There are emerging indications of palpable apprehension in the presidency and the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) over the low popularity of Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State despite the deployment of the federal might to the state in the final phase of preparations for the November 16 governorship election in Kogi State. The risk of the governors’ re-election has continued to rise higher as citizens of the state narrate widely the massive failures of Governor Bello including the non-payment of workers’ salaries over 25 months. Governor Bello is accordingly going into the election with heavy liabilities.
It was learned that the presidency and the APC have been perturbed that even when they deploy the federal might to manipulate the election for the victory of the governor, they still need minimal record of legitimacy of the electoral process to justify their actions, the people must be part of the process.
Invariably, the Senate on Wednesday approved the N10.069 billion promissory notes President Muhammadu Buhari requested for Kogi State under the guise of refund for projects executed on behalf of the federal government. Several stakeholders in Kogi had challenged the president and Governor Bello to show the world where those projects exist. This degenerated disquiets that the fund was allegedly for the November 16 governorship election in the state.
It was narrated that the senate had adopted the report of the Senate Committee on Local and Foreign Debts which considered the promissory note programme and a bond issuance to settle inherited local debts and contractual obligations on the refund to state governments for projects executed on behalf of the federal government.
President Buhari on October 15 requested the Senate to approve the issuance of N10.069 billion promissory note to Kogi State government for projects done on behalf of the Federal Government.
The president had noted that the 8th National Assembly passed resolutions approving the issuance of promissory notes to 24 of 25 state governments excluding Kogi State.
The committee chairman, Clifford Ordia, presenting the report, encouraged the Senate to approve the fund requested by the president having met with the permanent secretaries of the ministries of Finance and Works and Housing.
He said the committee also met with representatives from ministries of finance and works and Housing in Kogi State to consider the report.
Mr Ordia maintained that the Kogi State Government conducted projects on seven federal roads and has paid all the contractors, hence, the recommendation that the amount be approved.
The approval generated the fear of disbursing huge fund to reinforce Governor Bello for votes buying during the election.