Opinion: Justina Abanida is Latest Okun Casualty as Gov Bello Names Oshatimehin as New SUBEB Boss

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The unseen hands, though well known, that is controlling Governor Yahaya Bello’s government is obviously hell-bent on ridiculing as many Kogi West politicians as possible.

The last political casuality was retired General Paul Okuntimo. He has been thrown into political wilderness by the ‘use and dump’ new direction government.

The latest casualty is our elegant, but office-loving Barrister Justina Abanida. She was appointed as Chairperson, State Universal Basic Education Board, SUBEB, by Governor Yahaya Bello. First, she was allegedly arrested by operatives of DSS in another Okun woman’s office, SSG’s office. She ate free food in DSS custody for four days. I saw online today that another Okun amazon, Mrs. Oshatimehin Deborah Alaba has been appointed as the new SUBEB supremo. Take it from Peter and give it to Paul.

Kogites will recall that when Yahaya Bello was preparing for his inauguration as interim governor, he appointed a former governor of the state, Chief Olafemi Clarence as Chairman Entertainment Committee for the swearing-in ceremony. Olafemi, the Asiwaju of Okunland, was not deemed fit to be Chairman of the overall committee but saddled with the responsibility of entertaining guests at the event. During the same inauguration event, a sitting Senator was turned to MC. The outspoken Senator told Kogites to their faces that they voted for Late Abubakar Audu but ‘god’ voted for Yahaya Bello. Today, both Olafemi and Dino are strangers to Yahaya Bello’s government. Infact, they government spokeswoman recently described Dino as a political destitute who is dancing in the public in borrowed robes.

General Paul Olusola Okuntimo was primarily appointed as State Security Adviser but was given a totally non-related assignment by same Governor to screen workers. While carrying out the screening assignment, Kogi state became the headquarters of all criminal activities in Nigeria. High profile kidnappings were recorded during this period.

After following his boss’s assignment, the 1-star general was summarily sacked as chairman of the staff verification committee and his highly contentious report thrown into the trash can.

To add insult on his injury, the governor denied him openly. The governor denied having knowledge of Okuntimo’s preliminary report that generated crisis across the state though we remember clearly that the governor had made statements in the previous weeks copiously from the skewed report.

From Obembe of Mopamuro LGA to Dino of Ijumu LGA to Okuntimo of Yagba East LGA and now Abanida of Yagba West LGA, Governor Bello is expected to humiliate a political appointee from Kabba-Bunu LGA in no distant time to satisfy the ‘unseen hand’.

– Titi Balogun writes from Lokoja.


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