Kogi is the Most Accountable State in Nigeria; A Rejoinder by Usman Okai Austin

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My attention has been drawn to the statement credited to the Auditor-General of Kogi State, Mr Yakubu Okala in which he pronounced the state as the most accountable in Nigeria. It is as shocking as it is in a very bad faith.

I know accountability as a term used for openness, probity and uprightness. If that’s what the honorable auditor general means, then he is a liar. Otherwise, he doesn’t know what goes on in the government he serves in.

Let me take you on a journey of the events of the Kogi State government generated poverty and the weaponization of poverty by the Bello regime. I deliberately used the word regime to drive home the point that the government of Bello is not democratic but a regimented and systematic kleptocratic and mobocratic set up that dishes out what to who at what time.

The Bello administration receives over N3 billion monthly allocation from the Federal Government every other month plus internally generated revenue, Yet there is nothing to show for such humongous earnings. State workers from grade level 12 are still being paid percentage salaries. What’s the justification?

After the paparazzi of commissioning the Ganaja bridge, and all the attendant fanfare, there is no worker on that site. Nothing is happening there anymore. It seems the administration is pulling wool over everyone’s eyes.

Instead of working, they have commissioned a gang of halleluya boys, a.k.a. data boys to go to social media, crop pictures from places where government is a serious business and post to deceive people.

In Lokoja, as we speak, citizens are crying for potable water. For months, people have resorted to finding water by all means. Why has the Lokoja- Kabba drainage and erosion control scheme stopped at the army barracks just in the outskirts of Lokoja town?

I just told you the story of Lokoja town. This used to be a boisterous town but has become cold. How can there be a lively town when the whole light is off and thugs are marauding the entire place? Streetlights are permanently switched off.

On the Niger bridge, there used to be solar powered lights. Now all have been reduced to mere decorations. You cannot imagine a road being plagued by armed robbers, bandits and other miscreants being lightless. You are at the mercy of the criminals.

By the way, as we speak, no road is passable in Kogi state. The government is neither doing any new project or upgrading a collapsing ones.

So, it baffles me why the Kogi state government and accountability would be mentioned in the same sentence. I want to urge the government of Yahaya Bello, of whom the Auditor-General spoke, to use the two years left to it to redeem its image by doing what is right.

The people of Kogi state deserve better, if not the best. They have suffered in the past six years. Teachers have had to return to the farms. Government workers have been scammed with fake alerts and so on but the resilience of our people have kept them on, hoping for a better Kogi but the current administration has been sadistic and sociopathic in its disposition to the people.

We are being mocked by people from other states as the poorest state in the federation. Even people from states which ought not to measure up to us are mocking us because we have not got governance right.

My advice is for the Auditor-General to go back and advise his paymasters on how not to tell a white lie.

– Usman Austin Okai writes from Abuja.

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