Peace and security are the bedrocks of development in any society. They are essential ingredients for a harmonious existence of the people.

And as enshrined in the country’s 1999 constitution, the security and welfare of the people shall be the primary purpose of government. Thus, it amounts to a breach of the constitution for any government to treat peace and security with levity.

Until the coming of Capt. Idris Wada as Governor, Kogi State was literally on tenterhooks before 2012, judging by police report, which revealed high rate of murder in the Eastern and Central Senatorial Districts of the State. The Western District also did not fair better.

The period before 2012 recorded grievous harm and injuries, caused by political thugs in the state. It was a period when the rule of the brawn superseded the rule of law when political thugs earn good money for their assault leaders hobnobbed with fascist political leaders within and beyond the State unleashed terror on the people. These boys drove in the best of cars and earn more money than those in the political class and most public workers in the State. These boys were everywhere, the desecrated Churches, Mosques and made the sit of government a haven for dealing with those they perceived were there enemies.

Traveling to one’s village in the past was the beginning of wisdom. That period was a period when the mere mention of names of some thugs could send shivers down the spine of citizens. Off course they could not have gone free with their act if the men of the Nigerian Police Force, by action or inaction never provided for them the needed cover.

This was the peculiar mess inherited by Capt. Idris Wada led administration. In his inauguration address, the Governor identified security of lives and property as a major challenge in the State. He had said, “political thuggery would become a thing of the past”. He promised and delivered on holistic security of lives and property in the State.

Residents anywhere in the State and citizens of Kogi State can now testify that the restoration of peace and security is one achievement that cannot be taken away from Capt. Wada administration.

Aside restoring sanity to the Local Government Areas by curbing to the barest minimum youth and political thuggry, where some boys held sway as kings, people no longer need travel advice to traverse one part of the state to another.

Youths restiveness and violence has been curbed to its barest minimum. Even in the thick of political activities in the state, billboards and posters of politicians irrespective of party affiliation are all standing. This was not the practice in the past. Before now the central and parts of the East would have been declared a no go area in the wake of political activities.

The party primaries were all recently held without violence of any sought reported in any part of the state. Few days to the general elections no area or part of the state has been designated as a flash point. The State enjoys relative peace courtesy of the conscious effort of Gov Wada.
The peace that pervades the state now is the talk of the town with the credit giving to Capt Idris Wada’s sincere and focused leadership as against the recent past. It is evident that Capt Wada has brought to bear his pedigree of peace on the governance of the state.

While Kogi State may be witnessing peace and security as made possible by the present administration, there is also the need to look at his developmental efforts which has to a large extent caused the peace in the State.

Since his assumption of office as Governor of the Kogi State,Capt Idris Wada’s emphasis has been on expanding the frontiers of infrastructural and human capital development in the State.
The three year of the Capt Wada administration has been centered around a driving force of a legacy of continuity of completed projects the governor inherited from previous administrations in the State. The governor has since completed all projects he inherited and has embarked on new ones.
Projects such as the Olympic Stadium, Secretariat Complex, Confluence Beach, about thirty seven roads projects inherited amongst several others were completed by the present administration. In all the present administration has completed fifty one road projects.

It is noteworthy that despite the shortfall in fiscal allocation from the federal government, the Wada led administration has been able to pay workers’ salaries regularly, and embarked on life impacting projects, including youth employment and empowerment, as well as providing micro credit schemes among others to vulnerable groups.

Aside the increase in the internally generated revenue of the state from N150m to now between N500m to N600m monthly, Capt Wada has cut down on recurrent expenditure drastically, made capital expenditure higher in votes and stopped frivolous expenditures by government ministries, departments and agencies.

The Governor has also demonstrated that as a Governor he ought to be transparent and accountable. Thus he runs the state in line with best global practices.
The State Governor has equally changed the mindset of many Kogi populace by his people oriented programmes that is geared towards improving the standard of living of people of the state. This he has done by uplifting the standard of learning and teaching at all levels of education in the state.

Similarly, over 10,000 youths have been engaged under the youth advancement programme of the state government.

Over 120,000 indigenes have received free treatment, surgery and laboratory examination under the state government organized quarterly free health programme.
This efforts is aside the renovation of all state general hospitals across the state as well as upgrade at the state specialists hospital, Lokoja. A college of medicine has also commenced at the state university.

The governor has equally facilitated the granting of soft loans to market men and women of the state to either own their business, improve, learn different trades and handwork.
The agriculture sector also benefited greatly from the governor’s initiatives with the sector experiencing great transformation.

With a well planned dry season rice farming, that places emphasis on the planting of cassava and other crops, the state has comparative advantage, the state is on the verge of becoming the food basket of the nation.

Capt Wada has also improved on the road network of the state, by dualising and reconstructing major roads to ease traffic across the state. Aside the construction of township roads across the Local government areas of the state, the government has opened a new town that is offering new socio-economic opportunities following the opening up of the new Otokiti- Ganaja bye 16km pass road.

In all it is apparent that in this election year the state will experience peace occasion by the sincere efforts of a natural leader as governor.  Certainly, the people of the state will not want to go back to the old days by allowing the architects of violence who made the state under the siege of the boys a period of terror and nightmare. Without mincing words, we’re better than where we are in 2012.

The choice for the people to make is clear; believe in the transformation promises of Capt Wada whose efforts of taking the state to the promise land has been steady and surely.

Abu Micheal sent in this piece from Lokoja.


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