Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja
Protesters under the aegis of Concerned members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) from Kogi State yesterday besieged the national headquarters of the party in Abuja, where they called on the national leadership of the party to provide a level-playing ground for all governorship aspirants in the state ahead of the governorship primary in August.
The group led by Mr. Jubril Yusuf, while addressing journalists, alleged that despite the administration of Governor Yahaya Bello receiving a total of N344 billion after 38 months in office, including statutory allocations, internally generated revenue, allocation to local governments, three tranches of Paris Club refunds as well as refunds on road construction by the previous government, he has nothing to show for it.
The protesters carried various placards with various inscriptions such as ‘Screen out Governor Yahaya Bello’, ‘We say no to non-payment of salary’, ‘GYB is giving guns to our youths’ and ‘GYB: where is our money.’
Others are ‘Bello, where is our N200 billion bailout funds’, ‘Kogi liberation is sacrosanct’, and ‘President Buhari rescue Kogi State from GYB’, among others.
Yusuf stated: “Despite the non-performance of the government of Alhaji Yahaya Bello, he still wants to go for another four years. Kogi State under Governor Yahaya Bello will disappear from the map of Nigeria.
“The primary purpose of a government and any government for that matter is the welfare of the citizens, the governed. Yahaya Bello’s government has abandoned its primary purpose. It has defeated itself and it has no reason being in power. “
It should be voted out and replaced with purposeful one, a people-oriented government.
“For this to be possible, we pray the leadership of the APC to create a level-playing ground for all aspirants in the party by organising direct primary to pick its governorship candidate in August this year,” he said
However, immediately after the anti-Bello protesters left the party secretariat, pro-Bello protesters appeared, and warned anti-Bello protesters to desist from such protest.
Meanwhile, Bello has boasted that the governorship ticket in the state was his, adding that for Senator Dino Melaye of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to decide to contest the seat with him means he was ready to pass through the eye of a needle.
The governor spoke while fielding questions Sunday night from journalists after the APC governors meeting held in Abuja.
He stressed that his achievements in the last three and half years would win him his second term effortlessly.
Bello stated: “In Kogi State, we know the election is coming up and a lot of people will be out there to come for a challenge, but the reality is that we are on ground.
“From within the party to the main election, we are not just talking of victory, we are talking of the margin of the victory of APC over any other party that is going to come next in Kogi State because of what we have been able to do in the state, delivering on all our promises.
“By the grace of God, you are going to see an election like never before. Kogi election is going to be as smooth as anything, I’m confident of victory beyond any imagination,” he boasted.
Asked if the party is going to give him the ticket, the governor queried, “Where will the ticket go outside me?”
Reacting to Melaye’s boast to unseat him, Bello said: “Any time we are talking, I think you should talk of somebody that is good and apart from that, leave the person you are talking of. Let him show his people or justify the mandate that was given to him by his people. For him to come and challenge me means he’s ready to pass through the eye of the needle in Kogi State.”