BEING THE TEXT OF A MESSAGE BY HIS EXCELLENCY, GOVERNOR YAHAYA BELLO TO THE GREAT PEOPLE OF KOGI STATE TO COMMEMORATE THE 29TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE CREATION OF KOGI STATE
On August 27, 1991, the old Kwara and Benue States gave birth to present day Kogi State, Nigeria. It was a golden child born at the intersection of the North, South, East and West of Nigeria to be a beacon of hope, both to her diverse peoples and to the millions of Nigerians who transit through her as they criss-cross the nation.
The newborn was endowed from birth with a sufficient wealth of natural and human resources to fulfill her glorious destiny. The richest highlands and lowlands, rivers and rocks, forests and farmsteads, mountains and monuments in the country were found in it. Our homeland was literally a royal coronet made of precious metals and encrusted with gemstones of all kinds.
At birth, the founding fathers had high hopes that Kogi will become the navel of the nation and the intersection of one Nigeria. 29 years later, while Kogi’s journey to be all she can be has been confronted with many obstacles, most of them the results of human fallibility, it cannot be denied that her strategic potentials as a key piece of our nation’s march towards development remains undiminished.
Over the years, Kogi State has been led by different leaders with different visions and ideas. We salute each and every past leader of our state today, celebrate their triumphs in office and look towards their mistakes for the lessons therein.
In 2016 my New Direction Administration arrived with a message of awakening and a mission to accelerate our journey to achieve the state’s vital objectives. On this 29th anniversary of our state’s existence, we celebrate by acknowledging our own modest achievements and renewing our promise to do more.
Our focus in government is to exemplify Kogi State as a microcosm of the Nigerian state, by showing in tangible terms how diversity can be a factor for success in governance and a booster for development. Our Blueprint remains targeted at accelerated development of Kogi State in all her constituencies.
Education, Health, Infrastructure and Utilities, Job Creation and Youth Engagement as well as Public Service and Pension Reforms remain our core thematic areas. Security, Agriculture, Tourism and Human Capital Development are special priority embedded throughout the core themes above.
As this is a day to celebrate our state and her people, not necessarily ourselves, I will not repeat the oft-rehearsed and lengthy list of our accomplishments as a government in this message. Suffice it to say that we gave a great account of our mandate during our first term and are on course to do more in this second.
One thing that we must mention however is that we are in office today as a testament to the grand things which are possible when there is synergy between Kogites. I and the Deputy Governor led a team of young Kogites across ethnic and religious lines who dared to dream that change is possible with synergy rather than division.
Once in office, we took upon ourselves the critical duty of social re-engineering to further blur parochial lines which have done nothing but divide. We ha e since made a lot of progress in replacing the lip-service to unity once prevalent among our people with greater cooperation and integration. No Kogite today needs an introduction to the EBIGO philosophy by which the Ebira, Igala and Okun, as our majority tribes, have embraced a solemn responsibility to model functional oneness for every person and tribe in Kogi State.
The coronavirus pandemic has wreaked havoc with the economic and overall welfare of nations. This means leadership at all levels has a much harder time finding money for governance. The Kogi State Government has risen up to this challenge and will not relent in crafting new ways to respond effectively to this new normal, as socially, economically and politically disconcerting as it is.
I felicitate with all of us on this occasion of the 29th Anniversary of our State. Once again, I assure the people of Kogi State of Government’s iron-cast resolve to secure, develop, grow and integrate Kogi State and her people into the vanguard of unity, peace and progress in Nigeria.
God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria
God bless Kogi State.
God bless us all.
Governor of Kogi State
27 August, 2020.