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Kogi at 26: stakeholders blame stunted development on bad leadership

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Kogi at 26: stakeholders blame stunted development on bad leadership

Stakeholders from across the State have bemoaned the stunted level of development that has become the lot of the State since creation 26 years ago.
The State which has been unlucky politically with many of the politically motivated problems impinging on its growth has remain a potential in Agriculture and mineral resources without real concrete effort to translate those potentials in to reality.
Dr John Alabi Chairman Kogi Coalition of Business and Professional Associations. (KOCOBPA) said Kogi at 26 is old enough to be independent but is yet to find its feet because it has failed to translate its potentials to tangible products.
“Kogi state alone has deposits of a total of 29 mineral resourcesavailable in commercial quantities.
“These include coal, dolomite, feldspar, bauxite, iron ore, tar, limestone, gold etc.
Each of the 21 LGAs in the state has deposits of at least 2 minerals.”
He said for the Stae to remain at the level of potentiality for a quarter of a century is a good thing.
He called on the people of the State to go back to the drawing board and forget about development plans, the strategy and blue print that were on ground since the creation of the State that have not translated to reality.
“That is why I am calling for an economic summit where all stakeholders would come together to chat a course for the State.
The executive director Center for Human Rights and Conflict Resolution Idris Miliki Abdul said reflecting on the last 25years shows has a worrisome development.
“If you look at the state of development the leaders have not lived up to expectations. We don’t have good roads, no facilities in the State headquarters, yet Billions have been coming to to the State. This administration alone has realised over N120B and yet the Governor is still taking loans and getting approval from the State House of Assembly.
“Which road have we built, which institution have we built, there is no factory that can employ our youths. I think it is an unfortunate development for those who have been in power in the past 26 years.”

A constitutional lawyer Barrister Williams Aliwo however believed State has fared very well in its 26years of creation adding that God has helped the State to expand at all levels from infrastructure to sociopolitical economy.
“I think we have fared better than we were before the creation of the State. No matter the setback that we have had we have moved beyond where we were in 1991 and we are still making progress.”
He indicated that there is no time in the life of any sociopolitical community, all leadership setbacks are part of the process in the course of moving toward the ideal.
“They offer us opportunity to learn in areas where we have made mistakes and they give us opportunity to make amends. Forget about whatever people say of today’s leadership. One of the benefit of today’s leadership is the power shift, there had been a sustained clamor for power shift and today even without a consensus of agreement we have power shift and we are now having the benefit of power shift. So power has shifted
“No society has the monopoly’s of good or bad leadership, if the benefit of power shift that we have today gives us bad leadership, that is not to say that power shift has no good benefit. We have power shift and it is unfortunate that this is where and how power has shifted but all the same power shift in necessary where we have minority agitation.”
Another constitutional lawyer and public commentator Barrister Joel Usman called for sober reflection and prayers for God to move the State forward however he said if the State is to be graded Kogi is below standard.

“We need to pray against the incessant political crises that would not allow our our political to stabilise and lead the State aright .
“The political elites would have to come together and put the interest of the State above personal interest so that the State can move forward because most of the States created along with Kogi State have left us behind because of the political crises that has kept bedevilling the State.

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INEC chair: Lawan denies taking N2b bribe to confirm Yakubu

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INEC chair: Lawan denies taking N2b bribe to confirm Yakubu

By James Ojochegbe

The president of the senate Ahmad Lawan has denied collecting any gratification of N2b to facilitate the confirmation of the INEC chairman as alleged by an online publication.

This contained in a Statement issued in Abuja by his special Adviser on media Ola Awoniyi.
The statement reads, “The attention of the Office of the Senate President has been drawn to a report by SaharaReporters alleging that a group led by the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, collected N2billion from Professor Mahmood Yakubu to facilitate the confirmation of his appointment by President Muhammadu Buhari to a fresh five-year tenure as chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

“It is noteworthy that the publication, as always with its ridiculous fabricated reports, could not even expand the entertainment of its readers by providing the names of members of the fictitious group and where the group operates from.
“To be sure, that group exists only in the mischievious imagination of the writer of the fiction.”
The Statement enjoined Nigerians to ignore the report as yet another incident of hallucination by the comical characters operating the fabricated news platform.

“The online medium has long earmed its notoriety as a purveyor of fake news with high profile public officials as its targets. 
“It is well known that only the President can nominate a candidate for appointment or reappointment as Chairman of INEC.
And only the Senate as a body can confirm or reject the appointment, after due screening of the candidate.
“The parliamentary process for the confirmation of nominations by the President is open and involves all distinguished senators.
“The Senate President is only a presiding officer of the Senate and does not lead any group in or outside the august chamber that acts in any way to circumvent the processes of the Senate. “We reassure Nigerians that the Senate President did not receive any gratification, in his or behalf of others, to help Professor Yakubu get a second term as chairman of INEC.”

He challenged SaharaReporters and the sponsors of the false publication to provide whatever evidence that they can in support of their glib claims, failing which Nigerians should dismiss the report as another cheap blackmail from a platform that has no reputation for credible reportage and ethical journalism practise.”

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Lekki shooting: FG barefaced denial refuses to gel as CNN insists its report is authentic

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Lekki shooting: FG barefaced denial refuses to gel as CNN insists its report is authentic


What seemed like a barefaced denial by the Federal Government on the alleged Lekki killings have refused to gel in the midst of various reports and reactions triggered by the shooting.

This was just as the minister of information and culture Lai Mohammed demanded that CNN be sanctioned for publishing the report that is contrary to Government’s position.

The minister, who addressed reporters in Abuja almost 24 hours after the report was published, stated that it was one-dimensional and lacked balance.

However, the Cable News Network (CNN) would not accept that as it reacted to the comments by Lai Mohammed, on its investigation into the shooting that took place at the Lekki Tollgate in Lagos.

The CNN maintained that it did not rush to publish the report as it ensured due processes were followed, which included thorough research.

“Our reporting was carefully and meticulously researched, and we stand by it,” a spokesperson for the American-based news agency was quoted as saying in an email on Thursday.

Reacting further the CNN on its website stated that the report, titled ‘How A Bloody Night Of Bullets And Brutality Quashed A Young Protest Movement’, was based on testimony from dozens of witnesses, as well as photos and video obtained and geolocated by the news agency.

Though the Nigerian Army confirmed that soldiers were deployed at the venue where peaceful #EndSARS protesters had gathered on October 21, it insisted that nobody was killed.

The army has also continued to insist that no live ammunition was fired at the protest ground, stressing that only blank bullets were used to disperse the demonstrators.

CNN on Wednesday released an investigative report alleging that the Nigerian army used live bullets on protesters during its intervention in the #EndSARS protests in Lekki, Lagos state.

The international media outlet also unveiled the identity of a protester who reportedly died on the night of the shootings.

CNN said a forensic probe of the bullet casings recovered from the scene of the incident revealed that live bullets were fired at the protesters

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Abuja-Lokoja-Benin Highway dualisation: Funding no longer a threat – FMWH Director

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Abuja-Lokoja-Benin Highway dualisation: Funding no longer a threat – FMWH Director

By Friday Idachaba

The Federal Ministry of Works and Housing has assured Nigerians timely completion of the Abuja-Lokoja-Benin highway dualisation project as funding will no longer pose a threat.

Director, Highways North-Central, Federal Ministry of Works and Housing Engr Yusuf Jimoh Adekunle, gave the assurance on Wednesday in Lokoja while on a routine check to asses the level of compliance of the contractors handling the projects.

Yusuf said the projects had hitherto suffered setback due to poor funding by previous administration’s but had gotten a new lease on life with alternative funding platforms provided through the initiative of the present administration of President Muhammadu Bihari.

He said, “We have no issues with funding here because it is part of the initiatives of this government. Before the inception of this administration there was nothing like SUKUK but this government has come up with those funding alternatives.

“We now have the SUKUK, we have Tax Relief, we have loans that we got from China NEXIM on some other projects but this particular project is enjoying the SUKUK loan apart from the budgetary provisions.”

He said that he was in the state to see the real progress of work as the project, luckily, no longer had problem of funding adding, “So all we just need is for the contractors to make sure they are working.

“So, this visit is mainly to ensure that quality work is being executed that’s why I’ve come together with my team”, Yusuf added.

Speaking further on the projects, Federal Controller of Works Engr Jimoh Kajogbola, in Kogi explained that dualisation of Lokoja-Benin section one was in two phases.

“We are on phase II now and it is about 41 kilometres. The total length of both phase one and phase two is about 58.15 km. The contractor has partially completed phase one which includes Okene bypass of about 14 kilometres virgin dual carriageway.

The contractor, CGC Nig. Ltd., has completed that except some little little issues which will be cleared but it has been opened to traffic for more than two years now.

Kajogbola said that the last extension granted the contractor was expected to expire in December, 2021.

“So, it is now left for the contractor to work harder to be able to access the provisions made for them within budget and from SUKUK Funding, We have about N2.5 billion to access this year, 2020.”, He said.

Alhaji Yaba Abubakar, Project Manager who spoke on behalf of CGC Nig. Ltd. assured, “By the special grace of God, by December 2021, at the level we are working, this project will be delivered.

Also speaking, Contract Director who identified himself simply as Engr Ephraim, for Gitto Construction Company working on Abuja-Lokoja Section IV, and the last section from the side, said work had attained 76 per cent completion.

Ephraim said the company had been remobilised and the project work was in progress and would be completed and handed over to the Ministry on schedule. #

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