A youth leader and the national coordinator of Peoples Democratic Party Youth Frontier, Comrade Austin Okai has described the attitude of the government of Kogi State under the leadership of Governor Yahaya Bello as incompetent, dishonest, dysfunctional, and a government that is built on wanton financial recklessness at a time of economic recession.
Addressing a press conference in Abuja, Comrade Okai asserted unless Yahaya Bello resorts to the virtues of prudence, accountability, and leadership rooted on integrity, the governor may end up destroying the foundation the youths of the country are laying to enable them play pivotal roles in leadership.
“Yahaya Bello is a symbol of the youths. He is perhaps the youngest governor in Nigeria. The youths have been in the fore to agitate for inclusiveness in leadership. With the level of impunity prevailing in Kogi State under Governor Bello, the chances of Nigerian Youths being seen responsible enough to hold public officers, especially elective positions is slim. That is why every Nigerian youths, irrespective of political and other social affiliations and ideologies should be worried and aid in calling their leaders to order when they are engulfed in exuberance and frivolities in leadership”
In a press statement made available to newsmen in Abuja, the Youth leader expressed disappointment in the activities of the “youthful” Kogi State Governor in the past nine months, stating that it is capable of erecting a permanent brick-wall to the chances of youths presiding over the affairs of Kogi state and Nigeria in general.
“In Kogi State, the government seems to be spending more on propaganda and self defense that availing the people good leadership. There are more propagandists and praise-singers in the governor’s team than sound economists, planners and idea strategists. Every day, what we see is young exuberant Aids verbosely defending the governor and singing his praises amidst the glaring leadership failure in Kogi State”
Comrade Okai expressed worries over the inability of the Kogi State government to justify the over Twenty billion Naira it received as bailout fund, as well as several months of federal allocations that was paid to the state’s treasury. He also decried the endless screening of civil servants carried out by the state government, only to resort to payment of negligible percentage of salaries due to workers in the state and local government’s workforce.
Specifically, he condemned the decision of the state civil service to shortchange over 70% of pensioners, workers and teachers in the state, only to pay a fraction of what was due to the “lucky” 30%. He describes the act as fraudulent, unfortunate, and act capable of crippling the entire Kofi state civil service.
The Youth leader further stated that the State Governor, Yahaya Bello has succeeded in demobilizing the state’s chapter of Nigeria Labour Congress from pursuing the interests of state workers and pensioners, and insisting on prompt payment of their legitimate entitlement through threats and intimidation which negates both local and international labour laws.
Comrade Okai decried the sad situation of over 70% of civil workers that are yet to get reward of their struggle for over seven months and counting, and expressed disappointment in the attendant suffering of the workers and growing poverty in the state. He therefore advised Governor Bello to sit up or throw in the towel to allow a people oriented leader to preside over the affairs of the state.
Furthermore, he disagreed with the governor’s decision to keep senior civil servants in the rank of permanent secretary and director on perpetual suspension, saying that it negates the provision of civil service rules, urging the governor to have a rethink on the decision and reverse his position.
He also described the recent scarcity of water in Lokoja and it’s environs, and the state university as unfortunate, saying that it is capable of triggering breakout of epidemics and other diseases. He expressed sadness that despite waters surrounding Kogi State and the huge flow of funds in the last eight months, the government is yet to get it right in the provision of water and other basic amenities, urging Governor Bello to justify the huge allocations he has received since assuming office, and expressed fears that the ineffectiveness of Governor Bello might be interpreted as a collective failure of the youths.
Comrade Okai further condemned frequent overseas trip by the governor and his Aides which have not brought any positive development to the state since the inception of its administration, urging the governor to sit and brace up to sane governance which the people are yearning for, instead of his maladministration in connivance with his friends, kitchen cabinet and other cabals.
He expressed fear of the failure of the youthful governor to reflect the entire image of the youths, advising the governor to redress and renege on his mal-administrative approach which has inflicted untold hardship on the people of the state
Finally, he describes the incumbent administration of Kogi state as highly ineffective that has taken the state backward by over a hundered years.