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Bello, Ododo and the 2023 Kogi governorship mission dead on arrival [Part 1]



L-R Kogi State governor, Yahaya Bello and Ododo Ahmed Usman
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By Samson Atekojo Usman

Since April, 14, 2023 that Kogi State governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello rigged the All Progressives Congress governorship ticket for his cousin, Ododo Ahmed Usman ahead of the November 11, election, there have been a plethora of reactions trailing the bizarre things that have happened.

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For over 7 years that Bello took over leadership of the state, he has been pretending and feigning to be a leader for all.

But only an ignoramus and the bootlickers believe that Yahaya Bello has some modicum of sincerity in all that he does.

Other citizens of Kogi State including those from his immediate Central Senatorial District who are wearing the right lenses see a ‘Mussolini’ in Bello, hence, at no time have they succumbed to his deceits.

If the political brigand witnessed in 2019 when Bello faced elections for the first time did not distort the ambience for which he has been governing, then Kogi citizens are the easiest people to rule.

But their calmness and mien have been taken for granted as it were, given that there was opportunity for the governor to prove that Kogi State belongs to all Kogites and not his immediate family, but he never realized that.

On April 14, Bello audaciously wrote results of the APC primary election in favour of Ododo Ahmed Usman and induced the primary election committee members who came from Abuja to announce results after he had a day earlier declared that he had endorsed his cousin and former Auditor-General of Kogi State.

The development was most terrible, a robbery of all aspirants and the entire Kogi State.

He has laid a wobbling foundation for the beneficiary and a set-stage for the mother of all battles.

Certainly, ‘Ododo for Kogi 2023 governorship’ is a mission dead on arrival. What was Bello afraid of that he didn’t allow a free and fair APC governorship primary election?

In his devious move, he wrote names of party delegates without a congress as required by the party constitution and submitted it to the APC National Secretariat preparatory for indirect primary election, before it was ambushed through a Court injunction at the instance of a party stalwart, Barrister Realwan Okpanachi.

After he failed to get his way on that, he resorted to writing results using Local Government Council Chairmen even though the election reportedly never took place; and where it did, card carrying members of the party all voted for Alhaji Muritala Yakubu Ajaka.

The implication of this manipulation will manifest on November 11, 2023 governorship as the APC will be roundly rejected by the electorate.

If Bello had envisaged his third term agenda through the foisting of his cousin, why did he embark on an anachronistic policy with attendant catastrophic human casualties in the last seven years?

The Ododo that he’s trying to force down the throat of Kogites as his successor was the architect of workers’ woes at the State and Local Government Councils.

The 20 to 30% salary payment was Ododo’s expert opinion; he suggested on the premise that the State needed funds to embark on infrastructural development.

Ododo’s involvement in workers’ endless screening and subsequent sack in the guise of repositioning the State under the much touted new direction of government speaks louder than voice.

Today, most directors from the eastern and western flanks have been replaced with their kinsmen from the Central Senatorial District. Bello’s government has been loaded and over-staffed by those from the Central District.

Ododo in his outings a few days ago promised to continue with Bello’s model of governance as governor of Kogi State. Unfortunately, this is a perpendicular miscalculation as there has been no democracy in Kogi State since Bello’s assumed office on January 26, 2016, but on ground has been brute force, militocracy and gangsterism.

Having stated this, the symptomatic moves by Kogi indigenes to do away with any government associated with Yahaya Bello after his tenure on January 26, 2024 would be the ‘ratio decidendi’ that the APC will not be voted.

A cursory look at the following lopsided appointments in the past seven years, which the governor concentrated on his kinsmen and in his Okene Local Government Council, reveals how he has raised the bar of ethnicity, religious bigotry and outright nepotism – an ill-wind that will blow Ododo away from the political ecosystem of the State in a few months.

Commissioner for Local Govt and Chieftaincy Affairs – Okehi

Commissioner for Water resources – Adavi

Commissioner for Works and Housing – Okene

Commissioner for Justice – Okene

Commissioner for Rural Development – Okene

Accountant-General – Okene

Chief of Staff – Okene

State Auditor General – Okene

LG Auditor General – Okene

Pension Board – Okene

Islamic Pilgrims Board Chairman – Okene

RAAMP – Okene

Appeal – Okene

KEDA- Okene

Newmap – Okene

Haphdac – Okene

State APC Chairman – Okene

It’s on record that of the N 45 billion bailout fund meant for workers which was denied the former governor, Idris Wada, before the end of his tenure, N20 billion found its way to Sterling Bank in Lagos and remains unresolved till date.

Since 2016 after the bailout was released to Bello, neither the workers were paid their salaries nor was the whereabouts of the fund known under Ododo Ahmed Usman as the State Auditor-General.

The choice of Ododo is a fallout of the governor’s misinterpretation of the reality on ground that the trajectory of the 2019 has changed and Kogites have moved farther in their reasoning in rescuing the State through ballot boxes. Time, they say, would tell.

Samson Atekojo Usman writes from Abuja and can be reached through:

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