Disquiet Over Yahaya Bello’s Continued Romance With PDP

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That Kogi State has become the political laboratory of Nigeria and indeed the whole world, going by the unimaginable political incidents in the past one year is not in doubt. The most recent is the vote of no confidence slammed on Governor Yahaya Bello by his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state. Over 30 members of State Working Committee (SWC) of the APC led by the state Chairman, Alhaji Haddy Ametuo, unanimously passed the vote on Governor Yahaya Bello.

This followed allegations that he is relegating the party to the background and appointing members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to run the state’s affairs. Reference has been made to the Chief Press Secretary of the Governor, Mr. Kingsley Famwo, who was said to have been hired by the immediate past PDP government in the state to do some hatchet media job for the party before the November 21, 2015 governorship election in the state. Although the PDP lost out in the election, but Famwo has dramatically won the heart of Governor Bello and so he is the new CPS to the governor.

This further confirmed fears expressed over the appointment of a former PDP member who defected to APC before the election, Simon Atiba as Deputy Governor, But the governor‘s romance with the PDP supporters, did not come to many as a surprise owing to the fact that his roll before and during the gubernatorial election was said to be more favorable to the PDP. The state party executives were also aggrieved that the governor, since he took over the controversial baton has refused to adhere to the party’s policy programmes.

However, there have been series of commendation and condemnation occasioned by the no confidence vote. Also, APC stakeholders from the Kogi Western Senatorial District endorsed the vote of no confidence by the state executives of the party, urging the national leadership to sanction the governor.

The leaders, who were equally disenchanted with the administrative style of the governor in their communiqué, signed by the stakeholders’ secretary, Chief Dare Olatunde, regretted the funny way Governor Bello is running the affairs of the state without recourse to the party hierarchy. Giving more boost to the no confidence against the governor, was another allegation slammed on Bello by stakeholders across the state. The leaders in their communiqué signed by Senator Nicholas Yahaya Ugbane, Senator Saliu Ohize and 81 other leaders accused governor of relegating the winning APC party in the state to an opposition party.

“The anti-party activities of Alhaji Yahaya Bello before, during and after the November 2, 2015 gubernatorial election, which have currently turned a winning APC party to the position of an opposition party in the state, are worrisome.

“We equally view with concern the leadership style of Governor Bello which has alienated the APC and propped up the members of the supposed opposition, the PDP in running the affairs of Kogi State. “It is based on the foregoing that we unanimously endorsed the action of the  Kogi State APC executives in relation to their vote of no confidence passed on Governor Yahaya Bello,” the communiqué added.

These developments have, however, generated stiff reaction by different groups, who held separate press conferences to support the governor, even in the seeming opposition from his (the governor’s) party men.

A faction of the state APC executives, led by the Deputy Women Leader, Debora Ohiza, told journalists that the governor on several occasions had carried along the party in the state by giving financial support to it. She presented an official memo signed by the state Chairman, Ametuo to the governor requesting for financial assistance to offset two-year party office rents and salaries for secretariat staff. She said that governor made part payment of the requested sum.

Similarly, a cross section of APC youths drawn from the three senatorial districts of Kogi State last week passed a confidence votes on the governor, condemning the state party executives for embarrassing the governor.

The APC youths, led by the state Youth Leader, Emmanuel Ayodele said they were not aware of a vote of no confidence in Bello by the APC executive council in the state. The APC youths accused certain individuals and interest groups within the rank of the APC in the state of making public a dishonorable intent to subvert the APC government of Governor Bello in the state.

They asserted that as the governor of the state, Bello remains the APC leader in the state, thereby distancing them from those “bent on destroying the state.” They vowed not to allow agents of confusion have their way. “The agents of confusion have sworn to put all manners of impediments in the path of the new administration in order to derail the new direction to peace, unity and progress in which the governor has started moving the state after many years of ruin by previous administrations.

“In pursuit of their clandestine agenda, these unscrupulous persons have made spirited efforts to discredit the wonderful work our great party, through the purposeful leadership of Governor Bello in the state. “Some of them, under the aegis of a section of the APC membership in Kogi State have now written letters to the national leadership of our great party and other critical stakeholders in the APC, alleging imaginary infractions as well as perceived personal wrongs allegedly done them by his administration and within the APC in Kogi State,” Ayodele added.

All the governor’s supporters have descended heavily on Hon. James Abiodun Faleke, accusing him of master minding the lingering crises. But Faleke, through the Director Media, Audu/Faleke Political group, Mr. Duro Meseko, advised Governor Bello and his supporters to desist from using his name to score points. Meseko wondered why Bello’s supporters were still clueless in identifying their problems, but were always involving Faleke in the problems they created.

“For the umpteenth time, I’m constrained to respond to the very hollow and ridiculous allegation by a negligible faction of ward and local government executives of the APC in Kogi State that Hon James Faleke was behind the vote of no confidence passed on Alhaji Bello by the state executives of the party.

“Giving the current hunger ravaging our dear state, one is not surprised to see the upsurge of state sponsored groups falling over themselves to give fake and ludicrous endorsements to an inept and drowning administration that has thrown civility to the winds in all facets of governance,” he said. Meanwhile, a coalition under the flagship of APC Support Groups in the state, has called for caution in the lingering war between the state governor and the party stake holders.

Dr. Yakubu Ugwolawo said the crises are as good as bringing the party’s internal problem to public domain. “We feel highly concerned to comment on the issues bordering on recent vote of no confidence said to have been passed on the state governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello, by the state executive committee of APC led by its Chairman, Alhaji Haddy Ametuo.” “While we do not query the state Executive Committee members’ decision to raise any issue against the governor, we feel highly disturbed about the escalation of the matter,” he said.

Ugwolawo said that the allegations in the media are purely a case of one washing dirty linen in the public. According to him, the state governor is a member of the state executive committee as contained in article 12 (8) of the Constitution of the APC, “one wonders therefore, why the chairman would not use the instrument of the committee to iron out the issues raised in a state executive committee.” The coalition, therefore, appealled to all the parties concern to utilise peaceful means in resolving their differences. Analysts argued that the decision of the APC leaders to have expressed lack of confidence on Governor Bello was a welcome development.

Suffice is to say that the some key appointment so far made by the governor to run the affairs of the state, are majorly sympathisers and supporters of the PDP. Sunday Telegraph further gathered that the governor’s anti-party activities started when he lost the August 29, 2015 APC governorship primary election to late Prince Abubakar Audu. Bello, who came second at the primaries, was said to have become disgruntled when it dawn on him that he would not flay the party’s flag.

In his desperation to govern the state, Bello was said to have detested the choice of late Audu as the party’s flag bearer and petitioned the late Audu before the party, averred that the late Audu was having corruption case with EFCC and, therefore, unfit to fly the party’s ticket.

And instead the party should make him (Bello), candidate of the party, since he came second in the party primaries. Bello, now Kogi governor, is said to have made up his mind to govern the state, and to work for former Governor Idris Wada’s candidature instead of late Audu to become the governor.

The case of Mr. Kingsley Fanwo and other PDP members serving in Bello’s cabinet is further justified, because both were working towards the goal to reinstall a PDP government during the election.

Little wonder they now work together again in the tnew system. Political pundits have, however, described the impasse as first in the history of Kogi politics. They hold that the continuous confidence crisis between a party and its governor is unhealthy. Right or wrong the burden on the governor occasioned by the current impasse can only be lightened if he (Bello) stop whipping further sentiment and humble himself before the party hierarchy both at the state and national levels.

Credit: New Telegraph

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