Still bathing from the euphoria of his recent victory at the Supreme Court, Kogi State’s Governor Yahaya Bello has launched a probe into the activities of some of his predecessors.
Bello in Lokoja on Friday inaugurated a seven-member panel to probe the spending of the state funds in the last 13 years beginning from May 29, 2003 to January 27, 2016.
The governor, who said the terms of reference of the committee were expressly stated in the letters of appointment of the seven-member panel headed by a retired Kano State High Court judge, Umar Rano, bemoaned the low growth of the state as a result of corruption since its creation 25 years ago.
The governor accused past leaders of the state of only engaging in what he referred to as a zero-sum game of shooting, where corruption was their sharp-shooter, and the hapless citizens of Kogi their target.
“While I am not saying that our state has made or received all the money she needs, I make bold to insist that our problem is not the lack of money, but the theft of money. If what we did make or receive were used better this past 13 years, we would not have the current socio- economic disaster on our hands.
“For every kobo they hit, our people lost lives, opportunities, hopes, visions and dreams. The result is that in 25 years of existence, Kogi is barely started on her journey to development. This is an atrocity and it should infuriate any reasonable person. We cannot bury the years of accumulated theft by politically exposed persons in the faulty foundations they laid over the years.
“We must not also disregard the accumulated hurt felt by our excluded citizenry, and pretend it did not happen, or that they will forget. That can only earn us a society festering with sublimated anger that will explode sooner than later with disastrous consequences,” said.
He then advised members of the committee against using their new assignment as an opportunity to witch-hunt or settle scores with anyone.
“This is your chance to help this administration put Kogi firmly on the path to recovery. Please do not allow or do anything to cast a pall of doubt over its impartiality or integrity,” Bellow warned members of the committee.
By Ebere Ndukwu …
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