Uphill Task… Yahaya Bello Faces Tough Battle

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Yahaya Bello

His Excellency, Executive Governor of Kogi State, Alhaji Yahaya Bello might have won most of the battles for control of Kogi politics during the last general election, but he is presently experiencing sleepless nights as he ponders the best course of action to take that guarantees he won’t lose the approaching war. It will be governorship election time for the people of Kogi in November and the vultures have begun to circle the coveted seat.

During the February and March elections, Bello of the ruling APC helped the party to secure the Kogi East and Central Senatorial seats as well as seven House of Representatives seats at the National Assembly. Such huge victory was however dampened by the emergence of his arch nemesis Dino Melaye as winner of the K≠≠ogi West senatorial election.

Like two sworn enemies that will sheathe neither sword nor bitter words until one of them has given up the political ghost, Dino and Bello see the approaching elections as a chance to deal a mortal wound. No wonder Bello has become increasingly antsy. The other day, a video of the governor boxing surfaced on the internet. Not a few wondered whether he wasn’t taking out his anxieties and frustration on the poor punching bag.

In addition to Dino who many have speculated is eyeing the PDP governorship slot, a number of prominent sons of Kogi have also expressed interest. Understandably, when it comes to Kogi Central zone, the governor can rest easy as nobody is interested in challenging one of their own for now. The same cannot be said of the other two zones, especially Kogi East. There is a queue of determined combatants lining up to take a shot at the governor who many see as a relative greenhorn despite his status as an incumbent.

As a beneficiary of happenstance, Bello’s political structure isn’t yet as sturdy as he’d like. The Idris Wada and Ibrahim Idris political camps pose him a formidable threat, especially if they align under one person. Engineer Musa Wada, younger brother of former governor Idris Wada and son-in-law of another ex-governor Ibrahim has been tipped by many pundits.

Coupled with that is some undercurrents of discontent from the followers of the late former governor Abubakar Audu whose untimely death paved the way for Bello to ascend the governorship seat. Angered at being sidelined from prime of place, some of them have vowed to work against the governor’s re-emergence come November.
With all these obstacles it is no wonder that Governor Bello is nursing a headache. He’s been on a charm offensive in recent times as he tries to get everyone in his party inside. He is not leaving anything to chances as he has continued to strategise and woo more supporters to his camp.