#DinoRecall: 52.3% of Kogi West Electorates Sign Recall Register

The returning officer for the recall of Senator representing Kogi West, Dino Melaye, Mr. Adamu Yusuf has revealed that out of 360,098 of the total registered voters of the seven senatorial districts comprising Yagba, Mopa Muro, Kabba Bunu, Yagba East, Koton Karfe, Lokoja and Ijumu, 188, 588, have signed the recall register constituting 52.3% of the voters in senatorial district.

Announcing the figure at the All progressives Congress State Secretariat in Lokoja, Yusuf said that the voters have met the constitutional requirement of 51.1% and as such Senator Dino Melaye has failed to represent Kogi West.

Giving a breakdown of the recall exercise, Yusuf noted that for Yagba East – out of 35,331 registered voters, 18, 374 (52%) signed the recall of the serving lawmaker.

Others are Mopa 18,356 voters (9,186 signed comprising 50.04%), Kabba Bunu 60,522, voters (28,277 signed making 46.7%, and Yagba West out of 35, 966 registered voters 20,029 signed signifying 55.7%.

Lokoja local government recorded the highest with 63, 736 (54.8%) voters recalling the senator out of 116, 296 registered voters.

For Koton Karfe 24,703 (52.77%) voters penned their signature while in Ijumu out of 46,819 registered voters, 24, 238 depicting 51.8% passed a vote of no confidence on the senator to represent them in the National Assembly.

ALL seven Local government administrators constituting Kogi West were all present during the exercise.

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Dino Lacks Proper Parental Care, Says Yahaya Bello

The Executive Governor of Kogi State, Yahaya Bello, has lashed out at the recent activities of Senator Dino Meaye in Kogi State, saying the latter lacks proper parental care and home upbringing, and such, has constituted social menace in the society.

Bello said this in an interview with State House Correspondents in Abuja, after meeting with Acting President Yemi Osinbajo to brief him on latest development in the state.

According to him, “You see, I would rather admonished Nigerians that when a child lacks proper parental care and home upbringing, he constitutes social menace in the society. And if the society does not take steps to check and correct such a child, they can turn into criminal and take into criminality then it will be left to government to check such criminality. And if government does not, such a child can cause a serious embarrassment. That is what is happening in Kogi State.

“Then talking of the Senate, let me rather admonish the Senate that that is an institution that is held in a very high esteem and I think the Senate and indeed the National Assembly is made up of men of high calibre and of high integrity and good character.

“I think it is necessary that that wonderful House should as matter of urgency and as a matter of fact check any social deviant that exists within them before they could be adjudged birds of the same feather. I know they are not of the same feather.”

But he said there is no crisis in the state, stressing that Kogi State is living in peace.

“Projects are ongoing, we are all happy over there, salaries are being paid as at when due and we are making serious progress.” he said

On the claim by Melaye that the governor has earmarked N1 billion to remove him, Bello said: “That is figment of his imagination. The good people of Okunland and indeed West Senatorial District have learnt from a bitter mistake of not taming and curbing that social deviant and they have decided to take lawful steps in recalling him.”

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Kogi State Gov. Yahaya Bello Assures Igbo Residents Of Security

The executive governor of Kogi State, Yahaya Bello has assured Igbos in the state of the readiness of his administration to continue to protect their interests, saying Nigeria will continue to be a united entity.

Speaking in Lokoja through his Director General on Media and Publicity, Kingsley Fanwo  on the backdrop of events in Kaduna where some people are threatening the Igbo community, the Governor said he supports the stance of the Kaduna State Governor to protect the Igbos in the state.
“As a nation, our strength has always been embedded in our unity in diversity. Nigeria is home to all and we must continue to see ourselves as brothers and sisters in a united nation. Ethnic segregation is unacceptable to humanity and we must continue to wax stronger and unbroken as a nation. The God that created Nigeria is a God who believes in the strength of unity.
“The Kogi State Government under the leadership of Alh. Yahaya Bello wishes to assure all Igbos that they are not only safe in the state, but that the administration will continue to consider Igbos resident in the state as partners in the New Direction Agenda of the government. Igbos should go about the legitimate businesses in the state as they continue to contribute to our economy as a state and a people.
“With the appointment of Igbos into strategic positions in Kogi State, we are making a strong case for social integration in Nigeria. Let me once more salute the courage and nationalism of the Kaduna State Governor who has shown with his recent actions that Kaduna will remain the home of all nationalities.”
Bello tasked the  Northern leaders to continue to defend the interests and safety of non-Northerners living in the North, insisting that unity is more of an action than word.
“As we strive to move out of the economic recession in Nigeria, bloodshed would only compound the situation. We are the same before God and we should always play up the factors that unite us. We can only be strong when we are united.”
Governor Bello called on Nigerians to intensify prayers for the full recovery of Mr. President, saying the health of the President is “quite reassuring and encouraging.” He said the President is sacrificing a lot for the “greatness, prosperity and unity of Nigeria.”
“President Buhari has sacrificed a lot to ensure we remain a respected nation in the comity of nations. Nigerians should pray for his full recovery as he is determined to tame corruption and drive the nation toward prosperity, responsibility and respectability.”
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Kogi Assembly Passes 251 Resolutions in Two Years, Says Speaker

Speaker of the Kogi State House of Assembly, Rt Hon Umar Ahmed Imam, has said that the 6th assembly has passed not less than 251 resolutions in two years.
Imam stated this in a stewardship report on Monday 5th June, 2017 on the occasion of the 6th Assembly’s second anniversary. which also mark the end of the second legislative session.
According to him, despite challenges faced, the achieved unity of the members of the house was responsible for the smooth discharge of their responsibilities.
Giving the details of resolutions passed, he highlighted 38 regular motions; 78 matters of urgent public importance; 116 motions considered; 12 resolutions agreed-to based on requests from the other Arms of government; and 48 resolutions from committee recommendations were all
He added that out of the 23 bills registered, 5 have been passed into law, while 18 are under consideration at various levels of passage.
“As an active part of this government, we extended our unalloyed cooperation towards the modest achievement of the Executive through prompt consideration and approval of policy instruments, requests and ensure that there existed an excellent relationship that promotes social security, order, and good governance.
“We have equally collaborated with the Judiciary with our continued and common belief in our shared principle of separation of power. We would like to extend our appreciation to both the Executive and the Judiciary for making real our dream for the State Assembly and making our responsibilities accordingly possible,” he said.
The Speaker thereby urged the governor of the state to assent to a bill establishing the State Assembly Service Commission just passed by the House.
“The bill, just like the Civil and Judicial Service Commissions, is to give to the legislative arm of government an established body that will ensure services in aid of the Honourable Members and in the execution of their constitutional functions in line with the provision of Section 93 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended),” he explained.
While also commending the state government on the courage to reform the civil service, he appraised the outcome of the reform as a thorn in the flesh of the administration, describing it as having troubled impact on the people.
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Constituents List Sins Of Dino Melaye, Initiate Process Of Recall

Hundreds of protesters from the seven local government areas, comprising Kogi West senatorial zone, on Friday marched to the headquarters of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Lokoja, demanding the recall of Senator Dino Melaye, who represents them at the National Assembly.

The protesters said there were fed up with what they described as “continuous embarrassment” and poor representation by Dino Melaye.

Pius Kolawole, spokesman of the protesters, he listed 18 offences allegedly committed by Dino upon which they based their demand for his recall.

In another press statement made available to pressmen, Dino Melaye was accused of promoting sexual abuses by giving N1,000 to youths in his constituency to buy condoms.

The part statement reads: “He has not deemed it fit to have a Constituency Office in Kogi West Senatorial Zone even after 2 years in the Senate, meaning he has no presence in the Zone and we have no way of reaching our Senator.
He has no projects initiated in the constituency after 2 years in the Senate.

“He is known for a continuous flow of irresponsible utterances which embarrass the constituency. For example: ‘I will beat…impregnate you’ referring to a fellow Senator and the wife of the National Leader of the APC, Asiwaju Ahmed Tinubu.

“He insulted former President Olusegun Obasanjo; he insulted President Muhammadu Buhari.

“He not only insulted Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu, but he travelled all the way from Abuja to the leader’s home in Lagos looking for a fight.

“He insulted the Sultan of Sokoto,calling him an Islamist with a Muslim agenda in Kogi State, simply because His Eminence visited to celebrate the 1st Anniversary of the Government of His Excellency, Governor Yahaya Bello.

“He routinely insults other leaders, elders and personalities.

“He persists in portraying our Senatorial Zone as hostile to the Administrations of His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari and His Excellency, Governor of Yahaya Bello of Kogi State respectively, for no just cause and not minding the impact on us.

“He is notorious for conduct unbecoming of a Senator in the way and manner he relates to the Senate President as if he were a bodyguard or houseboy instead of a full Senator representing a proud constituency like us.
He is enmeshed in a pending certificate scandal – we now believe he lied to us about his academic qualifications, part of the basis of which he sold his candidature.

“He has brought home no dividends of democracy to our Senatorial District. He paints our dear Kogi State bad in the Press at every opportunity he gets for his own selfish political interests, many times without even a clear understanding of what he is talking about.

“His source of wealth is questionable to us and certainly not the model we wish our youth to emulate.

“He is indecent and deliberately corrupts public morals, for example, he routinely gives youths in the constituency who approach him for help N1000.00 or less, telling them to use it to buy condoms.

“He is notoriously corrupt and has been caught on video scheming steal the resources of Kogi State among himself and a few cronies calling us elephants to be killed and shared.

“He is an electoral fraud and has been caught on audio offering a Judicial Officer money to decide an electoral matter in his favour.

“He has no respect for Party democracy, and routinely flouts lawful decisions and directives of even his own party leadership.”

INEC’s Legal Adviser in the state, Muktar Bawa, in his response, told the protesters that there were laid down conditions and procedures to begin the process and advised them to go back and get the endorsement of constituents in the district and present their petitions to INEC to see if they met the conditions.

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“I Did Not Do Double Registration Of Permanent Voters Card”- Yahaya Bello

Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello has denied claim that he he registered twice in the ongoing Continuous Voter Registration [CVR) exercise being conducted by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

Bello said this at the State House in Abuja on Friday while observing the Ju’maat prayer.

INEC had alleged that Governor Bello had registered twice as a voter, first in Abuja in January, 2011 and subsequently on May 19 in Lokoja.

Yahaya in his response said that he travelled out of the country on May 19 to Dubai on a short break and was shocked when he saw the press release from INEC accusing him of double registration for voters card.

“I travelled on May 19 to Dubai for a brief break and I saw the press release and I was taken aback that I did double registration on the 23rd. Probably it is my ghost that has done the double registration.

“I think INEC has earned itself a very high reputation and I think and I am very confident that the leadership of INEC will not allow some elements in INEC to drag the name of the Commission into the mud.

“Surely that’s a falsehood. I did not do double registration of permanent voters card.”


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Gov. Bello Reaffirms Commitment To Ensuring A Kogi Safe For All

Alhaji Yahaya Bello, the Executive Governor of Kogi State is pleased to reaffirm his commitment towards ensuring safety and security for the indigenes and inhabitants of the State. He hereby reiterates his firm commitment to ensuring continuous security and safety of lives and properties in the State as he vows not to relent in his administration’s lofty strides to taking the fight to the enemies of the State.
The Governor notes that he is fully aware of the antics of those enraged by the audacious move of his administration to destroy criminal hideouts and properties of criminals in the State.
The Governor expresses his awareness about the financiers and backers of these criminals committed to foisting mayhem on the people, noting that he is not oblivious of the fact that they are still out there, whilst they are erroneously thinking they are far away from the reach of the long arm of the Law. He however vows that whoever they are, wherever they may be, his government would be going after them and bringing them to justice.
Having observed that it is the intention of these criminal elements to keep Kogites in a perpetual state of fear by orchestrating fresh moves to unleash a reign of terror, Governor Bello declares that their plots will be overwhelmingly resisted. He therefore states that neither crime nor a reign of terror would be tolerated in Kogi State.
All law-abiding citizens and residents in the State are urged to remain calm, go about their legitimate businesses and report all suspicious activities to security agencies to carry out necessary investigations and address appropriately.
In a similar vein, the Governor hereby directs a concerted strengthening of the existing curfew in Kogi Central senatorial district and whoever runs foul of this directive should be made to face the severe consequences of their actions.
He states equally that custodians of masquerades in the senatorial district are to take note by this Statement that masquerade activities remains banned till further notice. Anyone who runs fowl of this directive shall be brought to book for disrupting the public peace and obstruction of communal serenity, as a safe Kogi State which is a prerequisite for development and peaceful living would not be compromised under any guise, no matter whose ox is gored.
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Just In: Assailants Kill Masquerade, Three Others In Kogi

Some yet to be identified assailants have reportedly killed a masquerader and three other persons in Okene local government area of Kogi State.

The incident took place at Idare district on Wednesday.

An eyewitness said the masquerade and his followers were gunned down by two men on motorcycles during the “Eche-Anee,” an annual festival in Kogi Central.

Meanwhile, the state government has suspended the event to avoid further crises.


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May Day Channels TV Interview: Kogi State Government Clears The Air

So I had a telephone interview on ChannelsTV’s Sunrise Daily this morning. About 5 minutes of stilted talk-time during which horrible network and static feedback prevented me from hearing Chamberlain Usoh’s questions clearly, and thus from responding in a concise or sequential manner. Next thing I know, there is a trending video of the interview posted by the station under a banner headline I consider utterly irresponsible.
Anyway, we in the Administration of Governor Yahaya Bello are used to the media stable in which Channels is tethered. Their unfortunate shenanigans have become comic relief around here. If we cough and they declare there is a tuberculosis pandemic in the state, we have learnt to take a sip water, smile and continue with what we are doing. No be today.
Were it for them alone, I would not be making this rejoinder. But when our failed, rudderless Senator, the one we all know as the Regret of Kogi, who has no constituency office and who only visits home as elections near to pick fights, takes up on that video and begins to wax songs and dance naked in the marketplace with it, well, then, we must reply. Men may sympathise with a madman on account of his insanity, but if he starts trying to burn down the village, they must restrain him – for his health, and others’.
It is important to understand the positions I espoused on that brief call. My reference to Kogi workers who are owed 12 months of salaries was not directed to those workers who were cleared in the first or second stages of our Staff Screening and Verification Exercise because those ones started receiving payments as soon as they were cleared. I meant those who were screened out by the earlier Screening Committees for one reason or the other. Those among them now cleared after the Kogi Stakeholders Congress which ended around 8pm last night are the ones still having delayed outstandings of up to 12 months some cases. However, the Government has promised to do everything within her powers to pay them in full this month.
To get them to this point after they were initially screened out, the  Government, Labour and other stakeholders conferred on the way forward and agreed to reopen the process to see if they could be helped in any way. A fresh Review Committee led by a seasoned team from the Administrative Staff College of Nigeria (ASCON) was therefore set up in January 2017 for this purpose.
Since no two cases are similar, this Review Committee had to physically listen to every worker who had been declared uncleared previously and who appeared before her. At the end of the 90 days alloted the Committee by Government to conclude her work, about 70% of those who came for review were readmitted into the workforce. Some were found victims of errors by previous Committees, but most were readmitted on compassionate grounds, and not because they were able to objectively overturn their earlier classifications.
To make that readmission possible Government had to bend over backwards on some offences prescribed in the Public Service Rules which are not ‘too criminal in nature’ (for want of a less inventive description). Such infractions as joining the service while still underaged, multiple declarations of age to put off retirement, stagnation (achieving over 8 years in a particular grade level with nowhere else to go), falsification of academic, work or other documents, mild to serious offences while in service, double employment and salary, etc.
It is among these class of people, who were slated for dismissal and sanctions before, but who have enjoyed clemency, that you will find those owed up to 12 months. It is to them I made reference. They were already out of the system. In some cases the Government owed them nothing based on the nature of the offences disclosed against them. Then the Government agreed to give them another chance. Following this soft landing approach accorded these category of formerly uncleared workers by the Governor, most are now back on the payroll and the Government has assumed responsibility again which was why my Boss directed they should be paid in full this month of May, including all arrears.
Yesterday evening we held a massive stakeholders meeting in Government House attended by all stakeholders where these issues were fully presented to the people. The Labour and Student unions turned out in full. None provided any counter to these facts. Instead, they commended Government for the amnesty and expressed their joy at the sanitation of the payroll, praying it meant genuine workers will now be promptly paid their salaries and emoluments.
This makes it the more unfortunate for Ranti Ojo Matthew, the TUC (Trade Union Congress) Leader to claim to still be on some uncleared list, and to still be owed 12 months backlog of salaries. As far back as the end of last year, Government records say different. He received his salaries up till December 2016 (including all his arrears which we inherited from the previous administration). He appeared on the uncleared list when it was discovered that he had failed to produce his original certificates for sighting, and that most withdrawals from  his salary account were from everywhere but Kogi State, in particular his place of work. A suspicious quantum of those banking transactions were also at times when he should be at his desk, working. Payments to him were thus withheld from January 2017 on account of this.
Luckily dirty him, after the initial bluster about privileges as a labour leader, he realised that no one who wished to remain a worker in Kogi State would be exempted from full screening and submitted himself and his documents for physical scrutiny. He also explained that he was making so much withdrawals from out of station because his duties as a labour leader involves a prodigious amount of travel. He has since been cleared, readmitted and will be receiving his unpaid salaries (3 months only) with everyone else in this batch.
It is also important to note that his NLC (Nigerian Labour Congress) counterpart, Comrade O.J Edoka did the needful promptly and was on the first list of those cleared. He has continued to earn his pay without undue interruptions.
Finally, on the allegations that May Day Celebrations were cancelled in Kogi State as a form of protest against the suffering of workers, the Kogi State Government is just hearing that one now. Government is not owing Labour a dime in statutory or customary contributions. Just two weeks ago at the formal presentation of the the Review Committee’s Report, Labour gave Government profuse thanks for clearing her outstanding and ensuring they will hold robust May Day events in the state.
It was the Labour leaders themselves who requested for a time out this year from Government because they claimed to have security reports indicating that forces external to them were working to hijack any public gathering today and wreak havoc. The Government of Kogi State is more than equal to the task of securing locations and participants at any event of any magnitude which they have approved, May Day not excepted. Just this morning I was in Government House when the Youth Corpers mobilised by Government for the usual May Day parades were asked to go home and rest because Labour would not be holding rallies.
Are these not the same Labour leaders who kept crying that their cooperation with the State Government to clean up the workforce was earning them the sobriquet of ‘weak’, ‘bribed’, ‘compromised’, etc from their peers outside the state? Are they not the ones who claimed they backed and participated in the Exercise because of their love for Kogi and the workers they represent who have been short-changed for too long in the past? So which one be say dem doam as protest? What is there to protest? That Government wants to keep what belongs to genuine workers for only genuine workers? I will advice my brothers to stand by their principles always and shame the devil. No matter the threat.
After all, did not Obakpolor Uzazakpo, the Court Jester of Old Benin Kingdom say, ‘If you tell the truth you die, if you tell lies you still die…?’ Or something like that. You know Obakpolor, though a young man at the time he was fooling himself for a living, had a problem gathering his thoughts and his wits so let us not expect too much sense from him, and take what we can salvage from his incessant babblings.
Come to think of it, maybe it’s not even that particular jester who made that saying. There were jesters aplenty those days, as nowadays. It may have been Mr. Bean. Or Mr. Ibu. Anyway, I suppose the jester who said it meant well, but as he was trying to say one thing, another thing was entering his mouth. It’s the curse of jesters.
Anyway, I stand by the promise of The Greatest Man Who Ever Lived. He said that that if we know the truth, it will set us free. This is great advice, and I commend it to all of us holding sacred trusts as leaders and servants of our people. If we also tell the truth that we know always, no matter what, it will set us free from the fear of man which can be a snare.
In concluding, and for the records, and entirely by the Grace of God, the Kogi State Government, after May 2017, would have completely paid all cleared workers up to date. Uncleared workers and ghostworkers will know themselves because they/their alter egos would have been expelled from the payroll, with or without prosecution for their crimes.
These  are the facts which the Government of Kogi State wants to put out to all people of goodwill. We will not be moved by the contrived umbrage of those who persist in fraudulent misinterpretation of events in Kogi State. They do so for their own selfish political, albeit, defeated, ends. These ineffective remnants of the late (and unlamented) buffoonery which almost wrecked Nigeria in the years of the locust from expecially from 2011 to March, 2015 can wail all they want, but they cannot turn the clock of our New Direction in Kogi State backwards. Despite the vicious, malicious and atrocious flood of negative Press they persist in unleashing on us through their captive media, we will continue to defeat their lies with our truths.
In closing, can those Elected to pass the National Budget and Confirm The President’s nomination’s get to work do the needful and pass the 2017 Appropriation Bill sent in nearly half a year ago. At least so that the Nation can move on.
Edward David Onoja
Chief of Staff to the Kogi State Governor
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