Admired for his inclusive approach to governance, especially his ingenious ability in creating a peaceful atmosphere for peoples of all tribes and religions to coexist in the state, Kogi State Governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello has revealed that Kogi is fast becoming a model for the country.
His administration, he emphasized, inherited a state that was sharply divided along ethnic and class lines, these divisive sentiments, he noted gradually gave way following his unifying approach to governance where appointments and spread of projects were done without recourse to ethnic or political backgrounds of the beneficiaries.
Kogi, being home to all tribes and religions in Nigeria, he maintained, remains a true example of what the country should be, stressing that besides equal opportunities for indigenous tribes, other residents enjoy the same gestures of fairness and inclusiveness.
Governor Bello disclosed this Tuesday in Lokoja, the state capital while receiving leaders of the Igbo community in the state on an appreciation visit for his role in restoring peace in their fold as well as his fair treatment of non-indigenous tribes in the state.
Leaders of the Igbo community also used the opportunity of the visit to introduce the outgoing and incoming executives of their association to Governor Bello, who they described as a, ” unifier, transformational leader and agent of stabilization”.
According to Governor Bello, ” Kogi is the centre of Nigeria. It is home to every Nigerian. It is also a perfect example of what we should desire our country to be”.
He lauded Igbo people in the state for their positive contributions to the development of the state, stressing that Igbos in Kogi have been law-abiding, peaceful and committed to the progress of the state.
The Governor maintained, ” I have not received security reports that an Igbo man in Kogi is being caught in kidnapping or armed robbery. Igbos are peaceful and law-abiding here. We must not give a Dog bad name just to hang it”.
Impressed with their enterprising spirits, Governor Bello urged the Igbo nation to promote peace as well as respect for authorities, ” we need ourselves in this country. We mustn’t allow anyone to deceive us for their selfish interests”, he admonished.
Governor Bello urged them to support the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari for his efforts in developing the country, noting that the President is trying his best in the midst of the challenges he met on ground.
He cited the Second Niger Bridge which is close to completion, roads and other critical projects the present administration is executing in the South East, assuring that the region stands to gain more only under a peaceful atmosphere.
On his part, the outgoing president of the Igbo community in Lokoja, Elder Camilius Onyeneke lauded Governor Bello for creating a peaceful environment for his people to go about their legitimate businesses in the state.
He also commended his administration for its massive investment in infrastructural development across the state, as well as his strides in security, peace and unity among the indigenous tribes and other ethnic groups in the state.
The Igbo community in the state, he stressed, are convinced in his ability to build genuine national unity, going by his scorecards in the state, assuring of their readiness to sustain the support for his administration and his future political aspirations.