Kogi State was created on August 27, 1991. That was exactly 32 years ago today. A child born 32 years ago is fully an adult. Similarly, Kogi State is now an adult state. It is no longer a new state. But go to that state and weep. It is a state that has the best human and natural resources but is the most behind in terms of physical and human capital developments.
Being an old state, one expects to see significant developments in all spheres of the state. The reason for the creation of a state is for development. Kogi State is the least developed state in Nigeria. The capital city of the state, Lokoja, is a glorified village. There is nothing to show that Lokoja is the capital city. Everything in the capital, Lokoja, seems to be in total dilapidation.
No good roads In fact, social amenities in the city are completely non-functional.
No good roads and No infrastructural developments There is no significant building to show that Lokoja is different from what it was when it was made the state capital on August 27, 1991.
The tragedy of Kogi State is that it is the state where the best of the best are from but has been led since its creation by its worst. 11. The tragedy of Kogi State is that it was either led by leadership that was so authoritarian, by an adolescent leadership that has no regard for the feelings of the people, or by leadership that is so distant from the people.
It is a state where democracy does not make sense to those who forced themselves on the people. It is a state where dictatorship and despotic shows of force are equated with democracy. It is a state where exercising your freedom of choice is taken as an act of terrorism.
You can be charged for it, and those who have the duties and responsibilities to checkmate despotic tendencies are scared of doing so for their darn lives. It is a state where those whose tomorrows are being destroyed are ready to be used as tools to perpetuate evil against the people. That is the tragedy of Kogi State at 32.
The state has had bad leaders who have no idea what good governance entails. That is why, over the years, the state has remained a glorified hamlet or village. Nothing works in that state. The only thing one sees in abundance in leadership is a lack of vision and direction.
Virtually all the leaders who have led that state have had one funny acronym or another. Of all the leaders that have led that state, the leadership of Yahaya Bello as governor is the worst. Apart from personal development, Yahaya Bello, as governor, has not developed Kogi State. There is nothing good in that state.
The administration of Yahaya Bello has achieved more for the impoverished Kogi people than all the previous leaders. Salaries are not paid. No new industries No new roads
Democracy in Kogi State under Yahaya Bello has been characterized by democratic thuggery and thugs. Leadership has assumed childish behavior at the most extreme levels in the state.
Lies have been elevated to truth so much so that even the blind can see that there is no truth in the propaganda of falsehood always dished out to the people.
The tragedy of Kogi State at 32 is that it is a state blessed with abundant human and natural resources but lacks decent leadership that has the capacity for good governance. That is the tragedy of my state.
It is a state where the elders are virtuous and insulted by those in power. It is a state where political actors have colonized the state as their estate. It is a state where elders are afraid of those in power because of the propensity of those in power to use thugs and thuggery to kill. That is the tragedy of Kogi State.
It is a state where the security agencies have conspired with those in power based on primordial partisan selfishness to oppress the people. That is the tragedy of Kogi State at 32.
As Kogi State clocks 32 years today, I hope those who are aspiring to lead the state will have the humane dispositions to turn the misfortune of that state into fortune and then harness the natural and material resources of the state for the good of the vast majority of Kogi people.
Author: J S Okutepa SAN
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