Governor Yahaya Bello: Changing The Narratives Of Kogi State

Governor yahaya bello of kogi state has won accolades for fight against violent crimes in his state. BY LIVINUS CHIBUIKE VICTOR

Governor of the Confluence
State means different
personality to different folks.
Just like the different persons
touching different parts of an
elephant will describe the
gargantuan animal based on
their perspective of it, the
personage of the youngest
governor ever democratically
elected in the history of Nigeria
is not different from the
elephant syllogism – Governor
Yahaya Bello is the elephant of
Nigeria’s political space.
The case with Kogi State
Governor Yahaya Bello, GYB
as he is fondly called, is that of a celestial kismet that cannot be undermined regardless of whatever shenanigans, whether
ethereal or terrestrial done to circumvent it. His

becoming the All Progressives
Congress, (APC) eventual
candidate in the 2016
gubernatorial election in the
State was purely divine. There is
no denial of the incontrovertible
fact that Kogi State is one of
Nigeria’s best-kept secret with goldmine and fortunes. The Governor has in the last five (5) years turned around, and still improving, the fortunes of the
State. Since he assumed office, the Gateway State to the Federal Capital Territory has achieved unprecedented Midas touch different from what the State was known for. Kogi State was known to be the least developing despite being the most endowed naturally among all the States of the Federation. With over 42 mineral resources available in the State before the as cendancy o f Governor Yahaya Bello, Kogi State was described as

resources available in the State before the as cendancy o f Governor Yahaya Bello, Kogi State was described as backwardly and retrogressing in the committee of States . Despite being
strategically located and viable for prosperity, the Sta te was economically comatose, socially
torpid, business-wise sluggish and
politically volatile as killings,
maims and arsons were the other of
the day. The emergence of Yahaya
Bello was a blessing in disguise to
Kogites as he swung into action
immediately he was sworn into the office by putting up a blueprint that would put the State on a path of
steady progress. His landmark achievements can be seen in security, economy, finance,
investment drive, infrastructures, health, education, politics,
Diaspora engagement, women empowerment among others.

SECURITY

Before he assumed office,
insecurity in the State was at the apex. Robbery and kidnapping were perpetrated with reckless
abandon . Travelers who
usually would pass through the State to link the northern part of the country were under constant to dislodge these criminals.

resources available in the State before the as cendancy of Governor Yahaya Bello, Kogi State was described as backwardly and retrogressing in the committee of States . Despite being strategically located and viable for

prosperity, the State was

economically comatose, socially torpid, business-wise sluggish and politically volatile as killings, maims and arsons were the other  of the day. The emergence of

Yahaya Bello was a blessing indisguise to Kogites as he swung into action immediately he was sworn into the office by putting up a blueprint that would put the State on a path of steady progress. His landmark achievements can be seen in security, economy, finance,

investment drive, infrastructures, health, education, politics,

Diaspora engagement, women empowerment among others 

siege. From Ibillo to Ogori
Msgongo,Lambata to Okene, Kabba-Bunu to Lokoja, Idah through Ajaokuta among other
routes were nightmarish for
commuters on transit. As if that were not enough, the State was notorious for being the headquarters of the Boko Haram insurgents. The State Capital, Today, Governor Yahaya Bello has changed the security narratives. He provided over 200 utility vehicles for security patrol against criminal activities in the State while over 500
motorcycles were provided for security operations to allow security agents access to the hinterlands where most of the heinous crimes
are committed. The Vigilante service men and women use the motorbikes to access difficult terrains where criminals reigned as
terror lords since those locations are inaccessible. Aside from this, Gov.
Bello’s administration procured sophisticated gadgets for Operation Total Freedom (OPT) established
by the administration to stamp out criminal activities in the State.
This heavy investment in
communication gadgets and training of security operatives , the introduction of the Security Whistle
Blower Policy exposed

Lokoja was used as a base by the religious extremists to hatch their nefarious activities. As a matter of fact, Kogi State was where the Boko Haram vampires produced their IEDs. And this had gone on for years before Governor Yahaya Bello’s forthright leadership came a lot of the criminals. The Vigilante Service Operation (VSO) and the domestication of the Criminal Justice Code were all instrumental to the excellent security of lives and property in the state. The OPT gesture further stimulated the gathering of Intelligence as it became seamless and properties that were proceeds of crime were destroyed to serve as a deterrent to others. Statistically, criminal activities in the State dropped by over 92 per cent complemented by the zero

tolerance of the Governor towards any form of criminality and his insistence on not negotiating with bandits! A synergy geared t o w a r d s complementing the efforts of the Federal Government on security architecture saw the construction of Army Forward Operation bases at different places across the state to enhance the security of lives and property.

POLITICS

Sequel to the emergence of the then opposition party, All Progressives Congress, APC, the State was sharply
divided along ethnic lines and even religious colouration which was further exacerbated by the disunity the politicians planted in the minds of the
people against one another. However, on the assumption of office, the first three appointments of the Governor immediately after his inauguration on January 27, 2016, were spread across the three Senatorial Districts in the State. In his first term, HE Hon. Edward Onoja from Kogi.

East who is today the deputy governor became the first Chief of Staff (CoS) in the State to emerge from a different politics Unlike what was obtainable with the former State leaders before Yahaya Bello, he would go-ahead to alter the
status quo. His Chief Press Secretary (CPS) was appointed from the western part of the State while his Special Assistant (SA) on Media was appointed from Kogi Central. It was a new dawn in Kogi State, a fresh beginning and a break from the norm. It was time to
jettison individual differences, reshape the mentality of the Kogi people. The people were glad to have a unifier, rallying point as Governor. Projects were distributed across the three Senatorial Districts of the State and the institutions of government were ushered into a new path of growth and development. All appointments under his administration were spread across the state – a situation which has helped break down the barrier of ethnic chauvinismatical zone from that of the Governor.

HEALTH

One other sector in the State which has received a huge commitment from the State Governor is the
health sector. Quality healthcare has enjoyed tremendous support
from Governor Yahaya Bello.
Aside from the about-to-becompleted state-of-the-art Medical Diagnostic Centre in the State that will arguably become the best in the country, lots of other health benefit programmes have been going on in the State, one of which is the Healthcare Plus concept that has been applauded as one chef d’oeuvre intervention health scheme across the Federation. The Healthcare Plus was an
intervention mechanism
introduced to help pregnant women and nursing mothers. The former Minister for Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole described the scheme as one of the best healthcare policies in the country at large as it were.
The program has made it
possible for pregnant women to have access to no-cost medical services across the State. This was conceived to confront the huge number of child and
maternal deaths which was prevalent not in

Kogi State but across the country.
This is notwithstanding the provision of free maternal and new-born healthcare services
including referrals where and when necessary. The Governor Yahaya Bello-led administration
in Kogi State has embarked on a massive revamp of the entire
health paraphernalia of the State some of which include renovation, remodelling and reequipping of 21 existing Primary Health Care Centres (one per

Local Government) with solar powered bore holes and electrification to help the success of the Health care – Plus Programme. It also is stated that the Healthcare-Plus was a
microcosm of the Governor’s
State Health Insurance Scheme (SHIS). The administration has done lots of recruitment, training and re-training of Health Workers on various specialities. Some of the other  intervention

programmes of the Governor include but are not limited to the following; Completion of the hitherto abandoned

Confluence Advanced Medical
Diagnostic and Imaging Centre
(CAMDIC). New equipment paid
for and additional equipment was
recently procured to serve the masses Remodelling of the Collegen of Nursing, Obangede with a
deserved facelift. The old College of Nursing, Obangede, a Monotechnic health institution in the
State has been approved to be converted to a Polytechnic with the
introduction of new courses such as Dental Nursing and Midwifery
Renovation of State’s Zonal Hospital in Kabba (Kogi West),
Idah (Kogi East) and Okene (Kogi
Central). This has made it easy for people to access quality healthcare
without necessarily besieging the medical facilities at the State
Capital Construction of a Cottage Hospital in Kpareke, not forgetting
the massive renovation and construction of new hostels and Clinic at the School of Nursing,
Obangede. Construction of an administrative block at the School of Health Technology, Idah to ensure the smooth running of the institution

AGRICULTURE

Agriculture has witnessed
massive and unprecedented
revolution under the present
a d m i n i s t r a t i o n i n t h e
Conuence State. The State
Government under Governor
Yahaya Bello’s honcho ship
keyed into the Agricultural
Renaissance Policy of the
Federal Government which was
a i m e d a t e n s u r i n g f o o d
sufciency and promotion of
non-oil sector wherewithal for
economic transformation.

Today, Kogi State has become the
agricultural hub of Nigeria with
the provision of a conducive
environment and necessary
support by the State honcho to make the sector the driver of the state economy. Governor Yahaya
B e l l o – l e d l e a d e r s h i p h a s succeeded in encouraging the
youth to key into farming through o r i e n t a t i o n , s e n s i t i z a t i o n ,
mechanization, subsidy inputs,

fertilizer, continuous training and
many other supports. In the State today, many youths can boast of a career in farming and are proud to
be called farmers contrary to what was obtainable in years past. This has, in effect, drastically helped in
changing the mind of the youths across the 21 Local Government Areas in the State to engage in
agriculture.

ECONOMY

Recognizing the daunting task
ahead of him at the inception of
his administration in 2016, the
Governor needed a blueprint
that would gear the State to the
path of economic el-dorado.
The Governor would therefore
reposition the State’s Bureau of
Public/Private Partnership
(BP3) to engage the private
world in businesses that were
hitherto used as conduit pipes to
defraud the State. Today, the
Bureau has been able to
facilitate some blue-chip deals
that have added value to the
State as well as elevate her
respectability in the business
community. Governor Yahaya
B e l l o h a s u s e d t h e B P 3
initiative to improve Kogi
State’s acceptability in the

b u s i n e s s w o r l d a n d t h e
international community.
The State’s Tax Reforms under
the Yahaya Bello Administration
has impacted positively on the
nances of the state. Sufce to
state without equivocation that
without the reforms, it would
have been impossible to survive
the many undercurrents,
especially when the country
herself slid into recession. The
State would have been worse off
having been wrecked with
nancial depression occasioned
by the reckless borrowing and
s t e a l i n g o f t h e p a s t . O n
a s s u m p t i o n o f o f  c e , t h e
Governor granted the State’s
Board of Internal Revenue
autonomy. It became the Kogi
State Internal Revenue Service
(KSIRS).

With the construction of a new
Revenue House aside from the
aesthetic beauty to State Capital –
Lokoja, competent hands were
employed to drive the State’s tax
reform that would later increase
astronomically the revenue base
of the State using a digital
application. Kogi State as of today
has moved from that State with a
r i d i c u l o u s p a l t r y m o n t h l y
Internally Generated Revenue
(IGR) of N350million from the
previous administration to
N1.3Billion. The massive result in
the revenue base of the State was a
corollary of a purpose-driven
leadership of a youthful governor
with a clear vision of repositioning
the State holistically.
08 ARABELLA STAR MAGAZINE APRIL EDITION 2021

POWER

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