Dr. Abraham Ocheni
Caveat Emptor: This four-part essay is not for the everyday reader! Non scholarly minds are advised to flip through only, and leave the cerebrally inclined to place a value on it.
In this electioneering season, the people – yes, the electorate have been bamboozled with the
good, bad and ugly reasons for regime continuity or change. In all, the people are still the worse off for it. Otherwise, how can one explain the low ebb of living in Kogi state today with its daily spiraling poverty rating and jaundiced growth realities.
Compatriots in the Kogi PROJECT have been the worst for it in the present political voyage which many saw ab initio, as a suicidal aberration foisted on the people by the blind and often deaf
justice system. That disposition was taken at the loss of Prince Abubakar Audu to the cold hands of death on the eve of his ascension to a phase in the political development of the state that would re-endear him to his people. The rest is now history, as many have ascribed the turn of
events in our father land since that sad passing to the audacity of death of the Prince of the Niger
–the Ada’oja as he is popularly known by his ardent followers, admirers and haters alike).
Right from the taking of the oath of office by the incumbent in January, 2016, the Kogi political
atmosphere became permeated with the shouts of marginalization, thievery, corruption,
nepotism, ethnic bigotry, unpaid salaries, deprived and impoverished civil service, unemployment, crime and criminality (in new forms).
Just a few of these ills were responsible for
making regime change possible with the ultimate, the ousting of the Wada/PDP administration.
Today, the people are all agreed and regrettably too, that the bello administration remain the worst in workers’ welfare despite boasting of a public service and pension reform agenda aimed at establishing a mobile, professional, capable and digital workforce for the state at the end of its tenure.
Many will tell you today, that he has not achieved that but rather impoverished,
disorganized and polarized the civil service more than ever. More civil servants you will hear for instance, lost their lives due to their inability to pay their medical bills, pay children’s tuition and
school fees, etc. many too, committed suicide and many families disintegrated for no fault of theirs. It is also the administration after Audu and Wada respectfully, that told the civil servants off with their electoral value which was rated at under 1% of the total voting population.
While the people regret for the evil in the administration, the greater worry remain that governance has been reduced to the classic George Orwell’s 1994 “animal farm” where only the
“White Lion” and his “White Oracle” whistles on who and what may be while the “other”
perceived risks remain banished and never allowed any inch close. This apart from polarizing the
political space, encouraged mediocre juvenile and ambitious lads with zero understanding of
The result is what we have today and is seriously justifying the need for who would
bail the State as it is indeed, Time for another Change!
In the Kogi Farm, the king of the jungle is known and you dare not dissent. Ask the likes of Hon. Elder Achuba, the “sidelined” APC patriots, the Petras, Nihis, the Odaudu Ministers and many others. The ruler knows it all. Let us relate Bello’s present day Kogi with Lee Wishing.s 2010 blog
post on Deceit, where he analyzed the harangued leadership. He wrote:
“What is the most pressing leadership issue today? Jesus identified important qualities in the
future leaders of His church, the apostles. He called Peter a rock. When Jesus saw Nathanael
approaching with Philip he said, “Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom there is no deceit!” (John 1:47).
Would He say there is no deceit in this administration? What about our political Aides, elders?
What about our neighbors and co-workers? What about our officials, and elected officials?
If you’re like me, you probably question your own motives and integrity at times. For the most part, you probably feel good about your pastors, elders, children’s teachers, etc. But when you get to “elected officials” you’re likely to feel more than a little squeamish —maybe you’re even
Lee Wishing’s view tells vividly, about the sickening misadventure in Kogi State today, where like previous governments, leadership has continued to battle with the task of bringing development and the consequential infrastructural success to the people. The leadership here, has been concerned with the pockets. That is why so many emergency aspirants emerge every election year and no doubt, birth all kinds of development gospels purporting to be the most proficient path to development for the people.
The various entrants latch onto the bait of harnessing
utopian potentials and endowment as possible, if not definite source of funding for their dream
administration. The latest and saddest of such lies is the Bello foot walk supposedly aimed at providing a new direction (but actually, a wrong direction) for the growth, development and emergence of the
much desired “New”Kogi.
Liars! Where is the New Direction?
The Bello led government came up
with the New Direction Blue Print, as a follow-up development plan of the APC government which emerged in the weirdest circumstance described by the beneficiaries as celestial or ‘divine’ in their own word. Since the New Direction experimentation therefore, life generally in Kogi has been variously
described as a replication of the Biblical “Years of the Locust”. From the unending staff
verification exercise to the flagrant refusal to pay workers’ salaries and emoluments,
misappropriation of the ginormous financial accruals, nepotism (“ebira/igalanization”) of
governance etc., the burden of the Yahaya Bello leadership is overwhelming the people.
Without going into specific detail for each insect, each representing a type of locust at different stages of development (larvae, young locust with rapid increase, non-winged, and winged –akin
to the diverse degrees of lack, want, hunger, crime and criminality, cultism, joblessness,
unemployment, percentage salary, etc). Locusts swarm quickly and mercilessly, and they breed rapidly. Locusts, for our purposes here, represent the progression of poor leadership, poor
governance capacity, cluelessness and how not addressing them at the beginning stages because of looking the other way, false rationalizing, justifying, or condoning, causes them to manifest
spontaneously, spiral out of control, and open doors of destruction and devastation in the
economy and for the entire state.
These vicestravel great distances and to consume the entire state. The administration is coercing
the grass root as well as the young, energetic but ignorant thus, breeding their like rapidly to
keep their purpose alive. As like the locust, their average life span is only several months
(animals.nationalgeographic.com). Just like the locusts that eat all the green; thus devouring life. When we allow bad leadership to thrive, it explodes out of control and eats away at our existence, demeaning existential realities along the way. Coming across the phrase“travel great distances,” in the bible passage, these locusts also represent bad leaders and governments; that bad
government that do not acknowledge and allow God to reign in their affairs. The bad leadership that does not respect the good books’ injunctions that “the laborer deserves his wages”. The effects can then travel great distances through our land affecting our citizens namely civil
servants, farmers, teachers, traders, pensioners, students, children, beyond our imagination until
if and when they are finally dealt with and broken. This is the time time to deal with the Bello
Many compatriots have asked if this is not a “one chance” or “yahoo Yahoo” government. They get more confused when the actors feign closeness to Aso Rock and particularly to the President until recently when the wind blew the chicken backside and the state of the Chicken backside became common knowledge. The actors had and continue to try to penetrate the Vice President
but haven’t achieved much in that regard.
Many still say, that it is an irony, that Kogi state is in
this dire leadership quagmire with governance at its lowest ebb. Kogi state must navigate its way
back to reality. The divine or celestial sloganeering is a charade. It must not be aloud to continue
as water will always find its level. The people believe that only the best is good for Kogi no matter the age, tribe, tongue or religion.
Therefore, any campaign seeming to create tribal sentiments
as in the “enemuneme” (someone else is better) campaign that is been promoted by Mr. Edward
Onoja and his foot few foot soldiers in Kogi East for the 2019 elections must fail from the outset. Elections must be canvassed and only succeed in an atmosphere of freedom, fairness and
equitable treatment of all.
The “celestial” Yahaya Bello administration has pursued a New Direction agenda on the 5 main
goals of: (1) Education (2) Health (3) Job Creation and Youth Empowerment, (4) public Service and Pension Reform (5) Infrastructure and Utilities. The people and not even opposition, are all agreed that non of these pillars is standing in any part of the state today as the contention is that of abysmal failure of the administration. But the propaganda is huge on the government side, where you hear more, than you see. The reason for failure is not far from the failure of the leadership to deliver promise for a free and democratic society, a just and egalitarian society, a united, strong and self-reliant economy, a great and dynamic economy and a land full of bright opportunities for all citizens. The five pillars of the so called Blueprint has not delivered on the
good life promised at inception. The administration has constantly made excuses for its grand failure, reeling out a cacophony of grandiose projects that you can’t pin point across the
In three and half straight years, an administration has been engaged in adversarial rendezvous,
sending every eligible voter on exile, making life so difficult on the platter of New Direction,
consigning many families, civil servants and business to the annals of history and yet, asking for
another chance from the same impoverished and neglected electorate, hopefully for another tortuous era. Another chance indeed, would be a more convoluted experience for the now hapless citizenry who must all seek that new leader; that person to once again, put their
confidence in. A new leader that is mature and would nurture and deliver on the hopes and aspirations of the people. Kogi now needs a new experience, with a true leader. The type that has all the insignia of the new life that is defined by education, exposure, industry, technology
and is humane. –to be continued.
Dr. Abraham Ocheni writes from Port-harcourt.