Vanessa Obioha writes that by deploying
desperado tactics against likely opponents in the race for the All Progressives Congress governorship ticket, Governor Yahaya Bello may be afraid that Kogi State is slowly slipping out of his grip
By now, the growing concerns over the pathetic plight of Kogi State, should have alerted the sitting Governor, Yahaya Bello that he is no longer the anointed ruler of the state. Whatever anointment he enjoyed in the past four years has certainly dried up. But like the recalcitrant biblical Egyptian ruler Pharaoh, Bello’s mind is hardened. He simply will not let the people of Kogi go. He is adamant in achieving his re-election bid. Responding to the various pillory against him by his detractors, Bello evinced a Draconian spirit, stating that he would win his re-election bid either directly or indirectly.
This has been his attitude since President Muhammadu Buhari was reelected. His victory has somehow enlarged Bello’s ego. He walks around with a chip on his shoulders, his pockets filled with golden coins. Of course, in a state where most of the indigenes live in fear and squalor, mouths will always drool for his coins and Bello is very aware of that. What he is however ignorant of is that not all souls are impoverished. This is the stark reality that Bello is gradually waking up to. Recently, the youths of Kogi displayed their disapproval of his government in a loud protest at the Unity Fountain arena in Abuja. In very candid terms, they rejected the governor from Okene, pleading with the ruling party All Progressives Congress to “change Bello.”
It is not the first time that Bello would display his cruelty. Who can forget in a hurry how he arrested Mohammed Audu, one of the sons of the late Prince Abubakar Audu, whose votes he inherited after Audu’s untimely death. Thinking the younger Audu was a threat to his miraculous emergence as the new governor of Kogi state, Bello dumped all manner of criminal allegations on him, confident that he would lock him away for life. The prosecuting officer at the time Gabriel Otowu charged the accused with criminal conspiracy, causing grievous hurt, mischief, armed robbery and attempted culpable homicide, contrary to sections 97(1), 248, 327, 298 and 229 of the Penal Code.
But Providence had a better plan. While Bello and his police lapdogs were building a case against Audu, the people were revolting against the inhumane act, calling for Audu’s immediate release. Bello was left with no choice than to abandon his seemingly perfect plan. Audu would later be released on a N100,000 bail.
That experience didn’t deter Bello from alleging last year that Audu was complicit in the gun-running allegations levelled against Senator Dino Melaye. Once again, Audu had to launder his image from the dirty tricks of Bello.
One may be forced to wonder why Bello’s desperado tactics targets Audu. Is he afraid that Kogi is slowly slipping away from his grip? From all indications, this must be a trying period for Bello. With just a few weeks to the APC primary, he must be fidgeting if the will of the people will stand. There should really be no other resolution. Kogites are tired. Tired of being the butt of jokes as outstanding salaries and pensions keep piling up, infrastructure development nonexistent while their governor squander their collective wealth in his loyalty campaign at Aso Rock.
Kogi state deserves to be a pride of the nation. Its unique location at the central region of the country is a good pointer to the abounding wealth it possesses. Its peculiarities go beyond being a Confluence State, it is the only state in Nigeria that shares a boundary with 10 other states. It shares a boundary with FCT and Niger state in the north, Nasarawa in the Northeast, Anambra in the south, Enugu in the southeast, Edo in the southwest, Benue to the east, and Ondo, Ekiti, Kwara to the west. Kogi is also notable for connecting the nation’s capital to 22 southern states, serving as a national and international gateway for both road and air travellers. With the unique opportunities it offers, it is unthinkable that in the almost four years Bello has been in office, he did not initiate a blueprint that will harness the potentials of the road networks to generate and increase revenue for the state. Instead, he allowed the people to wallow in abject poverty, unabashedly punishing them for putting their fate in his hands.
However, as much as the clamour for Bello’s removal is reaching the highest heavens, Kogites must not make the mistake of appointing another thorn in their flesh. The main goal should not end in ousting Bello from power, rather it must be about electing a true visionary, someone whose political mind is not only for dirty games and greed but for the people. A leader whose priority is the welfare of the people, keen on making Kogi the wealth of the nation. For that particular search, Kogites need not look far.
The family of His Royal Highness, the late Alhaji Audu Oyidi, the Orego Attah of Ogbonicha has chosen to support Muhammed Abubakar Audu as a governorship candidate in the forthcoming Kogi State November 16, 2019 gubernatorial election. Intestingly, three of the late former Governor Audu have indicated interest in the top office. They are Yahaya Audu, Muhammed Audu and Mona Mustapha Audu.
Mona first flagged off his political campaign with the launch of his political party of interest, YPP, in Lokoja. He subsequently indicated interest in chasing his ambition on the platform of the APC.
Yahaya Audu on the other hand first ran for the Kogi East senatorial seat before he decided to fulfill his political ambition via gubernatorial contest.
The family, comprising His Royal Highness, Alhaji Tijani Audu; Alhaji Ibrahim Audu; Hajia Hawawo (Aya); Hajia Ramatu Audu; Hajia Nana Audu; Hajia Teina; and other members, in its resolution also reached out to Yahaya Audu to drop his ambition in favour of Muhammed Audu who is the preferred candidate.
“This is a new dawn in Audu’s family, as the support is premised on the family’s desire to present a more politically mature member to carry on the sterling personality, legacy and grand social standing the Audu’s family is known for.
“Muhammed Audu, a grassroots politician has been an active member of the APC right from when Prince Abubakar Audu was alive, and has contributed immensely to the development of the party. He is also the rallying point of contact known to the political friends and allies of the late Prince Abubakar Audu. It is therefore uncharitable to allow Muhammed to lose all the goodwill and supports that are the necessary condiments in any successful political outing,” they said.
Mona Mustapha Audu and Yahaya Audu have by this resolution, lost the total support and goodwill of the family. They are therefore enjoined by the family to support Muhammed Audu for the sake of love, unity, progress and synergy.
The information obtained from a very close member of the family reveals that the family believes in Muhammed more than in anyone else, and that Muhammed is more capable of and trusted in delivering the dividends of democracy.
It was noted that Prince Abubakar Audu projected the family well to the world. The family therefore cannot afford to have anything less than what Prince Abubakar Audu planted.
Muhammed, it is believed, is the perfect scion of Abubakar Audu that has the clout capable of ensuring a successful political contest.