Listen to article
Ever since Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello conceived the pipe dream of becoming Nigeria’s next President in 2023, his previously entrenched incompetence has now seen new competitors, his new dream has completely made him go berserk. He now behaves like a drunken sailor engaged in a macabre dance of foolery, and encouraged by praise singers. Leadership in Kogi State has now been reduced to its lowest ebbs ever! The State is now a pilgrimage ground of some sort for celebrities, footballers, and most especially Nollywood actors with big backsides. Terrible!
Governor Yahaya Bello, an Ahmadu Bello University accounting graduate got to become the Governor of Kogi State in 2015 when Prince Audu Abubarkar, the candidate of the APC died just before the conclusion of the announcement results. The clueless leadership of the APC, acting foolishly in a clear violation of the provisions of the Electoral Act acted with impunity and decided that Yahaya Bello, who came second in the primaries, should be the candidate of the party and not James Falake who was the running mate of the deceased Abubarkar.
Ostensibly not prepared for leadership Yahaya seized the initiative, got to Lugard House, and launched perhaps one of the most visionless governments in Nigeria. Yes, over the years, Nigerians have been pushed to become voiceless people who by default setting endure hardship brewed by incompetent leaders who obviously can’t make a head or tail of governance. Nigerians are now docile and the natural implication is that leaders who have nothing to offer but hardship, bad governance, and insecurity easily have a field day in government.
Although Kogi has never got it right in leadership, Bello, however, was gross. Under Bello’s administration, the monster called bad governance became a State slogan, it became more naked-sticking out like a sore. It became too evident for the world to see. Yes, the people of Kogi State are not used to sterling leadership, what Bello’s government simply did was to take the reproach of the State a bit further.
In his first tenure, despite receiving billions of naira in monthly FAAC allocations, Local government funds, internally generated revenue, stupendous borrowings, and not forgetting FG-approved bailout funds, Bello wickedly chose to leave the decayed infrastructure in the State to remain in its sorry state. Going by figures available in the public domain, Bello received funds in excess of 240 billion naira between February 2016 and January 2020 in monthly FAAC allocations, 30 billion naira from the Federal Government as bailout funds, 10 billion naira under funny pretenses on the eve of the 2019 Kogi State elections. What did Bello use these funds for? Well, news of how Bello launders hundreds of millions, and sometimes billions of Naira of state cash through proxies and State officials, awards contracts without due process, award contracts through wanton circumvention of procurement procedures is now obsolete. Yahaya Bello instead of being an accidental saviour for Kogi people became a worse pain in the neck.
Despite his clear non-performance in his first term, Bello shamelessly sought re-elections again. With the firm knowledge that Kogi people whom he had been riding on their lacerated backs would not return him to office to continue his mindless looting, Bello simply got desperate and recruited thugs to the State. By employing the now-famous ‘tatatata style’ of rigging elections he won by a landslide.
On stealing the second term mandate, many thought Bello would choose sobriety and repent, alas, how wrong were they. Just like his first tenure, Yahaya Bello’s second tenure so far has remained an emblem of hardship, insecurity, and oppression. His second tenure is almost the same as the first if not worse. Kogi State is today one of the States with the lowest life expectancy, unemployment rate, and high rate of kidnapping, banditry, and impunity. Yahaya Bello’s insensitivity to the plights of his citizens is second to none. How does he even sleep at night?
The imbroglio in Kogi State has shoved the State into a scum – a very terrible sight to behold for even people who lack any iota of conscience. The State is now in shambles, poverty soar to unutterable altitude daily, insecurity supple to the order of bandits, and to add salt to injury, the State Governor has gone further to impregnate himself with a still-birth presidential ambition.
Bello’s presidential dream is obviously the biggest enemy of Kogi people at the moment. Acting in typical foolishness, Bello has simply opened the vaults of the badly depleted fund bank of the State to all manner of characters just to sing his praise. Strategic engagement with the youth, he calls it while Kogi groans under unbearable pain.
Yahaya Bello’s penchant for sycophancy is perhaps, his greatest pratfall. The reason you see celebrities throng to Lugard House is that Bello is the kind of leader every swindler would yearn to consort with. It’s free money after all. Sadly speaking, Bello is a man who likes to act contrary to his own sentiments. He is always caught talking about the role of youth in good governance, yet he’s the best example of a failed leader. He loves to profess his hate for dictatorship, yet, he draws his inspiration from the reign of terror.
The simple truth is that Yahaya Bello is not a leader that rewards diligence and transparency. He only rewards his staunch puppets who are always ready to massage his ego. He is a leader who prefers sycophancy to liberal opinions. To add that, he lacks libidinal control. Many people who are close to the Kogi State government house have repeatedly given testament on how easily moved Bello is to anything in skirts, especially the beautiful ones. Of course, he cannot be fondly called the ‘White Lion’ for the sake of name-calling.
One of the biggest beneficiaries of Bello’s lustful benevolence is the massively endowed Destiny Etiko. Courtesy of Bello and Kogi State funds, she now lives a flamboyant lifestyle on Instagram while claiming that all her earnings come from Nollywood, an industry where the female actors are more prone to financial independence than their male counterparts.
Back in February, Destiny Etiko visited her Benefactor – Bello in the Kogi government house and couldn’t even dress decently. As discouraging and disgusting as it appeared, she was only trying to advertise her wares. Yes, there was a need to consolidate her hold on him and by direct implication, to ensure unrestricted flow of funds, Yes, Kogi State government’s funds. Shameful to say the least.
In conclusion, Bello can continue to bask in his delusional claim that all Nigerians want him to become President in 2023. Yes, he can continue to encourage all the money-mongering ‘fast guys’ and celebrities, including top football stars, Nollywood practitioners, and every imaginable group in the land to sing his vociferous chorus. He can continue to enjoy the rythms and rhythms of the music being churned out by the cheerleaders while it lasts, but then, he should be reminded that his antecedents, verbal misadventures, the lack of visible developments in Kogi State, abject poverty in the state, with workers groaning over unpaid salaries running into months would be used to interrogate him when the chips are truly down. We still have Nigerians that can ask questions.
AFRICA DAILY NEWS, NEW YORK