By Wale Ibrahim, Lokoja
Kogi State Governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello described Nigerians as true heroes of democracy as he felicitates with then and the great People of Kogi State on the occasion of 2018 Democracy Day.
In a Statement signed by Director-General, Media and Publicity, the governor congratulated the people on the attainment of 19 years of the Fourth Republic which began with the adoption of the Fourth Republican Constitution on May 29, 1999.
Bello explained that though the quality of leadership and the nation’s fortunes during the period should definitely have been better, Nigerians should nevertheless be proud that the country continues to extend her longest period of multi-party Democracy since Independence.
The Governor noted that during this period, baring slight differences in electoral schedules due to Judicial interventions, the country and the 35 States, excluding the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja which does not elect Governors, have successfully transmitted power through the ballot box, from government to government, and from one party to another, a record 4 times.
Governor Bello described successful transitions as one of the most critical incidents of a deepening Democracy, stating that beyond the chronological significance, Democracy Day, 2018 must be seen as a reminder that Democracy is work in progress and though much work remains undone in the nation’s quest for greatness, plenty has also been achieved.
The Kogi State helmsman noted that given the inherited challenges, the last 3 years under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari with the All Progressives Congress (APC) as ruling Party has been the most challenging and at the same time the most rewarding period of Nigeria’s Fourth Republic.
Bello who was sworn into office on January 27, 2016 noted that the two and a half years of his Administration has been dedicated to carrying out desperately needed reforms, admitting however that his task in cleaning up the Civil Service and Pensions administration in the state would have been faster, and less painful on everyone, if he had inherited structures from previous administrations, no matter how minimal, to help kick-start the process.
He pointed out that those states in the federation which had seen incremental development during the Fourth Republic were those where visionary administrators worked hard to lay enduring foundations for their successors to build upon.
The Governor promised Kogites that success would be much easier for those who will succeed him in office in the fulness of time as he was working hard to put the state on autopilot towards rapid development through the automation of government processes and institutions.
Governor Yahaya Bello reiterated his commitment to actualising the New Direction Blueprint of his administration and institutionalising the benefits for the present generation of Kogites and for posterity. He listed Security, Education, Health, Infrastructure, Youth Empowerment and Agriculture as sectors in which he was already posting strong results.
The Governor as fully cognisant that the nature of the democratic mandate is such that only best practices in good governance and service delivery will please the people. He promised that by his principal’s 3rd Anniversary in office, there would be massive commissioning of projects as many of the Administration’s legacy projects currently under construction would have been completed.
The Governor saluted the indefatigable spirit and unbeatable resilience of Nigerians, particularly the good citizens of Kogi State, which has enabled them to weather many storms and defeat crafty schemes aimed at derailing the nation’s democracy.
“The Nigerian people, he concluded, remain the true heroes of the nation’s Democracy”, he stated.