In this interview, the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor of Kogi State, Mr. Kingsley Fanwo speaks on sundry issues in the state including Governor Yahaya Bello’s determination to ensure the state is moved in a New Direction. Excerpts:
By Rufus Ike
Kogi State has been in the news of recent for the wrong reasons and most recently issues pertaining to the House of Assembly. What is the cause of the crisis?
It is not true that Kogi has been in the news for the wrong reasons. The assertion is a breach of the development that is going on in all the sectors of the state’s economy from education to roads and healthcare.
Governor Yahaya Bello is rewriting the status of the state, and that is our true story. On the Assembly issue, the sponsors of the crisis are hiding the real facts.
Who started the crisis in the first place? Who sponsored the vandals who destroyed members’ vehicles in a hotel in Lokoja last year? What gentleman’s agreement was reached between Hon. Momoh Lawal and political stakeholders in the state? Those pushing him now were the very people who wanted him out on several allegations last year.
Until and unless we answer these questions, we will continue to dance in the mud of confusion.
It has been suggested that the governor is the one trying to foist Hon. Imam on the House as Speaker. Why?
Governor Yahaya Bello is not a member of the House of Assembly and wouldn’t have had a hand in determining who emerges Speaker of the House. The Governor has shown through his appointments that he is committed to the equitable distribution of political powers.
If members of the House feel that it is unfair to have both the Governor and Speaker from the same Local Government Area, the Governor wouldn’t have stopped them because he is a believer in justice.
With the court judgment reinstating Momoh Lawal as Speaker, what is the way forward?
I cannot speak for the Kogi State House of Assembly. As honourable members, it is expected they have internal mechanism for resolving crisis. Kogi people must not suffer. They should come together and resolve their differences to move the state forward. Dialogue will surely do the magic.
The State Chairman of the APC recently reportedly attacked the Governor. Is the APC in Kogi State now divided?
I have also read the piece, and I want to believe it was the handiwork of mischief makers who are bent on cracking up the party for their political gains. I want to believe he didn’t write those things. No right thinking Chairman would want to attack a Governor that is doing so well for the state and the party.
The sack of Gen. Okuntimo (rtd) as Chairman of the Staff Verification Committee was a shock. Do you sniff ethnic or political strife?
Governor Yahaya Bello is a fair leader. He is not tribal nor a political terror. The decision to remove Gen. Okuntimo was out of necessity to maintain the integrity of the exercise.
The Governor attaches enormous importance to the screening, and he has taken his time to explain to the world why he took the decision. People should remember that the retired General is an aide to the Governor and will remain committed to the New Direction policy of the government.
There is palpable tension on the imminent tribunal judgments on the validity of the Governor’s emergence. Is the Governor in anyway threatened?
Law adjudication is the function of the judiciary. The Governor’s legal team has defended him to the best of its capacity.
The rest is left in the hands of the Lord. The Governor is focused on delivering democracy dividends to the people.
The opposition has been accusing the Governor of wasting the resources of the state. How true is the allegation?
We won’t join issues with them. Our roads are wearing a new look. Investors are trooping into the state. Our teeming unemployed youths are now getting jobs and agriculture as well as tourism are on the high scale.