—— Barrister William Abdullahi Aliwo
A Kogi state director in a ministry came to my office on Friday to ask for 200 naira. And on Saturday another trekked down to my house for the same purpose. These are the ones close to me. This has become the plight of many civil servants in Kogi state.
My experience since my legal practice in Lokoja in 1992 has shown that once salaries are paid there is always a reflection in shops, private offices and markets.
That’s why Lokoja (Kogi state) is said to have an economy that is intricately tied to the civil service.
Governor Yahaya Bello probably intended to redirect the economy of Kogi state in order to reduce the impact of salaries on the economy. This would have been good for us if the alternative sectors were energized for optimum performance.
However this is far from it. Yet civil servants are not paid their salaries for upward of 6 months for “verified” civil servants and up to over 20 months for other categories of civil servants. Not to mention the Judiciary staff that are counting their 11th month of unpaid salaries. By next month they will be a year without salaries. This is certainly unhealthy for the economy and people of Kogi state.
People are dying, offices are daily closing down and people and businesses are relocating from Lokoja and by extension, Kogi State because salaries are not paid to the civil servants. Yet politics is at its all time high.
This is the situation report.
Now who is doing this to us……..? Governor Yahaya Bello of course.
The most youthful and energetic Governor in Nigeria. He was privileged to be a graduate and secured a Federal Government job from where his luck catapulted him into the position of the Governor of Kogi state. That possibly is his albatross. Gotten almost everything on a platter of gold even without working for it. Otherwise, who is the politician that would play with his political fortune at this critical time.
Who is the politician that would play with civil servants when elections are around the corner. As I write people are vowing to resist Bello with their dwindling “energies”.
Governor Bello is on war path with the Deputy Governor, He has declared battle Royale against the Chief Judge and by extension the Judiciary, and he is on several fronts fighting battles. Yet his election is here.
I therefore advise Bello to thread carefully and realize that power is transient.
Good politicians are remembered by their legacies. I just wonder what the governor’s advisers (senior and ordinary) are telling him.
Just my observation.