Kogi votes will dwarf Katsina ballots for Buhari in 2019, says Bello
Denies N2m Largesse To Masquerade
Governor Yahaya Bello, on Friday, declared that the entire people of Kogi State would queue behind President Muhammadu Buhari and ensure that their votes overwhelmingly dwarf that from Katsina, the President’s home state in 2019.
Addressing State House Correspondents after Juma’at Prayer session at the Presidential Villa yesterday, Bello said the people of Kogi State are just waiting for for the appointed time to cast their votes for the president if he decides to contest the poll.
“Kogi State has already endorsed President Buhari for second term; we are just waiting for the time to come. You are going to see the votes that will come out of Kogi State; it will dwarf that of Katsina State I can assure you.
“I am sure you are following us as we are receiving decampees from Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and all other political parties. Any time we hold any decamping rally in any local government you will see the mammoth crowd that turns out.”
Fielding questions from journalists, the Governor denied reports that he gave N2 million and Jeep largesse to masquerade, wondering how a sane person could be so foolish to the extent of giving money to what he described as spirits.
This came as he declared that henceforth, that workers in the state employment will be paid based on the number of man-hour put in place in order to forestall the incidence of cheating.
The governor also said that the state was up to date in area of payment of workers salaries, adding that his administration had borrowed N10 billion to add to what the President released to the governors from the Paris Club Refunds.
“In Kogi State today, we are up to date as far as salary is concerned. In the month of December like Mr. President magnanimously assisted us with another tranche of Paris Club Refund, our own figure was N1.2 billion and some other change on top.
“We didn’t just stop at that, we borrowed up to N10 billion and we added November/December allocation to our figures and we were able to clear four months at a stretch before Christmas and some left over were cleared before this January in Kogi State.
“As you all know, the salary was very bogus and according to the figure we had, we were able to distribute it among these months. So, glory to God as far as Kogi State is concerned.
“Moving forward, from this January, we have decided that we are going to make use of our clock-in device for every civil servants in Kogi state both at local and state levels. So that as you come to work and clock-in, that is exactly how your salary will end generated.
“It is online, it is automated so nobody is going to cheat anybody. That is how we are going to go in the state. So, Kogi state civil servants, pensioners are all happy with this administration. Thanks to God and Mr. President for this magnanimity.”
On the hitherto menace of kidnapping in the state, Bello said, “In Kogi State today we have done tremendous work as far as security generally is concerned.
“In the months of November, December and this January, there has not been any single case of armed robbery, kidnapping, even mere stealing. One attempt was made, as I speak the DSS (Department of State Services) in collaboration with Army and Police have apprehended a particular gang that attempted to snatch a vehicle from a citizen.
“The security operatives are collaborating with us, we are spending a lot on security. So collaboration between the security agencies and understanding by the people, they are giving us a lot of information and we are treating them with utmost secrecy and we are working harmoniously.
On the menace of herdsmen in his domain, he said, “the Fulanis in Kogi State are equally collaborating with us. Even the criminal elements amongst them are the ones even apprehending them and handing them over to the security agencies.”
So we are living very harmoniously with the Fulani herdsmen, farmers and the citizens. “Travelers are safe, day and night because anywhere you go, you see security operatives and we have even vigilantes, hunters that are equally assisting us in our farms and so many other deserted areas. So Kogi is very safe.”
On the allegation that he gave a largesse of N2 million and vehicle each to masquerades, he said, “I think I am just hearing that for the first time. But let me just tell you that in Kogi State, first we promote culture, two we don’t give millions to masquerades.
“In our culture, Masquerades are ancestors, I don’t know how a masquerade will go and spend money? Is it in the grave? They are supposed to be spirits and I don’t know how masquerades will spend money. There is nothing of that nature at all,” he said.
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