Popularly called ‘The White Lion’, Yahaya Bello was declared winner of the 2015 Kogi gubernatorial election after he replaced late Abubakar Audu who had won the election but died before the result was declared.
As it is now, Nigeria’s youngest governor is Yahaya Bello of Kogi State, who is 43. The #Not Too Young to Run Act was pushed by young brilliant Nigerians, as well as NGOs and CSOs to reduce the age of political contestants and to encourage youth’s participation in politics. But going by complaints from his people, one can rightly conclude that Yahaya Bello is the worst example of that quest
What has he done for his state? Well, Governor Yahaya Bello – GYB as he is wont to be called has done little or nothing tangible in his state as the good people of Kogi (particularly civil servants) are complaining about his refusal to pay them their salaries for months. Yet, he persistently claims to have created a development footprint that could be smelt.
This youthful governor is supposed to carry out activities and programmes to help drive development in all spheres of Kogi State. But he prefers to make the people suffer while he builds mansions and castles, in and outside his state.
It is no news that there is a form of categorized payroll in Kogi State—the cleared and uncleared list. Only God knows where the retirees fall – maybe the ‘dead list’! One is left agape as even with the federal allocation, bail out, together with the Paris Club funds GYB cannot still pay salaries of Kogi workers—many of whom have died, just as some are on the verge of dying.
Most recently, his deputy, Simon Achuba revealed that GYB has refused to pay his salaries and allowances, which has risen to the tune of N819 million. Achuba, said he has been working without statutory allocations for the last two years and couldn’t bear it any longer. That is the state’s deputy governor; how about the teeming civil servants in Kogi?
The big question is where is EFCC and NLC that are supposed to check corruption associated with mismanagement of public funds and remuneration of workers? Indeed, we need to tell ourselves the indisputable truth, which is, GYB has terribly disappointed Nigerian youths with his tyrannical system of leadership.
Thus, Kogites should not consider giving him another chance. He has visited deprivation, poverty, emotional and psychological trauma on the people. He lacks empathy for the people that he is supposed to govern.
As teeming Kogites yearn for quantifiable development both materially and immaterially, the leadership of his party and the federal authorities need to intervene by calling him to order. They should checkmate his excesses while the masses on their part should drag the bull by the horn by ending the cruelly narcissists’ tenure of GYB in the same manner slave trade was abolished. Kogi deserves to be liberated from the shackles of bad governance and the stranglehold of the current rudderless helmsman.
– Isah Ismaila writes from Abuja.