By Chesa Chesa
Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello, has expressed absolute confidence in getting reelected this November as he had begun preparation for the gubernatorial polls well even before President Muhammadu Buhari’s re election last February.
Bello bared his mind to State House correspondents at the weekend after he was formally presented to Buhari as the All Progressives Party (APC) governorship candidate for the Kogi polls by the party national chairman, Adams Oshiomhole.
According to Bello, although he was not taking anything for granted, he was confident that his achievements in office over the last four years were convincing enough for Kogi people to return him to office for a second term.
He particularly highlighted his being able to ensure up-to date payment of salaries, in addition to offsetting the backlog he met when he assumed office; and also making Kogi one of the safest States in Nigeria.
His words: “As regards level of preparedness, I am not just preparing now, I have been ready for this election even before the last general election that produced Mr. President, the National Assembly and the State Houses of Assembly.
‘So, we are well prepared for the election. As for victory, I think by the grace of God it is assured. We are not going to take anything for granted. Whether the candidate of the opposition party is strong or not, we will approach the election with seriousness and ensure that it is conducted freely and fairly and we will become victorious by the grace of God. On November 17th we will be announced the winner.”
Asked what message he was taking to Kogi electorate for the next four years, he said that “the citizens of Kogi State have actually seen my performance against the performance of previous PDP Governors. In less than three and half years, they have seen all my wonderful performances.
“In fact, starting with even the issue of salaries, it’s just that I have chosen not to speak about the issue of salary because it is a problem I inherited.
“And in any case, governance is continuum, you inherit both assets and liabilities. When you inherit assets, you make use of it, when you inherit liabilities or troubles, you try to solve it, you don’t complain about it.
“Every local government in Kogi is dotted with various infrastructural development. The people of Kogi State have spoken before in the last general election, they will speak again.”
On security, he said that” if you look at Kogi State in the past, if you were a traveler you will hold your breath. The inhabitants as early as 6:30 they would only manage to pray their morning prayer and in the evening they would manage to pray their evening prayer and go to bed.
“But today, even along the streets of Kogi you will see people jogging, exercise, night life is back as a result of improved security situation in the state today.
“Kogi State is the second safest state in Nigeria today, I didn’t say it. We have various bodies that rate the performance of various government and administration, Nigeria Bureau of statistics and the rest of them, they said it.
“So if you look at it, we have performed so wonderfully that the people of Kogi state are eager that 16th November should come and let them speak with their votes and I know they will speak very well and re-elect me, the APC and we shall become victorious.”
He chided the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for failing to conduct rancour and violence-free primary election, declaring that such was the character of the party in the State.
“If you monitor all their activities of the PDP in Kogi state, the ones I know of right from theaward congresses to the local government congresses, to the state congresses, it has always been marred or characterized with violence, guns, maiming of each other and all kinds of attacks.
“So the outcome of that of the last primaries they conducted shouldn’t take anyone by surprise.
“So it is their character, it is their stock in trade and that is what they are known for and so should rather look inward rather than pointing accusing fingers outside”, he stated.