The Kogi State Government has said the achievements of the governor, Yahaya Bello who was referred to as a toddler, will speak for him.
The government in a statement issued by the Chief Press Secretary, CPS, to the Governor, Kingsley Fanwo, was responding to allegations of graft against the government.
A civil society group, Egalitarian Mission Africa, EMA, had accused the state government of fraudulent practices and money laundering to the tune of N11bn.
The group made the allegations in a petition it sent to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission, ICPC.
Copies of the petition were also reportedly sent to President Muhammadu Buhari, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and the Chief of Staff to the President, Abba Kyari.
But the state government stated that Governor Bello has re-positioned the state to come to terms with the tenets of fiscal responsibility and financial discipline. It also added that since January 27, 2016, Kogi State joined the league of states that have put their feet down on transparency, accountability, prudence and fiscal-tailored financial management.
The strongly worded statement reads in part: “The administration of Governor Yahaya Bello has remained the first in the history of the state to publicly declare the income and expenditure of government with copious references to State Government Accounts at different banks. This is the opium of transparency.
“It is unfortunate for people who milked our state dry to connive with those who were aspiring to milk it dry to bring the name of the State to ridicule just for political mileage. The people of the state are unmoved by this desperate attacks by crass opportunists who have lost touch with the political state of the state.
“At inception, the Governor was called “a toddler” and his Chief of Staff, Mr. Edward David Onoja, was called “a kindergarten Chief of Staff.”
Today, the “toddler” has restored the confidence of the Kogi people in their government. Today, the governor has been able to save over 1.6 billion naira the “experienced” predecessors were paying to ghost workers monthly.
“Today, Governor Yahaya Bello has mobilized contractors to rehabilitate our roads in all of the Senatorial Districts. Today, over 200 utility vehicles have been procured for delivery to security agencies to make Kogi people safe.
“Contracts for which billions were paid in Kogi State were never executed. As a leader that abhors corruption, the Governor has directed the setting up of a Judicial Panel of Inquiry to unravel how the funds grew wings.
“There have been multi-faceted pressure on the Governor to rescind the decision. But, in his characteristic way, Governor Yahaya Bello has decided to stick with the people and protect their Commonwealth. No amount of propaganda and falsehood can derail the good work the Governor is doing in the State.
“We make bold to say that every contract awarded by the present administration in the State went through due process.
“All we have for the Egalitarian Mission for Africa is pity. They have acted on a report built on falsehood and malice. Now they have become a subject of scorn for their incoherent, false petition.
“The people of Kogi State are wise, intelligent and informed. They cannot be hoodwinked by those who had destroyed the State before the advent of the present administration in the State”.
By Timothy Enietan-Matthews
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