Due to the level of poverty, hunger, and deprivation inflicted on the people of the state by the outgoing administration of Yahaya Bello, Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, candidate for governor in the November elections in Kogi State, Senator Dino Melaye, has claimed that only the insane will vote for the All-Progressives Congress, APC.
Melaye made this statement on Friday at a brief ceremony at the PDP National Secretariat in Wadata Plaza, Abuja, where he was collecting the state report of the PDP policy paper.
No sensible individual in Kogi State, he asserted, “will vote for the APC in Kogi State.”
The PDP’s confidence was based on the belief that the state’s citizens had been unfairly harmed by the departing APC administration, led by Bello, because of its “maladministration.”
We have endured so much suffering in Kogi State that we are now in the heart of the terrible jungle.
Melaye declared, “As I speak, Kogi is the only state where a sitting permanent secretary is driving Okada to work; in Kogi, a level 16 official is receiving a salary of 16,000. In Kogi State, there is debauchery, poverty, and corruption; these are individuals with families.
The current administration retrenched, fired, and left some workers hanging after engaging in an unnecessary Civil Service exercise. Others perished after travelling long distances to the state capital for screening and experiencing an accident.
“In the state’s history, we have the most missing people in Nigeria; even after four years, we are still hunting for the PDP chairman of the Okene local government area.
The state has been totally destroyed, the economy is in disarray, hospitals are nothing more than consultation facilities, there are no roads, and despite the tremendous water works completed by the previous governor Ibrahim Idris, there is still no water in the state capital of Lokoja after eleven months. This proves that there is still a lot of work to be done.
We are going to inherit that kind of state, the speaker said.
Melaye stated that only the PDP is putting together a policy paper among all the candidates and parties running for governor in Kogi State when asked about his degree of readiness for the job.
“We pledged that we would act differently when we had the people’s mandate.
“We are here to inform Nigerians that, by God’s help, the new Kogi State administration would conduct itself differently.
“No other party, besides the PDP, is discussing a policy document, and by the time I looked at it and read it, it was not only sound, but also a book of solutions.”
He said that the PDP policy paper resulted from a scientific investigation of the areas of the state economy that needed immediate attention in order to jump-start the economy and put the state on the path to growth.
The PDP candidate stated, “The civil service in Kogi State will be reformed and we will pay salaries on the 25th of every month and it will be full salary,” when asked about his intentions to alleviate the suffering of the people of the state, particularly civil workers.
“There is no middle class in Kogi today; there are just the affluent and the poor, and the wealthy members of the government are growing richer while the poor are getting poorer.
“The federal government provided $2 billion to the Kogi State Government as palliatives, but as of right now, no one in Kogi has benefited from that money. Instead, they sat down and claimed it, declaring that other people would be used for building roads.
By God’s grace, local government funds will remain local government funds under the next PDP administration. Local government units in Kogi State were building rural roads fifteen, ten years ago; now, no local government in Kogi can dig a well.
“Local government does not have any cars, wages were not paid, and certain secretariats are secured. However, we assert that a new day is imminent.
Kogi is too blessed to be underprivileged, therefore I called in outsiders who conducted scientific study and offered me information on the state’s mineral riches.
Only one of Kogi State’s 52 mineral resources, limestone, has been exploited.
“The rest are right there; we have uranium; Kogi State is home to Nigeria’s largest uranium reserve. Nevertheless, we are engaged in this business. He has more in a commercially reasonable amount.
Melaye disclosed his intentions for the monthly payment from the Federation Account if he wins and is sworn in as governor while vowing to turn inward to improve the state’s domestically produced revenue.
Everyone is travelling to Abuja for federal allocation, he continued, and the money collected hasn’t even gotten to Lokoja; it’s being distributed there.
“By the grace of God, when we take over the government. The allocation from Abuja would be used to pay government officials’ wages, pensions, and gratuities, as well as cash-backed promotions, training, and retraining. Without blaming poverty for the state’s progress, we’re going to increase IGR.
“In the state of Kogi, there is just one method to go into and out of the capital. Things will be different, which is why we need the Independent Kogi Economic Development Commission. It will be independent, and we’ll look for dependable individuals who can speak truth to power and manage to get us out of the current predicament and into the promised land by looking into the Governor’s eyes.
The policy is over a hundred pages long and is the result of the committee’s chairman and other members’ labour of love across a variety of areas, Prof. Sam Amadi, said earlier in his remarks.
The committee proposed that an Independent Kogi Economic Development Commission be established, and when he is elected governor, we require that the members of that committee be honest and have some say in how the Governor conducts himself.
“The commission should be independent of the governor, and it should be made up of people with reputations for integrity, so that he can be corrected when things go wrong.”