Re- Kogi peo­ple in La­gos

Daily Trust - - OPINION - By

Me­jabi Mike

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)

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