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Kogi East elders knock Bello over ‘rudderless’ leadership


Kogi State Governor Yahaya Bello

Kogi East Elders Council (KEEC), the apex socio-cultural body in the senatorial district, has raised concern over the leadership style of the Kogi State governor. It described it as “rudderless administration of unmitigated disaster, sailing wildly into difficult storms.”

The elders expressed worry over management of the state-owned university, alleging that the appointment of 135 academic staff was terminated.

KEEC made its position known in a statement signed by former national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Senator Ahmadu Ali, yesterday.


However, responding, Governor Yahaya Bello, through his Chief of Staff, Edward Onoja, said an industrial crises indeed engulfed the Kogi State University (KSU) Anyigba, which made Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) members refuse to teach for seven months. He argued that government obliged to pay salaries for the duration.

He indicated that the plight of the stranded students of KSU degenerated to a point the government was forced to proscribe the activities of ASUU to bring sanity to the institution.

While lamenting the poor state of insecurity in Kogi, KEEC observed that the termination of the lecturers’ appointment was inimical to progress of the institution.

“The lecturers had embarked on a strike action for over a period of six months, because of unpaid salaries. Instead of government to pay up what it owed the lecturers, it glossed over the issue and insisted that the academic staff sign attendance registers as evidence that they had acquiesced to government’s arm-twisting strategy of compelling them to return to work under duress.”

On the insecurity pervading the state, the elders regretted that it had culminated in a situation where a labour leader, Mallam Abdulmumuni Yakubu, was killed in Okene on November 1, 2017.

“The evidence of the widespread insecurity was also manifest in the imposition of a 24-hour curfew on five local government councils by the state government on November 9, 2017. The LGAs include Adavi, Ajaokuta, Okene, Ogori/Magongo and Okehi.”

The Kogi East elders also pointing out: “There is kidnapping, armed robbery, conflicts between herders and farmers, leading to massive loss of lives and properties. Crimes have continued to fester dangerously, while government beats its chest for fighting the menace through donations of vehicles and other facilities to the police. Crimes are defeated, not only with facilities, but through intelligence gathering from the communities.

“We state unequivocally that this situation is unacceptable and cannot be allowed to persist. We call on the police and other security agencies in the state to put all hands on deck, oil their intelligence network, arrest these criminals and bring them to justice, no matter their political or ethnic affiliations.”

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Yahaya Bello
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