Yekini Jimoh in Lokoja
The Kogi East Elders Council (KEEC) the apex socio-cultural body in Kogi State has described the government of Governor Yahaya Bello as an unmitigated disaster.
This was contained in a statement issued in Lokoja on Saturday a copy of which was made available to THISDAY
The former National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Senator Amodu Ali who is also the Chairman of Kogi East Elders Council (KEEC), in the statement said the Kogi East Elders Council, in its attempt to give the young administration the benefit of the doubt, had restrained itself from taking a critical posture, in the hope that the current leaders would retrace their steps and take the right path.
According to him, the Kogi East Eldersâ€™ Council has decided to go public on the deplorable and deteriorating condition of resources-rich Kogi State.
“In the last two years since Alhaji Yahaya Bello providentially took over the mantle of leadership as the Governor of the state, impulsive and ill-informed steps taken by the administration have left in their trail the sounds of wailing and lamentation in villages, towns and cities across the state.
“The Kogi East Elders Council, in its attempt to give the young administration the benefit of the doubt, had restrained itself from taking a critical posture, in the hope that the current leaders would retrace their steps and take the right path.”
He opined that the condition of Kogi State has degenerated to a situation in which federal lawmakers had to donate bags of rice to Kogi State workers, “when the state government has stuffed workersâ€™ earned salaries under its armpit”.
He therefore called on the federal government to investigate how the funds that went to Kogi State as bailout and Paris Club refunds have been utilised, to the point that the presidentâ€™s directive that civil servantsâ€™ salaries should be given priority in the disbursement of the funds was not adhered to.
“All trade unions in Kogi Stateâ€™s tertiary institutions should be allowed to operate undeterred. The proscription of these unions by the state government was not in good faith, and has worsened the teaching and learning conditions in tertiary institutions in the state.
“The State Government should immediately pay up all salaries and emoluments due to the stateâ€™s civil servants and pensioners, because there should be enough money in its coffers to do so.
“The staff audit should be brought to a logical conclusion immediately or halted, so that it is not used as an excuse for non-payment of staff salaries.
“All the 135 academic staff members of Kogi State University who have been sacked under the draconian policy of the state government should have the termination of their appointments reversed unconditionally,” he said.