KOGI STATE POLITICS: GOVERNOR YAHAYA BELLO, THE MAN AND HIS LEGACY
By Shadrach Emmanuel
The story of Kogi State politics is one story that must be narrated with chagrin. It is a story of how a State is blessed yet turned out badly in politics. It is a story of how modern imperialism is cunningly entrenched in the fabric body of the politics. It is a story of needless polarization and wanton discrimination. It is a story of how the select few see themselves as the perpetual lords and emperors. It is a story of how the meagre resource of the State is plundered to the satisfaction of directionless politicians and It is a story of a bleak hope.
There is no gainsay that such a politically traumatized and bastardized State is in a dire need of emancipation. It must be added that the needed emancipation to salvage the people can only be done successfully if the emancipator is “divinely chosen”. The pointer to the divine choice of able emancipator is that, such emancipator will be possessed with the mien of a lamb and heart of a lion. Governor Yahaya Bello was propelled by divine unction to salvage Kogi State from political bankruptcy and distasteful governance. This is the mantle he was saddled with as he picked a form about 5 years ago to contest the governorship election in Kogi State and now the rest is history.
Governor Yahaya Bello is like a “sheep before the sharers”, as most of the critics who daily descend on him either turned blind eyes to history or willingly become ignorance of the obvious political history of Kogi State. Governor Yahaya Bello was handed a savagely raped, politically brutalized and deeply dysfunctional State to manage. He is to heal a plague of over two decades within half of a decade; a task no magician could accomplish let alone a mortal man. Holy Scripture attests to the truism that “what can a righteous man do when the foundation is destroyed.” Yet, in the midst of this high waters of politics, Governor Yahaya Bello is setting a legacy to the envy of his predecessors and to the pride of true Kogites.
In his 45th birthday message, Governor Yahaya Bello rightly put that, “legacy is not a medal you award yourself…. legacy cannot be frontloaded, it must always be a verdict delivered by posterity, in retrospect.” This implies that legacy is a process and evolutionary. It is a product for the benefit of posterity.
However, within few years at helm of political affairs in Kogi State, Governor Yahaya Bello is laying a foundation of political inclusiveness, blurring tribal lines, erasing the ugliness of differences, beautifying diversity and enhancing lasting unity amongst various divides. This is not an easy task to achieve because he has to excavate badly laid foundation, clear the dirt, dig new grounds and lay fresh foundation to build on. This alone is time consuming, energy sapping and a continuum. No leader in recent time in Kogi State can boast of this uncommon feat apart from Governor Yahaya Bello. This will not escape the attention and admiration of posterity.
The truest form of governance is found in securing the lives and properties of the people.
No leader should boast of any legacy if this is not found as one of the arrows in his quiver. Thus, the ardent critic of Governor Yahaya Bello cannot fault him in his relentless yielding efforts to secure the lives and properties of the people of Kogi State. This task is herculean, fierce, daring and daunting. Governor Yahaya Bello is moving passionately with the heart like of a lion to do what no Governor has done for the benefits of Kogites and laying a lasting legacy.