Is Gov. Yahaya Bello In Desperation?

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 For the second week now, I am putting aside the serial budget analysis for other commentaries. These are interesting times in Kogi state and a friend taunted me few days ago to publish some commentaries.

I woke up to an over hyped news of an award purportedly won by Gov. Yahaya Bello. My first reaction was a hysterical bout of laughter, then an introspective mood during which I came to the perspective I am writing here now.

Awards in Nigeria, what value does it add to anyone? Every mushroom media organisation give awards every year for a price. Now, I am not insinuating the award given our governor was paid for. I am not interested in that. But what makes Gov. Bello qualified for the award? Was he given award as the most criticised governor in Nigeria? Was the award given to reflect the level of anguish cries for unpaid salaries? May be the award was for governing a state with the most idle tertiary education students. All these began to cross my mind as the example of Governor Ambode of Lagos came to mind. Politically, economically, there are overwhelming evidences of progress in Lagos state.

Everyone I have heard, has only good things and praises for governor Ambode. He is at peace with the citizens and his political associates. One can only speak of a healthy rivalry in Lagos state ruling party APC. In what ways has Governor Bello beaten this sterling performance of Ambode? There are wide spread discontent in the polity, Kogites still cry of unpaid salaries. Shortly before the award, the COS to the governor confirmed in a derisively naive comment that the state government owed just 12 months salary.

In an atmosphere of denied economic abilities, parents had to contend with troublesome, idle students at home for upward of three months! Something is to me wrong in an award coming at a time like this. The award is a ridicule of the teeming civil servants in Kogi state whose wages are not paid. The award is a consent of the awarding organisation to the three months stay at home of our children.

The real issue is, has Governor Yahaya Bello come to such desperation that he needed such controversial award to prop his image? A Public Relations expert friend told me it is a sign of dipping popularity. His comment got me thinking. This youthful governor had and still have ample opportunities to endear himself to the people.

As I ponder all these, I began to observe increased appearances of chieftains of the new direction agenda. These might have been effective at bridging the gap between government and the ordinary man if done months ago. But today, a wide gap of suspicions and mistrust exist between the people and the new direction agenda. These appearances and recent effort at descending their high horses are monumental failures because they are yet to learn humility when talking to the people. I read comments that are condescending and intolerance of apposing views. The governor Yahaya Bello led government may actually have made some real strides at physical development, but all these earlier negativities is masking the little goodwill these projects has generated for the new direction agenda team.

It is not yet time to beat your chests, doing so now is a costly banality with no value added to the new direction agenda.

– Oyez Olatunde Rex


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