Gov. Yahaya Bello: The Silent Achiever

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The explosion of social media in recent times has dramatically transformed the way information is gathered, disseminated and consumed. This phenomenon has, to some extent, done more harm than good to Nigeria. In an age when information equates to power, adverse opinion can actually exacerbate the problems than solving them.

Nigerians, unfortunately, believe what they come across on the social media. Nigerians have witnessed conflicts and confrontations of ethnic and religious dimensions due to dissemination of false information since the advent of the 21st century media.

It is now a platform for advertising both successes and failures of governments around the world, particularly in Nigeria. It has ensured good governance and democratic consolidation in many countries across the globe, Nigeria  inclusive.

In fact, looking at the  recent election in Nigeria, where we just experienced a smooth transition from one democratic administration to another, sustainable democracy has come to stay as efforts are continually made by all the stakeholders to put democracy in proper shape. The media long before now has kept political leaders on their toes towards good governance and accountability. 

In Kogi state, Governor Yahaya Adoza Bello has become a target of social media influencers. He has been a subject of national discourse on the internet, especially Twitter and Facebook. The Kogi state governor has consistently been under attack in the social media by those who have turned these platforms to a political battle field against those they percieve as opponents.

The world and Nigerians outside Kogi state are forced to believe the narrative of exclusion been peddled around that Yahaya Bello is the worst governor compared to his counterparts in other states. 

On the contrary, Yahaya Bello is being vindicated beyond the newsaper headlines and media scenes by his developmental strides that are making Kogi state a reference in good governance since he assumed office in 2016. He has successfully implemented projects worth billions of naira in all aspects of human endeavour despite the paucity of funds.

As the North battles to curb incessant killings by gangs of criminals, the Kogi helmsman has done and is doing his best to ensure that lives and property of the citizenry are protected in the face of the current nationwide security challenges.This is a governor whose actions speak much louder than his voice and he has taken upon himself all insults to ensure Kogites benefit from good governance they have been denied for decades.

As a writer, I decided to show case the governor’s goodwill and stewardship that have positive impact on the Kogites as against the purported lies and propaganda been peddled in the social media. His leadership and successes in governance are the manifestation of the saying of late Maitama Sule (Dan Masanin Kano).

He said that Nigeria needs responsible, decent rascals to rescue the country. Kogi state borders Nasarawa and Niger states including the Federal Capital Territory, FCT. These areas have been under the eclipse of bandits yet their activities and presence are unnoticed which indicates Yahaya Bello’s priority in securing his people beyond the gallery. 

The likes of Governors Babagana Zulum of Borno, Nasir El-Rufa’i of Kaduna, Nyesom Wike of Rivers and Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano states have dominated the headlines in recent times as the best performing governors, ignoring the likes of Yahaya Bello despite his transcontinental polices that set Kogi state on the path of excellence.

Though, the above mentioned governors have done well in their respective states but Kogi state infrastructure development is now a subject of national discourse. The unveiling and inspection of world class infrastructure by Yahaya Bello has sent a strong signal that much efforts have been done to spring up the state to its dream status. 

The infrastructure which are of international standard in Kogi state by Yahaya Bello have not only silenced his critics but rendered them useless. Many have chosen the path of honour by sending apologies to a man they once percieved as the worst in fiction but turned out to be the best in action; a communicator par excellence and Mr turn around whose achievements are acknowledged per second per second in Kogi state and beyond.

The Kogi State Specialist Hospital Okene, massive road network in Lokoja, the state capital, connecting the local government areas and the state’s only flyover; renovation, construction and furnishing of both primary and secondary schools; the Prince Abubakar Audu Teaching Hospital, renovation and reconstruction of Kogi Government House, among others, should have guided the pundits that Yahaya Bello is no doubt a white lion leading an army of sheep in Nigeria. These world class projects have earned him international acclaim.

Yahaya Bello was born 47 years ago and was declared winner of the 2015 Kogi gubernatorial election after he was chosen on the platform of the All Progressives Congress, APC, as the replacement for the late Abubakar Audu who won the election but died before the result was announced. 

He was elected for a second term in 2019 as the youngest governor in Nigeria born after the Nigerian Civil War. He is a courageous man who fought successfully against his party’s decision for a consensus presidential candidate for the 2023 elections.

Fake news in Nigeria has reduced the impact of real news. For example, a BuzzFeed analysis found that the top fake news stories about the 2016 U.S. presidential election received more engagement on Facebook than top stories from major media outlets. It also particularly has the potential to undermine trust in serious media coverage and this is exactly the scene that described Governor Yahaya Bello.

His success story as governor is underreported. By implications, social media has done a lot of damage to him considering his successes as governor of Kogi state. It ridiculed his image in the eyes of the world and adversely affected his presidential ambition.

Bello is celebrated today, colleagues and brothers that we are because he never hesitated in speaking his mind in a brutally frank manner no matter whose ox is gored. He has uncommon patriotism and always ready to reach out even beyond Kogi state, irrespective of tribal or religious inclinations. 

He is the first to build a chapel in Kogi Government House in order foster national peace and unity. This is a man who has built roads, world class health facilities, schools, and roads .This should be the news flying across the country and the world regarding Yahaya Bello’s stewardship in Kogi state.

The greatest General that ever lived in this world, Alexander the Great, said that he is always afraid of an army of sheep led by a lion than an army of lions led by a sheep. This tells us that leadership is not a child’s play. A child’s play is not of age, but the maturity of what a person can offer in terms of quality leadership. Yahaya Bello is no doubt the lion king whose leadership quality is beyond Kogi state.

He has proved to be a silent achiever behind the media scenes with massive development strides in Kogi state. History will be kind to him and posterity will judge him well for standing on the path of honour. My only regret is that the media has denied Nigerians the opportunity to have the best president in 2023. 

– Sani Danaudi Mohammed, National President of Arewa Youths Advocate for Peace and Unity Initiative, writes from Bauchi.

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