Kogi Governor Yahaya Bello has advocated that the Federal Government should apply “local solutions’’ in tackling major national challenges, including insecurity and economic issues.
Bello gave the advice on Tuesday in Abuja when he received a delegation of Nollywood actors, who came to pledge their support to him in his plan to run for the nation’s presidency in 2023.
He said that his administration had been able to achieve success in every sector by applying “a mixture of local solutions, knowledge and human-based solutions to tackle challenges’’.
Bello said that his administration had taken cognizance of the fact what would endure was a knowledge-based economy rather than a resource-based economy.
He emphasised the need for Nigeria to develop human and knowledge-based resources, through inclusion of youths in governance.
The governor lauded Nollywood actors for their contributions in the creative industry, which he said, had increasingly contributed to Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product, employment, youth empowerment and showcasing Nigeria to the world.
“Let me appreciate all of you for the wonderful contributions and for presenting Nigeria to the world, showcasing our rich culture, our unity in diversity and all the good things about Nigeria and Africa.
“I appreciate you for identifying with me on our modest achievements in Kogi State.
“Kogi State, prior to Jan. 27, 2016 when I was sworn in as the fourth Executive Governor used to be a state that was divided among herself, a long ethnic line, religious line, class line and several other types of criminality used to be the order of the day.
“But by the special grace of God, by our leadership style and the touch of quality of the young men and women I was able to assemble, the reverse is the case today in Kogi State.
“Let me appreciate you for urging me to run for the position of president in 2023.
“Kogi State will soon be an oil producing state. It would be celebrated but oil has been the greatest undoing of Nigeria.
“What will last longer than our generation is knowledge-based economy, not resource-based economy.
“There are some of you that did not read arts at tertiary levels, just raw talents and you learnt on the job.
“That is why in Kogi State, we believe in our own local solutions to our own problems. We do not import solutions.
“If we say there is problem coming, we want to see it first, evaluate it, know how it would enter our own territory then apply our own solution to solve the problem.
“That is what we should apply to our problems in Nigeria.
“In Kogi State, we apply the mix of our local solutions and that is how we have solved our problems of insecurity. We have applied our own local solutions and we are developing our infrastructure.
“We have been able to discover that we have solid minerals and we are establishing a university, which is coming up this year. The university will be second to none in Nigeria. It is where we are going to develop our knowledge.
Bello said that another strategy the state had used was women inclusion in governance, explaining that women always played critical roles in peace building.
He also advised youths to key into the opportunities offered by the present administration, pleading with them to join the All Progressives Congress.
“We applied our local knowledge when a certain ailment came in and we simply said we did not want any alien to come in. We are living healthy, we are good.
“This is our leadership style, we are proactive. Can we replicate this in Nigeria, the answer is yes, is it possible, the answer is yes.
“If you are urging me to run for president in 2023, I will simply listen to you and I will throw it back to you because me as a person, I have contributed my own quota, I am still contributing my own quota.”
The leader of the delegation, Mr Seun Oloketuyi, commended Bello for his efforts in promoting youth inclusion in governance, saying that the inclusion was what the country needed.
Oloketuyi pledged the support of Nollywood to Bello in his bid to become president.
“Nollywood is the second largest employer of labour today in Nigeria. We believe that ahead of the 2023 elections, Nollywood has a great role to play as most of the actors have huge followers, making them influential in whatever they say.
“Going into 2023, Nollywood actors have said they will not just sit down and fold their hands; they will sensitize their followers on voting for a youth as president in the person of Gov. Yahaya Bello,” Oloketuyi said.
In his remarks, Dr Segun Okeowo, Director-General of the Best of Nollywood (BON) presented a notification of interest to Bello, seeking Kogi to host the 13th edition of the BON award in November this year.