them.

The governor is working, to the administration of all and sundry who appreciate hardwork. Much as I pray for his success for the overall interest of the generality of Kogi people, I sue for peace in my fatherland. The governor is for all Kogi people but I prefer to see him as a unifying force and rallying point for Ebira people. We have no person presently to adequately address as our political leader in Ebira land. I want him to develop himself as one. What it takes is humility, courageousness and perseverance.  I prefer to see him as laying foundation for sustainedb  peace, cohesion and unity in my fatherland.

May God guide our governor in all his steps.

Suleiman Abdulraheen Esq

REVIVE AJAOKUTA STEEL The Bedrock of Nigeria Industrialisation


1-We had the AjaokutaPublicHearing today and the revelations are mind boggling! Do you know Ajaokuta Steel has a university on site?

2-The steel that costs us so much money to import from China can actually be quite easily manufactured in Ajaokuta AjaokutaPublicHearing

3-President Shehu Shagari is a great patriot who meant well for Nigeria by conceiving of Ajaokuta. AjaokutaPublicHearing

4-If we revive Ajaokuta, global auto makers can make cars right here in Nigeria with our steel at a reduced price AjaokutaPublicHearing

5-Ajaokuta can be revived with far less than it cost Nigeria to sustain our greedy political elite in just one year AjaokutaPublicHearing

6-As vital as Ajaokuta is to national devt, ministers in charge didn't show up. But would show up for budget defence!AjaokutaPublicHearing

7-By virtue of the public procurement amendment bill passed by the senate today, we owe it a duty to revive Ajaokuta AjaokutaPublicHearing

8-Ajaokuta has its own airstrip, university, power station and 43 companies. It's an unforgivable sin to let it rot AjaokutaPublicHearing

Courtesy @benmurraybruce

AJAOKUTA CAPABLE OF PRODUCING STEEL FOR NIGERIA'S RAIL NETWORK... - Isah Enebere

The Sole Administrator of Ajaokuta Steel Company Limited, Isah Enebere, yesterday revealed that one of the 43 plants installed in the complex was capable of producing 600,000 tonnes of steel annually and that the quantity could cover 10,000 kilometres of rail network across the country.
Enebere, who disclosed this at a public hearing organised by the Joint Committees of the Senate and House of Representatives on Privatisation, explained that the company requires N80 billion to operate the plant at full capacity.
He further explained that the firm would present a business plan to the Federal Government to be included in the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) recently signed with the Chinese government on the construction of two major rail tracks across the country.
He added that the light mill section of the plant, which would require N43 billion to become functional, could produce 400,000 tonnes of steel yearly at full capacity.
He also noted that with an investment of the N43 billion, the plant could generate an average yearly income of N80 billion.

On power generation, Enebere added that the thermal plant of the firm which has installed capacity of 110 megawatts of electricity requires N5 billion to operate fully and would generate N18.7 billion every year.
He stated that electricity that would be produced by the firm could power the entire 43 plants in the complex when fully operational and also supply power to three states, including Kogi.
He also debunked claims that equipment installed in the edifice were obsolete.
Chairman of Senate Committee on Privatisation, Senator Ben Murray-Bruce, commended former President Shehu Shagari administration for establishing the complex, which, according to him, could aid rapid industrialisation of Nigeria.
He advised the Federal Government to involve Ajaokuta Steel firm in its negotiations with the Chinese government, which was expected to construct 8,000 kilometres of rail network in the country.

Stop Fighting ‘God’: An Open Letter to Senator Dino Melaye

Distinguished Senator,

“Kogi voted for Audu but God voted for Yahaya Bello”. Perhaps, this quote should have been the title of this letter, but before I delve into the kernel of this note to you, it is appropriate to first establish my locus standi.

I am a native of Ihima in Okehi Local Government Area of Kogi state. Secondly, I am a journalist with close affinity to the hierarchy of the APC and INEC. Thirdly, I am a youth. Although, I am not your constituent, but the above qualifications provide sufficient premises for me to draw conclusions or contribute to issues that have to do with Kogi, APC or the nation, particularly in the realm of politics.

I would have called your cell-phone to bare my mind to you, but knowing from experience, that you hardly pick calls nor reply text messages of people you have not met or interacted with before, I have chosen this medium only as a last resort.

When in late January, during the swearing-in of “Mallam” Bello, in a crass display of sycophancy, you abused and made mockery of the voting power of the Kogi electorates, you did not foresee what laid ahead.  You had unabashedly stated that while the people of Kogi state voted en mass for the late Prince Abubakar Audu, the immortal God voted for Alhaji Yahaya Bello, and then, at the height of your self-proclaimed, albeit false claim, to prophet-hood, warned of dire divine consequences for those who may want to go against the tide.

As a partisan politician, you conveniently elected to forget the Latin maxim, Vox Populi, Vox Dei.  Sir, you should have known that the voice of the people is the voice of God.‎ The people voted for APC, irrespective of who its candidate was.

It was therefore with great consternation that on Monday, June 13, I saw you and your fellows of identical plummage flock into the national secretariat of the APC in Abuja in a manner that appeared more like a breach of protocol.

You had just finished a meeting where you constituted an 11-man disciplinary committee to probe the alleged anti-party tendencies of Gov. Bello.

While you chair the committee, other members include some “yesterday men” – Sen. Mohammed Salami Ohiare, Sen. Salihu Ohize, Sen. Abubakar Abdulrahman and Sen. Nicholas Ugbane. Others are Haddy Ametuo, Hon. Buba Jibril, Hajia Hajara Aliyu, Folasade Joseph, Suleiman Baba Ali and Barrister S. Adejoh.

And your grouse according to you is that; “Out of 15 commissioners the governor appointed, 13 are from PDP and two from the APC. Out of 105 members of the caretaker committees for the 21 local government areas, PDP has 72  and APC 33.

“Out of the 28 special advisers and senior special assistants he appointed, PDP has 24, APC one, APGA one, Labour Party one and Accord Party one”.

Knowing that you were once in the PDP along with many of those on your committee, would it be right to deny you full integration into the APC and still refer to you as “PDP guys?”

Should President Muhammadu Buhari be accused of anti-party activities for appointing Rotimi Amaechi, Nasir el-Rufai, Audu Ogbeh, Heineken Lokpobiri and many other ex-PDP bigwigs into his cabinet? While you might be right to say that some of the governor’s appointees were ex-PDP men, just like you, you would most certainly be stretching political lunacy too far to still posit that those appointees are currently card-carrying members of the PDP.

Perhaps, rather than just brandish figures, it would do you much good to mention the names of Bello’s appointees who are PDP members so that they can directly defend themselves.

In any case, these allegations, on the surface value, are weighty except that they lack any evidential value.

As you very well know, in law and in fact, the onus probandi or burden of proof lays with you. To put it more explicitly, semper necessitas probandi incumbit ei qui agit, (that is, the necessity of proof always lies with the person who lays charges).

Indeed, rather than “summoning” the governor, a power which, ab initio your committee does not possess and cannot consequently exercise, you should be proving to the relevant organs of the party, by way of a strong petition with evidences showing that your allegations are worth the paper on which they are penned.

In the light of the ethno-political fault-lines and tension in the state, would it even be a bad idea to run a Government of State Unity just as we have governments of national unity in some climes?

Distinguished, what has changed between January 27 and June 13? Why the sudden change of attitude? The governor has accused you of wanting to nominate all his appointees from the Western Senatorial flank of the state and that his insistence on “following his mind” is the reason why your ego is bruised. Anyway, that was what he said. It’s left for you to give us a counter-narrative.

Lest I forget my manners, how is family? Hope you are all doing fine? Please, say me well to Uncle Bukky, and Bros #CommonSense. Lastly, don’t forget my Ramadan rice o. Plus millet too. Boys are not smiling, atol, atol.

Ehen, don’t forget to remind Adayi Ohiare of the character that wrote the petition which eventually led to his disgraceful sack from the senate. We hear they are now together in arms against the governor.‎

– Omeiza Ajayi, JP, an Abuja-based Journalist, can be reached on Whatsapp via: 08050562095 or, omezonline@gmail.com

Why Zenith/Access Bank Accounts Were Opened for Kogi Civil Servants

Following queries and concerns raised that new salary accounts have been opened for Kogi State civil servants in Access and Zenith Banks and account details communicated to them, rather than use their existing salary accounts in various banks, Governor Yahaya Bello has offered some insights into that development and the rationale behind it.

At a forum on Thursday where the issue came up, the governor explained that the latter day bailout funds received by state governments are actually the end product of the federal government standing surety for state governments, enabling them to approach deposit money banks for facilities.

In other words, as against the generally held impression that the federal government has always doled out these funds from its coffers, what happened in the case of Kogi State is that the federal government essentially provided a guarantee for the loan facility to would-be lenders, in favour of the state government.

Due to the prevailing economic situation, cash reserves of commercial banks domiciled with the Central Bank of Nigeria are currently competing for so many pressing needs simultaneously, making it increasingly difficult for the commercial banks to finance loan facilities, especially long-term ones.

Access and Zenith Banks were however able to step up to the plate when Kogi State approached them. They made the first tranche of the state’s bailout funds available, but on one small condition. That the funds remain domiciled in their banks. If you ask me, and without giving it too much thought, it does make perfect business sense.

These banks offer essentially homogeneous services, especially in this case where we are talking salary accounts. It would have been odd were Access and Zenith to be so liberal as to allow other banks benefit from an exclusive market they have basically created. So, rather than make these funds available to the state government to pay workers through other banks, why not internalise the entire process and start reaping accruable benefits from the get go?

This explanation is very necessary as I have come across many wild allegations and insinuations that accounts being opened are for unethical purposes. Given the foregoing, any insinuations and speculations about shady, underhand dealings with regards to the disbursement of these bailout funds are completely unfounded.

I admit that this situation where erroneous notions are already making the rounds should have been preempted. However, I believe it is not too late to correct the wrong impression some of us have held on this issue. Another persistent misconception that also needs correcting concerns the actual nature of the bailout funds itself, as not a few of us still wrongly assume it is a largesse.

Permit me to quickly reiterate that these bailout funds are loan facilities. They are debts structured to be paid back over an extended period, and which will certainly be inherited by the generation coming after us. Please, they are not grants. This explains why state governments have had to first apply for the funds. Individual state governments assess their needs, then make a request to the federal government which is scrutinised.

This process is a work in progress, even as government remains committed to ensuring that all legitimate workers get what is due them. Any complaints and observations should be transmitted through appropriate official channels, and such will be duly looked into so no one is unfairly left behind.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

POWER BELONGS TO GOD - Gov. Yahaya Bello

BEING AN ADDRESS TO THE PEOPLE OF KOGI STATE BY HIS EXCELLENCY, GOVERNOR YAHAYA BELLO, ON HIS JUDICIAL VICTORIES AT THE KOGI STATE ELECTIONS PETITIONS TRIBUNAL.

A short while ago, the Kogi State Elections Petitions Tribunal sitting in Abuja delivered judgment in the last Election Petition brought against my election as Governor of Kogi State. A total of five Elections Petitions were filed against us by various actors some of whom contested as Candidates against us and failed, and some who did not. They canvassed many legal issues, a number of which were confronting the Nigerian Legal System for the first time.

Lawyers on all sides found their professional ingenuity heavily tasked as they sought to make sense of provisions the Electoral Act, 2010 and the various Electoral Guidelines and Regulations in the light of the Constitution and extant Judicial Precedence. Punditry lost meaning in the plethora of opinions canvassed in and out of court and in the News Media.  The situation in Kogi State, for a while, was the focus of most discussions wherever politically knowledgeable persons gathered to talk.

We are thankful indeed that the Tribunal, despite what must have been unbearable pressure from many strong quarters stood her ground on the side of Justice. In a manner which every lover of Truth, Democracy and the Rule of Law will applaud, the Kogi State Elections Petitions Tribunal, starting from Monday 6th June, 2016 and continuing through today the 10th, in very well considered judgments, dismissed each and every one of those Petitions in its entirety and consistently upheld my Election.

The grounds for the dismissal of each Petition were no different from our own honest beliefs from the very onset. These beliefs were later canvassed in our legal submissions before the Tribunal. These grounds include total and incurable lack of merit in the matters themselves, complete lack of locus standi by the petitioners, gross abuse of the process of court, and most importantly, the indisputable Truth of the matter. I am very glad the Tribunals made these points very clear so that they are enshrined for our guidance and for posterity.

I welcomed these legal challenges because they afforded the Judiciary an opportunity to enquire into and pronounce upon the validity or otherwise of the electoral processes that brought me into Office as the 4th Executive Governor of Kogi State. Most importantly, it enabled the Judges to quell every doubt as to my legitimacy to act in that capacity. That being the case, I owe a debt to all Kogites to remain fair, but firm, in the discharge of my duties in that Office.

I must confess that the Petition by Honourable James Abiodun Faleke was a bit harder to come to terms with because it came from within the ranks of our great Party, the All Progressives Congress (APC). It is never an easy task when a Leader finds himself in conflict with elements of his own support group and I found it particularly hard to face off with fellow partymen in the Press and in Court.

Honorable James Abiodun Faleke's was a Petition that greatly polarized our Party at a time when we really needed to act as one in order to survive the heavy blow dealt the APC in Kogi State by the sudden and painful death of our leader, Prince Abubakar Audu. However it has also served the purpose of giving every loyal member of our Party who may have had concerns about the legality of the events that brought us into Office a definite answer from the Judiciary itself.

The Kogi State Elections Petitions Tribunal has proclaimed it loud and clear, five times this week for emphasis, that Alhaji Yahaya Adoza Bello was validly elected and returned as the winner of the 2015 Kogi State Gubernatorial Elections, that his swearing-in as the 4th Executive Governor of Kogi State was in accordance with the Law in all respects and that he is duly entitled to exercise the powers of that Office.

Without prejudice to the appellate processes and the rights of litigants to appropriate them in deserving situations, any man of peace and any loyal Party member should not require more than these judgments to consider himself bound by law to cooperate with my Administration in the best interests of Kogi State, and indeed Nigeria.

It is therefore with a sober spirit that I address the great people of Kogi State today. I am sober because, in a dispute between brothers of the same family, there cannot be a Winner and a Loser. In this matter, I declare that there is neither Victor, nor Vanquished. There is only the Consolidation of the New Direction Agenda which it has pleased God to unveil for Kogi State in this season, and under my Administration. I enjoin all citizens of Kogi State to support our journey in this New Direction.

It is my desire that Kogi State be United in purpose and action. In the days ahead, I will still continue my peace building and reconciliation efforts. I want to reiterate that there is room in the New Kogi for everyone to play a positive role in moving it to a greater height. I particularly reach out to the absentee members of the Kogi State House of Assembly at this time, and urge them to return to their lawful duties.

Now that the courts have spoken and nothing remains for any law-abiding citizen but to respect the judgments or appeal them if unsatisfied, I am calling on all our people, whether in the APC, PDP, LP, APGA, PPA, etc who have found themselves on one side or the other in the fallout from the last Gubernatorial Elections to put aside all bitterness and rancour and join hands with us to develop Kogi State.

While I urge all our people to remain peaceful and law-abiding, I must also sound a serious note of warning to any unruly element who may wish to use the failure of these Petitions or any other reason for that matter, as a ruse to foment trouble anywhere within Kogi State to have a rethink. The Security Agencies have been  placed on Red Alert, and you can rest assured that all troublemakers will be apprehended, and they will face the full wrath of the Law.

We are of course hoping that people will avoid futile litigiousness, especially appealing against these clear and unambiguous judgments out of pride or ostentation. Still, even if people see themselves compelled to appeal under pressure from whatever forces are driving them, we trust that such people, while trying their luck, can do so respecting the existing judgments. That is the patriotic duty and good citizenship.

My People, the New Direction Agenda in Kogi State remains fully on course. Following the disposal of these Petitions and with the road ahead now cleared of the distractions and obstacles they constituted hitherto, I will formally unveil the full NEW DIRECTION BLUEPRINT in the coming week. That Blueprint will provide an insight into how we intend to make government work for our people in all indices of development over the next four years, and beyond.

Kogi State has all the potentials to become the preferred tourism and business destination in the Hinterland of the Nation. The New Direction Blueprint, as promised during our Campaigns is a Marshall Plan, an actionable proposal for how we intend to activate those potentials. Beyond that it is a template for every enterprising individual willing to learn and act to identify a dream, pursue it and find fulfilment. It is our roadmap to lifting at least One Million Kogites out of the National Poverty Index over the tenure of this Administration.

Today, and as always, I celebrate the life and times of Prince Abubakar Audu, the 1st Executive Governor of Kogi State. It is our hope that those who want to lay claim to his legacy will at least develop the same heart for the growth and development of Kogi State that he demonstrated throughout his lifetime. On our part, we will continue to honour him and recognize his contributions. To this end, I hereby immortalize our fallen hero by renaming Kogi State University the PRINCE ABUBAKAR AUDU UNIVERSITY. I will send an Executive Bill to the Kogi State House of Assembly for the necessary statutory backing.

We thank the Almighty God Who has consistently proved Himself to be the Fountain and Origin of the New Direction Agenda. We  continue to pray that He will find us willing instruments to execute this Project for Kogi People and that He will see us to the successful end.

I congratulate all Kogites on our Victories at the Tribunal and thank each and every one of you for your abundant support and cooperation.

One Kogi! One Nigeria!

To God be the Glory.

Na God Win o!!!

YAHAYA BELLO
EXECUTIVE GOVERNOR
KOGI State

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Kogi Tribunal: My advice to Hon. James Faleke – by James Mohammed

Hon. James Faleke has proven to the world that he is a strong fighter who never relents in his struggle for political power even if it involves fighting God. His case can be likened to Moses in the Bible who had suffered so much to lead the Israelites to the Promised Land but didn’t enter into the land with them because of his disobedient to God. Moses only saw the land but didn’t enter because he doubted the supremacy of God.
Faleke, despite that he was imported from Lagos to Kogi state by the All Progressive Congress was accepted by the party supporters as the deputy governorship candidate to the Late Prince Abubakar Audu because they were told to obey the party’s decision. The same party decided that Late Prince Abubakar Audu who died after the result of the Kogi State November, 21 Governorship election was declared inconclusive last year, should be replaced by Alhaji Yahaya Bello, now the Executive governor of Kogi state and he (Faleke) refused to accept the party’s decision. He decided to take INEC and Alhaji Yahaya Bello to the Tribunal, challenging Bello’s mandate as the Governor of Kogi state, not knowing that Bello’s mandate is God’s mandate. His offence here is that he refused to obey and challenged his party’s decision.
Faleke even went further to challenge every policy of Governor Yahaya Bello led administration which warrants me to write an article titled “Why is Faleke embarrassing himself” in February last year.
I understand that every human being is insatiable and there is this self-actualization need of every man. Even when you are in a high position, you will want to be in a higher one, but that should be done with courtesy and prudence.
The decision of Justice Halima Mohammed led Tribunal recently to strike out Faleke’s case and other enemies of kogi state against Governor Yahaya Bello is a sign that a fight against Bello is a fight against God and a fight against God is a fight to self destruction.
I know some persons are there advising James Faleke, a member representing Ikeja constituency to go to the appeal and even the supreme court but I want to assure him (Faleke) that even if he goes to the world court, the decision of the Tribunal court on this case cannot be averted to favour him. By then he must have end up disgracing himself and his supporters and at the same time kill his political career.
Bello is so confident of his victory because he knows that his emergence as the number citizen of Kogi state is divine and ordained by God and not by any god-father; that is why he makes no or little noise before the Tribunal judgement and went on performing his God-given duties.
Vox Dei, Vox Populi – the voice of God is the voice of the people; that is the case of Governor Yahaya Bello in November last year and uptill date.
I therefore advise my comrade, a Lagos base but Kogi born politician, Hon. James Faleke to shed his sword and work with His Excellency, Alhaji Yahaya Bello, the Executive Governor of Kogi state to move Kogi state forward to the Promised Land. He should act like Peter who after denying Jesus three times, realized his mistake and prayed for forgiveness, and not like Judas Iscariot who after betraying Jesus, went further to hung himself instead of repenting.
James Mohammed writes from Ajaokuta (08153744780)

Bello renames Kogi varsity after Abubakar Audu

Bello renames Kogi varsity after Abubakar Audu
Zovoe Jonathan / 57 minutes ago

Bello announced the change in the name of the 15- year-old university during a statewide broadcast to mark his victory at the state governorship election petition tribunal.

He said that naming the university was the ultimate honour that could be done to the memory of the late colourful politician who ruled the state twice as the civilian governor from 1991 to 1993 and 1999 to 2003.

Audu himself established the university in 2001 and named it Prince Abubakar Audu University, but his successor , Alhaji Ibrahim Idris, changed the name to Kogi State University in 2004.

Justifying his decision to restore the university to its original name, Bello said that Audu laid a solid foundation for the growth and development of the state

“Today, and as always, I celebrate the life and times of Prince Abubakar Audu, the first Executive Governor of Kogi State.

“It is our hope that those who want to lay claim to his legacy will at least develop the same heart for the growth and development of Kogi State that he demonstrated through his lifetime,” he said.

According to the governor, an executive bill would soon be forwarded to the house of assembly to formalise the change in the name of the university.

Audu, who was the candidate of the All Progressives Congress in the November 21, 2015 governorship election in the state, died suddenly on November 22 before the result of the election was announced.

The leadership of the APC consequently substituted the name of Audu with that of Yahaya Bello as the candidate in the supplementary governorship election held on Dec. 5, 2015.

The governor also used the broadcast to thank the people of the state for their support and understanding since his assumption of office in January .

He said that since the five petitions filed against him had been thrown out for lack of merit, the state was now set to witness a new direction and accelerated development.

According to Bello, a blueprint of the administration which would begin creation of one million jobs for the unemployed youths would be unveiled by next week.

He called on all those who lost at the tribunal, irrespective of their political affiliation, to join hands with him to develop the state, saying “there was no victor, no vanquish.”

NAN

http://www.punchng.com/bello-renames-kogi-varsity-abubakar-audu/

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