By Yohana Samson
The Governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party for the Kogi State Governorship Election, Senator Dino Melaye, has promised to end what he described as a legacy of poverty, decadence and general insecurity, which he said, the outgoing All Progressives Congress administration has forced on Kogites.
The PDP candidate said this during the presentation of the party’s policy document at an event at the National Secretariat of the party in Abuja.
He said, “Among all the candidates and parties participating in the governorship election in Kogi State, only the PDP is working on a policy document.
“We promised when we got the mandate of the people that we are going to do things differently.
“What we are doing here is to announce to Nigerians that the incoming government in Kogi State, by the grace of God will do things differently.
“No any other party is talking about policy document apart from the PDP and by the time i have looked at this document, i have read it, it is not only robust, but a solution book.
“We have suffered so much in Kogi State, we are in the den of the evil forest in Kogi State.
“As I speak, Kogi is the only state where a serving permanent secretary is taking Okada to the office, in Kogi a level 16 officer is taking 16 thousand salary. There is a state of decadence, poverty, corruption in Kogi State, these are people with families.
“The present administration undertook a needless Civil service exercise, retrenched, sacked and kept some people hanging. Some others died for traveling from far places to the state capital for screening and accident happened.
“In the history of the state, we have the largest number of missing persons in Nigeria, even the PDP Chairman of Okene local government area for four years we are still looking for him.
“ You can only imagine the number of missing persons in Kogi State, not to talk of those murdered in broad daylight. Two months ago 27 people were killed in Ejule in one day.
“These shows that we have a lot of work to do because the state has been completely basterdized, economy in shambles, hospitals are mere consulting clinics, no roads, the great water works done by Former Governor Ibrahim Idris, today, it is eleven months, no water in lokoja the state capital. That is the type of state we are going to inherit.”
Speaking further he said, “That is why we saw the need to be scientific, digital in our efforts to ameliorate the basterdization of the state, hence the putting together of a committee to look into these problems with solvable solutions and this document is a prayer answered. I want to promise that by the grace of God, I will implement this policy document.
“The civil service in Kogi State will be reformed and we will pay salaries 25th of every month and it will be full salary.
“Today in Kogi there is no middle class, it is only the rich and the poor and today those in government are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer.
“Two billion was released to Kogi State Government as palliatives by the federal government, but today not one person in Kogi has benefited from that money. Instead they sat down and appropriated it and said others would be used for road construction.
“So, there is no sane person in Kogi State that will vote for the APC in Kogi State. By the grace of God, local government money will be local government money under the incoming PDP government.
“Fifteen, ten years ago, local government areas in Kogi State were doing projects, rural roads, today no local government in Kogi can dig a well.
“Local government have no vehicles, salaries were not paid, some LG secretariats are under lock and key. But we are saying that a new day is coming.
“Kogi is too blessed to be poor, i brought people from outside Nigeria who did a scientific research and gave me the mineral resources in Kogi State.
“We have 52 mineral resources in Kogi State out of which only one has been tapped, limestone. The rest are just there, we have Uranium, we have the largest deposit of Uranium in Nigeria in Kogi State. Yet we are participating in this market. He have others in commercial quantity.
He decried the culture of states depending solely on federal allocations from Abuja to pay salaries and embark on projects.
Melaye said, “Everyone is rushing to Abuja for federal allocation and the money collected did not even reach lokoja, it is shared in Abuja. We take over the government by the grace of God.
“The allocation from Abuja will be dedicated to paying salaries of civil servants, pension and gratuities and promotion that will be cash backed, training and re training. We are going to raise the IGR without tasking poverty for the development of the state.
“Kogi State is a state where you enter the capital one way and go out one way. Things will be different and that is why we want the Independent Kogi Economic Development Commission, because it will be independent and we will look for credible people who will look into the Governors eye and speak the truth to power to manage and that will take us out of the present situation by the grace of God to the promise land.”
Chairman of the policy drafting committee, Prof. Sam Amadi in his remarks earlier said,
“The policy is over a hundred pages based on hardwork by members who are from different fields.
“The committee recommended that there must be an Independent Kogi Economic Development Commission and when he becomes the governor we are insisting that the people that will constitute that committee should be above board and should have influence on the activities of the Governor.
“The commission should be independent of the Governor, it should be people with pedigree, integrity, so that where it is going wrong, he will be put right.”