SPECIAL MESSAGE BY HIS EXCELLENCY, GOVERNOR YAHAYA BELLO OF KOGI STATE IN COMMEMORATION OF THE 31ST ANNIVERSARY OF THE CREATION OF KOGI STATE, ISSUED 27TH AUGUST, 2022
My dear people of Kogi State,
On 27th August 1991, our State was created from portions of former Kwara and Benue states. Today is the 31st Anniversary of that momentous event. We are grateful to God Almighty Who made it possible and Who has continued to direct our noble cause.
Kogi State has come a long way from her early beginnings. The combined efforts of past and present Kogites have been the building blocks of our hopes and aspirations. While we cannot deny that leadership has failed this state and her people many times in the past, we also have to acknowledge that development is gradually penetrating into all nooks and crannies of our land.
We appreciate our founding fathers and those persons, leaders and citizens alike, who have gone before. They are the giants on whose shoulders we stand. We also thank those who are working alongside us today, both in and out of Government over the last 6-and-a-half years.
There is plenty of evidence that what we have accomplished in this Administration has helped to leapfrog progress in our state today. This has not happened by chance. As you know, we came to Government with a well defined Blueprint and massive political will determined to make a positive difference for you.
Even if it amounts to tooting our own horn, we will have to insist that the Yahaya Bello Administration has made impressive efforts to reposition Kogi State for the future. This has the direct effect of enhancing our ability to take advantage of our vast endowments in human and other natural resources for development purposes.
By making security of lives and properties a constant priority, we are in a great position to attract and keep new residents and new investments in our economy. Moreover, by demonstrating to criminals that it is foolish and fatal to ply their trade in Kogi State, we continue to render a service to the rest of the country by keeping the highways between the north and the south of this country open to all citizens.
Let me reiterate that my Administration will not take kindly to persons, no matter how highly placed, who get involved in crimes, either as perpetrators or patrons. This includes resort to violence to assert any alleged individual or community rights. Traditional rulers have been empowered to handle all genuine grievances over community land and other rights and they know the channels to easily escalate them upstairs where it falls outside their scope.
By making our education sector topnotch we improve our human development indices from basic through to tertiary education levels. We have founded new schools, including a university (the Confluence University of Science and Technology, CUSTECH), renovated existing ones and improved both access to educational opportunities and the performance of our students in both internal and external examinations.
It is also important to note that since the last strike by university lecturers in this state ended over 5 years ago, our university students have enjoyed uninterrupted academic calendars. The result is that our undergraduates have advanced at least 2 years ahead of their contemporaries in other schools who continue to be bedeviled by pernicious industrial actions in this all important sector.
Our health sector is growing exponentially too under our careful management. Hundreds of our Primary Healthcare Centres have been renovated and we have ultramodern secondary and tertiary hospitals springing up in all the Senatorial Districts. They are already equipped, or in the process of being equipped, with state of the art equipment. We have set up a health insurance agency and facilitated free registration for thousands of our citizens. Our endgame is to make Kogi State the number one Health Tourism destination in Nigeria.
By investing heavily in roads, bridges and other civil engineering infrastructure, including the completed first flyover in Kogi State, we have tried to improve the quality of life available in our cities, major towns and rural areas. We have tried to provide good governance across board and these success stories are to a great extent replicated in agriculture and other sectors. For the first time perhaps, the presence of Government is felt by the widest cross-section of our people under one Administration.
Our overall aim right from the first term remains unchanged and it is captured in our mission statement, to wit:’To develop Kogi State into Nigeria’s foremost and most secure emerging commercial hub through optimization of the state’s geographical location, natural endowments and human resources for a sustainable future.’
The New Direction Administration which I lead as your Governor will remain focused on moving Kogi State forward as aggressively as possible within the ambits of this overarching objective. and I invite those who are interested in tracking our progress to constantly visit our e-Compendium at www.kogipedia.net and www.kogistate.gov.ng.
I will continue to dedicate the time remaining in this second term to doing more in line with our mandate and electoral promises. Not only that, I will ensure, at the appropriate time, transition to a new Administration which understands, owns and will pursue the same broad visions of structured and accelerated development of Kogi State in all her constituencies.
My dear Kogites, despite our back-breaking efforts to insulate Kogi State from the worst of the insecurity and other challenges all around us, it is tempting to look at the major existential problems plaguing Nigeria today and feel afraid for the future. On this 31st Anniversary of the creation of our state I have chosen to recount our achievements because I want all Kogites to not only see an oasis of forthright leadership in the land, but to also find reason to face the future with hope and optimism.
My concept of Nigeria is one where no one is held down by force or fear, but a nation which guarantees all citizens security, unity, peace and progress. Our country must be equitable and allow everyone to thrive. It must be a place where tribe, religion, gender, physical ability or class is not used to marginalise any person or people group but a place where civics institutionalizes cooperation and integration among compatriots as a cardinal tenet of citizenship. This is why I ran for President and why we will not relent until we see the Nigeria that we dream of.
I celebrate our President, His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR for his leadership to the country in these critically trying and difficult times. No doubt posterity will judge that only a leader such as he could have stood up to the herculean tasks of navigating Nigeria through her current existential quagmires.
I felicitate with all of us in Kogi State on this grand 31st milestone today and pray that with the help of God we will move from strength to strength as a territory, a people and as individuals.
To God be the Glory!
Executive Governor of Kogi State.