By Halimat Isah & Bako Ishaku
A committee to advise and help the Kogi State Government on how to achieve its developmental goals has been inaugurated by Governor Yahaya Bello.
The Elders’ Advisory Committee which was inaugurated Tuesday in Lokoja included Senator Smart Adeyemi and 272 others.
Speaking while inaugurating the Committee, Governor Bello proclaimed that the effort to bring the elders together was not just for recognition, “but to tap into their experience.”
He said “today I have proven to the good people of Kogi State and indeed the whole of this country, that this administration has great respect for the elders, there is no doubt that this is a youthful administration full of energy, vigour and determination to put Kogi State on the developmental map.
“In doing so, we have not just recognized elders, but, we have to tap into the experience of the elders. It is often said that what an elder sees sitting in the valley, the young ones probably cannot see standing on top of the mountain.
“But, I will change it this way, that it is only elders and leaders of character, integrity and vision that can see far more than the young ones. Therefore, we took our time and painstakingly selected elders, our fathers of good character and integrity, who are wishing and willing to see Kogi State develop.”
The governor said the advisory committee was categorized into four for proper delineation of responsibilities. “The various levels of the elders’ advisory committee are the senatorial level, the federal constituency level, the local government level and the wards level, and in that order they are expected to report to the governor,” he said
The committee of 272 elders could be reported to have put to rest the allegation that Governor Bello’s administration has phobia for the elderly people.
Governor Bello said the committee was setup to ensure that the programmes and policies of government get to citizens at the grassroots.
He added that the contribution of the elders was needed for the government to also get feedback from the people on how best the government could run the affairs of the state.
Speaking on behalf of the Committee, Senator Smart Adeyemi who formerly represented Kogi West Senatorial District at the National Assembly, said the “initiative is unprecedented. It creates a platform for the people to reach out to the government.”
Senator Adeyemi assured Governor Bello of the members’ commitment to ensure that the objectives of the committee were achieved.
In their separate remarks, a former House of Representatives Member, Hon. Frank Ineke and Air Commodore Emaikwu applauded the decision of Governor Bello to constitute the Elders’ Advisory Committee.