Factual Pursuit of Truth for Progress
By Jibril Samuel Okutepa SAN
I heard the governor of my State of origin, Kogi State, Yahaya Adoza Bello, has join those jostling to lead Nigerians as President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria come 2023.
From the news making the rounds it was reported that: ‘’Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State has officially joined the 2023 Presidential race. Bello officially declared his decision to run for the Presidency on Saturday in Abuja. His declaration lays to rest speculations surrounding him running for the Presidency in 2023.”
The occasion was witnessed by some eminent Nigerians like Senator Jonathan Zwingina, Femi Fani-Kayode, among others.
Speaking, Zwingina described the Presidential aspirant as a detribalized Nigerian, who governs Kogi with appointees from other states.
Stressing that Nigeria needs Bello as a President, Zwingina noted that the “governor uprooted insecurity from Kogi, the state would have been a breeding ground for kidnapping and banditry, but for his leadership skills.”
This news, if it was on 1st of April, I would have regarded it as one of those April fools news.
But it is not. It is real. I salute the courage and determination of Governor Bello to run for Nigerian President. There is nothing wrong in being ambitious. After all, it was his ambition to be governor of Kogi State that led to his emergence as Governor of that unfortunate state in 2015.
But 2023 is not 2015 or 2020 where democracy was murdered and the will of the people subverted by gunshots and helicopters-aided rigged election. Be that as it may, the opportunity to test Bello’s capacity to lead and deliver developmental dividends was delivered to Alhaji Yahaya Bello on a plater of gold by divine circumstances in 2015. In 2020, it was delivered by force of arms, thuggish, and thuggery in the most in democratic processes. One then expected this young governor to appreciate that he was lucky to be given power by dint of force of arms and that he will devote considerable time and energy to develop Kogi State.
As someone from Kogi, I should be happy that my brother should be given opportunity to lead Nigerians and others within Nigeria. I should be at the forefront of campaigning for him. But when I weigh his performances as Governor of Kogi and the tasks of leading Africa’s most powerful and populous nation, I can say, without fear or favour, that Governor Bello will certainly be found wanting in the balance of performance and capacity.
Sen Jonathan Zwigina said Yahaya Bello is a “detribalize person” and that he has rooted out insecurity from Kogi State. Being detribalize is good, but capacity and performances are much more in demand in leadership. If sovereignty really belongs to the people, then I think Governor Bello shouldn’t think of contesting for the presidency of this country, at least not for now.
He needs maturity of leadership and that is not available in him now. But I may be wrong. However, to get my support and other millions of Nigerians, I challenge Governor Bello to take us on guarded tour of Kogi State and show us the projects he had executed since destiny forced him on the people of Kogi State. Let him show us practically what he did for the welfare of workers and down-trodden Kogi people. The arguments that he has done well in area of security are neither here nor there. There is still insecurity in all the nook and crannies of Kogi State. There is hardly any day that people don’t get killed or kidnapped. The story that he has done well in security can only be told to infants in tales by moonlight.
Many prominent Kogi indigenes have been assassinated under the watch of Governor Bello. Let nobody be allowed to deceive Nigerians. We must be ready to speak truth to those going around with political tales of performances of Governor Bello. Achievements are not done by advertisements.
I challenge Governor Bello to show us his physical achievements not advertorial. Nigerians can’t continue to be taken for granted by our political class. Enough of these political deceptions. Go to Kogi. In the state capital, there are no good roads nor social amenities. The road to Kogi State House of Assembly and Federal High court or state high court are impassable. It is an eye sore. Kogi state has not had it so bad. When Governor Yahaya Bello came on stage he demolished all the beautiful round-abouts in Lokoja. He has not yet rebuilt them. What therefore is Governor Yahaya Bello going to campaign on as presidential candidate? Only time will tell. We are waiting.
Jibril Samuel Okutepa SAN