NAKOSS National Celebrate Kogi@30, Appreciates Gov. Bello’s Six Years Revolution in the State
Many Nigerian youths knew little or nothing about the significance of Kogi State in the development history of Nigeria. They didn’t know the role the beautiful state played in the history and developments of Nigeria neither were they aware of the abundant historical relic it contained, especially before and during the colonial era.
The name Nigeria was coined by flora Shaw in Lokoja, Kogi State capital, by a British journalist who later married Fredrick Lugard, and as it was said, Flora coined the name Nigeria while gazing out at the River that stretched before her in the late 19th century.
There are many reasons why Lokoja, the state capital is a special place in Nigerian history.
First, Lokoja was the first administrative and commercial capital of Nigeria when Lord Lugard became the Governor General of Nigeria after Mungo Park and Richard and John Landers explored the River Niger in 1830’s. It opened up the city to all Nigerians and allowed all and sundry to draw from the fountain of the Niger with insatiable quest for knowledge of discovery.
Second, Lokoja was said to be a prominent centre for slave trade in the 18th and 19th centuries due to its strategic location and later served as a centre for freedom. The late Bishop Samuel Ajayi Crowther spearheaded anti-slavery crusade in Nigeria and erected the Iron of liberty at a spot where slaves were set free in Lokoja. Around the same spot, he erected the first primary school in Northern Nigeria for all Nigerians who wanted to seek freedom from ignorance.
The third and also significant place of Lokoja was the crucial role it served as a practice ground for distance education by many Northern Nigerian Emirs in the 1800’s. During the colonial era, a number of Northern feudal lords who vehemently opposed colonial rule and domination of their territories by the European imperialists were banished to Lokoja as punishment by the Colonialists.
What the colonialists did not realise was that, these Emirs used distance education method to keep in constant touch with their subject and were continually a step ahead of the colonialists who never seized to be amazed at how informed and intelligent the people they sought to colonize were. From history we have seen how Lokoja has played a crucial and significant role in Nigeria‘s progress from education to freedom.
We understand that today is a day of serious pondering and stock taking but while we think and talk about our set backs as a state we must not forget to also count our blessings.
From the creation of Kogi State on 27th of August, 1991, we have had four military Governors, four democratic Governors and one interim Governor but none of them has had greater impacts in the lives of Students, Youths and women than His Excellency Governor Yahaya Bello.
Now we want to give you some examples of why GYB is so special to the students, Youths and Women so much that he is now fondly referred to as the Grand Commander of Students, Youths and Women of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Today, Kogi State is the only state in Nigeria with the highest number of women and youths in government. All the 21 local government Vice Chairmen are women, the secretary to the government of the state is a woman! The first female President National Association of Kogi State Students emerged under the leadership of His Excellency. GYB through his feat in these areas, is telling the whole world that Kogi State is leading Nigeria by conforming to the global standard practice of giving the Youths and Women opportunities to lead. Beyond rhetorics, this goes to tell of the good intentions of Governor Yahaya Bello for the youths and women in the state and in Nigeria as a whole.
The giant strides of Governor Bello in security and infrastructure is worthy of note. After the far-sighted Governor of Kogi State was sworn in and took over the mantle of leadership in Kogi State in 2016, He declared full fledged war on armed robbers and criminals operating in the state. GYB went against kidnap kingpins in the state who were earlier seen as untouchable.
He demolished their residential buildings and their hideout where the nefarious activities were carrier out. Today by the grace of God and by the revolutionary steps of Governor Yahaya Bello in infrastructural development, Lokoja the State capital is the fourth fastest growing City in the world. Statistics don’t lie.
In addition, under the leadership of His Excellency Governor Yahya Bello, Kogi State remains the most tolerant state in terms of ethnicity and religion in Nigeria, so much that it would be very difficult for a stranger to tell who is a christian or a Muslim, who is an Igala man, Okun man or an Ebira man in Kogi State – equal treatment and equal opportunities for all. This is a feat that is never seen or done before in the history of Kogi State!
The number 30 comes from it symbolizing dedication to a particular task or calling. It is therefore not a coincidence that as Kogi clocks thirty today a call is been placed on one of her worthy sons to come salvage the Country from her sociopolitical and economic quagmire.
Aaronic priests were initially dedicated to serving at thirty years of age (Numbers 4:3). God likely choose this age because it was when a person reached both physical and mental maturity and could therefore handle major responsibilities. The Universe is sending a strong message to Nigerians especially in this season that it is time for Kogi State to lead the nation because the State has reached both physical and mental maturity to do so aside from the fact that this is the very first time in history that a Kogi son would indicate interest to lead Nigeria, so Nigerians should obey God.
In conclusion, 30 resonates with optimism. Instead of worrying about what went wrong or what didn’t work out in the past 24years before 2016, let’s shift our energy to what we can collectively build for our State.