By Mathew Dadiya, Abuja
Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello has said that the people of the state were eager to vote him for a second term in office on November 16, 2019 because of his achievements in the last four years.
The governor who said he was fully prepared to win the forthcoming governorship election in the state, added however, that he was not going to take anything for granted.
Bello spoke to State House correspondents at the weekend after meeting President Muhammadu Buhari along side the All Progressives Congress(APC) National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole.
The Governor who is seeking reelection at the 16th November, 2019 governorship election in the state said he was prepared for the coming election even before the Presidential and National Assembly elections in February 2019 adding however, that he was not taking anything for granted.
His achievements, he said, were there for all to see and the people of his state were now anxiously waiting for November 16, 2019 to vote for him.
He said that his achievements included up-to date salaries payment, inspite of settling backlogs when he assumed office.
Nightlife in the state, he said, was back because of improved security situation .
The governor also said he was committed to free, fair and credible election.
“As regards level of preparedness, I am not just preparing now, I have been ready for this election even before the last general election that produced Mr. President, the National Assembly and the state houses of assembly.
‘So, we are well prepared for the election. As for victory, I think by the grace of God it is assured.
“Like the chairman has said, we are not going to take anything for granted. Whether the candidate of the opposition party is strong or not, we will approach the election with seriousness and ensure that it is conducted freely and fairly and we will become victorious by the grace of God. On November 17, we will be announced the winner.”
He denied PDP’s allegations that he planned to scuttle PDP primaries.
“If you monitor all the activities of the PDP in Kogi state, right from the Ward congresses to the local government congresses, to the state congresses, it has always been marred or characterized with violence, guns, maiming of each other and all kinds of attacks.
So the outcome of the last primaries they conducted shouldn’t take anyone by surprise.
“We have a larger number of delegates in Kogi state. We started our exercise early enough and finished early enough in peace. I am not a member of PDP, I wouldn’t go in there and conduct it for them.
“So it is their character, it is their stock in trade and that is what they are known for and so should rather look inward rather than pointing accusing fingers outside.
“You see, when you have a cancer and you don’t treat it but rather you are treating malaria, you will never get rid of cancer. So that is the problem the PDP has, they have cancer and should treat the cancer and shouldn’t look outside.
Asked what message he was taking to Kogi electorates for the next four years, he said “The citizens of Kogi State have actually seen my performance against the performance of previous PDP Governors. In less than three and half years, they have seen all my wonderful performances.
“In fact starting with even the issue of salaries, it’s just that all along, I have chosen not to speak about the issue of salary because it is a problem I inherited.
“And in any case governance is a continuum, you inherit both assets and liabilities. When you inherit assets, you make use of it, when you inherit liabilities or trouble you try to solve it, you don’t complain about it.
“So I refused to make comment about the issue of salaries.
As a matter of fact, the issues of salaries arrears I have already accepted by my immediate predecessor he inherited from Ibro’s administration.
“These past two PDP Governors couldn’t solve it, I have come to solve it. That already is a kudos to this administration that the people of Kogi State should vote for us.”
Bello also boasted that every local government in the state have various projects completed by his administration.
“Every local government in Kogi are dotted with various infrastructural development. The people of Kogi State have spoken before in the last general election, they will speak again.”
On security, he said “Lastly, if you look at Kogi State in the past, if you are a traveler you will hold your breath. The inhabitants as early as 6:30 they will only manage to pray their morning prayer and in the evening they will manage to pray their evening prayer and go to bed, but today, even along the streets of Kogi you will see people jogging, exercise, night life is back as a result of improved security situation in the state today.
“Kogi State is the second safest state in Nigeria today, I didn’t say it. We have various bodies that rate the performance of various government and administration, Nigeria Bureau of statistics and the rest of them, they said it.
“So if you look at it, we have performed so wonderfully that the people of Kogi state are eager that 16th November should come and let them speak with their votes and I know they will speak very well and re-elect me, the APC and we shall become victorious.” he said
Asked if he was going to carry along the labour leaders he proscribed, Bello said “Well, it is not a battle we are going into, we are going into a contest, one I know is going to be free and fair and I am going to win that election by the grace of God. The APC under the leadership of the national chairman, we are going to campaign vigorously well and we shall become victorious.
“The people who have decided to become rebellious to bring down the institution of higher learning at certain point in time have today seen the benefits of telling them to please give peace a chance.
“They have given peace a chance and you can see the last strike, Kogi State didn’t go on strike, we have very stable educational system in Kogi State. As per all the labour leaders in Kogi State, we are moving on harmoniously, you can confirm from the various chapters.
“If not because they are not politicians, labour leaders would have taken the fore front to campaign for my re-election.” he said.