Re- Kogi people in Lagos
In Daily Trust Newspaper of Wednesday, September 30, one Mr. Adebula Ezekiel, claiming to be acting on behalf of Kogi People in Lagos, was quoted to have described the tenure of Prince Audu Abubakar as governor of Kogi State and the tenure of Hon James Faleke as LCDA Chairman in Lagos as failure. One cannot but laugh and wonder if Adebula made such statement in a right frame of mind, if he has any.
Prince Audu was sworn in on 2 January 1992 as the First Executive Governor of Kogi State. It was in this capacity that he transformed the infrastructural landscape of Kogi State.
Within the 22 months lifespan of that administration, which was abruptly terminated by military intervention, Prince Audu made monumental landmarks in virtually all sectors, particularly in the area of housing, electricity, roads, education, and health care services. Major achievements in social-economic contribution in the state are to-date a point of reference to the generality of the people and many aspiring leaders. Some of his major achievement during his brief 1st term of office includes the establishment of three different housing schemes for public officers consisting of over 1,500 housing units in Lokoja, the transformation of Lokoja township with asphalt road, street lights, aesthetic roundabouts, the construction of inter township and rural roads, over 75 electrification schemes and 50 water projects.
Other achievements include, the founding of Kogi State Polytechnic, the establishment of a television station, radio station, both AM and FM, a state newspaper and the transformation of the colonial residence of Lord
Lugard into an ltra-modern Government House Complex, the construction of office blocks for ministries as the new state had no office accommodation, the construction of shopping arcade complex to enhance commercial activities among others.
He pioneered the construction of the first ultra-modern state liaison office in Abuja. He also started work on an ultramodern stadium and a five star hotel in Lokoja, which were not finished due to the abrupt manner the lifespan of that administration was truncated. With the restoration of democracy in 1998, Prince Audu again offered to serve as Executive Governor of the state. He received the overwhelming support of the people and got re-elected into the saddle of leadership of Kogi State under the ticket of the All Nigerian People’s Party ANPP. He was sworn in on 29 May 1999 as the 2nd Executive Governor of Kogi State. On assuming office, Governor Audu took steps to woo prospective investors to harness the numerous solid mineral potentials that abound in the state. The big prize was the establishment of Obajana cement factory. The project, which was on going before he left office, attracted the support of the United States Government. During the visit of former President Bill Clinton to Nigeria, the state government signed the agreement with the US Trade Development Agency (TDA) for a grant to finalize the feasibility work on the project. The cement project is now operational.
Kogi State University Anyigba, is another testimony to the vision, and resourcefulness of Audu. Prince Audu completed several landmark projects within four years.
They include: the five star confluence Beach Hotel, 250 units housing estate, a sports complex, a Specialist Eye Hospital and 25 other medical institutions. Others are: a special Government Girls Secondary School on students exchange programme, 350 borehole schemes, 300 kilometers of township roads, the procurement of 100 transit buses and completion of 40 rural electrification projects.
Today 12 years after he left office, no major project has been added to the ones mentioned above.
On Faleke, Hon. James Abiodun Faleke was posted to Lagos State for his NYSC program in the 1986/1987 service year, and served at the National Orthopaedic Hospital, Igbobi, his place of primary assignment (PPA).
As part of his service to the community, he provided waste bins to assist with waste collection and management in Ikeja LGA during his service year in 1987, and thus got a letter of commendation from the Local Government.
This was, perhaps, a sign of things to come, as he would later become an elected Chairman of Ojodu LCDA of Ikeja Local Government Area.
He was also the Pioneer Executive Secretary of Ojodu LCDA from November
2003 to April 2004, and was elected as the Executive Chairman of the LCDA in 2004. He constructed ultra-modern office complexes, network of roads, renovated school, established a formidable football team which is rated the best in the state today.
In 2011, he was duly elected to represent the Ikeja Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives.
These higher responsibility can only be a prove of the respect the Lagosians have in him.
While dissociating ourselves from the malicious publication and the outright falsehood being peddled by Adebula, we wish to emphatically state that, all of us of Kogi Origin in Lagos have always been proud of Hon James Abiodun Faleke.
Mike is Chairman EACDA (Lagos State Chapter) & Ag. Nat/Coordinator, Kogites in Lagos. (KOILA)