For standing out as one of the few states in the country that has paid its workers wages up to date amidst growing anxiety in many others yet to fulfill this obligation, youths and traders in Kogi State have endorsed Governor Idris Wada for a second term in office, writes Joseph Amedu in Lokoja.
Thousands of Youth drawn from Nine Local Government Areas in the Eastern Senatorial District of Kogi State and market men and women in the confluence state have endorsed the state governor, Captain Idris Wada for a second term in office. The youths who converged in Ayangba over the weekend in Dekina local government area for the endorsement rally said the governor has committed himself to the development of the state as he has shown in the execution of various projects across the state. The traders declared their support during a courtesy visit to government house during the week before the Deputy Governor, Yomi Awoniyi, who received them.
The spoke man of the youth, Honourable Alhaji Alhaji explained in his address that 21 states of the federation have declared their inability to pay workers salaries but workers in Kogi State have continued to receive their monthly pay despite the continuous short fall in allocation from the federation account. He said the youths are very careful with sugar coated mouth governorship aspirants who are calling for change in Kogi state for no justifiable reasons, citing the situation in Osun State where workers there are now living on charity from well meaning Nigerians due to non payment of salaries by their APC led government in the state. “ We have discovered that it takes only a God fearing and dedicated person like Wada to govern this state at this period of global economic challenges.” He stated.
Alhaji Alhaji said by the outing at the weekend, the youth have shown that they have taken their positions on whom to support in the race for Lugard House by November this year. In his speech, Senior Special Assistant to the governor in Bassa Local government, Alhaji Ibrahim Mohammed said the support for Wada’s re-election was a consensus among youths in the state. The youths later visited the Attah Igala, Prince Idakwo Ameh Oboni to receive his blessing. At the palace the royal father commended the youths for their peaceful rally and urged them to shun violence while carrying out their campaign and sensitization rally.
While receiving the market women and men at the weekend, the State Deputy Governor, Yomi Awoniyi said the ruling People’s Democratic Party( PDP) in Kogi State will sustain its legacy of good governance in the state if given another opportunity to rule the state, urging the members of Kogi State Traders and Market leaders Association of Nigeria who were on a courtesy visit to declare their support for Capt Idris Wada to remain focused in their support for the government. Awoniyi who thanked the Association for mobilizing support for the governor, said the present administration has within the resources available, gave priority to the welfare of citizens of the state. Despite the challenge occasioned by paucity of funds, Awoniyi maintained that the administration has kept to its promise of improving the living condition of the people.
The Deputy Governor described his boss as a manager of resources, stressing that amidst the financial difficulties currently faced by most states of the federation, the governor has continued to meet up with his constitutional obligation to the people. He therefore, appealed to the Association to join hands with the administration in finding solution to improving the sanitary condition of markets in the state, explaining that waste generated mostly from markets and dumped on roadside have constituted a major challenge to the government in its effort to ensure clean environment in both urban and rural communities across the state.
The Deputy Governor also pleaded with the Association to be a little patient with the administration, disclosing that efforts would be made to offer support to the Association and to others in the state as soon as the finances of government improves. Awoniyi thanked the Association for its support in the last election, disclosing that they would be carried along in government’s plans and policies as it affects their Association. Earlier in her remarks, Chief Mrs. Caroline Adegboye, Kogi State President, Association of Traders and Market leaders Association of Nigeria, said their support and endorsement for Capt Idris Wada is occasioned by his developmental efforts in providing essential services to the people.
The president listed the administrations’ rural health programme, completion of projects left abandoned and others inherited and efforts in improving infrastructures as some of the reasons behind their support for the governor and urged him to continue with the good work he has begun in transforming the state. Mrs. Adegboye solicited the administration’s support for empowerment of the members of the Association, describing the present leadership in the state as visionary, and one that is committed to uplifting the living standard of the people amidst dwindling financial resources accruing to the state. Also coming into focus for accolades apart from the health sector were the improvements in agriculture, road, education, water, housing and electricity. The efforts of Governor Idris Wada in revitalizing decayed infrastructures in the health sub- sector of the state therefore goes to show the importance his administration places on the health need of the citizens.
This is the context under which the Captain Idris Wada’s admirable health care policies need to be judged and appreciated. Little wonder that the flagship of the Wada administration in the area of Gov Poll: Kogi Youths, Traders Root For Wada health is the free medical care programme, a personal initiative of the Governor. Under the programme, which was carried out in conjunction with Ceedio medical outreach, a team of medical experts which visit every nook and cranny of the state to give free treatment to the sick especially the less privileged in the society and those who have no hope. In 2013 for example, 115,000 people were treated freely. This number does not include the surgeries, eye treatment and other interventions contained in the rural programme.
The commencement of the flag-off and introduction of pentavalent vaccine by the Wada administration has greatly assisted in the fight to eradicate polio in the state. Routine immunizations among other primary health care activities of the Wada administration have remained unrivaled. The state remains polio free since 2010 and has won laurels for its consistency. At present, all existing health facilities in the state are being strengthened through standard equipment purchase even as new general and cottage hospitals are being constructed across the State. The state presently has four zonal hospitals.
There is also presently a massive renovation and rehabilitation of General Hospitals across the State. This is also accompanied with the purchase of standard hospital equipment to enable them carry out primary and secondary function of meeting the health needs of the people. The on-going construction of Kogi State Diagnostic and Imaging Centre Lokoja, and the on-going massive equipping of the centre at Lokoja, which when completed would assist greatly in the diagnosis of ailments by medical practitioners, re-enforces the importance the present administration attaches to the health needs of the people. Mention must also be made about the rehabilitation of the State Central Medical Stores Lokoja aimed at making our health institutions constantly in supply of drugs and stocked with essential drugs on a revolving basis.
The upgrade in the infrastructures going on at all the State School of Midwifery, alongside the government’s support for the accreditation of courses in those institutions to enable them award ND and HND certificates has greatly received the State government attention. Similarly, the school of Medicine at the State University Ayingba is now operational while the University Teaching Hospital is under construction. Blood the say is life, little wonder the efforts the present administration has put in place in ensuring that the National Blood Transfusion Service Centre is renovated and serviced with inverter Batteries and other power supply sources in Lokoja.
This gesture of the present government shows the governor’s passion for saving lives with a functional blood bank service. The massive employment of a large pool of Medical and Health Personnel made up of Doctors, Nurses and other Paramedics, into the health sector of the State is Captain Wada’s avowed commitment to the well being and good health care of the people. Captain Wada’s policy of also distributing long lasting insecticidal mosquito nets across the State, is another major interventions of the administration aimed at tackling malaria, an increasingly endemic disease in tropical Africa. Furthermore, the administration’s prompt payment of all its counterpart funds for HIV/AIDS related activities and in other enhanced health care delivery counterpart services signed by the State, shows the recognition the present administration in the State attaches towards ensuring that its citizenry are healthy and not sickness ridden.
Health workers in the State when compared with their peers in other states are no doubt properly remunerated. They are also inspired through the prompt payment of their allowances as well as the sustained payment of CONMESS/CONHESS salary structure. There has also been a deliberate emphasis on capacity building for health care givers in the State, as well as the free distribution of child health cards, which are some government’s measures aimed at improving the lives of its people under the health sector. This effort of the Capt Idris Wada led administration has no doubt remained unparalleled in the state’s history. The State’s rating as it concerns reduction in infant and maternal mortality, which is about the least in the geopolitical zone, is an indication that Government’s effort is yielding fruitful result.