By Ishaq Dan-Imam, Lokoja
Kogi State Governorship aspirant on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and immediate-past state Commissioner of Finance, budget and Economic Planning, Mr. Idris Asiwaju Ashiru, says no amount of money can buy the conscience of APC Governorship Delegates in the State as he only counts on the goodwill, love, and tenacity of the delegates whom he describes as ‘Change Agents’ in Kogi State.
“I hope our honorable delegates will give me the opportunity to serve our state in a higher capacity and I will make them and the state proud and happy if elected candidate based on merit, exposure to the governance of the and the experience I have garnered under purposeful leadership of Governor Yahaya Bello whose legacies I intend to build on tenaciously.
“If elected Governor of Kogi State, my administration will build on existing development programs in the state, to actualize the economic vision of Governor Yahaya Bello’s administration I had been part of since its inception has served meritoriously for eight years.
Speaking on Monday at the state Governorship Media Parley, organized by the Kogi State Council of Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), held at the Press Centre in the capital, Lokoja, Mr. Ashiru, avers that he had acquired relevant leadership skills and cognate experience in governance more than any of his competitors as his antecedents and leadership attributes in the course of service to the state in different capacities, are well known to the people of Kogi State.
“Based on exposure and experience, I’m the most qualified to be Governor of Kogi State has had the privilege of working with Governor Bello to develop the state’s thirty-two years development plan on the basis of which the state records infrastructure Projects in critical sectors of the state economy, and the projects are verifiable and tangible to Kogi State citizens.
“My administration will be a continuation of Governor Bello’s administration because I have contributed my ideas to the running and success story of the state economic team led by our dynamic and progressive Governor Bello whose selfless spirit of commitment to incisive development policies and governance, has re-defined political leadership in the state.
“I have worked on the state economic council and represented the state Governor on the national economic council as well as participation in international economic engagements on behalf of the state in the US, China, and Dubai.
“I will also use my professional skills and a good understanding of the economy of our state to reduce cost governance and institutionalize meritocracy in governance and entrench a merit system in our public service.
“Kogi State will experience more developments that would be products of Governor Bello’s current 32 years state development plan.
“Due to the efficiency of the accountability and transparency unit in the ministry of finance, Budget, and Economic Planning, under my watch, the state government secured a grant of US5million from the World Bank for specific Projects that have been successfully executed to the glory of God and humanity.”
Asiwaju Ashiru identified attitudinal change and shared determination of citizens to excellence in governance as the panacea for sustainable development and Economic prosperity of the state, where inputs of development stakeholders matter.
According to Ashiru, Kogi State is in the process of building two hydro-Power stations in the Eastern and Western parts of Kogi State under an ambitious Joint power Project with the Chinese government while the state will tape on the abundance of coal deposits in the state as a renewable energy option for Kogi State, which is currently in partnership with 19 Northern States to generate 100 megawatts of solar energy.
The project, according to Ashiru, is being financed by Nigeria’s Finance Ministry, to deliver alternative energy sources to Nigerians, particularly in the Northern region with a comparative advantage.