The governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress in the December 5, 2015 supplementary governorship election in Kogi State, Alhaji Yahaya Bello, was inaugurated on Wednesday as the Kogi State governor without a deputy.
Mr. James Faleke, who was the running mate to the deceased APC Kogi State governorship candidate during the November 21 governorship election, Alhaji Abubakar Audu, did not show up at the ceremony at the Confluence Stadium in Lokoja, the state capital.
Faleke had refused to be Bello’s deputy and had headed for the tribunal asking the court to declare him the governor of the state having been running mate to Audu who died on November 22, the day the election was declared inconclusive.
Bello who shed tears during his inauguration while recalling his mother’s contributions to his growth in life after his father’s death, also paid a glowing tribute to Audu, saying he would work with other stakeholders to immortalise him.
He promised to make health, security education and heavy investment in solid minerals the focus of his administration.
He also declared zero tolerance for corruption and impunity, adding that he would reform the civil service for efficient service delivery.
The newly inaugurated governor, who is 40, said he would also pay great attention to the provision of basic social amenities and security of lives and property in the state.
Bello said he would meet with all the relevant stakeholders with a view to ending the lingering strike embarked upon by workers in the state over their unpaid salaries.
He promised to do his best to gradually pay the four-month arrears as soon as possible.
The governor stated that he would run an exemplary, open and inclusive government. He urged the residents of the state to contribute their quota to the advancement of the state and the success of his administration.
Bello said, “I belong to a generation that strongly believes in a complete departure from the way and manner public office is run. There is no greater evil than corruption, and nothing champions that more than impunity.
“Corruption and impunity make sure our people repeatedly arrive at a broken future and finally bereaved of success or the promised better life.”
Bello commended his predecessor, Idris Wada, for his cooperation which he noted led to a successful transition.
The governor, who solicited the cooperation of the people of the state to enable him to succeed, urged them to give him the benefit of the doubt and see the quick transformation of the state.
Earlier, the National Chairman of the APC, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, had urged the people of Kogi to accept the will of God.
He also appealed to the people of the state to give Bello total support.
The APC chairman promised that party at the national level would give Bello the required support and assistance to succeed.
Odigie-Oyegun said, “I want to say with emphasis that Bello is a gift to Kogi State. I have interacted with him. He is a man who has the interest of the state at heart. Though he is young, he is sincere in his quest to transform the state.”
Meanwhile, Bello has appointed Mr. Onoja David as his Chief of Staff.
The governor also appointed Abdulkarim Abdulmalik as his Special Adviser on Media and Strategy and Kingsley Fanwo as his Chief Press Secretary. He stated that the appointments were with immediate effect.