KOGI AT 32, AND IT’S CHALLENGES OF DEVELOPMENT
Kogi State was created on the 27th of August 1991 during the military government of General Ibrahim Babangida since then we have had four military Governors, and four civilian governors, including an Acting Governor. Hence, the 32 years of existence of Kogi State, calls for reflection, evaluation and stock taking.
As we congratulate the people of the state, at least for the peaceful co-existence, despite the Numerous challenges facing the state, which include but not limited to lack of State Owned Television, poor qualities of infrastructure, Corruption and lack accountability in Governance, misplaced priorities, lack of inclusiveness of the people in governance.
We call on the out-going government as a matter of urgency to initiate a Bill to the State House of Assembly towards the establishment of an Anti-Corruption Agency in the State.
As at today, 32 years on, Kogi state is the only state in the federation without state-owned television stations in this 22nd century. We wonder how a government could be accountable to its citizens and the people in general when it fails to invest in media institutions. We challenge the current government in Kogi State, on its support to media institutions and practitioners in the last Seven (7) years and half of it existence despite the benefit it enjoyed from media practitioners and activities.
Lokoja the state capital today lack 3 hours portable water in a day, while sometimes no water in a weeks, and several months, as no part of the state enjoy portable water, despite the God-given confluence of the two (2) great Rivers Niger and Benue located in Lokoja, the State Capital.
The roads across the state are no-where near international standards, as potholes are the major characteristics of all roads in the state. While we acknowledge some relative improvements on infrastructure in the state, in the last two (2) and half years, compared to the failure of the first four(4) years in Kogi State under the present administration.
Several abandoned projects litter the state, with no valid reason given for this abandonment, as contracts were still given without due process and mostly it is based on political relationships and considerations. We call on the Out-going government in the State to take inventory of all abandon projects across the State before the handing-over date. Despite all the human and material resources available, the state is the least developed amongst all the states in the federation. It lacks meaningful presence of industries except the privately owned cement factory whose impact is not felt in all ramifications.
We called on the incoming government in the State, to review, its present relationship with the privately owned Cement Factory, to a more productive and beneficiary to the state.
Even the road leading to the Assembly that host several important institutions, such as, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), The Head of Judiciary in the State, The Federal High Court, Zone 8 Headquarter of The Nigeria Police Command (NPF), Department of State Security Services (DSS), News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), The 25,000 capacity Stadium, State Headquarters of The Nigeria Custom Service (NCS) etc, are in an embarrassing situation.
32 years of creation, many laws passed by the State Assembly have not been gazetted and published. However, despite the gloomy situation we have found ourselves in the hands of our leaders and representatives, several opportunities are still available to change the situation and the narratives. We call on the incoming government to look at available resources in the state, both human and materials, that would be used for the development of the state which will built the modern Kogi State, that can compete with any other state in the country, particularly on Housing, Mining, Marine, Industrial Layout, Agriculture, Transportation, Tourism etc., particularly the development of Mount Patti that can generate hug revenue for the state and boost tourism.
We call on Kogi State Independent Electoral Commission (KOSIEC) to as matter of urgency commence the process that will lead to the conduct of Local Government Elections as the tenure of the (Democratically elected Local Government Council) will come to an end on the 14th of December 2023.
Definitely, Kogi State is in need of development and good leadership. The citizens should be concern about the current level of development which is an embarrassment to the people of the State 32 years after.
As we work towards the November 11st 2023 governorship Election in the State, that will produce a new government. We call on all candidates and their political parties to make the on-going campaign an issue based, and urge all their supporters to shun electoral violence
We call for prioritizing Anti-Corruption and Accountability issues that will improve the development of the State beyond the unfortunate and underdevelopment we find ourselves in the State.
Long live Kogi State and happy birthday at 32 years.
Idris Miliki Abdul,
Conscience for Human Rights and Conflict Resolution (CHRCR),
Lokoja, Kogi State – Nigeria
23rd August, 2023