It is, certainly, a 12 months like no different for Yahaya Bello (YB), Governor of Kogi State. One yr in Luggard Home, Lokoja, is sufficient time to take a bird’s eye view of a most turbulent and fairy-tale rise to energy for somebody I wish to dub a toddler of future.
Let me confess upfront that I write as a brother and kinsman from the identical senatorial zone because the governor, who in all probability is aware of him a shade past the decision of obligation and never as an aide or publicist. I seize the chance of this auspicious first anniversary to purvey a contact of brotherly candidness, whereas leaving a correct showcase of his 365 days in workplace for these who've that responsibility to do.
It can be trite to recount right here the epic circumstances that introduced this nice introvert and artful grassroots political strategist to energy. A man who, upon dropping the All Progressives Congress (APC) main to Prince Audu Abubakar, had resigned to destiny and had gone about operating his huge companies. However destiny was not completed with him but, as we've come to see. The sudden demise of the Prince, that colossus of Kogi politics, had thrown him into the ability equation as soon as once more.
A man of eloquence, sharp thoughts, surprisingly gentle disposition and good nature, providence seemingly thrust energy upon him, willy-nilly, and within the final one 12 months, he has continued to challenge peace and supply reconciliation to all at each flip. We all know he has by no means stopped reaching out to his co-contestants, making it understood that Kogi individuals symbolize for him the Y and the X at each turning level of this political equation; not the workplace nor the inherent perks and perquisites.
To show that he just isn't one to stoke the embers of discord in his occasion, he was just lately photographed respectfully greeting Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the APC numero uno, throughout the general public presentation of President Muhammadu Buhari’s biography in Abuja. Moreover being an unwavering occasion man and conciliator, I've come to search out his loyalty to folks and to the causes he believes in fairly extraordinary. As I came upon within the course of our interactions, his loyalty to President Buhari is nearly addictive to the purpose that he virtually alienated a really senior parliamentarian and mutual buddy when the lawmaker’s relationship with the president was frosty.
For the Kogi Central inventory of Kogi State to which I belong, the approaching of Bello, the Ebira-born political maestro, is for us, akin to Barack Obama, profitable the presidential election within the United States. It's a primary-ever alternative for our minority tribe to occupy the federal government Home in our extremely heterogeneous state. It was a supply of joy and pleasure for the likes of us. And as a significant stakeholder, it's my want that Governor YB makes a significant distinction. I'm from Magongo, and figuring out that my mom is from Ogori, Governor YB had lately teased that I'm the true Ogori-Magongo!
A man of straightforward methods, the final time I visited Lokoja, he drove (he would moderately drive himself as a lot as doable) to fulfill me and my youthful ‘siblings’ (B & F) at our condominium. At sure factors, I virtually needed to remind him that he's now governor and that persons are liable to take him as a right in the event that they discover him too humble and self-effacing. Not being your typical Nigerian politician, he has remained what I wish to name a ‘triangular politician.’ Do you remember within the college days, these college students who used to shuttle from hostel to lectures and again to hostel? You'd predictably discover GYB go from residence to work, to the mosque and again to dwelling or work. GYB hardly socialises; as a lot as doable, he shuns social gatherings and ceremonies.
Some individuals have begun to tag him as snobbish on account of this, however that's removed from the reality. I feel it's a mark of his skilled coaching and work ethic. And let me say that going by the preliminary traits, I imagine he will acquit himself effectively in workplace over the following three years, or seven years. And that i say this with all sense of duty.
One yr is a short while and, no kidding, additionally it is time sufficient to work the imaginative and prescient and set the tone for a glorious period in authorities. From what I see and what some folks have mentioned, I believe he's on observe. Devoid of the preliminary shenanigans and distractions that roiled his early days in workplace, he has laid out his blueprint and, certainly, gone forward to attract his roadmap.
Many would converse concerning the lengthy-drawn screening train of civil servants in unfavourable phrases, however he has mentioned he is definitely on a mission to sanitise not solely the badly compromised pay system, however to revamp the civil service.
His mission is named New Route Agenda (NDA) and he says his precedence is schooling. His administration has acquired three colleges from three zones as Centres of Excellence and Unity; they're the primary in a sequence to be designated as such to lift future leaders and worthy ambassadors of the state. Quite a few colleges have loved renovation in addition to acquired instruction supplies.
He has stated agriculture could be a major thrust of his administration. So many programmes have been initiated on this regard however most notable is the 20,000 hectares of land to Dangote Group for the cultivation of rice. Twenty one earth-shifting plants have been given to every of the native authorities areas to assist them drive 12 months-spherical farming. He has promised to present the native authorities councils full autonomy – together with monetary. This can be the best factor that may occur to my state since its creation, if he can pull this off and drive its implementation, together with making them accountable. If this occurs, the affect can be monumental because the state would get pleasure from fast built-in growth.
Some residents insist that Kogi is extra safe immediately than GYB met it, having drastically tinkered with the safety structure of the state. In addition they say Lokoja is far cleaner right this moment than a yr in the past when he took workplace. Aside from using many extra avenue cleaners and designating many extra dumpsites, Kogi State Environmental Sanitation Train has been initiated.
What extra can I say? I had promised at first that this isn't a discussion board to advertise the actions of GYB, however I suppose I obtained a little bit carried away. I urge the governor to persist with his modest plan, which he himself designed. There can be resistance to vary, however he should be resolute and faithful to his roadmap so as to go away lasting legacies.
He must also lead with the concern of God, compassion, reality and justice. He ought to hearken to his folks and carry them alongside.
•Abrams, member of the Newspaper Proprietors Affiliation of Nigeria
, is the Writer/Editor-in-Chief of Contemporary Details Newspapers (Electronic mail: [e mail protected]).