Your Excellency, greetings and top of the day to you. I would have loved to talk to you in private but I know that I may not have a chance of ever getting that privilege.
Sir, I have voted for this open communication against my wish because, as a non-political office holder or stakeholder in the Social Contract between Your Excellency and the people of Kogi State whose popular mandate Your Excellency has been exercising since 2011 election. The time it would take to go through the protocol of getting an appointment with you would probably have made my effort belated. I could, of course, have taken my chance and found a way of barggin into you at one of the social and political functions, which you attend, but I won’t have dared.
Ordinarily, I ought not to have resorted to washing a ‘dirty linen’ in public. However, I am constrained by the absence of a better opportunity or forum for a non-partisan active electorate like me to have an audience with Your Excellency due to the exigencies of your office, tight schedule coupled and in most cases, with bureaucratic bottleneck and protocol arrangement that usually fence off elected state functionaries of your status. In the light of this, I wish to be understood in the circumstance I have found myself.
The major point I wish to address here is the condition and present state of Lokoja our state capital. I wish to say without doubt in my mind that, Kogi state is the smallest state capital in Nigeria and the least or better still the poorest in times of physical development and beautification.
To confirm my statement above, for someone who knows Lokoja very well, will know that those who are involved in commercial taxi’s in Lokoja makes little or no profit because of the small nature of the state capital as only those who are scared of going by bike the popular Okada go by car because for youths and elderly once who are in a rush to where they are going can easily pick a bike from barrack (the beginning of Lokoja) to Nataco or Felele (the end of Lokoja) because of the size of the state capital which cost 150naira for bike and 80naira for taxi. With this you will believe me when I say Lokoja is the smallest state capital in Nigeria.
You may be tempted to ask, why am I saying this? There are so many things wrong in the state especially the state capital. If no part of Kogi state will witness meaningful and physical development, I think and suppose Lokoja the state capital should have witness better development than we see today.
Unlike other state capital where traffic jam are as a result development, for a visitor who slept over in Lokoja for the first time, waking up to continue his trip the next day and approaching the popular Ganaja junction may be force to say Lokoja is fast developing because of the traffic jam everyday witness on that road.
But we all know there is nothing like development in the state capital as the traffic jam is as a result of the fact that, there are increase in population within the city, increase in travelers from other states passing through Lokoja and the dilapidated state of the only road within city. A fly over at Ganaja junction and repair of the bad road will simply eliminate this traffic jam being face every day by Kogites within the state capital and even by travelers.
Another embarrassing thing is the fact that, Lokoja is the only state capital without streetlight as the state capital is left in total darkness at night. Even the road that passes through government house is very bad and without streetlight.
Lokoja is the only state capital without street names. The street roads are in a state of collapse, disrepair and without names and streetlight.
The only road that passes through the state is without marks, no bus stops, full of potholes, very dirty and without streetlight.
On a final note, in spite of the fact that Lokoja is the smallest state capital in Nigeria, Lokoja is the least develop state capital in terms of anything you can think about, roads, streets, physical development, human development, beautification to mention but a few. Notwithstanding, it would be right and proper for Your Excellency to take a very good look at the merit of this write up and direct ministry of works and environment to take necessary steps to improve the outlook of the state capital. There are many other areas of the state I would love to touch but would wait for a little more time sir before bringing them up again.
Thank you Your Excellency for reading me.
Oladele John Nihi
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