By BOLUWAJI OBAHOPO
LOKOJA – Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi state has said the All Progressives Congress, APC, came to power during the ‘worst’ and difficult period in the history of the country, however said with cooperation and resilience of the people, the situation was surmountable.
Bello said this was because the Peoples democratic Party, PDP, mismanaged Nigeria democracy while in power; the more reasons Nigeria should count themselves lucky to have the President Muhammedu Buhari led All Progressive Congress, APC, government at the helms of affairs.
Bello who stated this Sunday during a state wide Democracy Day broadcast, also said he has change the face of governance and entrenched the dividend of democracy in the state.
His words,”With much hopes and high expectations we installed the Peoples Democratic Party as ruling party in 1999. Unfortunately, the PDP soon became a monster of the sort that was once aptly described as a nest of vipers. The PDP and her members grossly mismanaged our hard-earned Democracy. After about 16 disastrous PDP years, ordinary Nigerians, uniting around the APC and Hurricane Buhari, again swept them out of the corridors of power and into the dustbin of history, hopefully to be seen no more.
“There is no denying the fact that the APC came to power at probably the worst time, socio- economically speaking, for Nigeria and Nigerians. With the steep slid in the global rices of Crude Oil which is the mainstay of our economy, governance has become more challenging than usual. It is indeed a wonder that Mr. President and his Team have been able to starve off a full-blown recession given the circumstances.
The governor however said inspite of the economic hardship, his government had made impart in the state; with education a priority in the “New Direction” blueprint developed to guide the state, said government had developed a holistic approach that would help to revamp and reposition its educational sector for better productivity.
According to him, parts of the approach are welfare of the teaching and non-teaching members of staff in public schools, infrastructural development and provision of instructional materials to students, “Education leads the priority list in our New Direction Agenda. We have continued to pay salaries, renovate school buildings and infrastructure and acquire instructional materials which we distributed to schools across the state.
“We designated three secondary schools, one in each zone, as centres of excellence and unity. They are first in a series designed to raise future leaders who have no distrust of one another and worthy ambassadors of the one Kogi initiative”.
Speaking on efforts of his government at developing the state, Bello said he had resorted to creative financial and social engineering to redistribute the meager federal allocations in the overall interests of the people.
He also said government had paid serious attention to agriculture because it is the next frontier in the revenue projections, adding that several task forces set up had already started yielding results.
He said it had signed Memoranda of Understanding with tested large scale farm enterprises with Dangote Group negotiating 20, 000 hectares for rice production.
He however urged the people to look forward to the future of the country with optimism and enthusiasm, said that President Muhammadu Buhari, is laying the foundations for a mega structure that would grow into the Nigeria of our dreams.