Yahaya Bello sworn in as Kogi governor
Alhaji Yahaya Bello was yesterday sworn in as the governor of Kogi State, with a pledge to maintain zero-tolerance for corruption.
The Chief Judge of the state, Justice Nasiru Ajana, administered the oath of office on Bello, at a ceremony where his Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC)-recognised deputy, James Abiodun Faleke, was unavailable.
Faleke is contesting the choice of Bello as replacement for the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate at the November 21 election, Prince Abubakar Audu, who died before he could be declared winner of the poll.
Bello, who took the oath at noon at the main bowl of the Confluence Stadium in Lokoja, said the APC government would lead with the wishes and aspiration of the party leaders and agenda.
The venue of the swearin-in was filled, with different groups cheering and waving to usher in the new administration.
In an emotion-laden speech, Bello quoted copiously from the inaugural speech of President Muhammadu Buhari, saying:“I belong to everybody and I belong to nobody”, just as he pledged that his administration will be modelled after that of Buhari.
His words: “President Muhammadu Buhari, who epitomises personal discipline, rugged determination and honesty, I intended to model my administration after Buhari.
“ We exist for the sole purpose of serving the people of Kogi State, not to serve the avarice of a few. There is no greater evil than corruption. I declare and affirm that Alhaji Yahaya Bello administration will have zero tolerance for corruption.
Bello also paid tribute to the late Audu, who he described as an icon, whose foresight and doggedness paved the way for the “victory we celebrate today. Continue to rest in peace, my leader”.
He hailed APC National leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, who he described as the most singular successful politician of this democratic dispensation.
The governor pledged to embark on people-oriented projects, noting that his administration will pay a month’s salary soon and pay arrears of about three months in batches.
He said positive and decisive action would be taken to rescue Kogi State, stressing that he and his team, with God on their side, will execute a master plan to rebuild new Kogi State.
“We must lead as leader, who will not disappoint the people. I will lead Kogi State by example and accountability. We shall allow the rule of law and effective governance to prevail”, he stressed.
The governor remarked that strategies have been put in place to tackle all sectors of the economy.
He expressed concern about the security of life and property, promising to meet with the commissioner of Police in finding a solution.
Bello, however, hailed the commissioner for providing adequate security for the ceremony.
Among dignitaries present were APC National Chairman Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, Senate president, who was represented by Senator Kabiru Gaya; Speaker, House of Representatives (also represented); Nasarawa State Governor; Alhaji Tanko Almakura; his Benue State counterpart, Samuel Otorm; Senator Dino Melaye; Senator Nurudeen Abatemi and Speaker, Kogi State House of Assembly.