Yahaya Bello’s Road (s) to the Future
By Hafsat Ibrahim
“Good leaders have vision and inspire others to help them turn vision into reality. Great leaders have vision, share vision, and inspire others to create their own.”
– Roy Bennett
Vision is not something that can be seen, touched or heard. It is, in this context, a function of the brilliancy, ingenuity and sincerity of a leader. It is a function of identifying present and potential future problems and putting measures in place to eradicate or reduce the or problems…. most importantly, to ensure that future generations experience less of the problems the present generation is going through.
Yahaya Bello’s coming was divinely ordained. No one saw it coming. But his performance especially in the area of infrastructure has been very deliberate. His performance has been a product of careful, conscious planning and a matter of setting priorities.
The New Direction Administration in Kogi state has not only been spending billions of naira on projects. It has been expending resources on priority projects and despite the scarcity of these resources in recent years, any fair observer will agree that a lot of the major problems that need to be attended have been given priority by the present administration.
Road construction has been the cornerstone of the Infrastructural drive of the administration. Kogi state used to be average at best in the area of quality of road networks prior to the coming of Governor Bello. Six years down the line, even though right now not all the roads have been done, the most important ones have been constructed or rehabilitated.
In choosing the roads to focus on, the governor’s team priortised the ones that are crucial to the social and economic wellbeing of Kogites, knowing full well that the informal sector is the main driver of the state economy.
Since all parts of the state are almost evenly gifted in terms of vibrant population and economic potential, Bello’s road construction and rehabilitation largesse has also been evenly distributed across the three senatorial zones and all 21 local government areas of the state.
The construction of the Ibana-Ikeje-Ette road and that of the Idah-Umomi-Anyigba road for example are ongoing in the Eastern axis of the state. The Dekina – Anyigba Road has also been reconstructed.
The Ekirin-Ade/Ohun Iffe-Olukotun Road, and the Poyan-Jege-Ejuku-Ijowa (Isanlu) Road in the Western axis have been completed.
Roads that are undergoing reconstruction in Kabba town are Iyah- Fadile Junction Road; Dada Onicar Bestway- NTA Junction Road; Inuraje Road; Ogo Oluwa Street; Surulere Road; Ipele Street – Barnabas Cathedral Road; St. Banabas Roundabout Road; Obaro Odoafin Road and Bolorunduro Road.
In Kogi Central, the rehabilitation of Okene township road, Idoma road, Mahmoud Attah road, Ogori-Magongo township road has been undertaken by the Bello administration.
Other roads that are undergoing construction in Okene town are Agassa- Irucheba Road; Ozuwaya- Idozuni Road; Idozumi- Idoji Road; Spurs-Ahache – Enyinare Road; Ateba – Idozumi Road; Spurs, Obehira- Makaranta Road; Library – Inike Road; Agassa- Ekuku – Dam Road and Agassa- Anyava Road.
Lokoja, the capital city of Kogi State looked like an overrated, rustic countryside settlement before the coming of Governor Bello. The rapid transformation of the city in recent years is very clear for anyone who is familiar with the state capital.
The asphalt overlay of Taiwo road, the Lokoja Township Stadium, the Muhammadu Buhari Civic Centre, the Inland Revenue Office etc are few out of the legion of physical infrastructural projects provided by the Bello administration. But roads have played the major part in beautifying the city under Governor Bello.
The emergency facelift given to portions of the road between Ganaja junction and Ganaja village in Lokoja, and the rehabilitation of SUBEB road, Lokoja are also very key. Most of the visible road projects around Ganaja are forced by the ongoing construction of the massive, unprecedented flyover, a signature, legacy project of the administration that is nearing completion.
Other road projects in Lokoja township include Bishop Court – Kasuwa Hotel-Ganaja Junction Road; Adankolo Cemetery- Zenith Bank Road; Dunamis Junction- Federal University Road; UBA Adankolo- Housing Estate Road; Cemetery-Baptist Church Road; Kewon Hotel – Lokoja LGA/Federal Road Safety road; Sardauna Junction – Cemetery /Maigari Palace Road; and asphalt overlay of Paparanda Square- Nataco Junction.
Others crucial road projects receiving attention across the state include Umomi-Ejule – Anyigba Road; Dekina Township road; Ibana-Okpo-Ogugu-Ete Road; Old Egwume Road; Ofejikpi Road and Ankpa-Abejukolo Road.
Governor Bello has a little over two years to round off his maximum term of eight years. He has raised the stake of governance and demystified the complexities of office. Whoever will come after him will have his job cut out for him, in terms of being able to meet up with the work rate, work ethic and dedication of Governor Bello.