Governor Yahaya Bello Is Not An Ebiraman – Mohammed James

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Since his emergence as the Executive Governor of Kogi State, Alhaji Yahaya Bello has proven to the world that he is not an Ebira man, neither is he an Okun-man nor an Igala-man but a leader to all the Kogians.

The governor demonstrated this in his inauguration speech on 27th January, 2016 when he stated equivocally that he belongs to everybody and belongs to nobody. This he has shown in all the appointments made by the Governor so far. He balanced his first three appointments among the three senatorial zones of the state. Even in the recent appointments of special advisers and commissioners, Kogi East receives the highest appointments, followed by Kogi west while Kogi central (the governor’s zone) receives the least.

According to the governor, all the appointments were done according to the number of Local Governments each zone has and not based on nepotism or favoritism. Kogi East is blessed with nine local governments, Kogi West with seven while Kogi Central with five. With this, you know what becomes of Kogi Central if the governor continues with this system of making appointments base on the number of local governments in each zone.

This scenario of trying to balance appointments has never occurred in the history of the state before the inauguration of the incumbent governor.

During the 16years rule of former governors who hail from Kogi East, there were a lot of marginalization of Kogi Central and Kogi West. Most appointments were done in favour of the Igalas from Kogi East. Vital projects were also executed in favour of the zone. There was no Igala governor that allows his Chief of Staff to come from other zones outside Kogi East.

Since the creation of Kogi State University, no other zone in the state is allowed to produce the Vice-Chancellor of the university uptill date; even the leadership of the Students Union Government of the university is no go area. If you have travelled from Lokoja-Itobe-Anyigba-Ankpa, you will agree with me that the road is not the same as that of Lokoja-Osara-Okene-Adogo-Ajaokuta. In the former, you will travel successfully on a good road devoid of portholes; while in the latter, you would have to dance ‘skelewu’ or even need to come down to push your car because of how damage the road is.

The past governors from Kogi East were so cruel to Kogi West and Kogi Central. The equipment in Obangede Specialist Hospital (Kogi Central) were moved to Ogbonicha (Kogi East), the home of Late Prince Abubakar Audu during his reign. The Federal University, Lokoja that was supposed to be sited in Kabba (Kogi West) was smuggled to Lokoja by the former governor, Captain Idris Ichalla Wada, depriving Kogi West people direct access to the university. During their reign, there were specific offices that an Ebiraman or Okun-man can never head. Such offices were specially preserved for Igala persons.

Also, there was no laudable project(s) executed by these men in Kogi West and Kogi Central apart from raising thugs in those areas for their elections. If not for God’s intervention, it would have been easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than an Ebiraman or Okun-man to become the governor of Kogi state.

The emergence of Governor Yahaya Bello is ordained by God to correct such anomalies in the state because the Almighty God is a God of justice and equity. So far, so good, the governor has promoted unity, equity, and sense of belonging among the three senatorial zones of the state and there is need to rally round the digitalize governor to move Kogi state forward.

Let’s stop fighting the governor simply because he is an Ebiraman. As far as he remains in that seat, he is not an Ebiraman but a Kogian and a Nigerian.

– James Mohammed writes from Ajaokuta

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