Yahaya Bello Kogi governor says public holiday was "an act of patriotism"

The governor has hit back at condemnation of his declaration of a public holiday in the state.

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INEC sacks 2 workers over alleged double registration by Governor Bello play

Gov Yahaya Bello of Kogi State

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Kogi State governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello, has said the declaration of a public holiday to celebrate the return of President Muhammadu Buhari is an act of patriotism.

The governor had declared Monday, August 21, 2017 as a work-free day in the state to celebrate the president's return to the country on Saturday, August 19, after a 103-day stay in London treating an undisclosed illness.

President Buhari and Gov Yahaya Bello play

President Buhari and Gov Yahaya Bello

 

The declaration of the holiday drew some backlash from the public who deemed it as an excessive action.

Speaking on behalf of the governor, his Director General on Media and Publicity, Kingsley Fanwo, defended his action.

ALSO READ: Kogi declares public holiday for Buhari's return thanksgiving

He hailed the president as the  "Lion of Africa", and hit back at critics who condemned the holiday.

He said, "The holiday was to enable the people of Kogi State celebrate the grace of God in bringing Mr. President back alive. It also afforded the people of the state the opportunity to pray and fast for the progress of Nigeria and for Mr President to keep waxing stronger for the task ahead.

"It is unfortunate that those condemning it choose to take panadol for our headache. They should join us to celebrate the Lion of Africa and stop politicizing an act of patriotism on the part of the Governor.

"The Governor had a health and celebratory walk today and visited the Specialist Hospital where he declared free medical care for all patients on admission.

"To the beneficial families, it was a great day. God forbids, if Mr. President had died, many states would have declared many days of mourning. But Kogi only declared one day to thank God for saving our President's life.

"Are some people angry that Mr President is back, hale and hearty to continue to fight corruption?"

To celebrate the president's return, the governor visited the Specialist Hospital, Lokoja, on Monday, as he paid off the medical bills of everyone who was treated at the health institution while the holiday lasted.

While speaking at the institution, the governor said the holiday was the state's way of celebrating life instead of death.

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