Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State, Friday, said that the people of Kogi State will massively vote for President Muhammadu Buhari in the 2019 election, enthusing that the votes that will come from the state for the President will overwhelmingly dwarf votes for him from his home state, Katsina.
The Governor had also debunked allegations that he gave N2 million and Jeep to masquerade, wondering how a sane person could give money to masquerade which he described as spirit representing the ancestors.
This is as the State Government has now put in place a policy that workers in the state employ will be paid based on man hour put in place to avoid cheating from any angle.
He stated this in an interview with State House correspondents after observing Friday Juma’at at the State House Mosque, Abuja.
He said that the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, has been receiving decampees from the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and other Political parties in Kogi State, stressing that it was an evidence of acceptance of the party.
When asked on his thoughts about President Buhari as the 2019 presidential election was fast approaching, he said, “I am sure you are following us as we are receiving decampees from PDP and all other political parties. And any time we hold any decamping rally in any local government you will see the mammoth crowd that turns out.
“So 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.”
The governor also said that the state was up to date in terms of payment of workers salaries, adding that he borrowed N10 billion to add to what the President released to the governors from the Paris Club Refunds.
He said, “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 kidnapping in Kogi
“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.
Herdsmen apprehending criminals
“Let me digress, 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 masquerades N2 million and vehicle each, 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 suppose to be spirits and I don’t know how masquerades will spend money. There is nothing of that nature at all.”