By Gabriel Olawale

A chieftain of the All Progressives Congress, John Mayaki, has congratulated Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State for winning the 2020 Sun Governor of the Year Awards, saying that his selection by the distinguished newspaper is an affirmation of his tremendous efforts towards rebuilding and securing Kogi State.

Mayaki said in a Wednesday statement that Governor Yahaya Bello, who is nursing a Presidential ambition, inherited a Kogi State shackled by debts and unproductivity, a twin-challenge he attributed to years of poor leadership and short-termism offered by previous administrations.

According to Mayaki, Governor Bello upon emergence carefully dismantled the unsatisfactory status quo and pursued hard reforms that restructured government spending to prioritize investments focused on growing the state and empowering the people, not a tiny group of cabals who had for long “held back the state from living up to its potential by draining resources through the back door.”

Mayaki said: “Governor Yahaya Bello displayed the sort of courage that marked him out as an uncommon leader, especially in this clime. His insistence on not keeping power for the mere sake of it but to use public office in initiating meaningful changes and visionary developments, helped him stare down the retrogressive actors who believed that Kogi State existed to service their selfish needs and desires.”

“Because of his courage and vision, Kogi State has made the transition from its previous position of weakness to being a notable player in the country’s national economy. Hitherto underutilized, its strategic advantages, including geographical location, have all been expertly leveraged to create jobs, attract investments, and negotiate smart deals that spell good fortune for the state in the years to come.”

“No longer the hotbed of kidnapping and other crimes, Kogi State has won the confidence of economic experts and investors as one led by a serious leader who understands the role of government in creating the right conditions for businesses to thrive and unlock private capital. Nothing accentuates this fact better than the commendable feat recorded last year by Governor Yahaya Bello who, despite the devastation of the pandemic, was able to reduce the state’s domestic burden without failing in any of its mandatory government obligation. No state, not even the usual headliners, could quite manage the achievement.”

“It is on this note that his Governor of the year award from the Sun Newspaper is considered a well-deserved honor, and I congratulate him wholeheartedly,” Mayaki concluded.

The award, organized by the Sun Publishing Limited, is in line with the newspaper’s vision of recognizing men and women who have distinguished themselves in their respective endeavors and contributed immensely to the development of the country.

The formal presentation of the awards to all winners is slated for October 16 at the Eko Hotels and Suites in Victoria Island, Lagos.

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