By Wale Ibrahim, Lokoja
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has berated the All Progressives Congress (APC) over what it described as despicable agents of the present administration spreading falsehood.
This was contained in a statement signed by the Director of Research and Documentations, Achadu Dickson said that Kogi State Government seems to enter into more dangerous climes by the day.
The statement said that as the 2019 elections draw close and particularly overburdened by shadows of its sordid performance, her agents have once again deployed the despicable tools of falsehood and character assassination in an attempt to secure dubious public sympathy.
“Worried by the massive mobilization going on in the opposition People’s Democratic Party, PDP, In the last One week or so, officials of the state government have been on auto drive junketing round in a new frenzy to out-lie one another and shift the blame for their woes on the opposition.
“Mr. Edward Onoja, Chief of Staff to the Governor fired the first Salvo. On Tuesday during the Second Year anniversary of the Administrator of Lokoja Local Government at the Council Secretariat, the CoS shifted to auto drive and rained abuses on Two former Governors of the State, Alhaji Ibrahim Idris and Capt Idris Wada. Onoja in his stupor, claimed that in the 13 years, the men were in power, Government House was like ‘a place where pigs and dogs lived.’ He also claimed Lokoja roads were full of potholes and its streets bereft of light. He then called the Two elder-statesmen ‘shameless old men’ and used other indecent adjectives to qualify them.
“Five days later, it was the turn of Mr. Kingsley Fanwo, the garrulous Director General Media and Publicity to the Governor, to disparage the Two former Governors. In a remark that is still trending in the media, Fanwo shifted blame for the inability of the Governor Yahaya Bello administration to pay salaries as and when due on his predecessors. He alleged that the last Two administrations took several loans which Governor Bello is currently servicing. He repeated the serial falsehood that the former helmsmen used the loans to fund either their private businesses or ‘abandoned projects.’ He claimed that between 400m to 600m Naira is monthly deducted from source to service the loans, leaving the State with little or nothing to pay salaries.
“Such is the desperation with which the collective psyche of our people have been assaulted by men who at best have behaved like vagabonds in power. The Kogi State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP now wishes to clarify as follows:
“The periods referred to by the two foot-soldiers of Governor Yahaya Bello still represent the golden era in the state’s development. Onoja was either too much in a hurry to rewrite our history or may have spoken under the influence of substance abuse. All the dual carriage roads and some others were constructed by the PDP Governors mainly from the scratch. The dual carriage ways also came completed with state of the art street lights. It smacks of hypocrisy and ineptitude for a government, no matter how indolent, to boast of filling ‘potholes’ and ‘changing street lights’ as its biggest achievements.
“An administration constructed those roads from the earth work, surface dressing and tarring before they now require rehabilitation. And in any case, government is a continua. We concede though, that a significant aspect of the rehabilitation, is the destruction of all round about in the state capital. We challenge the Yahaya Bello administration to list the roads it has started and completed since coming to office, about three years ago.
“Sadly, renovation of the Government House and it’s gate which started more than Two years ago are still far from delivery. In fact, part of the newly fixed roofs are already being blown off in their first encounter with the elements.
“Yahaya Bello’s inability or unwillingness to meet its financial obligations to workers and contractors is legendary. Each time the government makes an attempt to explain it away, it comes off worse and more laughable.
“It is on record that Alhaji Ibrahim Idris supervised one of the most thorough and prudent administration’s in the history of Kogi State. The administration’s human capital package was superb. For the Nine years he was in the saddle he cleared Three months salary. arrears which he inherited, paid salaries, impress, leave bonuses and other emoluments as and when due, and was the first to implement the N18,000 minimum wage in the North.
“The administration also paid bursary WAEC/NECO examination fees for all eligible students even as it did not default in its responsibilities to contractors. The greater Lokoja water scheme, International Market, Specialist Hospital, Confluence Stadium, State Secretariat Phase II housing estates and others too numerous to mention still set the Ibro years aside. It is worthy of note that Alhaji Ibrahim Idris, did not obtain any foreign or bank loans and could not have bequeathed any. We challenge Fanwo to furnish the public with any contrary details or issue an apology to the former governor.
“Capt. Wada changed the face of government business in the state. On coming to office, the then Governor made it clear he was going to continue and complete all inherited projects. He kept faith with that declaration to the letters. He also prioritized staff welfare and accountability. In order to rapidly develop infrastructure, the administration obtained a N20bn facility from the capital market. It is instructive that the government got the first trench of N5b and a second trench of N3bn before its exit in January 2016. Every kobo of the money was invested in Eight Legacy projects. They were Kogi House (a 12-story edifice in Abuja); Remodeled and redesigned Kogi Hotels; 500 units Bond Estate; Millennium Park; 16 km Ganaja-Otokiti bye-pass; rehabilitation and expansion of Welcome to Lokoja/ Barracks/ IBB Way/ International Market road. All the projects were progressing with engineers on site until the last day of the Wada administration. If any of the projects have been abandoned (as it has happened) then certainly not the former, but the current governor who has visited such cruel fate on the them and the state at large.”
Fanwo in his futile attempt to justify non-payment of salary in the State ended up playing the ostrich. Not surprising though, since the government has been running from pillar to post on this issue. First it was ghost workers that over bloated the wage bill, then began the longest screening and staff verification exercise in the history of any people and now inherited debts! This government should halt the charade, stop maligning the hard earned reputation of others and face up to its duties. Kogi people who are owed between 4 – 27 months are wailing and tired of excuses. The Bello administration should start thinking of how to account for the Bail out funds, balance of the 20bn bond, ecological funds, Paris Club refunds, federal project refunds and the monthly allocations it had frittered away in loose living. It’s death knell is close.
“Our great party the PDP and its Two illustrious former governors cannot be intimidated. The mission to rescue fatherland from a band of prodigals is a task that must be accomplished. We sympathize with the hard working good people of Kogi State, urge them to read between the lines and get their PVCs ready. For the clueless administration in Lugard House, defeat is imminent,” PDP stated.