Saturday, May 27, 2017 4:32 pm
Kogi State government has said Governor Yahaya Bello will not resign over the accusation that he engaged in double registration by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.
The call for the governor’s resignation came on the heels of a statement from the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), saying Bello registered twice to vote.
INEC, in a statement issued in Abuja on Thursday, accused Bello of double registration for Permanent Voter Card in contravention of the Electoral Act.
The statement was issued by Prince Solomon Soyebi, INEC National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee.
The statement noted that Bello had his first registration on Jan. 30, 2011 in Wuse Zone 4, Abuja and the second registration on Tuesday, May 23, at the Government House, Lokoja.
It further noted that the Government House was outside the designated centre for the ongoing nationwide Continuous Voter Registration.
The spokesman for the members, Sen. Dino Melaye made the call at a news briefing in Abuja said the people of Kogi State and the party were dissociating themselves from the act and called on Bello to resign immediately or risk impeachment.
He added that if the governor refuses to resign, members of the State House of Assembly would be mobilised to start an impeachment process against him.
The Chairman of APC in Kogi, Alhaji Hadi Ametuo also agreed with Melaye, adding that it was the position of the party.
He said, “we know the law and INEC say it is criminal. We will abide by what Melaye has just said. That is our position.’’
But Kingsley Fanwo, the Director General on Media and Publicity to the Kogi State Governor described the call as a political joke, while insisting that the issue was being “overblown to score political goals by opponents of the Governor.”
Fanwo who spoke to journalists in Lokoja said since INEC has already indicated its intention to cancel the second registration done by the governor, there is no need to blow the issue out of proportion.
He, therefore, condemned the call by some leaders of All Progressives Congress, APC on the governor to quit office over the issue.
Fanwo said, “It is unfortunate that some APC leaders have constituted themselves as opposition within their own party, simply because they have lost out in their bid to compromise the system and scam the people of Kogi State. Ametuo has turned himself to a diaspora Chairman who doesn’t know what is happening in Kogi State.
“He is running from his own shadows and has joined forces with those who want to pull the APC-led government in Kogi State down. He and his co-travelers have not come to terms with a new Kogi State that cannot be compromised. Under Governor Yahaya Bello, it will never be business as usual.
“Change comes with pains. Beneficiaries of the filthy past will continue to resist the new order in Kogi State. They have attempted to incite the populace to insurrection but their plans hit the walls because the people are appreciative of the manner governance is delivered under the present administration.
“They tried to deceive the people about the hugely successful staff Verification exercise but it failed because the people have seen what we are doing with funds saved from the success of the exercise. The roads to their communities are under construction, they now have water, we are subsidising healthcare, we are making education more attractive for our children and agriculture is taking the centre stage of our economic renaissance.
“But because they want to be Governor in 2020 despite their unpardonable failings, they have continued to dance naked in marketplaces, attempting to scandalise the Governor and drag the name of the state in the mud, preaching against their own lifestyle and creating a false impression of the reality of today’s Kogi State.
“Governor Yahaya Bello is a man who is undaunted by the calculated faux against him and the state. To him, he is determined to write his name in gold”.
The Governor’s spokesman said the State House of Assembly will not be blackmailed into “reversing the gains of the state”, urging “discredited and corrupt oil thieves to keep their billions and face the legal battles ahead of them” rather than venturing in “anti-people ventures that are not feasible in modern day Kogi State”.
“The Governor will not resign. We have listened to INEC and we respect their decisions. Now is time for the Commission to fast-track the transfer of the PVC of the Governor to Kogi State from Abuja. Resignation is completely out of the options and the Governor will continue his good work for the people of Kogi State. They and their corrupt sponsors should wait till 2019.
“The community of their corrupt oil thief sponsor had no electricity for years. But the Governor has restored electricity to the community to the delight of his people who were in darkness for years. To him, we have exposed his failings and hatred for his own people. But to us, the government is only fulfilling its electioneering promises to the people. This we shall continue to do.
“Governor Yahaya Bello met Kogi State in a deep mess. The people had lost confidence in their leaders. He came with hope, rolled up his sleeves and today, we are celebrating great achievements by the administration.
“We have better roads in Lokoja and many places across the state, we have restored sanity to our environment, we have many ongoing road projects, we have empowered thousands of youth and women through entrepreneurial training and we have repositioned our healthcare, tourism and educational sector. Governor Bello will continue to serve the people of Kogi State.
“It is ridiculous for a person who has never worked in his life, who has never done any known contract and who was not born into a rich family but yet, controls cars worth hundreds of millions; to turn around and accuse another who was a successful civil servant, successful business magnate and a successful professional, of corruption. We know corruption will continue to fight back but we shouldn’t make Nigeria a laughing stock in the comity of nations.
“When you look at the way our opponents celebrate insecurity in Kogi State, you will wonder if they genuinely love this state. How can you celebrate what was taking the lives of your people? It is high time Security agents invited them for questioning because they might be sponsoring some of these crimes to discredit the government and scare investors from the state. We have turned the corners and we can beat our chest that we shall continue to serially defeat insecurity in Kogi State”.
On the announcement by tertiary institutions managements on schools’ reopening, Fanwo said it was done after the government had met most of the demands by the striking workers.
“Government is concerned about the continued closure of the schools. We have met the majority of their demands and we are sure they will soon go back to work.
“They are Kogites too who have the interests of our students at heart. Education is number one on the thematic areas the present administration is focusing and the government will do everything within its resources to fund the sector and make it the steering of our drive to greatness.
“Kogi people want the workers to return to work. We have lost ground as a result of the strike and we shall strive to put in place a permanent mechanism to stop future disagreements that could lead to a strike. It is unhealthy to the future of our generation-next.
“We are currently turning some institutions to model schools across the state to lay a foundation for what we want the secondary schools to look like under the present administration.
“We are also driving academic activities in our schools with a strong ICT backbone to make our children highly competitive. We are not oblivious to the indispensability of education for development. It is the bulwark of the administration’s policy on development”.