From Joseph Amedu, Lokoja.
As the battle for who to occupy Lugard House, the seat of Kogi state government heats up, there have been series of clarion calls by critical stakeholders from across the state for the incumbent Governor of the state, Alhaji Yahaya Bello to return to enable him consolidate on the gains of democracy already put in place during his first tenure.
In the last few days, critical stakeholders comprising of traditional rulers, opinion moulders, youths, market women and others from the three senatorial districts of the state have continued to troop Government House, Lokoja for endorsement of Governor Bello.
Already the people of Kogi central, west and east paid loyalty to the governor pledging to work for his re-election.
The delegation of the groups from the 21 Local Government Areas of Kogi state converged at the Government House on different days to drum their support for Governor Bello’s return to Lugard House come November 2 governorship election.
Speaking on behalf of the delegates, the Obaro of Kabba, Oba Solomon Owoniyi, said that the governor had done a lot in his first term, saying, ”there is no need to change horse in the midstream”.
According to him, Bello’s administration had made tremendous achievements in all the nooks and cranny of Kogi such as the establishment of viable projects that have impacted positively on the lives of citizens.
”The wonder of winning all the 25 seats of the State Assembly, 2 out of the 3 National Assembly seats and 7 out of 9 House of Reps seats by the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), in the state during the last general election is a clear indication that Governor Bello will be re-elected”, the monarch assured.
Also speaking, the Ohimege Igu of Koto Karfe, Alhaji Abdulrazaq Isah-Koto, lauded the governor’s achievements and reassured him of their support for his reelection.
In his response, the Governor, commended the monarchs and stakeholders for the endorsements for his reelection bid, saying he would not disappoint them.
Bello reiterated that his government had changed the narrative of the state from civil servants dominated state to an economically viable state that could feed itself and generate wealth.
He added that such narration was done through vast investment in agricultural sector and refuted the news making the round about the alleged relocation of a Bio Ethanol Plant from Alape in Kogi west to the central.
He stressed that the Okun people would house four of such plants in different parts of their senatorial district.
According to Bello, his focus on human capital development mainly through agricultural sector, made him to propose 500,000 hectares of cassava plantation in ten colonies of 50,000 each, spread across the three senatorial districts of the state.
”Each colony would have bio-ethanol plant, starch manufacturing, garri processing, cassava pellet and leave plants that would exist in not less than 15 LGAs of the state.
”Conservatively, these plants are estimated to generate $80 million annually per colony and would engage about 200,000 unemployed youths across the state.” Bello said.
He pledged to look into all their requests, while assuring that he had given express order to complete the water project in Kotokarfe before the Salah celebration.