The Kogi state government declared a public holiday on Monday to thank God for the safe return of President Muhammadu Buhari. It also called for an ode to his return as well as to celebrate his many accomplishments and achievements in the last two years. This was in addition to announcing plans to host Mr President in the state on Thursday, December 29. In anticipation of his visit, the Kogi State government had put in place measures to ensure the smooth flow of traffic. According to a statement from the Governor, the state’s Department of Public Affairs, the state had “taken a proactive approach to ensuring the smooth flow of traffic in the state”.
However, the decision to declare a day as a holiday has come under intense scrutiny from the public as well as members of the state’s ruling coalition. In a recent state of the union address, Governor Bello was accused of mismanaging the state’s resources. He is also alleged to have spent millions of dollars on a campaign which the opposition deems a waste of taxpayer’s money. While some claim that the money is better spent on the state’s education and health sectors, others are sceptical that the funds are being used in the right direction.
However, despite its shortcomings, it is no doubt the state of Kogi is the envy of the nation. The state boasts an enviable array of top-notch schools and colleges of learning as well as world class healthcare facilities. The state also has a vibrant culture of hospitality and philanthropy that is second to none. During his visit, the President will unveil the state’s new state of the art healthcare facility as well as the first ever e-learning centre in the state. Meanwhile, the state will be celebrating its burgeoning middle class with a number of community development programmes. Some of which will be rolled out in collaboration with the Federal Government. Having the ability to provide education, health and well-being is the foundation of any prosperous society.
Amongst the numerous challenges confronting the state, the most pressing is the quality of governance. To this end, the Kogi state government has a responsibility to do the right thing. Amongst other things, the governor has vowed to spend more than N2 billion on the state’s public sector in the next four years. In a nutshell, Governor Bello has vowed to deliver on the promises made during his time in office and he is likely to succeed.