- Speaks on infrastructural development and empowerment programmes under Yahaya Bello Administration.
- Adeyemi says Bello has given Kogites a sense of belonging.
The Director-General of the Kogi State governorship campaign committee of the All Progressives Party (APC), Smart Adeyemi, says Governor Yahaya Bello has achieved where others have failed.
Adeyemi who is a former lawmaker representing Kogi West District will also contest against Dino Melaye of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the November 16 election after an appeal tribunal ordered a re-run.
Speaking with Tribune, Adeyemi who noted that politics is about interest said Governor Bello has united Kogi people by giving everyone a sense of belonging.
“The bottom line is that politics is all about improving the welfare of your people, improving their standard of living and getting attention for the provision of infrastructural facilities. Looking at it from that perspective, for us in Kogi West, it pays us to continue to support Governor Yahaya Bello because he has succeeded where others failed: he has succeeded in uniting Kogi people, giving everyone a sense of belonging more than never before.
“We have a united state today where every part is adequately represented. The speaker of the state House of Assembly is from Kogi West, the Secretary to the State Government is from the district and we have commissioners and of the host of others from there.
Speaking on infrastructural development in the state, the APC chieftain noted that Bello has made considerable progress and empowerment programes.
“Under this administration, we have seen concrete efforts in ensuring equity by putting up both political and economic structures that will guarantee equity among the component parts in the state. When we visited Omi Dam that was constructed 40 years ago but was not utilised by any of the past administrations, the governor said he would revamp it but we thought it was a political talk. He took the right step in ensuring that what he said materializes. He established a rice mill there and that will employ about 5000 workers. So he is providing both economic and political structures that will move the state to the next level.
“The governor is constructing road network in our senatorial district: we have Isanlu to Jege to Iffe Olukotun, Panyan up to Iyamoye. These are projects that should have been done about 15 years ago. He is constructing Ekinrin-Ade to Iffe-Olukotun road. We are not saying that this administration is the best but it is far better than all the previous administrations in the state; maybe we can only compare him with Governor Abubakar Audu’s administration. But when we look at it holistically in the entire Kogi State, he has tried.
“There was a time when the people could not sleep with their two eyes closed but today security has improved. He has succeeded in doing that by empowering the security agencies in the state so that they can meet the challenges. The primary responsibility of any progressive government is the protection of lives and property.
Speaking on speculation that the people of Kogi West are supporting the governor because he has promised to hand over power to the senatorial district in 2023, Smart said he had stopped the agitation for power shift since 2011.
“The reason is that in December 2010, I went to the eastern senatorial district to see how far it has developed, having being in power for about 12 years. But I discovered that more than three-quarter of the district did not have electricity, but my community had electricity as far back as 1973. I saw people in the eastern district living in shanties; people being marginalised by people who were at the helms of affairs from the same senatorial district. I saw people being serviced with drinking water through tankers. I saw total neglect of the people of Kogi East. I saw the people in abject poverty and penury. I said if this is what those who have been charged with the responsibility of governing the state have done with their area, I have no reason fighting them.
“That is not to say that we don’t have the right to agitate for the number one position. With Yahaya Bello as governor, there are communities of former governors that were without electricity that he is providing with electricity today in that senatorial district.
“Maybe I have gone beyond the level of tribal sentiment. I see myself as a statesman; as someone that has traveled wide and because of my knowledge of Kogi. So, it may not be when you have somebody from your area as governor that you will develop. Kogi West as a constitutional right to agitate for power to rotate to them, but I don’t see it an issue now. My concern is that power has, through divine intervention, shifted to the central senatorial district.”