Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State has promised to dedicate his remaining time in office to more work, and ensure that he hands over to a successor who shares same visions of development with him.
Bello said this in his special message commemorating the 31st anniversary of the creation of Kogi State.
The Governor who praised his administration for the progress of it has made in the state, said that it was made possible by his administration’s well defined blueprint and political will to make a positive difference.
Bello highlighted the achievements of his administration in the areas of security, education, health and infrastructural developments.
He stated that “by making security of lives and properties a constant priority, we are in a great position to attract and keep new residents and new investments in our economy. Moreover, by demonstrating to criminals that it is foolish and fatal to ply their trade in Kogi State, we continue to render a service to the rest of the country by keeping the highways between the north and the south of this country open to all citizens.
“Let me reiterate that my Administration will not take kindly to persons, no matter how highly placed, who get involved in crimes, either as perpetrators or patrons. This includes resort to violence to assert any alleged individual or community rights. Traditional rulers have been empowered to handle all genuine grievances over community land and other rights and they know the channels to easily escalate them upstairs where it falls outside their scope.
“By making our education sector topnotch we improve our human development indices from basic through to tertiary education levels. We have founded new schools, including a university (the Confluence University of Science and Technology, CUSTECH), renovated existing ones and improved both access to educational opportunities and the performance of our students in both internal and external examinations.
“It is also important to note that since the last strike by university lecturers in this state ended over 5 years ago, our university students have enjoyed uninterrupted academic calendars. The result is that our undergraduates have advanced at least 2 years ahead of their contemporaries in other schools who continue to be bedeviled by pernicious industrial actions in this all important sector.
“Our health sector is growing exponentially too under our careful management. Hundreds of our Primary Healthcare Centres have been renovated and we have ultramodern secondary and tertiary hospitals springing up in all the Senatorial Districts. They are already equipped, or in the process of being equipped, with state of the art equipment. We have set up a health insurance agency and facilitated free registration for thousands of our citizens. Our endgame is to make Kogi State the number one Health Tourism destination in Nigeria.
“By investing heavily in roads, bridges and other civil engineering infrastructure, including the completed first flyover in Kogi State, we have tried to improve the quality of life available in our cities, major towns and rural areas. We have tried to provide good governance across board and these success stories are to a great extent replicated in agriculture and other sectors. For the first time perhaps, the presence of Government is felt by the widest cross-section of our people under one Administration.”
For Bello, the combined efforts of past and present Kogites since the creation of the state on 27th August 1991, built the blocks of hopes and aspirations.
“While we cannot deny that leadership has failed this state and her people many times in the past, we also have to acknowledge that development is gradually penetrating into all nooks and crannies of our land.
“We appreciate our founding fathers and those persons, leaders and citizens alike, who have gone before. They are the giants on whose shoulders we stand. We also thank those who are working alongside us today, both in and out of Government over the last 6-and-a-half years,” he said.
The Governor felicitated with the people of the state, and also President Muhammadu Buhari.
“I celebrate our President, His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR for his leadership to the country in these critically trying and difficult times. No doubt posterity will judge that only a leader such as he could have stood up to the herculean tasks of navigating Nigeria through her current existential quagmires.
“I felicitate with all of us in Kogi State on this grand 31st milestone today and pray that with the help of God we will move from strength to strength as a territory, a people and as individuals.”