Bello, Kogi governor, ‘converts’ major street to entrance of his new house

Kogi Governor, Yahaya Bello converts major road to personal residence, says the people should be grateful

Yahaya Bello, Governor of Kogi State, is at the last stage of completing his personal mansion in Okene, for which he had to convert parts of a major street to serve as the entrance.

This is in spite of the fact that many of the civil servants in Kogi State are still being owed between three and six months’ salary arrears.

According to The Cable, the massive building is located on Mahmoud Atta street, GRA Okene.

However, residents of the area are complaining, albeit in hushed tones, that the development has disrupted their normal way of life and increased discomfort.

One of the residents who spoke under the condition of anonymity described the development as “a big shame”.

“He has converted the main street entrance to his private entrance and is creating another entrance for lesser mortals like us,” the resident lamented.

“A governor converting a public road to a private and exclusive road for himself. This is a big shame.”

The make-shift foot path constructed for public use
The makeshift foot path constructed for public use

But Kingsley Fanwo, the Governor’s spokesman, said the people should rather be grateful that Bello had made alternative arrangement for them.

He said: “Some of these issues are not the way we see them. The point is that if he is building a house and the structure is affecting the road network and he is giving the people a better road, they should be grateful.

“It’s not as if he is obstructing the road and he is not doing anything about it. It’s not that he is flexing his power as governor. He has been considerate enough to give them a better road.”

Fanwo denied that his principal was using state funds to finance the construction of his personal building, noting that Bello was already a “billionaire” and owned property all over Nigeria before becoming Governor.

“About why he is building a house when he is owing civil servant, we have responded to this over and over again,” Fanwo said.

“Also, I want you to know that this governor was a very successful businessman before he was elected. By all standards he was a billionaire before he became governor.

“He has houses all over Nigeria before he became governor. He has businesses that were blossoming before he was elected.”

Kogi State civil servants have cried themselves hoax at the non-payment of their salary arrears for several months.

One of the workers said Bello was “playing politics” with their salary payments.

“What he has been doing is that in an office, he would pay some and leave out others,” the civil servant said, asking not to be named.

“I have not been paid for six months, but some of my colleagues are being owed three months, some just a month. Under this kind of arrangement, how do you calculate the number of months that Yahaya Bello is owing?”



    But Fanwo claimed that the current administration owes just the month of July, as Bello had directed that no political office holder should get salary until civil servants have been paid.

    “As I am speaking to you, what the state government is owing as of today is July salary. You can confirm from civil servants in the state,” he said.

    “We have paid till June and the governor has already given a directive that no political office holder should be paid before a civil servant.

    “As I am speaking with you, I have not received my July salary because they have to pay the civil servants first.”

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