Not so many ane-ebira were prominent in the Nigerian politics in the seventies and eighties and this explains the relative serenity and peaceful atmosphere as of then. However, the demise of some political heavy weights, the retirement of a few politicians from active politics and the increasing political awareness of the younger generation has introduced some level of tension, animosity and a new style of sycophancy into our politics.
The developmental neglect, fiscal marginalization and political exclusion that we suffered in ete-ebira since the creation of Kogi state necessitated the need for a new set of young, vibrant, digitally oriented and intellectually mobile politicians to emerge and rescue our people from the political bondage and spell of underdevelopment that a few of our own had sold us into for personal enrichment.
The coming onboard of Alhaji Yahaya Bello was one that took ete-ebira by ‘storm’. The public show of support, solidarity and widespread endorsements from majority of ane-ebira both at home and the diasporas were overwhelming. Never in our history has a young man of his age been able to pull such a mammoth crowd of supporters, command such an ‘army’ of followership and earn such a great deal of respect in our land.
Against all odds and despite the little support he got from other parts of the state, Alhaji Yahaya Bello was able to ruffle feathers with the biggest politicians in the state at the time and gave them a good run for their money, by emerging the first runner-up at the APC governorship primary election. As God wills, an event led to another and culminated in Alhaji Yahaya Bello becoming the governor of Kogi state.
Although governor Bello didn’t have a well defined social or campaign contract with the electorates and masses of the state, as he only had contacts with his party’s delegates prior to the primary election which he lost to Prince Audu. It was expected that as soon as fate smiled on him and assumed the mantle of leadership as governor of the state he would be guarded by a sense of responsibility and propelled to run an all inclusive government to smoothly provide the much craved dividends of democracy to Kogites, at least to brighten and boost his chances of winning a re-election.
Happenings in the state and around the corridors of Lugard House suggests that governor Bello ignorantly started working against his own re-election the very day he assumed office. Coming from the private sector and not really having much experience in politics, governor Bello can be excused for not hitting the ground running and putting the right people into positions that would have enabled his government to better put the state on a sustainable path of growth and accelerated development.
An African proverb says “a true friend is one who boldly tells you your mouth smells”. If we keep saying ‘Yahaya Bello is young and inexperienced’ how about the so called ‘old and experienced’ politicians and elders we always see around him? We are aware that politics in ete-ebira had always been characterized by praise singing, bootlicking and sycophancy from time immemorial but one expects that the emergence of a new breed of young politicians would introduce a culture of sincere loyalty and frank followership as against the money-induced loyalty that we have seen and witnessed in the past.
Arnold H Glascow said “a good friend never gets on your way unless you are on your way down”. Governor Yahaya Bello was on his way down from the very first day he was sworn in, yet none of his close allies or friends in ete-ebira deemed it fit to get on his way and tell him the truth, they were rather busy lavishing our money, clapping and cheering him on.
Great leaders are known to have in place what some call a ‘’kitchen cabinet”, they keep a few trusted men who are meticulous, bold and courageous to notice their flaws and quickly call their attention before such flaws gets to the public or larger population. The aim of keeping a few close allies is not for praise singing and clapping even when a leader is makes glaring mistakes and arrogant errors.
Sadly, for the very first time in the history of Kogi state, an incumbent governor will be subjected to participate in his party’s primary election with about fifteen other governorship aspirants, this is the extent to which sycophants and bootlickers have degraded and battered the popularity and political weight of our dear governor.
I had advised governor Bello via many platforms that his enemies are not the people who criticize him or calls out his obvious flaws, but the very people who sing his praises and hails his every move. I did said the same people (sycophants) that he finds convenient to surround himself with are the enemies (within) who will eventually lead to his downfall.
If Yahaya Bello is booted out of office without getting a second term, the same way it happened to Adamu Atta more than three decades ago in Kwara state then it will be shameful. It will further portray us not only as a people who easily get power drunk at every opportunity but also as bunch of sycophants who lacks the intellectual capacity, temerity and courage to speak the truth to one of our own.
Governor Yahaya Bello won’t be battling to merely secure the ticket of his political party and preparing to face the humiliation of participating in a primary election with other aspirants if the enemies within, who eats from the same plate with him and poses as his friends and close allies had had the courage and capacity to caution him and tell him the truth however how bitter.
Elders and the so called experienced politicians in ete-ebira and all ane-ebira who are closed to governor Bello will be held responsible if our son fails to return to Lugard House in the next election, they are the enemies within and should be treated as enemies of ete-ebira. #LetCommonSensePrevail
– Hussain Obaro writes from Lokoja.