Governor of Kogi state Yahaya Bello is confident of being re-elected for a second term in office, saying even a candidate of Igala extraction cannot defeat him in the governorship race.
And this news medium has learned that Doctor Omede Idris, who is an Igala and a member of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is one of the aspirants standing in the way of Bello’s bid to return for a second term on the platform of All Progressives Congress (APC).
Although he is not running for the highest office in the Confluence State, another political gladiator to watch closely in the build-up to the November 2 poll is Senator Dino Melaye.
The lawmaker, who is of Okun descent, is expected to pull strings for his party, PDP, in Kogi West.
But Bello’s media aide, Kingsley Fanwo, said people of Igala were appreciative of what the governor had done in the last three years and wanted him re-elected.
“No Igala candidate can defeat the governor come November 2. The PDP right now is in disarray because somebody who was governor for nine (not eight) years is trying to bring his son again to rule the state,” he told Daily Independent.
“A governor whom the people have passed a verdict on in 2015 and repeated it during the rerun when his people rejected him and voted for a person they know will move the state forward is also warming up that he wants to contest.
“The in-law of the first person I mentioned is also warming up to contest. So, it’s around the circle of Ibro-Wada which so many leaders in the PDP are not comfortable with.
“The PDP in Kogi is in disarray while the APC is well-organised and that was manifested in the last general elections when APC won the presidential election, two of the three senatorial districts, seven out of nine House of Reps seats and 25 out of 25 House of Assembly seats.
“That is unprecedented in the history of the state and it will repeat itself on November 2 when the APC fields Governor Yahaya Bello as its candidate for the election.”
Making this known last week Wednesday in Lokoja, the state capital, Speaker of Kogi state House of Assembly, Matthew Kolawole, said Bello had achieved a lot and should be re-elected.
He said the governor had done well in security, education, infrastructure development, civil service reforms and human capital development.
“We have resolved to put resources together to purchase the gubernatorial nomination and expression of interest form of our party APC for our amiable governor to contest the 2019 governorship election in Kogi state,” he said on behalf of the forum as the November 2 election draws near.
“We have also resolved to commence work toward his re-election bid at our various constituencies to meet with stakeholders like party leaders, traditional rulers, youth and women groups, opinion moulders among others to spread the gospel of GYB to them.
“We are all determined to mobilise as many people as possible to deliver our various constituency for the success of our governor and the party at the poll, being a detribalised individual who only believes in developing the entire state without considering tribe or religion”
Prof. Stephen Ocheni, Minister of State, Labour and Employment, who disclosed this during the flag-off ceremony, declared that no part of the country would suffer deprivation or neglect as a result of its geographical location or political consideration.
Ocheni said that the project to be executed by the Ecological Fund Office (EFO), was one of the ecological intervention projects approved by President Muhammadu Buhari, this year.
“This project is one of the ecological intervention projects approved by Mr President this year and it is expected to check the erosion menace and flooding as well as improve the environmental condition of the area after years of untold hardship and neglect.
“This is also a testimony to the administration’s promise that no part of the country will suffer any neglect owing to its geographical location or political consideration.
He noted that the story of Dekina erosion and floods dated back to years of the town’s existence, and added that the government was aware of various environmental problems facing communities in the state and have plans to address them.
Ocheni said that he made a proposal for about five local governments across the three senatorial districts of the state to the Ecological Fund Office, adding that Dekina was in the first phase of the federal government’s intervention.
He assured that no community would be left out at the end of the day, but said that because of scarce resources, the “government cannot embark on the projects all at a time.”
The State Governor, Yahaya Bello, commended the federal government for coming to the rescue of the community.
The Kogi Command of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), on Friday, paraded seven persons it claims had syphoned and sold diesel from trucks belonging to Dangote Cement Company, Obajana.
Concise News reports that Philip Ayodele, its Commandant while parading the suspects in Lokoja, says a combined team of an anti-vandal and armed squad of the command affected the arrests.
Ayodele says the suspects were arrested in Osara, Adavi Local Government Area of the state.
“At the point of arrest, they attempted to escape but were quickly overpowered by men of the corps who had placed them on surveillance for weeks,” he says.
He says one of the suspects, who drove a truck marked TWD 212 XA, was arrested while syphoning diesel into two 25-litres jerricans.
“The arrest irked his colleagues who started hurling stones at the NSCDC personnel. That disrupted the operation and thwarted efforts to apprehend his accomplices.
“The other six suspects were arrested based on information from Dangote Cement Company, Obajana that the company’s diesel was being syphoned and sold to black marketeers in Osara.
“Some members of the community, believed to be directly involved in the act of aiding and abetting the suspects, also hurled stones at our men who raided the area,” he says.
Ayodele lists items recovered from the suspects to include 28 jerricans (25 litres each), and 18 drums, all filled with diesel, 67 empty jerricans, 40 empty drums, 11 funnels and eight hoses.
The NSCDC official warns those involved in the act to desist as the corps possess the ability to ensure their arrest and prosecution.
He says the seven suspects would soon be charged to court.
That’s the latest news from Kogi state for today. See you soon!