By BOLUWAJI OBAHOPO
LOKOJA – The Peoples Democratic Party, Kogi state has condemned what it call a camp down on opposition parties by the state governor, Yahaya Bello; said the governor is ruling the state ‘like a Pharaoh’.
But the Governor’s Director General on Media and Publicity, Kingsley Fanwo reacting to the allegation by the PDP said the opposition party is “confused, detached from truth and out of tune with the current political reality in the state”.
He also distanced Yahaya Bello from dictatorial tendencies he said “This is an all-low for the opposition PDP who has lost touch with the political reality in the state. The party should hire competent lawyers to defend the rights of Austin Okai who has been charged to court for trying to disturb the peace of Kogi State. Okai should face the music and defend his numerous allegations against the Governor and his administration.
The PDP also condemned the over one year staff screening exercise, stressed that the staff audit has resulted to death of many workers in the state.
These was contained in a communique yesterday by the Kogi West PDP Stakeholders meeting held at Isanlu, headquarter of Yagba East senatorial axis of the state.
The communique signed by the Kogi West party chairman, Taiwo Kola-Ojo reads apart; “The meeting condemned the clampdown on PDP members in Kogi State by security agents on the order of Governor Yahaya Bello. We called for the immediate release of Comrade Austin Okai, a blogger and PDP member, who after being incarcerated several days was released on bail by a magistrate court only to be rearrested in the court premises by officers of the special anti-robbery squad over trumped-up charges;
“We observed that a King Pharaoh has reincarnated in Kogi State and the Pharaoh is Governor Yahaya Bello. We therefore called for a halt to the rule of tyranny in Kogi State and resolved to mobilize against persecution of PDP members in the zone and the state as a whole;
Appraising the state governor’s 13 months in of office, the party said, “Fall out from unending screening exercise, refusal to pay salary and pensions to workers, Kogi people are daily “slumping and dying” from poverty. We urged workers and the electorates to rise up to their freedom by voting out the APC from power;
“The unending screening exercise was a veil to divert public attention from the massive looting of over N100b from Kogi treasury accruing from monthly allocations from the federation account, bailout, Paris Club and development refunds by members and agents of the Yahaya Bello government;
They also described as “political gimmickry”; the threats that civil servants, pensioners, former councilors and state appointees who are PDP members would not be paid their salary arrears and entitlement unless they register as APC members said such “wild goose chase” is illegal and will not stand the test of time.
“The APC, from all indications, was not prepared for governance and having failed Nigerians “woefully”, the PDP must be prepared to take back its mandate in 2019 at the national and state levels.
But reacting to the PDP’s PDP’s allegations, the Kogi Governor’s Director General on Media and Publicity, Kingsley Fanwo urged the people of the state to “pray fervently for the derailing PDP to rediscover itself and provide credible opposition to the ruling APC in the State”, saying the opposition party is “confused, detached from truth and out of tune with the current political reality in the state”.
The spokesman stated this while reacting to the allegation by the PDP that the Governor was ruling the State like Pharaoh, distancing the Governor from dictatorial tendencies.
“This is an all-low for the opposition PDP who has lost touch with the political reality in the state. The party should hire competent lawyers to defend the rights of Austin Okai who has been charged to court for trying to disturb the peace of Kogi State. Okai should face the music and defend his numerous allegations against the Governor and his administration.
“PDP’s voice resonates culpability in the whole saga. Why are they showing glaring frustration with the judicial process Okai is facing? It is Okai against the laws of the land. If he is innocent, he will be acquitted but if he is culpable, that will be the load of his actions. There can’t be absolute absolution from crimes committed. Criticism must be done with defensible facts.
“As a government, we have nothing personal against Okai. Government is concerned about the combustible remarks of the young man who could have thrived only within the system of a dead and confused political party. Government is concerned about the effect Okai’s wanton falsehood could have on the unsuspecting minds. It is the responsibility of government to protect the society against chaos”.
Fanwo insisted that Governor Yahaya Bello is a democracy hero who respects constitutional superiority.
Also on the ongoing staff screening exercise, Fanwo said the PDP “superintended over a perilous era of disillusioned, ill-motivated and corrupt civil service in the state”, assuring the people of the commitment of the present administration to build a civil service that is credible and efficient. He said the exercise will end on April 24, 2017.
“The Governor will continue to deliver on his promises to the people of the state. He has taken infrastructural development seriously and also, he has done well in the area of security, agriculture and healthcare. We are aware of the antics of the opposition to slow him down through distractions. They must known this Governor is too focused to be distracted. Kogi is witnessing the practical gains of the New Direction”.