Why Gov Yahaya Bello Should Become Nigeria’s President – By Hussain Obaro

December 29, 2020
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Democracy is said to be the government of the people, by the people and for the people, irrespective of tribe, religion or gender. Without fear of contradiction or an iota of doubt, no governor in Nigeria and in Kogi state since its creation in 1991 has committed himself to selflessly governing the state without ethnic, tribal or religious bias. While Nigerians will continue to x-ray the performance of Governor Yahaya Adoza Bello, to be able to reach a conclusion on whether he truly deserves or merited an elevation to the higher political office of president of the federal republic of Nigeriat, we should be guided by facts and not deliberate falshood by his envious detractors, destructive critics and political enemies. It is no longer news that governor Bello inherited a bloated civil service; successive governments in the state padded the wage bill of the civil service in connivance with some civil servants, in their desperate bid to loot and milk the state’s treasury.

Apart from the fact that the civil service was already over crowded by workers, many of whom do not even have or know their job specifications, as they only resume “work” to sit under the trees to chat and gossip for hours and leave for their various homes after doing nothing productive, the ‘business venture’ of “ghost” workers in which thousands of names of nonexistent civil servants who cannot be physically verified or traced in the civil service records finds their way into the payroll of the state government, while their salaries were siphoned and diverted into the private accounts of top government functionaries and senior civil servants was the order of the day. The “ghost” workers ‘business venture’ which had been in place since creation of the state allowed people in government and their civil servant collaborators to defraud the state by cornering huge sums of money meant for salaries and pension allowances of the nonexistent workers and pensioners into their pockets.

The bastardization of the civil service and looting of the larger part of the padded wage bill virtually crippled the economy of the state to the point that payment of salaries became a challenge, as our treasury could no longer cope with or withstand the level of looting that happened for a long time. In their bid to cover up and conceal their looting and anti-economic deals they started taking loans and incurring needless debts which further pushed the state into an economic mess. The condition of infrastructure became nothing to write home about, the state of our schools became pathetic, our hospitals were reduced to mere consulting offices, our roads became dilapidated, payment of salaries was relegated to the back seat and state owned institutions became decayed.

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Despite the declining allocation accruing to the state from the federation account which was occasioned by the dwindling oil revenue, past administrations in the state were too busy looting the state that little or nothing was done in putting measures in place to improve or boost the internally generated revenue [IGR] of the state, which was one of the lowest in the country before governor Yahaya Adoza Bello took over the mantle of leadership.

The ethnic tension and tribal distrust that was prevalent in the state before the coming on board of governor Bello was unprecedented in our history. Igala, Ebira, Okun and other tribes in the state sees each other as enemies and rivals in looting,  rather than as partners in progress with a common agenda of developing our dear state. The hitherto tribal hatred, acrimony and animosity was fuelled by the wicked policies, actions and inactions of the past governors of the state. Before now, certain positions and appointments like the Chief of Staff, Accountant General, Auditor General, commissioners for Works and those of Finance and Justice were exclusively reserved for persons from the governor’s own tribe, because they were considered too “juicy” to go “outside”. Major developmental projects were deliberately skewed in the senatorial district of the past governors of the state.

Today, all these have changed with Governor Yahaya Adoza Bello at the helm of affairs as governor of the state. We currently have a governor who do not only believe that appointments should be evenly spread among all the tribes in the state, but also ensures that competence is placed above tribal and religious considerations at all times. For the very first time in our existence as a state, a democratically elected governor appointed a Chief of Staff and commissioner of Finance who do not belong to his tribe. Appointments and citing of developmental projects and industries are now evenly spread across the state and this has dowsed the tribal tension that existed before Governor Yahaya Adoza Bello came into power.

The cleanup of the civil service was a bold step that was commended by all and sundry as the brave initiative has not only blocked leakages and sanitized the system but has helped in cutting down the wage bill and eliminated all forms of corruption. The steady increase and improvement in our IGR is worthy of applause and the relative peace that we currently enjoy in kogi state despite the prevailing general insecurity in the country has earned our dear governor plenty of accolades even amongst his colleagues.

We fully acknowledge the fact that governor Bello has not performed a hundred percent to the expectation of some people, as there are still much more he has planned to do within the next three and half years of his second term in office as governor, but kudos must be given to him for all he has been able to achieve within the limited financial resources available to him. No government anywhere in the world is perfect or performs a hundred percent, not even in the developed world and advanced democracies. Kogi state being the only state in Nigeria sharing boundaries with nine other states and the FCT, and has thirty one ethnic groups and twenty seven tribes can be described as a mini-Nigeria.

With the achievements of Governor Yahaya Adoza Bello in securing and uniting the state, cleaning up and strengthening the civil service, building critical infrastructure, and positioning the state on a path of economic prosperity, if given a higher responsibility and a chance to become Nigeria’s president our beloved country will be better for it. Aside his competence to hastily put a permanent end to the prevailing security challenge bedeviling our nation, Nigeria needs a man who will be a leader and not a ruler, we need a man who will unify and build bridges of love, religious tolerance and peaceful coexistence across the north, south, east and west. The cap fits Governor Yahaya Adoza Bello so well.

Beyond the conversation around youth participation and involvement in the leadership of this country, Nigeria is in a dire need of a youth who is tested, trusted and has got ample experience to effectively pilot the affairs of our nation. We need a man who will make federal character a matter of personal principle in making appointments, a man who will not only secure lives and properties of Nigerians on the pages of newspapers, a man who’s sole aim will be the entrenchment of an egalitarian society and an utmost respect for the rule of law. Nigeria needs a man who will always stand by and for the downtrodden and the weakest among us. Governor Yahaya Adoza Bello is that man Nigeria needs right now, a youth who has got the energy, zest and agility to always lead from the front. He is an intellectually mobile personality who has got what it takes to create jobs and lift millions of Nigerians high above poverty.

Hussain Obaro, Lokoja-Kogi state. oseniobaro@yahoo.com 08157719456

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