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Six Arrested over attack on Sen. Echocho, NASS members

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****Gov. Bello calls for immediate prosecution

By Friday Idachaba, Lokoja

SIX persons have been arrested on the order of Kogi State government over the alleged harassment of some members of the National Assembly including Senator Jibrin Isah Echocho who paid a courtesy visit on the Governor Yahaya Bello on Tuesday.

In a statement signed by the Governor’s Chief Press Secretary, Onogwu Muhammed and made available to newsmen, the governor also called for immediate prosecution of the culprits.

The Governor has subsequently banned unauthorized persons from accessing the Government House while calling for immediate prosecution of the culprits.

It would be recalled that the parliamentarians from Kogi State, in the Senate and House of Representatives visited Governor Bello on Tuesday evening to congratulate him on the peaceful and credible conduct of the November 11 Governorship election.

According to the statement, the NASS Legislators pledged their unalloyed loyalty to the governor and the incoming administration and shortly after left, but were attacked in Government House by some persons.

“Shortly after the fruitful discussion, the governor received with rude shock the news of the harassment of some of the lawmakers on their way out of the Government House and swiftly ordered the arrest of the culprits.

“He charged security agencies to investigate the issue thoroughly and ensure the offenders face the full wrath of the law” the statement said.

Onogwu quoted the governor to have said, “Information just got to me as I left the office to the residence that one man called Suleiman and others embarrassed Senator Jubrin Echocho in Government House.

“I’ve directed Chief Security Officer (CSO) to arrest all those involved in such stupid act and bring them to justice immediately. I will never condone act of hooliganism and indiscipline.”

The members who visited to congratulate and pledge their loyalty on Tuesday include Sen. Jibrin Isah Echocho of Kogi East, Senator Sunday Karimi of Kogi West, Rt Hon. Abdullahi Ibrahim Halims of Ankpa Federal Constituency.

Others are Hon. Zachariah Idris of Idah Federal Constituency, Hon. Sani Abdulrahim Egidi of Ajaokuta Federal Constituency, Hon. Abdulrahim Danga (PDP) of Okehi/Adavi Federal and Hon. Gowon Haruna of Dekina/Bassa Federal Constituency.

Hon. Tijani Ozigi of Okene/Ogori Federal Constituency, Hon. Danladi Aguye of Lokoja/Koto Federal Constituency and Hon. Salman Idris (ADC) of Kabba/Ijumu were also made the team. (Ends).

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News From Kogi

Kogi inaugurates 22-Member OGP State Steering Committee

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By Friday Idachaba, Lokoja

KOGI State Government has inaugurated a 22-member Open Government Partnership (OGP) State Steering Committee comprising state and non-state actors to reinforce the state Government’s commitment to issues of Transparency, Accountability and Citizen Participation.

Dr (Mrs) Folashade Arike Ayo-Ade, Secretary to the State Government (SSG) who inaugurated the Committee on Tuesday in Lokoja, said the programme would place Kogi on the global map in the areas of Transparency, Accountability and Citizen Participation.

She described OGP as a multilateral initiative aimed at securing concrete commitments from national and Sub-national Governments to promote Open Government.

The Partnership, she added, also is geared towards empowering the citizens, fight corruption and harness new technologies to strengthen governance.

The SSG said that the OGP was launched in 2011 to provide an international platform for domestic Reformers ready to make their government Open, Accountable and Responsive to citizens.

“As we all know, the present administration under the dynamic Leadership of His Excellency Alhaji Usman Ododo has been in the forefront in practicing and implementing the principles of Open Government.

“The involvement of citizens in governance has assumed a whole new dimension with the appointment of men and women in all levels Government”, she said.

Asiwaju Ashiru Idris (Mukadam), the State Commissioner for Finance, Budget and Economic Planning who is also Co-Chairman of the Committee said the state had recorded a lot achievements both locally and internationally in Transparency and Accountability.

He said that with the inauguration of OGP, the state would continue to wax stronger and stronger adding that Governor Ahmed Usman Ododo had directed that all monies accruing to the state be published quarterly to buttress his commitment to accountability.

The Commissioner said that the Committee would further help to roll out more strategies to enhance the implementation of the state Action Plan and enable coverage of the lost grounds.

In his Vote of Thanks, the second Co-Chairman of the OGP, Amb. Idris Ozovehe Muraina described the inauguration as a significant milestone in the collective journey towards transparency, accountability, and citizens engagement in governance.

Muraina who is also Chairman Kogi NGOs Network (KONGONET), said the official inauguration of the OGP in Kogi marks “a new chapter in our efforts to foster greater transparency, enhance public participation and combat corruption.

He noted that committee had crucial role to play in holding our government accountable saying, “I believe that by working together, we can bring about positive changes and make a real difference in the lives of the people of Kogi State.

“Let us seize this opportunity to collaborate, innovate, and drive forward our shared vision of a more open and inclusive government that puts the interests of the people first.”

Muraina explained that the the OGP bill in the state was passed and assented to in 2022, adding that it was leveraging on four basic principles of Transparency, Inclusive Participation Accountability, Innovation and Ambition, based on five standards. (Ends)

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Put Politics Behind, Support Gov. Ododo – Abejide Urges Kogi People

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**Says Nov. 11, 2023 Governorship Election was freely won

By Friday Idachaba, Lokoja.

Honorable Leke Joseph Abejide, candidate of African Democratic Congress (ADC) in the November 11, Governorship Election in Kogi, has urged people of the state to put politics behind them and support Governor Ahmed Usman Ododo to build a virile, secured and prosperous State.

Abejide, Member representing Yagba Federal Constituency at the House of Representatives, made the call while addressing guests at a wedding ceremony, in Lokoja, the State capital.

The Parliamentarian urged well-meaning Kogi indigenes to keep politics in abeyance for now and give maximum support to the government to achieve progress on all fronts, reiterating his stance that the election was freely won.

According to him, there is time for politics and time for governance and presently, time for politics is over adding, “We have had our election and a winner has emerged.

“I still find it surprising that some people are still working to pull down the government because of election that was freely won, with the people’s voice heard loud and clear.

“Let me use this medium to call that we put behind the Governorship election. Let’s join hands with Gov. Usman Ahmed Ododo to build a virile Kogi State.

“All the negative things that are unsubstantiated that are not true but being said about the government and state are also affecting our development.

“Let’s give the Governor the support to work for the good of the generality of the people”, Abejide said. (Ends)

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Gov. Ododo pledges to Improve Local Security Architecture with community road networks

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By Friday Idachaba, Lokoja.

AS part of his deliberate steps to improve logistics for local security architecture in Kogi State, Governor Ahmed Usman Ododo has said that his administration will soon embark construction of network of roads in rural communities.

Governor Ododo who disclosed this while on Sallah homage to the Onyukoko-Idoji ward in Okene Local Government Area said the network of roads would link communities in different parts of the state.

Addressing a gathering of his supporters at Idoji, the governor expressed concern over the condition of the Idoji-Enyinare road promising that immediate attention would be given to the road.

This, he said, would be executed along with other roads linking local communities in different parts of the state.

He stressed that people in local communities needed to be connected by road infrastructures to enhance social and economic activities across the state.

Governor Ododo said he was well aware of the socio economic and infrastructural deficits in rural areas and pledged that his administration will not relent in closing the gaps in road infrastructure in the state for the benefit of all citizens.

The Governor expressed appreciation to the youths, women and other stakeholders in the area for the tremendous support he received during the November 11, 2023 Governorship Election.

He assured them that their welfare would receive priority attention under his leadership.

Governor Ododo however, enjoined the youths to desist from divisive tendencies but strive to sustain the prevailing peaceful coexistence in the area as he assured the community of improved logistics for the local vigilante group.

He also promised that his administration would remodel the local security architecture in the area and make it a template for other communities in the state as part of the renewed onslaught against criminals in the state.

In appreciation of the pivotal role played by people of Onyukoko-Idoji ward in his emergence as Governor, Ododo promised to accord tremendous importance to the people and the area.

He noted that their sacrifices served as the foundation for the agitation for equity in the political history of Kogi State. (Ends)

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