Connect with us


Proposed State University in Okunland: Bello’s last minute ‘comedy skit’ in Kogi



Kogi State governor, Yahaya Bello
Spread the love

By Samson Atekojo Usman

When the news of the proposed Kogi State University to be sited in Okunland in the western Senatorial District began trending on Wednesday 17th May, 2023 vide approval by Kogi State Executive Council, what immediately propped up in my mind was nothing other than ‘Yahaya Bello’s last minutes comedy skit’ to hoodwink the people of the Western Senatorial District who were badly injured by his mis-governance, injustice and inequity perpetrated against them in almost eight years into believing that the people have a place in his administration.">

One is not surprised that at this time of political megalomania, such hoax decision, vain promises and all sorts of imaginary white elephant projects would suffice to deceive the gullible, confuse the vulnerable and demobilized the alertness of the people against imposition of unpopular candidate. If the governor loves the people of Okunland as he would want the people to believe, why establishing a State University at the twilight of the administration that he will not be in the office to fund?

The proposed State University in Okunland will be the third of its kind in Kogi. What is the revenue profile of the State that is sufficient enough to finance three Universities.

The State is currently grappling with a domestic debt of N59.15 billion as at January, 2021. Also, the State is currently servicing a foreign loan from the United Arab Emirates to the tune of over $500 million (N180 billion) which was secured in 2018, two years after Bello became the governor of the State.

Read Also:  Alleged Emefiele's presidential ambition: Another traducers' last antics?

Clearly, the rationale behind the establishment of another University in Okunland is treacherous and for another singular reason, that it is unsustainable.

Kogi State Commissioner for Information and Communications, Kingsley Fanwo in a press statement dated 17th May, 2023, which was made available to media houses tried to explain what only the illiterates could take home, when he wrote: “The decision of the State (Kogi) government was informed by the need to take University education to the doorstep of the people across the three Senatorial Districts in the State. There is the Prince Abubakar Audu University, Anyigba in the Eastern flank of the State; Confluence University of Science and Technology at Osara in the Central Senatorial District of the State. A University in Okunland will address the gap in educational infrastructure as it relates to higher education in Okunland.

“The administration of Yahaya Bello will continue to ensure governance of equity, fairness and justice by ensuring all parts of the State enjoys the dividends of democracy. This is crucial to the sustenance and social cohesion in the State.”

It appears the Commissioner has been very busy with the treachery of Lugard House in over seven years that he hasn’t been to Prince Abubakar Audu University, PAAU, Anyigba in the Eastern Senatorial district to see how decapitated the institution has become.

The State-owned University was established in 1999 by the late Prince Abubakar Audu and commenced academic activities with six faculties in the year 2000. Expectedly, the institution was progressing due to adequate funding by the three successive administrations of Audu, Ibrahim Idris and Idris Wada with establishment of the Faculty of Medical Sciences. Faculty of Medicine and Surgery was running full-fled with a Teaching Hospital at the Grimard Hospital, Anyigba and when Bello took over after the death of Audu in 2015, the first thing he did was to sack lecturers, replace the Vice Chancellor with the current female Vice Chancellor, Prof. Marietu Tenuche Ohunene in 2000 to ensure that the Faculty of Medicine and Surgery did not see the light of the day. What has education which is the major human capital development got to do with tribal politics?

Read Also:  Justice Zainab Bulkachuwa; Have we all moved on?

The once ivory tower which embarked on educational foreign exchange programme has become a glorified secondary school due to deliberate shabby funding, whereas, the recently established Confluence University of Science and Technology, Osara in the Central Senatorial District has its academic programmes accredited by the National Universities Commission, NUC within few months, including Medicine and Surgery which the governor earlier killed at PAAU.

In the history of Kogi State, Bello has played ethnic politics of no mean comparison, such that the State is polarized, and divided along ethno-political lines. Today, the All Progressives Congress is for Ebira in the Central Senatorial District with Peoples Democratic Party, PDP belonging to Okuns of the Western Senatorial District, while the Igala and Bassa people are just recovering from the rude shock and are looking for solace in a yet to be determined consensus party.

Read Also:  Late Brig. Gen. Zirkusu: Borno governor, Zulum donates N20 million to family

The University is a ‘dangling carrot’, and a suave move to get votes from the Western district for his cousin brother, Ododo Ahmed Usman in the November 11, 2023 governorship election. Unarguably, Bello would dispense huge resources of over 50% more on what he spent on the wasted ‘presidential election attempt’, on his preferred APC candidate, given the magnitude of rejection trailing his choice of Ododo as it were.

Perhaps, this will be a quick reminder of how Bello is notorious for promises without fulfilling it as one could recall how he promised to construct Idah-Aganabode River Niger bridge in the heat of his second term governorship election. The governor visited the late Ata Igala, Agaba Idu, Idakwo Ameh Oboni II, where he promised to construct the Idah-Aganabode bridge to link Kogi East with Edo State. At that time, the project will cost the sum of N250 billion on a Public Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement, but one did know that all things were wrapped in fakery.
Subsequently, the project was flagged off in full glare of the media in 2019 and till today, nothing was heard of the project again.

What is good for the goose is good for the gander. Why didn’t Bello endorse an Okun man to succeed him instead of his cousin brother, Ododo from the same LG, and the same ward, if he wasn’t want to be seen as an ethnic jingoist. It will be clear to all in no distant time, if Kogi State is his conquered territory.

Samson Atekojo Usman is a journalist who is interested in politics and good governance and can be reached through:

Contact Us:

  • Address: Address: 1st Floor,  Nwakpabi Plaza,  Suite 110, Waziri Ibrahim Crescent, Apo,  Abuja
  • Tel: +234 7036084449, +234 8066722600, +234 7012711701
  • Email:
  • Email:

Quick Links: