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As His Excellency, Governor Ahmed Usman Ododo resumes duty at Luggard House as the fifth Executive Governor of Kogi State, there is no gainsaying the fact that governing a complex state like Kogi is not a tea party, not when he’ll be superintending over a heterogeneous state populated by ethnic nationalities that a part once labeled another as a “common enemy”. The enormity and challenges of the task of delivering good governance and successful tenure in office is further complicated by the political dynamics of ethnic rivalry and diversity of the various forces that would be contending for the little resources of the state.

A cross section of Kogites are of the opinion that the outgone Governor Yahaya Adoza Bello has written his name in gold as a true leader, who came, saw and conquered through transformation in the areas of infrastructural development, education, health, agriculture, security and rural development, in addition to human capital development. No surprise the immediate helmsman before him in Luggard House, Governor Idris Wada described GYB as “the youthful governor who has acquitted himself creditably in the last 8 years for his landmark achievements”. Governor Yahaya Adoza Bello, indeed came, saw and finished strong, while passing the baton of leadership to His Excellency, Alhaji Ahmed Usman Ododo (OAU).

With the swearing in and inauguration of His Excellency, Alhaji Ahmed Usman Ododo as the fifth Executive Governor of Kogi State, it has become imperative for a clear-cut doable roadmap for the new government that is premised on consolidation and continuity to have some turn around to build on the legacies of GYB in various areas of good governance, the economy, finance, income generation, public sector reorganization and infrastructural development.

Thus, in the area of generation of income, the role of the public sector cannot be over emphasized as it should contribute significantly to the creation of jobs for the jobless, especially for our teeming youths. In addition, infrastructure investment by the public sector should be intensified as economic progress is impossible without infrastructural development. In a state like Kogi, where agriculture is the primary source of income, it is the government’s responsibility to encourage and support massive food production to reduce hunger among the teeming population.

The public sector should be involved in varied ventures like iron and steel, cement, coal, fertilizers, chemicals, and medicines to greatly reinforce the state’s economic industrial backbone. It is pertinent to note that the state can also receive a significant amount of revenue from corporate and individual taxes, and other sources, while at the same time ensuring the security of lives and property of the highest order. We must maintain strict security within the state, a situation that the outgone government of GYB won the commendation of the populace.

In a state which the National Bureau of Statistics has rated as the most expensive state in the country, Ododo administration will have to address the high cost of living in Kogi State by taking a second look at the taxation system, imposition of multiple levies, and other measures in order to bring down the ultra-high cost of living in Kogi State. He should in addition, place a strong emphasis on the development of industrial sectors in its first term at the helm of affairs to boost growth even further, by launching a New Industrial Policy, giving the private sector the required incentives to create consumer goods businesses as well as a few heavy technical goods.

The new landlord in Luggard House should exhibit qualities of effective leadership which include courage, strength, and ability to communicate effectively, knowledge, judgment, integrity, and interpersonal skills. A particularly important quality is vision, along with the power to implement that vision.

Appointments should be based on ability and capacity to deliver dividends of democracy. Appointments based purely on political considerations results into negative politics like spreading rumors, talking behind someone’s back, and not telling someone or disclosing important information and a culture of ‘bring-him-down syndrome’. Such are designed to achieve personal gain at the expense of the populace.

The signs of poor leadership are often subtle but significant. They include self-centeredness, resistance to change, an inability to self-lead, poor communication, inappropriate delegation, and ignoring feedback. These signs can indicate dysfunction and can have a detrimental impact on performance and morale.

Some common signs of bad leadership include passive aggressive communication, failure to own up to mistakes, not listening to concerns, or creating an intimidating work environment. Bad leaders lack empathy, play favorites, communicate poorly, or are just plain difficult, not approachable and transparent and enmeshed in corruption.

One noticeable pitfall of the outgone government is the apparent disregard of and ignoring feedback from the governed, especially as it concerned political appointees. For solid eight years some appointees in GYB’s government had no justification to occupy public offices that demands trust and efficiency. When leaders disregard feedback, they also miss out on opportunities for improvement. By ignoring this feedback, leaders may repeat same mistakes or overlook potential areas for development.

Feedback is a valuable tool for growth and improvement. It provides insights into what’s working and what’s not, and it offers opportunities for learning and development. However, when leaders disregard feedback from the governed, they miss out on these valuable insights and opportunities.

The telltale signs of a poor appointee include: self-centeredness, where they prioritize their own personal interests; resistance to change, which stifles growth and innovation; a lack of discipline; poor communication, resulting in confusion and misalignment; inappropriate delegation, leading to inefficiency and frustration; and ignoring feedback, which disregards valuable input from team members or the governed.

These signs of inefficiency serve as red flags, indicating that a leader may not be effectively fulfilling their role. Leaders should seek out, listen to, and act on feedback from the populace. This not only improves their leadership but also fosters a positive and productive work environment. This time around OAU’s cabinet should be a mix of credible political appointees and efficient specialist technocrats that can significantly impact the overall performance and morale of his team for effective delivery of good governance to the good people of Kogi State.

With a Vision for Consolidation and Continuity, OAU should diversify the economy of the state by embracing mechanized agriculture for food security, harnessing tourism potentials in the state, cut down on cost of governance, improve the IGR of the state to complement the monthly allocations from the federation account, solve the perennial problem of portable water especially in Kogi central in particular.

Kogi State government under Ododo is advised to embark on initiatives to boost all sectors of the economy through various policies and programmes to create a more dynamic environment for ease of doing business to increase investor confidence. Equally important is the urgent need to create more employment opportunities in the state by identifying, promoting, and locating companies and services in semi-rural locations where a big number of people may be employed to help create new job opportunities.

Nwolale, Eka’abo, Nyase to Luggard House, Your Excellency, Alhaji Ahmed Usman Ododo, while pursuing your electoral slogan of consolidation and continuity, ensure Kogi State is governed in the spirit of equity, fairness and social justice in power sharing and distribution of resources from our common patrimony by practicing politics of inclusiveness of all sections and interests in line with your manifesto to “lift Kogi State to a higher level of performance and success”.

Our dear new Oga-at-the-top, please avoid the pitfalls of the past, while providing good governance with human face for the greatest benefits of all Kogites in the Confluence of Opportunities.

Da’audu Stephen Ozi-Salawu –JP,
A Public Affairs Analyst, Mobilization and Orientation Specialist, writes from Lokoja

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