Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello, has described Muhammadu Buhari as the most democratic president he had ever seen.
The governor spoke in response to the Punch’s decision to be referring President Buhari as a dictator over supposed human rights abuses under his government.
The governor also said that the fact that Buhari allowed Nigerians to know the crisis in his home front, where Aisha Buhari has been clashing with his nephew and aides, further proved that he was very democratic.
It could be recalled that The First Lady had on Wednesday accused her husband’s nephew, Mamman Daura, of undermining Buhari’s administration.
She also claimed that Garba Shehu, Buhari’s spokesman, was in the middle of the controversies in her home.
But Governor Bello said when he spoke to journalists at the State House:
“Mr. President is the most democratic president I have ever seen. This is the first time we are seeing a former military head of state that is so democratic to the extent of allowing things happening in his home front to be democratized not to talk of things happening in the country.
“Whoever is tagging him to be a dictator; I think that person wished to be a dictator himself not Mr. President.”
On the claim by the National Security Adviser, Babagana Monguno, that the election that brought Mr Bello back last month witnessed “unthinkable” happenings, the governor said:
“I think Mr. NSA; General Monguno must have been quoted out of context. I can say that because the last general elections reflected the wishes of the people.
“When you say the unthinkable happened in Kogi State, yes, of course, (in) my coming to power in Kogi from the very onset the unthinkable happened and God brought me on board. When you talk of unthinkable, yes of course because this is the first time the so-called minority will contest an election in Kogi State and win with a wide margin.
“Unthinkable because this is the first time we are reducing the tempo of ethnicity in Kogi State. Unthinkable because this is the first time we are running a very transparent and digitalized government, where we are raising the revenue, blocking every loophole.
“Unthinkable because this is the first time a governor is appointing a chief of staff from a different ethnic group. Unthinkable because this is the first time after 28 years a Muslim governor is building a chapel in government house in Kogi State. So there are a lot of good unthinkable, the NSA must have been misquoted out of context.”
The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) recently listed Kogi state as the most corrupt state in the country.
Speaking on that Bello said, “You see, you have to look and read the details of that report before you can judge. You see, we shouldn’t just listen to somebody and quote him out of context. Like I said, Kogi State before now, civil servants before you become a permanent secretary you must pay through your nose before you become a permanent secretary but this time around it has been merit-based.
“Before you become a local government chairman, or let’s take it from the political aspect, I am the leader of APC in Kogi State, and no single person obtains a form or becomes whatever and will claim to have paid one dime to any political leader. It is out of blocking the loopholes and leakages that we have been able to raise the revenue of Kogi State from the pittance of N300 million to over N1 billion on a monthly basis. If you look at the percentage then you can be the judge. So if anybody is saying Kogi State is the most corrupt state, then that person must have his facts wrong.
“Kogi State is the most prized state in the country and it is out of fighting corruption as well because the little resources we have, we are so managing it that we are developing the state and fighting insecurity. If corruption is that prevalent then that wouldn’t have happened.”