Open Letter To Governor Yahaya Bello Of Kogi State

Your excellency, I write this letter with full sense of duty, fear of God and history, as one of the founding member of APC in the state, I owe it you and my conscience to tell you the truth as it is, this letter does not come easy being a politician and a member of APC but then our elders say we cannot sleep and put our head in one place so, is only natural that some of us will have to see things very differently, it is diversity of ideas and thoughts that makes for a rich government, any government without an effective opposition within and without will always be a government without root, where are the Mobutu, Idi Amin, Abacha and others of yesterday they are all gone, despite the global euphoria and anxiety that swept President Barrack Obama into power in 2009 today he is a private citizen. Everything with a beginning must have an end and so is your government. Our elders say “there is nothing we eat in the mouth that last forever” You won’t be in power forever. Some of us are in politics not because of what we will get but what we can give in terms of service to the state and the nation at large. Again, some of us are in the party because of the party manifesto and our conscience. Politics is not by force; the moment we cannot confront issues constructively and factually politics is no longer worth it! (for me any way).

It has become imperative to pen this letter because it is almost four years your government can now be measured and censored. This is not new the same censor is what I gave to Captain Wada when I was about living office in 2015 except that in his case I told him to his face as a speech on the floor of the house in the presence of a filled public gallery and the press at large and some of your die hard and overzealous sycophants were present in the gallery so consider this letter in good faith from a committed and loyal party man. For four years as an opposition, I was in the State House of Assembly criticizing the ruling party (heavily and constructively) now that my party is in power it will be very hypocritical of me if I can’t say or see things as they are with my own party.

It is natural that you are surrounded by sycophants, tribalist, mediocre, rumor-mongers hungry and desperate people such people are like magnet to power, every government in power is their friend especially the sycophants they are like ants to sugar until the sugar is dry they won’t live, day and night they are there.

Looking back in the past four years, you have performed below average, in a clime full of mediocre, sycophants, greedy lots, and desperate people you will not only be praised but eulogize but in a clime where the intelligent, the just, the exposed and the independent minded people are gathered you will not be eulogized or praised in fact you might not be considered worthy of a second term. Be as it may you might likely become the next governor again not because of popularity, performance or acceptance but the nature of our democracy, the character of voters themselves and an opposition that lacks coherence, strategy and ideas on how to wrestle power.

In the last four years, the fact speaks for themselves but then I must add there are some areas which you have performed outstandingly well and I won’t fail to add it in this letter.

1. In the last four years, the cash flow on your table is about N500bn or more; your total allocation is in the region of N280bn, internal generated revenue is almost N40bn, loans inclusive of Bailout is about N95bn and Paris fund of about N50bn and we have ecological funds, supeb counterpart funds and others. I have brought the State and Local government and State fund together because they were all within your control, no local Government election was conducted rather the administrators were handpicked by you, therefore I will address both (state and LGA) as a single entity under you. Apart from the Oil boom era in the history of the state no government has ever been washed with so much funds. If your government is not the most funded in the history of the state then it must be the second most funded government in the state so far (in a single tenure)

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2. The total project executed by your government (state and LGA) that are visible enough is less than N60bn and this is about 12% of your total cash flow despite the fact that it took you three years to begin the process of paying outstanding salaries. These projects are inclusive of the revenue house, road constructed, buildings, street light and all that.

3. Looking at the integrity of the projects is another thing entirely; a very good example is the Isanlu road construction project which was awarded for billions of naira till today less than 10% of work done is what is obtainable.
4. Lokoja township road is not only a big shame but an eye sore, no state government should abandon her capital city in such manner, 80% of foreigners who pass through Kogi state will pass through Lokoja, more than 60% of people living in Kogi State will always come to Lokoja intermediately, every tribe in Kogi state is fairly represented in Lokoja, bulk of the revenue coming to Kogi State comes from Lokoja Local Government, more than 70% of the road network is in a mess, to fix Lokoja township road is less than N5bn, Lokoja township road is a dent on the infrastructural capacity and institution of your government.

5. Ensuring pipe born water flows in Kabba, Dekina, Okene and Bassa is far less then N5bn but it seems the provision of quality water is not on the agenda of your government.

6. In Education, I can see so many SUPEB pictures flying around but I think you will do well to go and under study the real meaning of educational reform as it exists in the state of Osun if indeed you want to make any meaningful impact in education, changing the face of education is not just about SUPEB, it is about vision, bringing technology, motivation of teachers, training and retraining of teachers and modernization and not just painting of class rooms, and deploring rubber toys to school. Have been seen a lot of supeb pictures flying around and in actual sense they are not worth more than N2bn. As I speak to you today there is no functional library in any of our local Government in Kogi State yet with little as N5billion you have one of the best library in the Northern Nigeria if not the best in the country in all out Local Government Areas.

7. On the economy of Kogi state your government has done nothing but stifle the economy itself , it makes me laugh when your propagandist says the state is secured, it is the case of the romans who turned the city to a desert and claim the city is peaceful, an economically deprived state is different from a secured state, it is logical enough to understand why the economy was stifled, the flow of wealth shrink in the first three years of your government because of breakage in the flow of salaries, pensions and gratuity, and lack of funding for local contractors, secondly the purchasing power of the people also shrink for similar reasons, the third reason is lack of industries that can galvanize local market and employment at large, the fourth reason is that household income dropped for similar reasons have enumerated above, the fifth reason is drop in investment because instead of workers and local contractors to push out the savings for business they have become indebted and lastly lack of direct and indirect investment in the state.

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8. To the health sector where the most talented and experienced workers have been demotivated, displaced , the health workers have abandoned the state in droves and health facilities have become obsolete , in the last four years if the state government was really interested in increasing the size of medical workforce by 50% and modernizing the state medical sector it could have achieved it with less than N20bn in three years but clearly it seems reforming the health
sectors in real terms is not the objective of the government.

9. If your government is to tar the township road of Egbe, Ayingba, Adavi, and Gegu it is far less than N5bn but then this seems not be in the government agenda as usual.
10. You have paid lip service to employment, with 5billion naira the government would have created about 20 cottage industries, that produces Rulers, pencils, Soap making, food processing, packaging materials, block industries, pure water and others and these gullible data boys would have been put to better use.

11. Ordinarily as a young man I thought you would have driven Kogi state economy through technology but very far from it, you are almost four years into power yet Kogi is still an agrarian state and very far from technological take off, the first thing you should have done when you became a governor is to build a digital identity for the state through the citizens and then crop up a plan or strategy to maneuver the digital identity as a basis for financial inclusion, empowering of small and medium scale business (SMES), bettering education, health, Agriculture and all other facets of the economy, this would have created an historical opportunity
for you to take the lead in building a modern Nigeria state.

12. I address the issue of salary lastly because your propagandist are fond of saying is only salaries you got wrong but I can’t blame them, a lot of them are little pass impressionable age, secondly they are not exposed, thirdly they are not matured and fourthly they don’t understand values yet, they remain mediocre and they are so glad to revel in their ignorance, a lot of them won’t even understand this kind of letter, yet they will spew jargons just to impress their pay masters, the truth of the matter is that even if the devil himself had come down from hell to govern Kogi state he won’t handle the civil reform uglier than you have done, even if you rule for 30 years it’s already your legacy and either you like it or not, you believe it or not, it will hunt you forever long after all this sycophants and opportunist have fled from you. I am also addressing the issue of salary because such phenomenon must not repeat itself again, if Kogi state experience the non-salary payment for another four years it will become the most backward community to ever exist in the history of mankind, if you get a second chance it must never and ever repeat itself again!

While I have no doubt that you have a good intention from the onset it seems the reality of power has eroded your intention, I will like you to put yourself in the position of the citizens and imagine someone else is the governor doing exactly as you have done with power, will you be satisfied as a citizen, I leave the answer to your conscience, life outside power is far more important and significant than life with power.

Note that in this write up am not comparing you to any government but this are ideas and facts to what you could have done differently, and even if I were to compare, the truth is that you are far from Prince Audu Abubakar’s achievement so I think is better we just face the future and try to make the best of it. The major problem of your government is your structure and style of governance, even if you are to govern for fifty years if you don’t change it, you will never be able to make any meaningful impact in Kogi State, your style and structure allows for waste, incompetence and mediocrity. You need to be more innovative and creative if you eventually get a second term (which is never going to be easy has your sycophants will have you believe) I hope you will address these issues.

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All be it there are certain areas which you have done exceptionally well and it will be unfair of me not to mention it and they are:

1. In the area of Revenue Generation, you are the best so far in the history of Kogi state, better than Prince Audu of blessed memory, no government has shown political will and creativity in the area of IGR like your government, facts don’t lie! The whole IGR generated since the creation of Kogi state till when you assumed power is less than N50billion and in a space of three years you have almost doubled it if not more, I believe any one that will successfully rule Kogi State must continue in this line of thinking and action, initially I was of one of those that belief the IGR house was a waste but the house has earned its keep and much more so why not?

2. The Rice Mill in Ejiba is a good idea and a good step in the right direction, I applaud the initiative because Kogi state must be industrialized, although to have an appreciable effect on the economy of the state we need a minimum of 8 different kind of industries of such sizes producing different things and we need a minimum of 24 of such industries to move Kogi State to an industrial economy

3. Either which way we look at it, your government is a government of the youth, for long we have been clamoring for youths to come into power, the youths have suffered so much in this country they sincerely deserve a shot and in all honestly you have surrounded yourself with the youths, although the caliber and capacity of the youths seems questionable, youth is youth because even our elders have done too little to be considered different in recent times. There is no government in the history of Kogi state and Nigeria at large especially in recent times that have given the youths opportunity to serve like your government and am not sure when that will come by again.

4. Regardless of the electioneering process that seems to be throwing up tribal tensions here and there, I seem to think you are a detribalized leader which I think is good for the state we need leaders that are extremely detribalized to move forward in this state.

The success and transformation of Kogi state is hinged on Education, Technology, Health and Industrialization. These four factors can mobilize every facet of the economy and the state at large and it will drive productivity, innovation and revenue astronomically.

Finally, I hope the sycophants, paid merchants and other e-rats will not jump on this as an avenue to venerate their enterprise or spew their dirty saliva’s, no body steeped in bitterness or hatred can ever put up this kind of clear and succinct appraisal, it is beyond your pay, it is a working tool and not a tabloid material. And to the opposition this is not your tool it is a document meant to shape governance and make a stand for history.

Your Excellency I wish you well and God speed (amen)

Adeyemi Abidemi Adebola
Minorithy Whip KGHA 2011-215
Founder African Reading Project
Member Kwame Nkrumah Research institute

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