GYB Series: “I am proud of you Gov. Yahaya Bello” _ PMB.

By Tahir Ibrahim Tahir Talban Bauchi.

President Muhammadu Buhari was in Kogi State recently, where he launched a lot of legacy projects of the Governor Yahaya Bello administration. PMB was no doubt wowed by the quantum and quality of the projects, and as he was awed by what he had seen, he had to practically blurt out; “I am proud of you Yahaya Bello.” Kogi State Governor Yahaya Bello, has emasculated the insecurity besieging Kogi, previously making it a den of criminality. Aside the North Eastern States of Borno and Yobe, back then, Kogi had the highest crime rate in the North. Kogi has been walked back from that path, and GYB has put it on a pedestal of developing country homes that are recording landmark achievements in nation building. Kogi is now a ripe haven for foreign investments, as can be seen from domestic conglomerates that are putting in heavy investments in the State.

In a piece titled, ‘Tackling insecurity: Successes of the Yahaya Bello Model’; we highlighted that ‘The standout aspect of the Yahaya Bello revolution is the preservation of law and order, keeping at bay the very precarious security threats that the country as a whole has grappled with. His govt, being youth oriented, had been able to involve youth minds in decision making on security issues. Right from the inception of his administration, he assigned security roles to 5000 youths in the State, from across all the LGAs. They collaborate with security agencies to provide security to their communities. They formed vigilante groups which were incorporated into anti-kidnapping squads. Local govt Chairmen and traditional rulers were also part of the new security apparatus in the State. He saw his assumption of office as a divine opportunity to rid the State of all criminality. Heads of security agencies in the State hailed the passion of the Governor in his efforts towards securing the lives of citizens of the State. They specifically commended the synergy between Yahaya Bello’s security template and their agencies. Over 200 security vehicles were purchased to aid the security agencies in the interventions in the State.’

In another piece titled ‘The GYB Series: Submerging Insecurity by excelling in good governance’, I brought to your attention that The Gov. Yahaya Bello administration had refunded 4.5 million dollars to the world bank, from their Nigeria Erosion and Watershed Management Project, NEWMAP. This drew a lot of commendation to Yahaya Bello. Kogi eventually bagged 3 World Bank Awards. 1. Fiscal Transparency and Accountability. 2. Debt Sustainability and 3. Domestic Revenue Mobilisation. This was from the scrutiny of Public Finance Manangement Systems of State Governments. Kogi State came out tops in the country. Gov. Yahaya Bello also bagged Mr. President’s award for Security Management at the Nigeria Excellence in Public Service Awards, recognised as the most security conscious governor.

So when PMB went to commission projects in Kogi State, it was a story of a State in a different trajectory all together. Its story had changed from a security challenged place, to a fast developing State, with arguably the finest state of the art health equipments in their State owned hospital. PMB first commissioned a 300 bedspace Reference Hospital in Okene. There he commissioned the Sigma-Prime Magnetic Resonance Imaging Machine, MRI, and a modern CT Scan machine, among many other world class medical equipments. He listened to the detailed presentation by the medical experts assembled by Yahaya Bello. They took the President through the functionalities and improvements in the installed medical technologies in the State of the art medical diagnostics centre. Along with these medical facilities is a Healthcare Plus concept in the State for its citizens, which has been lauded as the best intervention scheme in the country.

PMB commissioned Kogi State’s first fly-over bridge at Ganaja Junction, Lokoja. The utmost importance of this bridge need not be over-emphasised as commuters that find their way to adjoining Obajana, Kaba and Okene roads will find relative ease with this bridge. It also provides easier access to the barracks, and to Phase II areas of the city. Mr. President also commissioned the Okene- Agassa- Ogboboro Road, and other Okene Township Roads. There was also the Yahaya Bello Model Science Secondary School which could pass for a tertiary institution, with a befitting edifice and modern science laboratory equipments. Ambulances and numerous security vehicles were also commissioned. A new Palace of the Ohinoyi of Ebira land in Okene was also commissioned by PMB. He remarked that he was proud of Yahaya Bello’s legacies and announced that Ajaokuta Steel Company was ready for investments that would see to the employment of over 500, 000 people from jobs in the steel sector. This of course would be complemented by the enabling environment as created by Yahaya Bello in a new Kogi State. The Federal Government had spent over 400 million dollars in re-taking the company from failed privatisation programme investors who only stripped the company of its assets. They could not take the company forward, as they were unable to resuscitate it or sustain it. They simply could not develop the Steel company.

Yahaya Bello told Mr. President that he learned from him, how to be courageous and imbibed from him the never give up spirit. He decided to stand firm, and be courageous in tackling Insecurity, and providing critical infrastructure for the good people of his State. From PMB’s well documented visit, to the National Award from the Federal Government, in recognition of Yahaya Bello’s security management prowess, to The World Bank’s Awards in confirmation of his fiscal prudence, and efforts in revenue generation – GYB would definitely leave no doubting Thomases, with their aspersions and castigations. GYB has delivered the dividends of democracy to his people, and also captured Kogi State from the clutch of the underworld, that has denied it its place as a confluence State, where human and capital resources converge in abundance. Yahaya Bello has been kind to Kogi and history will certainly be kind to his tenure as the Chief Executive Officer of the State.

Tahir is Talban Bauchi.

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