From left — Reuben Abati, former presidential spokesperson; President, Nigeria Union Journalists, Chris Isiguzo; Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State, and the immediate past president, Nigerian Guild of Editors, Mustapha Isah, at the 3rd Annual GYB Seminar for Political and Crime Correspondents/Editors, in Abuja on Saturday.
Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State, on Saturday, said that he has no political ambition for now but to help President Bola Tinubu to succeed.
Responding to a question about his next move after governorship, being one of the major presidential aspirants during the presidential primary of the All Progressives Congress, APC, the governor pointed out that all Nigerians would have succeeded if President Tinubu succeeds.
Bello spoke at an interactive session with journalists at the 3rd Annual GYB Seminar for Nigeria’s Political & Crime Correspondents/Editors on Saturday in Abuja.
He said: “I thank God for my successes and achievements as governor of Kogi. I know where I met the state and I am happy for where I have taken the state to.
“I believe that the APC candidate, Usman Ododo, will build on the solid foundation we have laid down for Kogi.”
According to him, the November Kogi governorship election will be a landslide victory for the APC.
Reacting to a question on ensuring that all members remained in the APC fold in the state, Bello said that the APC remained solid in Kogi.
“Our unity is why APC wins in Kogi and will continue to win. Our party is one. You cannot satisfy everyone.
“However, there are internal mechanisms in the APC to resolve issues and we always utilised that,” he noted.
Earlier in a paper titled: “Unity in Multi-Ethnic, Multi-Religious Society, the Kogi Story” the state’s Commissioner for Information, Mr Kingsley Fanwo, said any candidate campaigning on the basis of ethnic sentiments, is incompetent.
Fanwo said that the state would continue to prioritise merit and not ethnicity to enable it continue to grow.
Also in his paper on “Off Season Elections, Journalists as Responsible Watchdogs, the President of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ, Mr Chris Isiguzo, tasked members on responsible and ethical journalism.
Isiguzo said there was a need for journalists to ensure transparency, check all facts and verify all information in their reportage.
The NUJ President noted that off season elections presented challenges and opportunities for journalists to fulfill their role as responsible watchdogs of society.
“I encourage all of us to approach the job with a sense of duty, knowing that the quality of our reporting can influence the future of our nation,” he stated.
Presenting a paper on “Debt Burden, Transparency and Accountability in Governance: Kogi’s Success Story”, the Commissioner for Finance, Budget and Economic Planning, Asiru Idris, said the Yahaya Bello administration put in place deliberate policies to entrench good governance through accountability, transparency and reduction in the debt burden of the state.
“Kogi has commenced preparation of the 32 years development plan, critical to the realisation of Governor Bello’s vision of all round development of the state.
“The development plan when completed will be a focal point for development partners’ interventions,” he added.
Also speaking on “Building a Viable Economy Through Strategic Investment in Education, the Kogi Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, Mr Wemi Jones, said that the state had not only given free education but had made it compulsory.
“The budgetary allocation to the education sector in Kogi rose from 13 per cent in 2017 to 15 per cent in 2019 and 30 per cent 2022, higher that the UNESCO recommended benchmark of 26 per cent,” he said.