As the race to Lugard house in Kogi state gathers momentum, voice of reason has taken over the political airspace of the state, echoing a new narrative to tend the state to a desired height in the next dispensation.
As typical of a political environment, many aspirants have indicated their interest with buying of governorship expression form to vie for the coveted position in the state, with pomps and pageantry.
Among these myriad of aspirants is a banker turned politician, Alhaji Yakubu Yusuf Okala, the former Auditor General of the state.
The man, Okala remains a house hold name in the horizon of the state because of his track records in affairs of humanity which has endeared him to many hearts in Kogi and beyond.
Alhaji Okala was never a bolt out from blues, but remains a man who have seen it all in the field of human endeavour, transcending from the public sector management (federal and state) to private sector in banking industry, including a celebrated international working experience to his credit.
While making his marks in banking sector, he was ‘snatched’ by the present administration to fix the weak links in the auditing section in the state, a duty he displayed a sense of purpose and dexterity to the admiration of all, while it last.
As the steam of the present administration is getting cold by statutory design , the voice of reason has rented the air , saying , they need a leader with sound education, wealth of experience and international exposure, imbued with feeling of humility of new order for this enclave called kogi to have sense of belonging to join the committee of great states.
But, nature has a away of playing with our intelligence, as it also has its ways of relaying with mortals. The minds of many was brooding and prodding on the new expected leadership ; but like the winds that our minds is , the voice of reason flee and hit a quintessential man called Yakubu Yusuf Okala to throw in a declaration .
Until he displayed the governorship expression form to his kinsmen, well-wishers and kitchen admirers in a brief but historical ceremony at his country home, Ajiolo in Dekina local government in kogi state recently , it was taken as one of those rumours being peddled around by name-droppers in the society .
The question now is: who is the man, Yakubu Yusuf Okala?
Alhaji Yakubu Yusuf Okala has a rich natural background lashed with typical traditional home training and a sound education that qualifies him to compete with others to fix the affairs of the state better.
A teaser: Alhaji Yakubu Yusuf Okala is from Ajiolo in Dekina local government of the state. He is an accountant by profession.
He has B.sc in accounting from Ahmadu Bello University Zaria, and thereafter took further courses in the rudiments of accounting that increased his prowess in the profession, which qualified him to become a chartered accountant in 2002. Not done, In 2013, he became the fellow of the institute of Ahmadu Bello University ,after another academic rigour .
This professional fit has therefore clothed him with a garment of consistency, transparency and accountability, which now runs in his blood naturally in his dealings . It is believed in the new narrative parlance that a generation devoid of such qualities in leadership may not make much impact in life.
The man Okala has a robust working experience in both private and public sector which voice of reason also accredited him as a man to watch .
Alhaji Okala had a stint with the then Federal Ministry of Women Affairs and Youth Development which is currently being called as Federal Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development, with remarkable achievements.
He embraced a pet project of women trafficking and child labour education foundation of the then wife of Vice- president of Nigeria, Hajia Titi Atiku Abubakar for the period of 2years (2002 – 2004)
Thereafter, he bulldozed himself to cooperate or financial organisation for the period of 12years( 2004 – 2012) where he served in several Banks, such as then prudent Bank, Skye Bank, Intercontinental Bank and Access Bank. He was said to have played a role of internal control and inspection Department while in the service of these Banks.
As a man of destiny, Alhaji Okala moved his service to the international banking arena, where he pitched his tent with Micro-Cred, an international Micro finance Bank that specializes majorly in development financing by giving credit at cheeper rate to investors in SCB business.
His dexterity and efficiency made him to be promoted to the head of internal audit for the African region, while in the employ of the international bank .
Aso, to his credit, he worked with an international development organisation with code name, “malaria Consortium” where he served as the head of the finance and country’s management accountant until 2013.
It was the position he held when the eagle eyes of governor Yahaya Bello caught him and brought him to the state on the 21st of March, 2016,
to fix the wobbling auditing structure that bedevilled the previous administrations ,which the present government sees it as an eyesore.
Governor Bello considered him worthy and capable because of his wealth of experience and and appointed him as the kogi state Auditor General to contribute his quotas to the development of the state, that was virtually in the wrong side of auditing for years.
It must be noted with frankness that as Auditor general of the state, he was made to clear the augean stables of state workers and brought sanity to civil service reform process when the late col. Okutimo who was assigned with the responsibility muddled up the assignment, causing uproar in the state.
As the administration of governor Bello is winding up gradually by statutory injunction , the voice of reason felt , he remains the best person to succeed him, considering his homely background, sound academic pedigree, wealth of experience in public/ private sector and his international exploits.
Alhaji Yakubu Yusuf Okala have adhered to the voice of reason of many by astral travel of nature , as he resigned from his auditing job with the state government, bought the expression form to join multiple aspirants jostling to pick the ticket of his party, All progressive Congress (APC) which is being adjudged as highly competitive, because of interest groups and vested interest in the race .
To crown it, beside the voice of reason as propelled by the teeming good people of the state , his principal , the governor of the state , Alhaji Yahaya Bello is said to have given his blessing to his ambition, since he is being constrained by the constitution for another shot at the Lugard house.
The stage is therefore set for the citizen of the state to put the square peg in a square hole . Alhaji Yakubu Yusuf Okala is that square peg in the square hole that kogi has been yearning for !
– Gobyna Tijjani wrote from Lokoja.