By Gbenga Odogun
Kogi State deputy governor, Edward Onoja, has said that Governor Yahaya Bello-led administration has successfully dealt with insecurity, kidnapping, criminals and criminalities, making the state the safest in Nigeria.
Bello stated this while declaring open a meeting of the Progressive Governors Forum Media and Communications Programmes Steering Committee with Commissioners for Information of All Progressives Congress states that was held in Lokoja, the state capital.
Onoja, who represented the state governor, Yahaya Bello, said that the determination of the governor to eradicate all forms of criminalities in the state, inform the national and numerous international awards won by him on security, with the recent awards presented by the President, Major General Mohammadu Buhari (retd.) at the Villa, an indication that the efforts on security are paying off.
The deputy governor disclosed, “the Bello-led administration was able to achieve the most secure state status feat through the making of the traditional rulers and all critical stakeholders part of the security architecture of security in the state.
“Upon assumption of office, education and health topped the thematic areas of this administration. We are happy to inform you about the establishment of the Confluence University of Science and Technology Osara, achieved even in a depressed economy, is one that underscores our priority in education.”
The deputy governor further maintained that they did not allow the negative impact of COVID-19 to weigh the state down, disclosing that the state now has seven world-class health facilities spread across the state.
Onoja particularly mentioned the Okene reference Hospital, as one of the best hospitals in Northern Nigeria today, adding that the remodelling of the Specialists hospital in Lokoja, is a justification that the present administration is living its name in repositioning the health sector.
Onoja also said on assumption of office, Gov Bello promised to serve them in a manner that would break class, religious, and ethnic barriers, expressing happiness that the people of Kogi State now see themselves as one people united by a purpose.
Similarly, the governor said he promised to use all of Kogi’s resources for the good of the people, adding that in the state, irrespective of class, the people now place the interest of the state first before ethnic, tribal, ethnic and class differences.
Onoja continued, “Over the years, Bello equally noted that the administration was masculine, shut out people living with disabilities in governance, but expressed satisfaction that today, the state now boasts of having the most youthful official by average age in governance.
“Kogi women have also through appointments in this administration, enjoyed and surpassed the 35 per cent of women affirmative action in appointment, now heading to 40 per cent. Women now have a voice in the 21 LGAs with the appointments of Vice-Chairpersons and Council Leaders at the Grassroots level of administration.”
He further explained that with the signing of the disability bill into law and the establishment of the disability commission, people with disabilities are now made to run their commission, an inclusive representation, achieved by his administration, with people described as disabled now at the helm of affairs.
In his remarks, Folorunsho Aluko, Director of Planning and Strategy, Communications Programmes Steering Committee with Commissioners For Information of APC, said the PGF is currently being repositioned and re-envisioned by developing a new organisational vision to capture the objectives of setting the secretariat up and repositioning Progressive Governors as what they should be.
He lauded the giant steps of the state governor in infrastructure development and described the achievements of Gov Bello in all the sectors as unprecedented
Earlier in his welcome remarks, the Kogi State Commissioner for Information and Communication, Kingsley Fanwo said the meeting would discuss the implementation of the legacy documentation and preservation program, aimed at preserving the legacies of the Progressive Governors.