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What is Bello up to?

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In 2019 when I predicted victory for Kogi State Governor Yahaya Bello in his bid for the second term, many people told me to cast my *ifa* into the deepest river.

I said I was not a political Octopus, but an ordinary media scholar with ‘notoriety’ for accurate predictions of election outcomes in Nigeria, from local, state to national levels. It had nothing to bear with my interest or avowed affiliations. It only had to do with the objective consideration of variables and possible outcomes. Like the football octopus, my pronouncements were as prophetic as those of Isaiah and Ezekiel.

This time around, Bello is closer to making it to the presidency in 2023 than any other contender. Mark my words. As it was when many castigated me for saying he would win the governorship, so do I expect now, but time and chance will affirm.

I have impeccable justification to uphold this school of thought that everything is in his favour.

Remember that in the history of the APC, there has not been a party loyalist governor that ranks with the White Lion. He is everywhere and anywhere the APC is, either thriving or facing a crisis, all in a bid to push the party up. He was appointed national mobiliser for women and youths in the party’s registration and now the Security Chief for the party’s convention. With such a level of fidelity to the party, you should expect a reward in the direction of voting him in as the candidate of the party.

In addition, Bello has over time assumed a nationalistic political figure among the committee of governors. His name rings like a bell in the whole federation, perhaps for some incredible steps and policy statements. He banned ASUU in Kogi State University and became popular for the ‘wrong’ reason, but it was that reason that ensured a steady and uninterrupted academic programme for the students. Bello said ‘we got no COVID and even subjected the NCDC officials from Abuja to the true test of their own protocols. The officials went back with the belief that the governor was endangering the lives of Kogi people. Now, we know who is sincere. They have swallowed their words. COVID-19 has been severely politicised.

In Kogi State today, all the local government vice chairmen are women. Bello has surpassed other political ‘irokos’ in Nigeria in the total involvement of women in governance. He has a female SSG, a female ADC, a female HOS, a female Provost, a female VC, a female STETCOM Chairperson and during his first term, a female CPS. The list is not exhaustive. Now, tell me. Who do you think would have the full backing of women using their involvement in politics as a yardstick?

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The Kogi State governor has reputation for enforcing the Federal Character principle in all critical appointments. There is no organisation, institution or MDA in Kogi where all key positions are not shared among the three senatorial districts. For this, career workers would prefer him to those who make lopsided appointments in their states.

Governor Bello is president-bound for many irrevocable arguments. He has proved to the world that the problem of insecurity facing the country is not insurmountable. Kogi remains the most crime-free state. In the next election, Nigerians would beam searchlight on that man who has the proven capacity to make the country a peaceful and united one. So, the dictum would be, ‘if he could do it in Kogi, he can do it in Nigeria’.

What about educational development? Since it is where I serve, let me say less. I urge the people of Nigeria to take a drive to Osara and behold the second child of necessity, the Confluence University of Science and Technology. Also, a trip to the College of Medicine of Kogi State University would show that the governor is committed to educational development. In addition, take a trip to the College of Health Sciences and Technology Idah, just to mention a few.

In terms of infrastructure in other sectors, the governor is not behind. Early this year, the state government approved the release of funds for the renovation and construction of facilities across the three senatorial districts. It includes the Ganaja Junction fly-over at the state capital, the completion of Idah-Ejule road and Okene township roads. As I speak, the General Hospitals in Idah, Idah Local Government; and Ugwolawo, Ofu Local Government are being massively renovated with state-of-the-arts facilities. The Lokoja Terminal has been completed and is currently being utilised. At Okene, a modern hospital that ranks among the best hospitals in the world is being constructed. These are just a fraction of the governor’s stride in infrastructure during the second term.

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There would be no space for those of the first term because I have lost count of them. However, let me just remind us of the Revenue House, the Kogi State Media Complex, the Government House Chapel and the Mosque, among others.

Governor Bello has not stopped posing surprises. There is a national wind of demand for him to contest. As a matter of fact, a group based in Bayelsa recently declared for Yahaya Bello and promised to purchase his nomination form. Such other groups exist all over the country. Their call is predicated on the eloquent testimonies of the outstanding performance of the governor in all sectors.

I know that some doubting Thomases would provide a loose counter: ‘Ha! He is the one funding the demand to contest.’ Isorite! What about those who we do not know and are calling to support him?

Fundamentally, the zoning thing also favours the Bello Presidency. He comes from a region that has never tasted the seat of power in Abuja whether among the khaki boys or the agbada men. It is no more news that North-central Nigeria is the region yet to produce a president.

Either way, the North Central and particularly Yahaya Bello is the most favoured if this becomes a consideration.

The above and many more are my reasons for predicting a Bello Presidency. Put in its precise form, his age, region, performance on security and women inclusion; his stance against the merchandising of the Coronavirus and contribution to the strengthening of his party at the national level leaves no one in doubt of what is expected. Except for those who have shut their eyes to the realities on the ground, an objective mind would accept the inevitability of Yahaya Bello ruling Nigeria.

  • Dr Ottah writes in from Lokoja.



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