J. S. Okutepa, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) has said that Kogi State is one of the most lucrative states with natural and human resources in Nigeria.
Okutepa, in a statement made available to TheNigeriaLawyer (TNL) personally signed by him, said the state has tourist and agricultural potentials. It has illustrious children with notable achievements but unfortunately, things are not working in the state.
“Each time I keep wondering why did I find myself as indigene of Kogi State.For resources, that State is one of the most lucrative states with all manner of natural and human resources.
“That state is a state of great tourists potentials and attractions. That is state is a state with great arable land with great agricultural potentials either in the East West or Central senatorial zones.
“That is the state where great men and women of note come from. It is the state of Awoniyis of this world. It is the state of General Tunde Oghehas of this world. It is the state where late Dr Stephen Achema, late Ura Ajibili, late Prince Abubakar Audu of this world come from. It is the state of Alhaji Ibrahim Idris, Capt Idris Ichala Wada hail from. It is where Chief John Odawn hail from. It is the state of Dr Ahmadu Ali. Kogi State has many illustrious sons and daughters with capacities and resources with connections.
“The state has great sons and daughters scattered all over the world with notable evidence of achievements that are second to none in their chosen careers.
“It is a state with potentials of being the best in terms of developments. But today kogi state seems to be a far cry from a state that one can be proud to be identified with as one’s state.
“It is a state that seems to have no body to act for it in terms of ideals for it’s developments. Everything seems not working.” Okutepa said
The learned silk lamented that there are no good roads, schools and hospitals and workers are hardly paid adding that the leaders of the state do not tolerate criticism but prefer sycophancy.
He said, “The roads are impassable. There are no good schools. There are no good hospitals to treat the sick.
“Workers have been turned to beggars as they hardly get pay for jobs done. Even those defending the indefensible know the truth but they are afraid to speak the truth.
Killings and thuggery seems to have found safe havens in Kogi State.The leaders of the state who are supposed to come out and speak and find solutions have gone to sleep. Everybody is afraid to talk.Those who talk are taken as enemies of their own state.
“Good governance has take flights out of the state and it is absolutely absent in that state.Those in power seem to be intolerant of criticisms.
“They seem to be law unto themselves. They preferred sycophantic puerile praise singing than listen to the voices of reasoning. Everyone that point out that government is not doing what it ought to do is taken as enemies of government.
“The government of Kogi is a good example of bad government.Those who doubt my statement here should take a trip to the state to make their findings.
“Many live in fear of their lives.The fundamental right of the people from fear is serious in jeopardy.”
Okutepa accused the federal government of abandoning its roads in the state adding that the state roads are not good either. According to him nothing is working in the state
“Things works haphazardly in that state.
Federal Government of Nigeria seems to have no map of Kogi State in its agenda for developments. Federal roads in the state are in sorry state. The state roads are also in sorry state. Everything in the state is in comatose.
“Only the idle praise singers see good things in that state. The rest of people who cannot find any good things are blind.Nothing seems to work in my state of origin.
“But I ask where are the political juggernauts from Kogi State. Where are the captain of industries from Kogi state. Where are the legal luminaries from Kogi State. Where are the great administrators from Kogi State. Where are our generals from Kogi state. Must we continue to live in fear and not speak out. God forbids.”
Okutepa, therefore, called for unity and good governance in the state. He also urged State government to provide social amenities to the people
He said, “Let Kogi State work. Let the people be happy. Let roads be constructed. Let there be functional social amenities for the people. Let us go to farm and produce food for our people to eat. Let us end bad governance in Kogi State. Let us unite to develop that State. Kogi State is underdeveloped and only the indigenes can develop it.
“Let the government get ideas from people who can help it develop the state. Not only those in party politics have ideas. Government of day must bring all the indigenes together and get ideas to develop Kogi. It is only then that one can be proud to say he or she is from Kogi.
“Let Kogi State stop living in denial. The state is terribly in need of good governance and development.”