“There is a belief that everyone has a job that they are good at. Therefore, we endeavor to put our Team members in the right place to make them work effectively in other to create sustainable growth for the general good and attend to their needs accordingly. However, we ensure to employ people that are diligent in their jobs and have admirable character in order to take care of the rest of us and achieve our vision in the long run”. – Governor Yahaya Bello
Before the advent of the New Direction Administration, Kogi State was sharply divided along ethnic and religious lines. It was an entity whose growth was impaired by disunity as politicians planted division in the minds of the people for their selfish political gains.
This posed a serious challenge to whoever would be vested with the responsibility of leading the State, to not only be sincere, but also firm and practical in its effort to alter the status quo. The people of goodwill prayed for divine intervention.
The 27th of January, 2016 was a day described by many as the day of ‘answered prayers’ in the political history of Kogi State. It was the day that birthed the dawn of a new era; Yahaya Bello, a young man from a minority tribe was sworn in as the Fourth Executive Governor of Kogi State, ushering in a paradigm shift.
It is worthy of note that the present administration in Kogi State, right from the onset isn’t operated on a guess board, but on a well-thought-out agenda known as the New Direction Agenda.
Equipped with the administrative acumen and a proper understanding of the various challenges he was confronted with, the young governor hit the ground running by making moves to address the foundational issues impeding the collective growth of the State. Which was first, to unite a people deeply divided alone ethnic and religious lines and to employ the services of competent, goal-oriented lieutenants to help achieve the dream of developing the State.
The first three appointments of the Governor immediately after his inauguration in 2016 was spread across the three Senatorial Districts. Hon. Edward Onoja from Kogi East became the first Chief of Staff in Kogi State to emerge from a zone different from that of the Governor. All the Governors before Yahaya Bello had ensured their Chief of Staff emerged from their zone.
A Governor came and changed that. His Special Assistant on Media was appointed from Kogi Central and his Chief Press Secretary from Kogi West.
It was a fresh breeze that reshaped the mentality of the Kogi people. They were glad to have a unifier as Governor.
Five years on, Yahaya Bello has ensured a balanced and equitable distribution of political appointments, engaging the services of highly rated technocrats, administrators and other qualified egg-heads from within and outside the State to help in actualizing his dream for the state. His policy of carrying everyone along has not only empowered the hitherto marginalized minority ethnic groups, but has also created a great sense of belonging and unity across all tribes.
The institutionalization of the GYB-EBIGO unification agenda which preaches oneness has also helped in breaking down the barriers of ethnic jingoism.
A Kogi State that existed mutual ethnic cum religious mistrust is now one where a Muslim governor constructs worship centers for both Christians and Muslims, support evangelism and even lifts ban off traditional festivals that promotes unity and peace.
These are acts that sends a deliberate signal to everyone that indeed, the leader is a unifier, little wonder the people of Kogi State keyed in and are now better for it.
The Governor Yahaya Bello New Direction Team, through words and actions have created a conducive environment for peaceful coexistence amongst the people, a foundation upon which the current all-round development in the State is built.