It gives me great joy to welcome everyone to this New Year and I thank God Almighty for keeping us alive and healthy to witness it. 2020 is also the beginning of a new decade commencing today, being Wednesday, the 1st of January, 2020 and ending on Monday, the 31st day of December, 2020, making it a compelling point to set long term personal and state development goals.
Even as I thank God for the life and wellbeing of each Kogite who has crossed over into this New Year, I also remember with fondness and gratitude to God those who could not make it, but whose lives were well lived and their legacy enduring. I pay particular tribute to Hajia Rabiat Bello, my beloved sister who passed on at 59 years of age on Monday, 23rd December, 2019 after a protracted illness. I pray the Almighty God to grant her and other deceased Kogites eternal rest.
2019 will go down in history as the year in which we came together as a people like never before to break down the strong barriers of ethnicity, religion and class differentiation which divided us for so long and slowed our progress.
These walls of partition were built and patronised in the past and engendered discrimination. They were used to make sure that a man’s merit took a back seat to parochial and unprofitable considerations and were cogs in the wheels of our advancement as a state.
This is why our choices in the 2019 General Elections and in the November 16 Kogi State Gubernatorial Elections were direct answers to long-standing existential questions about the direction our state will take as we move into a rapidly changing future. The results of those elections were truly historic as they highlighted our collective commitment to pursue progress over conflict and unity instead of sectionalism.
Even though my Administration has worked hard over the last 4 years to achieve this result, I still remain indebted to Kogites for making me the arrowhead of a new era in which Igala, Ebira, Okun and all the other ethnic nationalities in Kogi State proved that tribe, religion and class cannot be the worth of a man. Together, we heralded the New Kogi we want to bequeath to posterity as one characterised by equity and justice, unity, peace and progress. I solemnly promise to spend the next four years strengthening and advancing these precious values.
There is no doubt that 2020 is indeed a new beginning for us as a state and people. On the 27th day of January, 2020 I shall, by the grace of God, take the Oath of Office as the 5th Executive Governor of Kogi State, and begin a second term in Office. It shall remain the principal preoccupation of my new administration to bring revitalised energy to bear in delivering refocused governance in Kogi State for the next four years.
Our administration through the help of God Almighty and your patience and support will continue to address all of the issues which bother you including insecurity, infrastructural decay, prompt payment of emoluments to civil servants, problems of unemployment, healthcare and education, among others. In our second term in office we are also going to pay greater attention to human capital development by investing more in training our people for enhanced relevance in a technologically evolving future.
It is therefore with gratitude to God that I once again welcome the good people of Kogi State to the year 2020. We undertake to do our very best to make it a most prosperous and progressive one for all of us by working hard and smart for you in government.
Happy New Year.
To God be the Glory!
Governor of Kogi State