By Gift Olivia Samuel, The Sight News
The Nigerian Guild of Investigative Journalists (NGIJ) has revealed that Kogi state governor, Yahaya Bello’s inability to pay outstanding workers’ salaries, is downplaying his achievements in some sectors.
This was made known on Tuesday, when the NGIJ unveiled its Democracy and Governance Assessment Report on Kogi State.
The GAR according to the Guild, was part of efforts to promote good governance, transparency and public accountability through periodic assessment and critical analysis of government policies and programs as well as the impact on the people.
In the assessment report made available to Journalists in Abuja, the Guild’s President, Wale Abydeen, noted that the parameters, pillars and sub-pillars for their investigations revolve around infrastructure, health, education, security, sports development, human capital development and other critical sectors.
According to him, “the report was the product of a month-long survey of the various policies, programs, projects and activities of the four years administration of Governor Yahaya Bello as well as the impact on the people.
“Our members visited the three senatorial districts of the state and interacted with critical stakeholders including Labour unions, top government functionaries, traditional rulers, Security agencies, market women/men, artisans, civil servants, political parties and Kogi residents.
“Apart from that, we also administered over 10,000 questionnaires across 21 local government areas of the state in order to extend scope and deepen our assessment”.
They noted that inferences from the questionnaires revealed that APC government in Kogi state has made progress in the areas of security, agriculture, healthcare service delivery, infrastructure in schools and increased internally generated revenue of the state.
In the highlights of the 77-page Governance Assessment report, responding to the question on if the Kogi state governor deserves a second term in office, 58% of respondents agreed, citing reasons such as; improved security, rural development, continuation of identified laudable programmes/policies of the incumbent state and likeness for President Muhammadu Buhari.
Others expressed belief that the APC could get the second term by clearing outstanding salary/pension backlog.
However, 35% of the total respondents said APC does not deserve a second term due to Governor Yahaya Bello’s insensitivity to workers’ welfare while the remaining 7 % were indifferent.
While noting that the report is by no means exhaustive, the Guild stressed that it is eager to identify, investigate and document the reports of its findings to educate the general public and reawaken a deep sense of collaboration in Governance.