The Audu/Faleke Political Organisation in Kogi State has condemned in strong terms the demolition of all landmark roundabouts in Lokoja, the State capital on the orders of the State Governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello.
A statement issued on behalf of the group by its Director, Media and Publicity, Hon Duro Meseko described the demolition exercise as an ill-informed and manifestly directionless effort coming at a time when the state is reeling in the throes of cash crunch and unprecedented socio-economic crisis.
“We are at a loss as to why the governor should take this very precipitate action by waking up one day and ordering the demolition of these roundabouts most of which were colonial and military landmarks on some reportedly outrageous excuse of trying to uproot amulets purported to have been buried in them by some past regimes. Does it mean Kogi is habouring a superstitious Chief Executive whose decision making are tailored towards the dictates of some marabouts?”.
The group lamented that since Yahaya Bello as summed office, “he has been jumping from one error of judgement to the other indicative of an amateur helmsman not prepared nor equipped for the serious business of governance that Kogi urgently deserves at the moment”.
According to Meseko, had the State Governor bothered to consult widely, he would have been told that his excuse for demolishing the roundabouts in order to give room for the construction of beautiful and more befitting ones fall in the face of sound judgement because where are the good roads in Lokoja to complement the so-called beautification project.
“Is the governor going to build fanciful roundabouts in the middle of dirty pothole ridden roads dotting the capital city? Should he not consider building a good road network in Lokoja first before demolishing the roundabouts or better still handle the road project along with the roundabouts simultaneously? What the Governor has done is a sheer case of building a castle on a dunghill”, he stated.
The Audu/Faleke Organisation noted that had the governor not against sound judgement sent 20 permanent secretaries and scores of directors in the State Civil Service on compulsory leave, they probably would have advised him against the misplaced decision to demolish and build new roundabouts in Lokoja at this material time.
“In the face of the debilitating cash crunch facing Kogi right now, should our top priority be the construction of roundabouts? When civil servants are owed several months of salaries, youth unemployment at its peak, and even basic social amenities like water even within Lokoja metropolis are not available and so on and so forth. Should roundabouts be our priority now?”.
According to Meseko, even if the governor had sought the elderly wisdom of no less a personality than the Maigari( Traditional Head of Lokoja) in whose domain these monuments existed, he would have been advised against the precipitate action of demolishing these monuments designed by the previous administrations to preserve colonial and military traces.
“With the rate at which Governor Yahaya Bello is going, we only hope that one of the colonial legacies left in the state like the Lugard House would not be demolished since we heard on good authority that the governor is bent on demolishing all Prince Abubakar Audu,s legacies. For us, should that be true, then he probably should star demolishing all the roads built by Audu, Kogi State University, Kogi State Polytechnic, numerous Housing Units across the State, hospitals, etc etc “.
Hon Meseko said the Audu / Faleke group is not blaming the governor for all these anomalies. “We are not blaming the governor for his serial error of judgements because he was never prepared for this position nor did he sell himself to the electorates to be able to appreciate their temperaments and desires. So his palpable confusion is understandable. Meanwhile, let us pray hard for our dear state. We need it”.