LAGOS – Ahead of the November 16 governorship election in Kogi State, the support base of the state governor, Yahaya Bello, popularly known as GYB has continued to swell with loads of endorsements from key stakeholders in the state.
The governor who was elected in 2016 has announced his intention to seek reelection under the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Few days after the declaration, the leadership Forum of Coordinators of National Youth Council of Nigeria (NYCN), which comprises youths from the 21 local government areas of the state donated the sum of N2m for the purchase of governor’s expression of interest form.
Chairman of the Forum, Comrade Abdullahi Adamu said their gesture was a show of their genuine support for the governor and their commitment to reciprocate the recognition the administration had accorded them.
He lauded the governor for running an inclusive government and giving them a sense of belonging since he came into office in 2015.
He also appealed to the governor to include them in the state campaign council for the forthcoming November polls, promising their preparedness to enter every nook of the state to convince voters to vote for Governor Bello’s return.
Few days ago, the Forum of Permanent Secretaries in Kogi State, joined the league of supporters who want the governor to occupy the Lugard House Government house for another term, saying they are satisfied with the progressives civil service reforms carried out by the governor since assumption in office.
The forum’s chairman, Jibrin Okeme, who made its position known after the forum’s meeting with the Special Adviser on Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Abubakar Ohere said the governor deserved support to enable him to consolidate his achievements.
Okeme who said civil service reforms have positively repositioned the state for better efficiency and performance under Bello’s leadership said promotion in the civil service had been quarantined from tribalism and inefficiency, assuring the governor of their maximum support in moving the state forward.
According to him, “As challenging as the reforms may be, the gains inherent cannot be quantified. The state’s benefit outlives the pains. We are in the same boat with Governor Bello. Wherever he goes we will go with him” he said.
In a similar vein, some students in Kogi also pledged their support for the second term bid of Governor Bello, describing him as an effective leader who has done enough to merit reelection.
The students, who are from different organisations such as the Kogi state chapter of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), the National Association of Kogi State Students (NAKOSS), Igala Students Association (ISA) and National Association of Ebira Students (NAES) among others said they are speaking on behalf of all students in the state.
At a press conference, Hussein Attaja, who spoke on behalf of the groups, said Bello remain the best of all the options they have. He also urged the national leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC) to follow due process in picking its gubernatorial candidate in the state.
”The emergence of Bello as APC flag bearer will enable maximum support from the student community and entire youths of Kogi due to his vision, experience and uncommon love for the youths and the future generation,” he said.
“The governor has provided free academic materials to students, creation of skills acquisition platforms and empowerment, implementation of 300 percent increment of Bursary payment to all Kogi students in tertiary institutions nationwide.
”Provision of coastal buses to various tertiary institutions in the state to aid effective students union activities among other notable achievements were testament to his capacity.
“The achievements mentioned above and more are the reasons for the need for the students to give our governor the necessary support as we jointly throw our weight behind him.
”We want his name to be written in gold as student bodies in the three major higher institutions are setting up and dedicating mini students welfare centres to be named; ‘Governor Yahaya Bello Students Centre’.”
More endorsements came for the governor as over 2000 staff of Hal- Nusab & Associate Kleaners in Kogi state unanimously endorsed him for second term in office to enable him consolidate on his numerous achievements.
Addressing newsmen in Lokoja , the Chief Executive Officer of Hal-Nusab, Mr Abubakar Sadiq said the endorsement was borne out of the interest the governor has for the youth of the state.
He said: “In the last three and half years Alhaji Yahaya Bello held sway as the governor of Kogi state, a lot of youth were gainfully employed.
“Kogi state that in the past used to be hideout for criminals especially kidnappers and armed robbers is now the most peaceful state in the north central as he fought head long against all forms of insecurity in the state”
Sadiq assured that his organisation would be involve in house to house campaign to mobilise and canvass support for the governor, promising that to ensure that the governor Bello return back to Lugard House.
He urged the people of the state to be patient with the current administration, assuring that the second term would bring more dividend of democracy to the state.
Also, the Ohinoyi of Ebiraland, His Royal Majesty, Dr Ado Ibrahim also declared support for the governor and also appealed to the people of Kogi to continue supporting him.
The Royal Father who is also the Vice Chairman, Kogi State Council Of Chiefs gave the commendation at the Eid Fitri prayer at the Eid ground in Okene, saying the Governor has made him and the entire people of Ebiraland proud.
According to the Paramount Ruler Of Ebiraland, Governor Bello is doing his best to move the State forward.
“Recently, my views were taken out of context and I have spoken to the Governor about those things.
“As my son, I want him to continue to make us proud. I know he will do more and that will be our next level. I want the President to continue to be proud of him.
“Nobody can solve all the problems of the State but the Governor has done very well. I call on the people of Ebiraland and indeed Kogi State to continue to support him”.
Earlier, Governor Yahaya Bello thanked the Royal Father for his fatherly advice and guidance since his assumption of Office over three years ago.
“The Ohinoyi is my father and the father of the Ebira nation. I thank him for his contributions to my success.
“No good son will not tap from the wealth of experience of the Royal Father. I urge all Ebira people to continue to live with one another with the fear of Allah. I pray for continued peace and harmony in Ebiraland.
Reacting to the endorsements, Kingsley Fanwo, the Director-General, Media and Publicity to the Governor said the multiple endorsements are testimonies of the governor’s giant strides which has impacted positively on the lives of Kogites in the last four years.
“We’ve been impressed by the show of solidarity and support by our party members, chieftains, foot soldiers on the streets and to even shock you, by the leaders of the opposition parties who believed that the governor has done quite a lot in the state. They are already showing us great support to ensure that the second term ambition of the governor comes into fruition” he said.