Showing posts with label Article. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Article. Show all posts

August 16, 2018

What I've Learned About Dating Anebira (Men) - Lois Isoyiza.

In the early stages of dating, you tend to stay up late texting or talking to the desired person on the phone and maybe even scrolling through his photos on Facebook or Instagram, wondering what your children would look like. When on dates, the two of you generally go out to eat, fill the time together with engaging activities, and put on the best version of yourselves. Expectedly, when you begin to take the relationship more seriously, the real you comes out. and all those personal subjects that a person tends to shy away from in the beginning.

Luckily, in my relationship, we got the hard conversations out of the way. Our pasts, our values, our careers, our families… We laid it all out on the table. This isn’t to say that our lives are perfectly aligned, because they most definitely are not. We have our fair share of differences, though none are enough to make either of us run. However, one difference stood out more than the rest and likely tempted both of us to run at some point:

He’s a Full Ebira Boy, i mean brought up in Nigeria type though he can be a pain in the Ass sometimes but a pain i will love to endure lols… And I An American/Nigerian Girl born and brought up in New York, Living in Brooklyn. Ihima Nigeria to be precise

Growing up in the United States and having to join so many Ebira Peoples Facebook group just to familiarise my self with world in Nigeria i came across Ebiraland Media. This is where I met my boyfriend, this sites CEO. While my observations at school helped me to understand some cultural differences, it wasn’t until I became serious with my boyfriend that the culture shock hit. Here are a few things that I’ve learned over the past few years:

1. You mean a lot to him if he brings you home.

Though, in our circumstances, I had already talk to his mother through phone calls and through Video Calls, when i got back to Nigeria it still took months for my guy to invite me to his house. By bringing a girl into his house, a guy is communicating to his family that he is serious about her. He doesn’t want to jump the gun on this. In Ebira culture, if he brings you home, you’re well on your way to becoming family....

2. Always accept food, even if you aren’t hungry.

Luckily, my guy told me this before I ate with his family in Okene. It’s considered rude if you don’t accept the food that is offered to you. I don't know how to put this, but food is very important with everything i have learned you don't want to see the other side of the family.

3. Try all the food, even if you already know you don’t like it.

Have you ever seen that movie My Big Fat Greek Wedding? Well, it’s like that part where she tells her family that her boyfriend doesn’t eat meat, and her mother responds, “That’s okay, I make lamb.” Whatever foods you don’t like, you’ll likely end up eating if you truly like the guy you’re dating. In my experience, I despise Gorigo Soup but his family love it, he in the other hand is like me he don't like it.

4. Religious faith is incredibly important.

For me, this was an easy transition. We were raised in the same faith, but our families were at very different levels of practice. In an Ebira family, religious life is a top priority. Great offense is taken if you express any disinterest in Islam or its beliefs. Once, when we were cleaning my boyfriends room, my boyfriend's brother offered me a painting of Sheikh Ibrahim Inyass (to be sincere my boyfriend hates it because he is Al-Sunnah and his Families are Tijaniya). Because I didn’t want him to give up his painting, I said that I didn’t need it. His Grandfather overheard the conversation and he interjected, “Why? You don’t like Inyass?” I am now the proud owner of a lovely painting of Ibrahim Inyass. Again you don't wanna see the other side of the family i learned that from my Mother though.

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This was only the beginning of my Ebira education. When I expressed my desire to relocate from Lagos, his family didn’t hesitate to offer me a bed in their house. With much consideration, I accepted their offer and moved in. It was then that I began to learn a tremendous deal more about Ebira culture.

5. Expect to stay up late.

In many Ebira families, dinner time is anywhere from 7:00pm-8:00pm. Coming from New York, that is about 2 hours later than my regular eating schedule. If you are like me, and you are accustomed to waiting 2 or more hours after eating to go to sleep, then you will likely be heading to bed a lot later than you’re used to. You do, of course, have the option of sleeping early and not eating with the family… But you know what I said about accepting food. If you often choose not to eat with the family, they will wonder if you either dislike their food or don’t want to spend time with them.

6. Expect to be up early for prayer.

If you already have an early morning schedule for prayer, this won’t affect you much. However, if you value sleeping in as long as possible before your day begins and pray, that sleep may be interrupted. Chances are, someone in the house will be up before 4:30am daily, and you will definitely hear it. because you will be wake for prayer don't forget the Faith part of this article

7. Know some basic Ebira Language.

While many Ebiras in the United States and other parts of Nigeria and abroad have knowledge of English, Ebira is more often spoken in the home. You may not be called on to use Ebira often, but it is ideal to at least understand what the rest of the family is speaking about… Especially if it’s important. Additionally, there are likely some non-immediate family members that have little knowledge of English who will prefer to converse with you in Ebira Language. You also want to be in on the jokes, trust me.

8. You’re never done cleaning.

Cleaning the kitchen or the living room once in awhile may be a nice way to help around the house, but don’t be offended if it goes unnoticed. Often, these areas can become cluttered within a matter of minutes, depending on how many people occupy the house. Additionally, someone (generally the mother) will likely unintentionally overlook your attempt to clean and do her own cleaning soon after you’ve finished. In my experience, my guy’s mother is experienced in cleaning. Therefore, what I may think of as clean may not be up to par with her standards.

9. Always show your face at the events and buy Anko LOLS.

Be it a birthday, wedding or just a typical burial ceremony, your house is likely to host an event. Whoever hosts the event takes much pride in the event, so it’s important to be present for at least a portion of it. Typically, event can last anywhere from three to four hours… So, if you have a lot of work to do, I recommend joining the congregation about an hour and a half in. Leaving early is always a bit more awkward than showing up late. and make sure you put on your Anko....

13. These people are your family.

If you are lucky enough to experience living with a Ebira family for any period of time, you will learn that the nurturing nature of your environment is a blessing. Their home is your home, and they want you to feel as comfortable as possible… but not too comfortable. Because they will treat you like family, you will also be expected to do your part around the house. Living with Ebiras is a wonderful learning experience and an opportunity to know some truly incredible and caring people.

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While this list may give a brief outsider’s perspective on an Ebira family, the qualities of the guy are what really draw you in. My guy is, no doubt, the best man I could hope to love. This is, in part, due to the way he was raised and the traditions he practices. Here are some things that my wonderful Ebira has taught me:

14. It is important that your values align.

Just as in any relationship, your core values should be very similar. He will be adamant about his own values, and his core values will not be compromised for any reason.

17. His family is a top priority.

So, you were supposed to meet your guy at the gym? Well, his mother just called and told him to pick his sister up from school, and he’s going to be late… Needless to say, sometimes, you’ll have to be adaptable. Last-minute favors are common. This can be frustrating, but you can’t blame him for making his family a top priority, as yours is likely high on your list of priorities, too. This also means that, if he really likes you, he will want you to be a part of family events and make a genuine effort to spend time with his family.

18. He is as sexy as you’d imagine your Ebira boyfriend to be.

Well, at least my boyfriend is as sexy as I’d hoped. There is something about his passion, both for me and his interests, that make him incredibly attractive. This may have nothing to do with being Ebira, but I thought I’d share.

20. His love is incomparable.

This part is obviously subjective. However, I’ve observed that those I know who were raised in Ebira families have a unique strength, passion, and willpower in relationships. Together, through our own experiences and in observing our parents and friends, we have learned that all of these qualities are vital to a loving and enduring relationship. Additionally, my guy has a quality that makes me feel undeniably lucky. He is the master of the little things. Therefore, whether I think I deserve it in the moment or not, I always feel loved and valued. I’m no princess, but he makes it clear that I’m his Inya.

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February 10, 2018

Opinion: Collapse Of Academic System In Nigeria

Opinion: Collapse Of Academic System In Nigeria

Education as the bedrock of any society can be achieved through formal and informal means. In formal means of acquiring education, information are gathered, organized and process to suit the purpose of human being. This is the type of education that are accompanied with certificate through an established institutions in other words, academic society.
Before, this formal education is the international passport to the future of those that obtained one and also serve as bedrock for national development. This was so because the purpose of the established institution was not defeated as in present situation. It teaches morality, honesty, discipline, hardworking, etc which made it to upheld a standard value in the society.
It is an undisputed fact that academic society play a big role in the well being of the citizen of any nation because more than 60% of the citizens passed through academic environment either directly or indirectly. Using our own dear country as a case study, up to 70% of her citizens have tasted the sweetness of academic environment.
According to world bank report in 2015, Nigerian youth literacy rate is more than 70% and that of adult is more than 50%. Despite this high percentage of literacy in Nigeria, the impact of the products produced are not felt in solving societal problems.
The fall in academic society is the loss in value of her significance. It came to appear nowadays that the academic society is doing more harm than good to the society. Nigeria produce up to 500,000 graduates yearly and report shows more than half of this graduates are unemployed.No wonder Reuben Abati mocked our first class products that their intellectual capacity did not match with their first class certificate.
Partially, part of the academic purpose have been defeated in this country. This can be traced to failure from the part of the government, parents and the academic management.
All the collapsing factors cannot be attributed to the government especially the immorality, indiscipline, corruption etc that can be traced to academic society today. The environment whose primary objectives are to impact knowledge, discipline, morality, honesty etc have become otherwise in present age. It is dishearting to see primary school pupils being introduced to examination malpractice in order to pass primary school certificate exam. If a child of primary school is being thought how to cheat to obtained academic excellence,what do you think such child will do in the society to acquire whatever he/she want? Can we also blame the government for this? What of secondary school students that principals have made it obligatory on them to pay for malpractice fee before passing senior certificate exams? The teachers know that their negligence of duty did not impact enough knowledge on the students to face the challenges of the external exam as such, they impose malpractice due on the pupils to serve as alternative. With these, they are impacting immorality, theft, corruption etc on the mind of the students. This create mental laziness to students because they know with their money , the teachers are always available to push them through.
What of the University with higher expectations of problem solvers? It became worst of all. Recently at a convocation lecture, I smiles when I heard a pro-chancellor boasting that they stand against any lecturer that have been sleeping with students for favor . I perceived the statement as one of those mere public propaganda or lack of proper supervision of academic activities. It is happening day in, day out with lecturers that use grades to pay for sexual pleasure. Use grades to compel female students to bed else they will never pass the course even if she had the intellectual capability. First class and second class are easy nowadays in university without intellectual capability once one have something to exchange for it with the teaching lecturers(this indirectly remove the value of such certificate)Where Student Unionism funds are being embezzled with the collaboration of one staff or the other. Examination scripts are being leaked out to students prior to the examination day. All this corrupt practices attached to academic excellence collapse the value of the product.
So if a community which are created for impacting positive values are doing otherwise, what will be the product of such community? from the little citations above, the products of the academic system are being corrupt from primary to tertiary level, what input will such product bring to the society? Build or collapse of a Nation.
The Institutions are nowadays unleashing professional criminals and educated illiterates  to the society.
The blame game have made everybody to neglect their constitutional duty in the country. I believe those evil acts of corrupting the minds of the academic products cannot be nailed to the government.
As was stated by philosophers that the future of any society lies on the quality of her education, I urge the managements of academic institutions to rebuild our educational system. The principals should stop legalizing examination malpractices in their schools. They should devise a means with their managerial skills to encourage the teachers in doing their jobs. Teachers and lecturers should desist from sex for grade policy. They should focus more on impact which was the reason for institution. They use devise means to reclaim the integrity of our educational system.
I also urge the government to play their role in resuscitating the academic system of Nigeria by providing all the machinery needed for quality education. I urge the federal government to set a surprise visit to schools in order to actually keep track of their activities. The anti corruption crusade need to be taken to academic sector to scrutinized all their activities. The war against corruption cannot succeed without immunizing the academic sector, rather education sector of the country.
– Aliyu S. Yunusa
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August 27, 2017

Calling on Elites For Cure, Peace, Unity, and Progress in Ebiraland - AEE

What do we understand by Elites?

Elites are those special group of people that have a superior intellectual, social, political  or economical status in the society. They are group of people which are superior in terms of abilities and qualities over the rest in a society. They have much influence and power over other groups in the society.

From the above definitions, we can understand that Elites in a nutshell are the Enlightened personalities  in the society. With high level of intellectual englightenment, the elites are bestowed with the mandate of leadership to lead the non-elites to greater height. In line with this, Mosca in a debate said in 90's that " in all societies,  two classes of people exist- a class that is ruled and a class that rule.

A society with a high level of elites is a peaceful and developed society.
Most of the decay in Ebiraland today can be traced to lack of enlightenment by the perpetrators.
Our land is currently facing some challenges of its nationhood and existence. A land where the learned ones are fast becoming ignorant, the supposed wise men becoming charlatans or outright demagogues, a land where humility has become secondary ideal to arrogance.

An enlightened society is a harmonious one, education as we know is an illumination to dark ways, to ignorance, to idleness. We need to go back to the drawing board enlighten ourselves, educate ourselves, our youths especially, for youths are the stronghold of any generation. It is not enough to be educated, but to come with a plan, a plan with great foresight, this can only be achieved in unity, and hence peace will be inevitable when all these structures are in place.
Our identity is gradually being attenuated by Internal friction and attrition occasioned by clannishness; declining value and views; serious security breaches in the form of kidnapping, assassinations and robberies.
We have become a land where our best men rarely exert influence beyond the Local Government and State borders, a land where everyone is a King but holds no responsibility to any Constituency, a land where everyone is a champion even where there are no contests albeit at peace time but jets into exile at the slightest threat and trials that demand leadership.
So many Devils now straddle our land in Saintly robes. These vices which are manifest signs of unrestrained individual ego and ambition are also bitter consequences of absence of community and societal leadership.
Education is shambles and our youths are on the edge of moral decadence. Despite the time of such great moral decay some of our youths have struggle in different ways, manner and forms to curb the menace in our society. Different noble association doing their little contribution in making our home land hospitable, in their little way restoring our lost glories. But it is not enough, we have no other home aside this land of ours, so we have to come together, as individuals, as a group, as an association, as a union, to restore our lost glories.
In the light of that, ACADEMIC ELITES OF EBIRALAND is born. It is not just an association but a revolution of Ebira youths formed for the purpose of enlightenment of the Ebira race, the youths in particular, with carefully laid plans both short term and long term to achieve the maximum outcome for the betterment of Ebiraland in general. As educated, learned and an indigene of Ebiraland, you can be a part of these movement.

The purpose of the ACADEMIC ELITES is to revive the lost glory of our youths through enlightenment. To revive the spirit of education in the heart of the youths of our dear land.
To create a model in our land where others can emulate from. To pull our youths from the pit of destruction and to also support and  serve as guardian to our brothers/ sisters in higher institution in order to make them an influential person to the society, in collaboration with our fathers EBIRA SENIOR ACADEMICS to get this struggle fast on track without limitation till the end of time by God grace.

Where there is Enlightenment, there is Peace, Unity and Development. Let everyone be part of elites ti be enlightened.

Long live Nigeria…
Long live Kogi State....
Long live Ebiraland..
Long live AEE


For Enquiries:
 07038107029. (Engr) A. S. Yunusa                     (AEE PRESIDENT)
  08066155633. Habeebullah Abdulrasheed Anda                            
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August 15, 2017

People Talk A Lot (P T A) How To Deal With Rumor Peddlers.

People Talk A Lot (P T A) How To Deal With Rumor Peddlers.
People Talk A Lot (P T A) How To Deal With Rumor Peddlers.
Rumor Peddlers - Talking is part of what we humans do. “What differentiates us from animals is the fact that we can listen to other people’s dreams, fears, joys, sorrows, desires and defeats—and they in turn can listen to ours, but people who talk too much or spread rumors about others don’t seem to get this balance.

I like to hear people talk about me negatively or positively, but the fact is that some people thinks they really know who you are and will turn out they don't know a damn thing about you. I have seen cases where people hate me because of my policies and talk about it to others in a bitter way though it hurts sometimes but i always try to wave them out.

What i use to do is that i tried as much as possible not to take them personal , while this can be difficult to do because some rumors can be very hurtful, just remember that people spread rumors for a reason. Most people who are kind and care about others won't spread malicious rumors to harm someone. Those who spread rumors usually do so because they feel jealousy or envy towards you, or they are upset with their current state in life and want to add some drama to it to make it more interesting.
Stay above these rumors and don't encourage them by taking them personally and getting really upset. Some people spread rumors just to get a rise out of someone else. When rumors start to spread about you, act like nothing has happened and that you aren't affected by these lies. This can also help show people that the rumor isn't true, because you think it's so ridiculous that you don't even see a need to be upset about it.
A friend of mine in school wants me to do something for him but i feel very uncomfortable about what he asked me to do, so i declined. I was at ease to decline because what he wants me to do he can do it by his self though he was lazy, so because of this i became an enemy of his that was not the end i hear him talking behind my back even lying about what i did not do. I hurts and at the same time fun.
I know some people live life in bitterness but will backbiting or spreading untrue stories about other people  make them feel better? rumors aren't usually a sign that you have done something wrong. They usually communicate that the people spreading them are struggling with insecurities or boredom, so don't take it personally.
Conclusively- The funniest part of this is that, those people you listen to while they talk bad and untrue things about other people are the same people that will talk about you too. So the best part has been Understand that it may take time for the rumor to fade. Unfortunately, even if you have addressed the rumor, not all rumors fade quickly or immediately. Some people will believe you or will become uninterested while others may take some sort of twisted joy in hurting your reputation and will continue to discuss the rumor or the events surrounding it. Don't let these things bother you, but keep your head held high.
 I always tell people that i don't really give a fuck about what these kind of people say about me, because people talk a lot (PTA). So middle finger to those sort of people. LOL. 
Written By,
Yakubu Binuyaminu
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July 7, 2017

Gov. Yahaya Bello: Good Guy, Bad Politician - By Eneye

Gov. Yahaya Bello
Gov. Yahaya Bello
Kogi state has never been blessed with good leadership as far as I’m concerned, it is just unfortunate Governor Yahaya Bello’s flaws is highly emphasized and overstated due to the unnecessary and needless enemies he created for himself, all due to to his lack of political skills and arrogance.
Buhari is a good person, but when it comes to playing politics, he’s not that good. Likewise, Governor Yahaya Bello (GYB) is not a good politician, he doesn’t choose his battles carefully, I don’t know who are the people advising him but it’s either they’re not doing a good job or he’s simply not listening to advices. The first method for estimating the intelligence of a ruler is to look at the men he has around him.
He dissipate so much energy on a needless venture rather than focusing on governance. His aides are not helping matters also, one controversy to another, misinformation, and lack of coordination.
Ignoring Dino would’ve been his best move, if not befriending him. Dino is known for his big mouth, he shouldn’t have taken him serious. Dino however would’ve been a strong ally, but now he’s a formidable enemy.
Dino is someone who can be bought literally, forget his “fighting for the people” hypocrisy, GYB would’ve simply agreed to his request on who to appoint as Okun administrator or whatever their issue is. If he intends to win next election, it would’ve been the best move, Dino would gladly campaign for him like he did before.
GYB obviously have no friends (with few exceptions), Kogi APC is not on his side, and shouldn’t even be, there are 3 senators in Kogi, 2 of them are PDP, only Dino is APC, yet GYB wants to have him recalled, it’s not in any way a logical move to do and APC can’t possibly support him.
The workers and students are not happy with him, with the screening being the root of all evil in his administarion, then the Strikes, though the demands of the lecturers are a little bit inconsiderate, he is the governor, it’s his job to compromise to whatever their demand is. People will not consider your stance as the governor, but sympathize with lecturers rather. But in my honest opinion, Both GYB and lecturers share equal blame. GYB has compromised, it’s time for lecturers to follow suit.
I don’t know his plans against the next election, but i want to believe he have a plan to change all these, if not, he can kiss Lugard house goodbye. Kogi is a civil service state, the workers and students, comprises of about almost 70% of voters, if they’re not happy with you, there’s a problem.
When controversies and hunger trumps reasoning, no one will care if you build roads, or increase the revenue of the state, or not marginalizing anyone. Workers welfare shouldve been his utmost priority, otherwise people won’t notice any good thing. It is only when the stomach is filled, one can see things clearly.
Even losing considerable amount of support of his own people, which is the Ebira people, a grave danger and something he should really be pondering about. Honestly, he has a long way to go, but i really pray he set his house in order before it’s too late. I don’t care about him per se, but he represent a people, if he fails, we fail, and that’ll will create more problem and difficulty for any Ebira man who intends to run again.
So it’s not in our best interest for him to fail, or anyone else’s, as some is hoping for. I wish the circumstances were different, but I’d rather not vote, than vote against him. He might not be a political genius as one might’ve hoped, but so far he’s not marginalizing any tribe in the state as the previous administrations have been experts on, in my book, he’s doing fairly well (well, i.e if we decide to forget the screening nemesis).
“Men in general judge more by the sense of sight than by the sense of touch, because everyone can see but few can test by feeling. Everyone sees what you seem to be, few know what you really are; and those few do not dare take a stand against the general opinion.” – Niccolò Machiavelli, The Prince.
– Isa Eneye Mubarak
Tweets @IsaMubi3
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November 7, 2016

Lieutenant Colonel Muhammed Ali: A Gift From Above

Lieutenant Colonel Muhammed Ali: A Gift From Above

To the president, the Chief of Army Staff, the wife and children of the deceased, the Father (General Ali) and all other family members, the good people of kogi State, friends and well wishers of the Lion and the general public; I send my sincere condolences.
I’m not shocked at the death of Ali, as a person of faith, I believed Ali has completed his charismatic assignment on earth.
Many died been known as criminals, many as touts, many as cowards but Ali as a patriot, a Lion, a history for many of us.
Today In Our history, where people are known for how much they stole from our collective treasury, how wasteful they are as public office holders, how selfish, egoistic, egotistic, egocentric they could be for holding public positions, Ali’s video shows how humble, loved by his fellows, attentive, determined and how committed  he was as an officer. This is enough to live for. This is the best life to live.
The general public especially we from kogi state are grateful to Ali, we pray that his soul rest in peace.
To the Federal Government, the eulogising speech and those encomiums on Ali is good but not good enough for his family whom he was a bread winner, also to the those who wants to fight for the country in so many other ways and the general public on how they see their Govt.. I therefore advise, that the young Alis should be placed on full scholarship up till at least masters level and all other kids of our heroes who laid their lives that we can live. This will help the family, this will please Ali’s spirit, this will heal wounds, this will motivate other soldiers to work harder, this will promote the way the public look at their govt. and I think this is justice.
To be candid, I proud to note,  that Ali decided to stand for this country, believe in it, forth for it continuously  and courageously and finally he paid the supreme price. This is highest of piety.
Lieutenant Colonel Muhammed Abu Ali I am proud that you came in my time and I’m sure millions are with me.
Rest in peace Super Man.
Salihu Adam Jiddah
Founder, Kogi Liberation Movement.

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November 4, 2016

No Need For Decentralization, Kogi Is Well And Equitably Distributed With Higher Institutions – Comrade Nasir

It is with total disagreement and quest for further clarifications on and of what the “OKUN ECONOMIC FORUM” led by chief J. O. Yusuf stands for/represent that I bring my position and part observation of the public hearing of a bill which seek to repeal and re-enact the established laws of Kogi State University Anyigba to public domain via the online media.
For the records straight, it is an acknowledgement worthy development for his Excellency Alhaji Yahaya Bello to have deemed it worthwhile for the prestigious Kogi State University Anyigba to be renamed after his Excellency, late Prince Abubakar Audu, the sole establisher and first executive governor of Kogi State. However, caution must be employed in the process of carrying out this significant act of immortalization and amendment of laws in order not to plunge the state into ethnic jingoism and hatred.

According to Alexander Hamilton-“we must make the best of those ills which cannot be avoided” and in the light if this premise, Kogi is a state which although enjoys peaceful coexistence among its divided ethnics is very tantamount to ethnic disagreement and therefore requires optimum wisdom in discharging ethnic related issues. While it is right for the OKUN ECONOMIC FORUM to champion causes that will move her origin forward, it is also pertinent to mind the kind of figures cum fact to be tabulated for arguments and prayers that is of public concern.

The unreconcilable figures which it presented as the Junior/Senior staff break down of the university to support its prayers for decentralization of the university across the three senatorial districts is not only fictional but also represents the highest hallucination that could be originated to mislead an unsuspecting public. In the submission; KSU has a total of 1616 staff out of which the East has a total of 1118 staff with the central having 62 staff while it allotted 115 to West and 230 to non indigenes. The statistical figures here contradicts it’s alleged some total as mathematical summation of the 1118, 62, 115 and 230 which it opines as the staff distribution will be 1525 as against the 1616 which the group claimed as it’s total number of both junior and senior staff in the university.

Therefore, I call on his Excellency, the executive governor of Kogi State, the house committee on Education and judiciary as well as the general public to disregard the above figures which is already in circulation to draw public sympathy and supporting contributions. Relevant authorities and stakeholders must bear in mind that there is “no need for decentralization, Kogi is well and equitably distributed with higher institutions” of learning for presently; the west can boasts of Federal University Lokoja, Kogi State Polytechnic Lokoja and College of Education Technical Kabba. The central on her part can boast of College of Nursing Obangede, Federal College of Education Okene as well as the Osara campus of Kogi State Polytechnic. The east which hosts the KSU in contention equally boast of Federal Polytechnic Idah and the College of Education Ankpa.

Hence, the priories now should be on how to standardize these institutions through partnership with the federal government (where need be) and good regulation of the state owned institutions. Moreover, there is no better time for the governor to justify his zero tolerance to anti ethnic moves than now. The said decentralization is a good idea but very uncalled for been that all the senatorial districts of Kogi State has access to no lesser than two citadels of higher learning. More so, at times like now when both the state and nation at large is been faced with financial inadequacies, government must resolve to focus on resourceful enterprises rather than policies that will require huge capital to effect.

God Bless Kogi State!!!

Written by Comr A. M. Nasir,
twitter handle: @Naadejohs
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October 2, 2016

Nigeria @56: Goodwill Message by Senator Isaac Alfa

Nigeria @56: Goodwill Message by Senator Isaac Alfa

Senator Isaac Alfa 
As we celebrate Independence Day, on behalf of the people of Kogi East senatorial district and myself, I express our gratitude to the men and women who serve our nation at home and abroad. Thank you for all you do to help keep Nigeria as one united country.
When the Declaration of Independence was signed 56 years ago, our founding fathers pledged their lives and their sacred honour to defend our inviolable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. They left a legacy that lives on today through generations of Nigerians who have made that same pledge to boldly stand up against oppression and persecution. Their devotion to the ideals is just as strong, as is their willingness to risk their lives for each other and our country. We must therefore continue to strengthen our love for each other as a people, promote peace, religious and ethnic tolerance.
Those who serve in our armed forces, and their families, have given so much to defend the ideals and free institutions we often take for granted. Their dedication reminds us that preserving Nigeria’s liberties comes with a heavy cost. Today, as we celebrate our nation’s birth, let us honour their services and strive to be worthy of their tremendous sacrifices.
God bless you, our great nation, and all who endeavour to defend it. Happy 1st October!
Air Marshal Isaac Mohammed Alfa,
Senator, Kogi East Senatorial District
National Assembly, Abuja.
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June 12, 2016

Kogi’s unending absurdities

Kogi’s unending absurdities

Kogi's unending absurdities 
On February 21, and for the second time in about nine years, Palladium donated his column to an ardent reader incensed at the desecration of the fine arts of politics in Kogi State. The youthful Governor Yahaya Bello was busy upending common sense in the state, lawmakers were divided in two, with one part, the majority, fleeing to Abuja with the mace, and another, just five of them, turning electoral arithmetic on its head. The ordinary Kogite watched in great perplexity, unable to comprehend how the simple act of voting peacefully for the late Abubakar Audu/Abiodun ticket had turned into a farce orchestrated by both the ruling APC and INEC. Last week they expected that their distress would end; instead the absurdities, thanks to the inexplicable tribunal judgement, promise to continue for some time. Here is a repeat of Mr Adeola’s intervention, published again to set the context for next week’s dissection of the judgement.

KOGI State has been in the news for the wrong reasons of late. The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) dealt a devastating blow to the state when on 22nd November 2015, it announced the result of the governorship election held on 21st November 2015 as inconclusive. On Sunday, 22nd November 2015, Kogites had stayed glued to their televisions to watch how the elections results from the local government areas were trickling in one after the other. Many Christians amongst them missed Sunday church services as they stayed back home to monitor the results of the election. The Returning Officer of the election, Professor Emmanuel Kucha, Vice Chancellor, Federal University of Agriculture, Makurdi, finally announced the scores of the candidates in all the 21 local government areas of the state after the collation of the figures. Kogites became agitated when Professor Kucha announced that the collation officers were proceeding on a short break. Little did anyone know then that something miserable was afoot.

On his return from break, the professor announced that Prince Abubakar Audu (now deceased) of the All Progressives Congress (APC) scored 240,514 votes, while Capt. Idris Wada of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) garnered 199,514 votes. He said that the margin of votes between Messrs Audu and Wada was 41,353. He, therefore, further announced that the election was inconclusive because the total number of registered voters in 91 polling units in 19 local government areas where election was cancelled was 49,953, which according to him was higher than 41,353 votes with which Audu led Wada. The returning officer added that, by INEC guidelines, no return could be made for the election until a supplementary election was held. The supplementary election held on 5th December 2015 at the end of which Alhaji Yahaya Bello, who never participated in the main election, was declared the winner by “supplementary votes” of 6,000. It was not until 24th November 2015 that INEC owned up to the demise of Prince Audu.

The conduct and announcements of INEC on Kogi polls have since set Kogi State on the path of absurdities, legal and political. The Kogi state Governorship Election Petition Tribunal, now sitting in Abuja, is being called upon to resolve the legal absurdities. These include:  (a) The declaration by INEC that the election of 21st November 2015 was inconclusive after it had announced the results of all the local government areas; (b) The choice of INEC to use its guidelines as against applying the provisions of the Electoral Act and the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to declare the election inconclusive; (c) The propriety or otherwise of INEC conducting a supplementary election on an election that had been won and lost going by the figures INEC itself announced; (d) The constitutional basis or otherwise of INEC allowing Alhaji Yahaya Bello to contest an election without a running mate; (e) The propriety or otherwise of INEC merging the votes scored by the late Abubakar Audu/Hon. James Abiodun Faleke with the supplementary votes of Alhaji Yahaya Bello and the law that permits such a merger.
There are many other issues that the Tribunal will be called upon to determine. All Kogites and the whole world are anxiously waiting for the decision of the learned Tribunal.

Alhaji Bello was inaugurated as the fourth civilian governor of Kogi State on 27th January 2016. He was sworn in without a deputy. This act is unprecedented in Nigeria. Kogi State is fast becoming notorious for earning the first position in every bad political occurrence in Nigeria. In 2007, it became the first state to have the election of its governor upturned by an election tribunal. In 2011, it became the first state to have three governors in one day: the then outgoing governor, Alhaji Ibrahim Idris; Capt. Idris Wada sworn-in by the President of the State Customary Court of Appeal; and the Speaker of the then State House of Assembly, sworn in by the Chief Judge of the State. The state is also now on record as the first state in which the candidate who won an election died before being sworn in, calling for the application of section 181 of the Constitution.

Alhaji Bello has spent three weeks as the governor of Kogi State. A period of three weeks may be considered too short to assess the performance of a governor. It is, however, sufficient to come to a decision on what type of governor he would make. A careful study of the actions and utterances of Alhaji Bello, as governor of Kogi State, clearly shows that he is an intemperate and sometimes unpredictable person, imbued with extraordinary energy and youthful exuberance, almost bordering on the bizarre. He has sufficiently demonstrated that he is someone who would take an action first before thinking over it. The consequence of this is that he has had to reverse himself on several issues relating to the policies he announced within the first few days of his tenure. He lacks the experience, maturity, insight, shrewdness and astuteness required to govern a state like Kogi or any state for that matter. He is naturally self-conceited and not reflective.

Upon his inauguration, the first thing he did was to abandon Kogites and proceed to attend the meeting of the Northern Governor’s Forum. The meeting was more important to him than the plight of his people, particularly the workers of the state civil service who had been on strike for non-payment of salaries that had accumulated for four months. Alhaji Yahaya Bello returned from the meeting and announced that the hungry workers would have to undertake an elaborate screening exercise before they were paid October 2015 salaries. The exercise would have taken another one month or more to conclude. Kogi State chapter of the Nigerian Labour Congress rose up to the occasion and alleged that he acted mala fide and betrayed the trust reposed in him. The Congress reminded him that it was to honour him that they agreed to call off the strike. It threatened to resume the strike within seven days if the governor failed to reverse his decision on the screening exercise. The Congress had wondered how the workers would cope with hunger for another one month. The governor immediately reversed his decision.

Alhaji Bello promised to pay one month salary arrears to the workers. As at the time he announced this decision, he did not know the amount of money in the coffers of the government to determine whether or not the money would be sufficient to cover the wage bill. He was not even sure what the wage bill was when he made the announcement. It was a whimsical decision to score political points.  He was later faced with the stark reality as he met only N2.5 billion in the government’s account, whereas the wage bill was N3.5 billion. But he went ahead to deplete the N2.5 billion he met by first taking care of his security vote and awarding a contract of N100million for the renovation of his office, amongst other huge sums of money he had withdrawn for some other so-called state reasons. The resultant effect of all this was that almost half of the number of the workers have yet to receive their October 2015 salaries as at the time of writing this piece. And, there is no hope of them receiving their pay as no arrangements are being made in that regard. Meanwhile, he is said to have incurred some huge hotel bills at Transcorp Hilton, Abuja, and another whopping sum at Reverton Hotel, Lokoja.

Alhaji Bello knew that he needed the cooperation of the members of the State House of Assembly. He, however, approached the matter in an arrogant manner. He demonstrated his lack of skill, finesse and diplomacy on the issue. After securing the approval of the lawmakers for his nominee for the office of the Deputy Governor, Hon. Simon Achuba,  in a subterranean manner, he invited them into his private residence and addressed them roughly. He did not leave any of them in doubt that he had become the Governor of Kogi State and would remain so for the next eight years. His coarse language angered the members, majority of whom are of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). His immodesty made him lose control over the Kogi State House of Assembly, notwithstanding the unlawful manner he wooed them.  By the time he attempted to impose his stooge as the Speaker, the exercise ended in fiasco as only five of the twenty members were available to do his bidding. They, nevertheless, went ahead with their unconstitutional acts with the strong backing of the military and police who were deployed that day to give the five members protection. One really wonders the business of soldiers from the Army Records in Lokoja over a legislative matter that is purely civil. Perhaps the commander of the unit or the Chief of Army Staff would be in a better position to explain this. Meanwhile the governor is yet to explain to Kogites why he had to conduct the swearing-in ceremony of the Deputy Governor under a secret cover in his sitting room rather than the Confluence Stadium or any other open place. The arrogance of Alhaji Bello has also been visibly demonstrated by his decision to block the road that passes by his personal residence beside the Government House, Lokoja, thereby causing  pains and inconveniences and logjam for road users.

The governor has exhibited ignorance of the clear provisions of the constitution. This has led him to commit unconstitutional acts and impeachable offences. He does not appear to have knowledge of the limits of his powers as a governor. He imagines that he has absolute and unfettered powers to do anything he wants. He has dissolved the Local Government commission without regard to the fact that it is unconstitutional to do so except at the expiration of its stated term. He abrogated the joint account of Local Government Councils and the State without repealing the law establishing it. He has issued directives to Universal Basic Education and Pension Bureau contrary to the extant laws and rules guiding them.

Alhaji Bello also announced that he had granted autonomy to the local government councils, apparently, without any understanding of the implications of such a fundamental policy decision. He places no structure on the ground either by legislation or guidelines upon which such autonomy can operate. It is a blanket power conferred on the local government council chairmen to conduct the affairs of their councils as they desire. Finances and the staff salaries and welfare of the local government councils are now at the whims of the council chairmen. Indeed, the crucial question agitating the minds of right-thinking Kogites is whether or not local government autonomy can be granted by mere irrational verbal pronouncement of a governor without any legislative or constitutional backing. Given the penchant of the governor at reversing himself, it will not be surprising to hear, in the next few days, that he has reversed the decision again. One interesting aspect of the autonomy granted the council chairman is the fact that few days after the announcement of the granting of the so-called autonomy, the Governor himself proceeded to suspend all the Directors of Local Governments (DLGS) and cashiers for one month without consulting the chairmen. Right now, all permanent secretaries in the state civil service, directors of finance, deputy accountant-general and staff of accounts sections of all ministries and parastatals are being placed on one-month compulsory leave.

His hatred for the Okuns is brewing and manifesting. He ensured that his cronies who impeached the Speaker did not give the slot to an Okun man even when it was zoned to the western Senatorial District. He also ensured that a Lokoja man got it. Furthermore, he ensured that an Okun man who was the deputy accountant general did not act for the accountant-general when the latter was sacked. He is said to be planning to bring an Ebira from Lagos to be the accountant-general of the state, a civil service position.

Right now, Kogi State is in the hands of two amateurs and inexperienced administrators. Yahaya Bello, the Governor, and Edward Onoja, the Chief of Staff, who have demonstrated lack of capacity in governance and administration. Both of them have no political or administrative pedigree and acumen. Alhaji Bello served as civil servant at the Revenue Mobilization, Allocation and Fiscal Commission for only twelve years. He never became a director to direct any affair. He is today a multi-billionaire. Edward Onoja worked in the banking system for few years before he was eased out. Both of them, regrettably, are calling the shots in Kogi courtesy of INEC’s manipulations against the will of the people of Kogi State, freely expressed at a peacefully conducted election of 21st November 2015 where nobody complained of any malpractice. Until the Tribunal rules, the absurdities in Kogi are bound to continue. Hopefully, this won’t be long.
  • Adeola writes from Lokoja
  • First published February 21, 2016

 Source TheNation

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June 11, 2016

Senator AT Ahmed: My Dad, My Hero!

Senator AT Ahmed: My Dad, My Hero!

 Hon Mohammed Lawi Ahmed  and Senator AT Ahmed
To me it still seems like a tragic happening of yesterday, I can still recall the shocks, devastation and the sorrowful mood myself and the entire family were thrown into when the info got to us about the fatal road accident which claimed the life of a man we all love and never wanting to loose.

I was touched the more most especially when I recapitulated upon alot we discussed and planned together that never saw the light of the day. My dad was a man of huge dreams of which to God be the glory he was lucky to be able to achieve alot during his life time.

His days as a civil servant and his life as a politician are moments I have been emulating because they are worth it. My father was one man who amongst many never gives up on a just course, his sense of consistency, resilience, fearlessness, logical and diplomatic handlings of issues are amongst the various ingredients that spur him to what he became in life.

I want to use this opportunity to thank his followers and  supporters while he was alive and till date for the true love they’ve shown him and we his family after his demise. A good example is the support they gave to me his son to ensure AT Ahmed political history does not go down the rail by trooping out en masse to vote me during the last election of Kogi state House of Assembly of which today I am the member representing Okene 1 state constituency.

I want to also say that the legacy of my father upon which I rely upon to be where I am today, shall suffer no damage by myself, it’s pertinent to note that I have vowed to build more on the name, indeed the shoe I have stepped into is a big one but God’s willing I shall take my time to walk gently with it.

Finally, on behalf of myself and family, I say a big thank you to our well wishers as today we mark the 10th year anniversary of my own Hero, mentor, philanthropist and a political icon to many.
Thank you very much…

Hon. Lawi AT Ahmed
Member Representing Okene 1 constituency,
Kogi State House of Assembly.

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May 16, 2016

Confluence Beach Hotel Rots Away

Confluence Beach Hotel Rots Away

 Confluence Beach Hotel in Mess

As  Confluence Beach Hotel rots away in Kogi State, stakeholders are calling on the state government to put it into use in view of the state’s dwindling revenue.

Kogi Confluence Beach Hotel, located along Ganaja Road, Lokoja, the state capital, was built by late Governor, Abubakar Audu to serve as a first class accommodation and tourists’ centre for guests within and outside the state.

Although, the hotel was started during the military era in the state, it was however completed and put to use under the administration of late Abubakar Audu.

Successive governments in the state, especially, the regime of former governor Ibrahim Idris, made efforts in constructing more structures in the place.
But these magnificent edifices, situated in a serene location along the confluence point of Rivers Niger and Benue are now rotting away instead of providing the needed hospitality services to the public.
A visit to the hotel which was once adjudged as one of the best in the whole of north central states can now best be described as a shadow of itself.
Checks by our correspondent indicate that the once vibrant hotel which had hosted various calibres of guests and events, is currently lying dormant in a pitiable condition.
It was learnt that the hotel flourished between 2004 and 2005. However, things began to change when the former governor Ibrahim Idris, changed the management of the hotel (Ikeja Hotel).
At the moment, there is no hospitality services being rendered at the hotel due to lack of political will by successive governments in the state to make the place functional.
Most of the facilities at the hotel are now in deplorable condition just as miscreants are said to have vandalized and made away with some of the valuable facilities at the hotels.
The first set of structures built at the hotel comprise 151 rooms and chalets, a reception hall, laundry, lobby, two conference halls, restaurant, swimming pool, a mosque and a basket ball pitch.
Former governor Ibrahim Idris also constructed another 100 rooms the hotel which has never been put to use even for a single day since the project was completed by the contractor.
Our reporters who visited the hotel observed that the swimming pool, basketball pitch, wildlife park and one of the conference halls, amongst other facilities in the hotel are in terrible state while some of the rooms submerged by flood sometimes ago have been abandoned.
Besides, furnitures in some of the rooms and chalets are in deplorable shape, especially those affected by flood.
Cobwebs have covered most of the rooms while the environment is overgrown with weeds, indication that all is not well with the once flourishing hotel.
Some of the rooms and chalets, the basketball pitch and the swimming pool have been taken over by weeds due to lack of maintenance.
At the moment, a conference hall at the hotel which has capacity for about 3,000 people also in a pitiable condition as the roof and ceilings are now blown off.
The hotel which is capable of generating handsome revenue for the state if made functional and properly maintained, has however been abandoned.
Observers are of the views that the present administration in its drive to boost internally generated revenue in view of the dwindling federal allocations, should find a way of reviving the moribund hotel as a revenue spinner.
According to observers, government could make the place functional by overhauling facilities at the hotel and by ensuring that all government sponsored events, programmes/guests are hosted in the place as a way of helping to boost its revenue base.
A public commentator and human rights activist, Comrade Abdul Idris Miliki, said the concept of the hotel from the on was unique and thus received a lot of patronage from within and outside the state.
“Then, institutions, individuals and groups were coming to the hotel. Most of the organizations like the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) were holding seminars and staff training there,  civil society and other non- governmental organizations were also holding seminars and workshops. Government activities both state and local government were taking place there. It was so because it was built in chalet form and well managed,” he said.
He attributed the downward trend of the hotel to lack of continuity, partisan politics and interest, saying that former governor Ibrahim Idris who took over from the late Audu felt that there was no need to develop the hotel and continue with the fame the hotel was known for before becoming the governor of the state.
“In the first four years of his administration, they took it away from Ikeja Hotel who were managing it and leased it out to another firm. After giving it out to a new manager, they were still making money but were not maintaining it hence the hotel has become a disaster for the state. People laugh at you whenever you say you are going to Confluence Beach Hotel,” he said.
Miliki  blamed the immediate past administration of governor Idris Wada for wasting government resources in embarking on another hotel project in the state capital instead of revamping the already existing Confluence Beach Hotel.
He wondered why the state government could afford to fritter away a golden opportunity of creating employments and generate revenue from the hotel.
The rights activist called on the present government to either get a private investor that will run the hotel through Public Private Partnership to bring back its lost glory or should outrightly sell it, adding government has no business running hotels.
When contacted, Special Adviser to Governor Bello on Culture and Tourism, Mr Ibrahim Usman, said the present administration is concerned about the hotel and that efforts are on to bring in investors to run the hotel.
“We are looking at branded investors who have both financial muscles and knowledge of the industry. We have talked to a couple of people in Dubai already and we have other people who are interested. It’s going to be a cocktail of all people who have interest and at the end, we will be able to choose the best from them,” he said.
Credit: , Daily Trust

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May 2, 2016

Workers’ Day: Full Text of Kogi Governor’s Address

Workers’ Day: Full Text of Kogi Governor’s Address

 Yahaya Bello at Workers Day

The Deputy Governor of Kogi State, His Excellency, Honourable Simeon Achuba.
The Speaker of the Kogi State House of Assembly, Honourable Umar Imam
The Chief Judge of Kogi State, My Lord Justice Nasir Ajanah
Secretary to the Kogi State Government, Her Honour Mrs. Ayoade Folashade Arike
The Chief of Staff to the Governor, Honourable Edward Onoja
The Head of Service (Acting), Kogi State Civil Service,
Political Appointees and Members of Government.
Leaders and Members of the Nigerian Labour Congress
Leaders and Members of the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria
Great Nigerian Workers!
Ladies and Gentlemen,

May 1st every year is a testimonial to the indomitable spirits of men and women, the Workers, who play the most invaluable roles in the Development of any Society. It is a day set aside by the World to pay deserved tribute to the people who constitute the Engine-room of every Society. These people, individually and collectively, labour, often without recognition and commensurate remuneration, to oil the wheels of progress in every Administration.

On this day, on behalf of the People and Government of Kogi State, we salute Workers all over the World. We salute you, Great Nigerian Workers. Above all, we salute each and every person who is a part of the Kogi State Civil Service at any level. Thank you for your Labour and Contribution. We acknowledge that Governments and Societies, including ours, are helpless without the Workers.

**Solidarity Song**

The ideal Workforce is the one in which Workers are consistently improving in skills and salaries. It is one in which the operating environment allocates dignity to human beings and rewards merit. It excludes redundancy and stagnation by a smart process of job placement and transfers. It provides continuous learning through training and retraining. Above all it works seamlessly to generate maximum productivity. It is our aspiration as an Administration to build that Ideal Workforce in Kogi State. However, reality shows we have a lot of work to do.

We cannot deceive ourselves that all is rosy with the Worker, whether in Nigeria or here at home in Kogi State. We inherited a Kogi State in which unpaid salaries and general atrocious working conditions were the norm. All sorts of tricks were devised by previous administrations to short-change the Kogi State Worker. The worst is of course the scourge of ghost-workers. Thousands of non-existent ‘workers’ paid from Kogi State coffers thus bringing it under undue strain and leaving the real workers either totally unpaid or only receiving meagre percentages of their wages.

I was a former Federal Civil Servant. I was never owed salaries during my time in service. When we came into Office, Kogi Workers were already on strike for at least 6 weeks, fed up with the then PDP Government’s kleptomania, lack of transparency and disastrous policies. It hurt me that a so-called Government could receive all the Federal Allocations due to it and still find the heart to leave workers unpaid. I decided that my Administration will be different. We remain committed to improving the lot of our Workers by eliminating every scheme in the system designed to exploit and cheat them.

Accordingly, the ghost-worker syndrome is an evil this Administration is committed to eradicating forever. The first line is the Screening Committee we set up soon after our Inauguration, led by Brigadier-General Paul Okuntimo (Rtd). General Okuntimo is a fine officer and an incorruptible gentleman. The Screening Committee is scheduled to conclude her work within the next one week and we shall thereafter expect to have only genuine workers on our payroll.

No more will people sit in Pay Offices and fabricate thousands of names, add them to the nominal roll and siphon Kogi State resources with them on a monthly basis. No more will people sit down in Lagos, Abuja, even abroad, and receive bank alerts for salaries from the Kogi State Government. No more will Kogi State pay salaries to ghost-workers who are ‘serving’ in non-existing institutions discovered all over the state by the Screening Committee. We are dismantling all of that satanic infrastructure. Our people will no longer be robbed.

On this Workers’ Day I must also seize opportunity to sound a timely warning to every genuine Worker in the Kogi State Civil Service: ENSURE THAT YOU ARE SCREENED. If the Screening Committee has somehow missed you, seek them out and do the needful. Once the Screening Exercise is done, we will only be paying salaries to Workers who have gone through the process. If you miss this train, you will have only yourself to blame.

Let me state that nothing happens without somebody knowing about it. We are therefore encouraging whistle-blowing. See something, say something. Everyone is encouraged to reach the Screening Committee or any of my appointees with information that will help us to completely sanitise the system. We will shortly set up a Call Centre so that those who prefer anonymity in this regard can put a call across and not have to fear detection or persecution.

In any case, I personally guarantee protection and maybe, some token reward, to every whistle-blower but only for giving us actionable intelligence.

We have also been inundated with allegations of collusion between some labour executives and the past administrations in cheating the very Workers they represent through corrupt practices. We will of course investigate and anyone found culpable will have a date with the Anticorruption Agencies. We are cooking something nice for Kogi People, I know the kitchen is getting hot but I promise you there will be no sacred cows. Let those who cannot stand the heat get out of the kitchen!

Masu gudu, su gudu. The guilty are afraid. Evildoers may run, but they cannot hide.

Like I have repeatedly said, we intend to do things differently. A cardinal principle on which this Administration operates is transparency and open communications. I wish to bring to your notice the following facts:

• We have received four federal allocations since our assumption of Office in January, 2016 out of which we paid full salaries for January and March.

• In January we received about N2.6bn while our salary bill came to about N2.7bn. We paid full salaries.
• In February we received about N2.5bn and applied that the differentials between allocations and wage bills for January and March as well as other pressing needs of the State which has direct impact on the lives of the people, including you, the Workers. You will admit that Kogi State, with a population of about 3.5m people cannot spend all her money to service a Workforce of about 100,000 people. Security, obligations to contractors, rehabilitation of infrastructure, etc are also pressing and unavoidable.

• In March our allocation was about N2.3bn but we again paid full salaries to the tune of about N2.9bn.
• For April, allocation is about N2bn only. Even though the nearly N900m gap between allocation and wage bill is a huge challenge, we still hope to pay full salaries and even start defraying some arrears incurred by previous Administrations.

We put these figures in the public domain in the hope that Organised Labour will have the information they need to match us good faith for good faith. It saddens Government when industrial action is embarked upon in a capricious manner that seems to say that only the interests of striking workers matter. We believe that we can always partner together to manage every situation, including tight financial situations, in order to achieve the best results.

I am aware that almost as soon as were sworn in malicious persons serving evil interests both within and without Kogi State filled the media with rumours that we have accessed and frittered away the Bailout Funds. Nothing could be further from the truth. The reality we met on ground at the CBN was that the previous application made on behalf of the State by the last administration was fraught with irregularities and shoddily done. In a word, it was so badly done it could never be approved. We had to start from scratch.

We are glad to announce that our efforts have paid off. This week we received approval to draw down on the first tranche of our Bailout Funds from the Federal Government. This will amount to about N20bn. We will draw down on the balance of about N30bn as we meet the milestones for implementation of the first tranche as set by the Central Bank of Nigeria. I also announce a commitment to use that money for salaries and emoluments of our workers. I am certain that by the time we fully disburse the Bailout Funds, disputes over outstanding emoluments will be over.

I therefore call on the Members and Leadership of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, Kogi State University Chapter to call off their ongoing Strike and let our dear Students go on with their education on schedule. In return, I promise them, and indeed all Workers of Kogi State, that there is now some light at the end of the tunnel.

We are also building momentum on our promises to the people in our manifesto. The promise of a New Direction is not ‘One Chance’ by any stretch of the imagination. Our New Direction Blueprint Team has taken our manifesto and produced the Quick-Wins which we are already implementing. I will speak more on that during the 100 Days’ events.

The main Blueprint which identifies planned developmental strides in every year of our 4-year tenure will soon be ready too.

My People, your Government in Kogi State is running with a 4-year Plan, a Blueprint for Accelerated Development of the State in all areas and socio-economic indices within this current term of office. We are focused on this one tenure. Those going around scheming against 2019 should therefore leave us alone. We are not open to distractions at any time. Like power, 2019 and beyond lie in the Hands of God. I trust that when the time comes, God and the great People of Kogi will decide who will lead this State further.
In closing, it is my pleasure to announce a donation by the Administration of two brand new buses to the Kogi State Chapters of the Nigerian Labour Congress and the Trade Unions Congress respectively. The Kogi State Government charges the Leadership of the Unions to deploy these vehicles in the best interests of their members and in service to God and humanity at large.

Once more I felicitate with all Workers on this May Day, 2016. In particular, I felicitate with the Disciplined, Supportive, Resourceful and Productive Workers of the Kogi State Civil Service. I identify with you today, and always, and promise our continued commitment to your welfare and rights.
Solidarity forever.

Thank you very much.


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