Alhaji Yahaya Bello of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has been sworn in as the fourth democratically elected governor of Kogi State. The Chief Judge of the state, Justice Nasir Ajanah, administered the oath of office on Bello on Wednesday in Lokoja.
In his inaugural speech, Alhaji Bello said his administration will not tolerate corruption and impunity in any form and will closely follow the Buhari model. According to Bello, the main priorities for the his government includes the provision of qualitative education, healthcare service, infrastructural facilities and solid minerals development fairly and justly across the three senatorial districts.
The governor also promised to pay one out of the four-month salary arrears being owed the workers soonest while charging civil servants to adopt positive behavioural change so as to make them more productive. He thanked President Muhammadu Buhari and Asiwaju Bola Tinubu for their efforts at ensuring the success of the party in all elections in the country.
Interestingly, the new governor was sworn in without a deputy. James Abiodun Faleke, the man nominated by the APC to be Alhaji Bello’s deputy, made real his threat not to present himself for swearing in with the governor. Mr Faleke believes that he should have been sworn in as governor following the death of the initial candidate of APC, Prince Abubakar Audu to whom he was deputy. Abubakar Audu died while the elections were still going on thereby throwing the state into a legal logjam. APC eventually nominated Yahaya Bello to replace Abubakar Audu, a decision that has not gone down well with James Faleye and Audu’s supporters.
The legal implication of the current situation remains unclear with myriads of court cases expected to challenge the situation.
This is the first time in Nigeria’s political history that an elected governor would be inaugurated without a deputy.