Govenor of Kogi state, Yahaya Bello has denied reports that he asked his appointees to show results of the election from their polling units for reward or punishment saying the request was for data collection only.
The Governor had reportedly directed his appointees through a memo titled ‘submission of your stewardship to New Dimension administration’ to submit a report detailing their ‘stewardship’:
However, in a statement signed by his Director-General of Media and Publicity, Kingsley Fanwo, Bello said that “the memo was nothing but a routine data collation for the purposes of research and planning. It has nothing to do with the falsetto of a falsehood that the memo was aimed at political vendetta.”
Bello had through the memo had directed all heads of ministries, departments and agencies to submit in details their stewardship to the New Direction administration in respect of their ministries. according to the Governor, the report should contain local government; office (s) held; duration; ward; polling unit; the result of the election in Pulling unit and ward.”
This memo elicited reactions that suggested the Governor was trying to repay his loyalist and punish others.
Yahaya Bello sack appointees
Meanwhile, the governor has relieved some of his political appointees of their duties barely two weeks after he was re-elected for second term in office.
Bello directed all political office holders to hand over to the most senior civil servant in their ministry, department and agency.
The sack however exempted: All honorable commissioners, Director-General (Government House Administration), Direct Aides of the Governor, Direct aides of the Deputy Governor, Aides of the Chief of Staff, Aides of the Wife of the Governor and the aides of the Wife of the Deputy Governor.
The Head of Service, Auditor-General for state and Local Government and Chairman and Members of statutory Commissions are also not affected by the directive.
Commissioners must go too
However, a pressure group, Good Governance for Kogi has called on the governor to extend the sack of his political appointees to commissioners and local government administrators as they have ‘overstayed’ their usefulness.
The group also commended the governor for sacking other political appointees, stressing that many of them should not be considered for reappointment.
The journey to Lugard’s house
The journey to the Kogi State Government House, popularly known as Lugard’s House started with much horsetrading and internal party wranglings from the two major political parties (the APC and the PDP).
In one instance, the wife of the President, Aisha Buhari and Governor of Kaduna state, Nasir El-Rufai pleaded with the Kogi electorates to forgive their governor, Yahaya Bello over ‘unpaid salaries’ of over 30 months and vote for him for a second term.
With 1,646,350 registered voters across the 239 registration areas and 2,548 polling units, INEC declared the candidate of the APC, Yahaya Bello after polling 406,222 votes to defeat 23 other candidates.
Musa Wada of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) came second polling 189,704, and Natasha Akpoti of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), who got 9,482.
Bello won in 12 out of the 21 local governments in the state.
However, Election Observers had called for the cancellation of the elections in Kogi state hours after it commenced “for large scale violence recorded”.