The job of a spokesman is not an easy one, if your principal or boss does not enjoy goodwill. This is the fate of Kingsley Famwo, the Director General, Media and Publicity to Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello.
There is, no doubt, the Kogi State Governor has endured a very long period of Bad Press more than any other sitting governor in the country. His critics have continuously criticised his every move and action in the media to the extent that people now wonder if Yahaya Bello means well for the people of the state.
In a recent interview with City People in Kaduna, during the recently held Northern Governors Meeting, Kingsley Famwo said, critics of the governor kept churning out deliberate falsehood against the governor, and those who could not cross-check bought into the falsehood “I sometimes wonder where these lies come from and why the governor is painted as a devil that he is not”.
Famwo, said for years now, there had been a sustained Bad Press against his boss, which he had to defend to put the records straight. He said the reason for this falsehood and propaganda is to deliberately tarnish the image of Yahaya Bello, “Most of the publications are short of facts and are outright falsehood, and the reason for the increase in the lies, and misinformation against his government is because elections are around the corner and other gubernatorial aspirants are using all means available to tarnish his image”.
Famwo, said the major issue which the Kogi state government had to deal with was the issue of salaries. He explained that, yes, salaries were being owed workers, but the unpaid salaries were arrears from the previous administrations, adding that arrangements have been concluded to clear the back log of salaries. “This Government never owed salaries, arrangements have been concluded to clear the backlog”. We are owing only five months areas, and it was incurred by the former administration, which was passed onto this government”.
The media aide said, Governor Yahaya Bello had always emphasized that what was owed by the previous administration was exactly what is being owed, under his watch “This administration is not owing a single dime, but inherited liability”.
Famwo, disclosed that Mr President had approved some money for the state, and as soon as the money was cleared, all arrears would be paid. He noted that the governor has promised that by December, the issue of salary arrears would be a thing of the past, and even without assessing the N30.8B, approved, the Governor had promised to raise money to clear the balance.
The governor has also shown his commitment to removing ghost workers from the state pay roll. The State used to be a hotbed of ghost workers where people take salaries into private pockets, where people draw salaries from both state and local government accounts and even those outside the state, were receiving salaries, and mostly, educational qualifications were falsified. The media aide noted that previous governments have over looked the issue, and couldn’t take action for fear of political backlash.
Famwo also revealed that Kogi State today, generates over One Billion naira as against its former internally generated revenue of N300m. This is the courtesy of the revenue mobilization and harmonisation law which boosted revenue collection drives and streamlined its collection to a central point.
The spokesperson to the governor, revealed that his job has not been an easy one to the extent that at one point, his car was attacked. “Some people are not happy with the way the governor is trying to clean up the mess of the past. “I will remain steadfast and rally our people behind the truth as represented by Governor Yahaya Bello”.
Famwo, who combines Journalism teaching and theology told Citypeople that before now, the state was a haven for crime, armed robbery and kidnapping, which made the state a no go area, especially for investors and other small-scale businessmen, but today owing to the commitment of Governor Bello, in ridding the state of crime, security has been prioritised and funded heavily to rid the state of crime.
Another area he said Kogi Government had done well, was in the even spread of developmental projects across the state without being held down by religions or ethnic distraction. “Kogi East, home of the Igala’s is experiencing massive facelift in quality road network, provision of borehole’s in the rural areas. While, Kogi Central and West have also benefited from this facelift in the areas of developmental projects and dividends of democracy. Governor Bello is the first Governor in the state to have evenly spread developmental projects across the state without being held down by ethnicity, that has slowed the state down for decades.
As the state prepares for the forthcoming governorship elections, Famwo said they would not be distracted by media attacks as their work would speak for them”. Yahaya Bello will not be distracted, he is passionately committed to developing every part of the state as long as he remains governor.