When Bello began a verification exercise of workers in kogi state with the aim of weeding out ghosts, I thought it was a brilliant move. Besides, most people applauded the move. It was meant as a cost saving measure in order to free up excess funds to enable more developmental projects that will benefit the people commence.
But it’s been four years already and the story remains the same. All you hear are sorry tales of how the state civil servants are owed months of salaries. I ask; how large is the kogi civil service to warrant such a long verification exercise?
Monthly allocations have been received on time, bailouts to states of which kogi has been a beneficiary, Paris club refunds and monthly IGR have come through the state’s purse over these years. I ask; is it an issue of mismanagement, incompetence, gross embezzlement or outright insensitivity?
For four years, the administration’s lackeys and hirelings have sang songs of bello’s achievements. But all I’ve witnessed are nothing more than an office building for the state revenue service, an impotent rice mill, a refurbished roundabout, a few street lights, his palatial mansion and a lot of other undocumented achievements. I ask; Are the costs of these projects so high that they leave nothing for salary payments?
Bello happens to be the youngest governor of a young state. He occupies a privileged position handed over to him on a free platter. He had an opportunity to propel himself to greatness and most importantly, establish himself as a rallying point for the youth constituency. An example to be used as to why power should shift from the older generation to an innovative, energetic and progressive generation. His positioning was unique. But Bello messed it all up. Like most, he is more enthralled by the trappings of the office he occupies than shouldering the responsibilities it presents. If only his achievements were as crisp, colorful and of high quality as his clothings (especially his caps). I ask; is there any better interpretation of the word disappointment?
His return for a second term remains a function of what majority of his people will decide. I know for sure that there are those who would always see things differently, but one certainty we can all agree on is, there are more angry kogites against Bello than there are those happy with him.
For now, no matter how hard one tries to look for a silver lining within the dark clouds of his administration, the unfortunate tales revolving around the issue of non salary payments running into several months keep blinding.
It is sad!