Ibrahim Oyewale in Lokoja profiles the two leading candidates in today’s governorship election in Kogi
Governor Yahaya Bello is the incumbent occupant of the Lugard House, Kogi State’s seat of power. Bello, the youngest governor in Nigeria presently, was born on June 18, 1975 in Okene, then Kwara State. The youngest of six children, he attended LGEA Primary School, Agassa in Okene local government area in 1984.
He was the class prefect in class two and the school Head Boy in class six. He attended Agassa Community Secondary School, Anyava, Agassa-Okene and Government Secondary School, Suleja, Niger State, where he obtained his JSSCE and SSCE certificates, respectively. After his secondary education in 1994, Bello gained admission to the Kaduna State Polytechnic, Zaria in 1995, before proceeding to Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria in 1999, where he obtained a degree in Accounting.
He also obtained a Master’s degree in Business Administration (MBA) from Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria in 2002. Bello became a chartered fellow of the Association of National Accountants of Nigeria in 2004.
Until 2015 when he ventured into murky water of Nigeria politics, the young Bello was the CEO of Fairplus Transport Company. He contested the governorship primaries in August 2015 on the platform of All Progressives Congress (APC) and came second. Based on his participation in the said governorship primaries, the responsibility fell on him to hoist the flag of APC following the sudden death of Kogi’s Political Icon, Prince Abubakar Audu, who was coasting to victory in the November 21, 2015 gubernatorial election. Following the unfortunate incident, the party hierarchy, at the national level, nominated him (Bello) as successor to late Audu. The development elicited widespread crises that rocked the party in Kogi, and this was resolved only recently.
The Kogi governorship election was declared inconclusive and a rerun was slated for December 6. Yahaya Bello defeated the then incumbent governor, Captain Idris Ichalla Wada and was sworn in on January 27, 2016 as the 4th executive governor of the Kogi State.
Musa Wada, one of Nigeria’s foremost engineers is the gubernatorial candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in today’s governorship contest. He was born into a family deeply attached to Moslem values. Through his parents but, predominantly, by self-effort, he “discovered” the need and purpose for an exemplary life. He is an individual who has continual growth and transformation at the heart of his strategic decisions and actions and, like an athlete, he always looked forward to better his time. His life reflects a relentless drive to keep the flames of self-renewal burning.
Stoic perseverance in the face of adversity, as well as unobtrusiveness in situations where others would capitulate, are among the guiding principles and indeed the staying power of Engr. Musa Wada. From the onset, Wada knew that success was not going to come ease, and was also convinced that for him to succeed, hard-work must be his watch-word. This was a principle he guarded zealously and today, those virtues are speaking loudly for him. Engr. Musa Wada, as he is popularly known and called, is an indigene of Odu in Dekina Local Government Area of Kogi State. Born into the family of Alhaji Wada, his mother Hajia Awawo hails from Idah Local Government Area of Kogi State.
He attended LGEA Primary School, Okura-Olafia and Government Secondary School, Dekina before proceeding to the School of Basic Studies at Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria. He had his first degree B.Sc in Building at Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria and his second degree, M.Sc in Transport from Ogun State University (now Olabisi Onabanjo University). He has a Postgraduate Diploma (PGD) in Civil Engineering from the Federal University of Technology, Akure and a doctorate degree (PhD) in Environmental Science from the University of Calabar, Nigeria. A Fellow of the Nigerian Institute of Shipping, Wada is a member of several professional bodies. They include the Nigerian Society of Engineers, Institute of Building, amongst others. He is an Officer of Igala Kingdom (OIK) and has been an Engineer all through his life. He has been with the Engineering Division of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), where he rose to become the Chief Port Engineer, Tin-Can Island Port between 2004 and 2007. He was in charge of the general monitoring, overseeing and maintenance of the Tin-Can Island Port facilities and equipment.
His overwhelming performance, show of trust and display of true patriotism while at Tin-Can Island Port Complex led to the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) management board entrusting him with the responsibility of overseeing the Capital Project of NPA Headquarters with his appointment as a Principal Manager, Capital Project of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) Headquarters in Lagos.
Engr. Wada is one of those men who have the tenacity to always do better than their last achievement. This is a very remarkable trait because when one is complacent, true success cannot be achieved. He has the uncommon wisdom to continue growing in the face of challenges and changing circumstances and each victory created the zeal and hunger for further successes. When the news of his appointment as Port Manager, Calabar Port Complex broke out in January 2013, it did not come to many as a surprise, particularly those in the maritime sector of the Nigerian economy, because providence has its way of rewarding hardwork, doggedness, patriotism and commitment to the development of the Nigerian state, which he exhibited during his service at the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA).