The race for who becomes the next Executive Governor of Kogi State is becoming more interesting considering the intricacies and the political intrigues being introduced along religion and ethnic sentiments and the huge number of aspirants that have so far declared their intentions with some who already picked the nomination and intent forms of their various political parties.
The Confluence State was carved out of old Kwara and Benue states by the then Ibrahim Babangida military administration on 27th August, 1991 and ever since the state have witnessed different kinds of leadership both democratically elected and appointed administrations.
The state which is seen to be dominated by the Igala speaking tribe according to the figures released by the Nigeria Population Commission, 2006 census having about 51% of the state population have held sway to the Governorship seat since the creation of the state before fate beckoned on Alhaji Yahaya Bello from one of the minority groups in the state who emerged the 4th Executive Governor of Kogi state in a divine order due to the sudden demise of Prince Abubakar Audu, the APC candidate in the 2015 Governorship Election.
Achieving power shift or rotation before the emergence of Alhaji Yahaya Bello in 2016 was a mirage hence there is no gainsaying the need for the people of old Kwara in the central and west senatorial districts of the State to consolidate on the power that have shifted by providence to give their unalloyed support and re elect Governor Yahaya Bello for the second time.
If for 25 years, the old Kwara have toiled day and night to work for the actualization of power rotation or shift in the state, it will be a disservice to generations yet unborn to allow the opportunity at hand to elude the zone under any guise. There is need to renew the bond and brotherliness of the Old Kwara and give our total support to GYB especially the West Senatorial District that till now have not gotten the opportunity to produce the Governor of the state in the last 28years of the creation of the State.
Kogi West as it is today may not have a better option than to rally round the incumbent Governor to return and complete his 8years provided by the constitution of Nigeria as the option remain the opportunity for the West to move close of producing the Governor of the state in 2024 when Governor Yahaya Bello would be rounding up his tenure.
In fact, Kogi West has never had it so good since the creation of the state, under the new direction administration, they have enjoyed prominent and juicy positions they never have the opportunity to get under the previous administrations in the state. Governor Yahaya Bello being a detribalized man, remain the first Governor of the state that have demonstrated equal love for the entire state in the implementation of his policies, programmes and even in appointments.
He came to recognize the nine federal constituencies in the state which give rooms for Okunland to produce the Speaker of the Kogi State House of Assembly from Kabba/Bunu/Ijumu and the Secretary to the State Government in Yagba Federal constituencies respectively without any rancor.
The Governor has also been well disposed to the wellbeing of the traditional rulers, hence he has repositioned the institution for effective and efficient performance of their functions as the father for all in the State.
I believe Okun people will not be so ungrateful to buy into the project of Senator Dino Melaye who is also aspiring to be Governor of the state.
His intention to me might be personal since up till this moment the only recognised umbrella body in Okunland, Okun Development Association (ODA) has not come out and they may not come out to back Dino Melaye aspiration then, Governor Yahaya Bello reelection is the best bet for them.
Dino Melaye being who he is, may not have the capacity to jeopardize the chances of the incumbent Governor and even the APC as a party in the forthcoming governorship election in the senatorial district especially in Okun areas.
Waiting for only 4years will be a far better option than a perpetual waiting for years unknown because any Governor especially from the East Senatorial District taking fresh oath aside Alhaji Yahaya Bello who only constitutionally have 4years to go, will want to do his 8 years, and only God knows like Alhaji Ibrahim Idris who promised heaven and earth during his campaigns in both 2003, 2007 and even his rerun election in 2008 to ensure power rotation or shift by handing over to other district but we were all alive to witnessed how he imposed his friend and kinsman, Captain Idris Wada to succeed him in 2012.
Governor Yahaya Bello has been able to unite the people of the state in respective of your tribes, religion or class hence it is a clear departure from what we use to have with the past administrations in the state.
A Muslim Governor building a chapel in the government house for Christians faithful to have a place of worship within the area, this is a monumental achievement for me as a Christian who have lived for over 25 years in Kogi.
However, whatever may be the shortcomings of the current administration, it is still far better than previous administrations in the state, cleaning up the system is more tasking than destroying it which is what we witnessed in the past.
Aside the salary saga, for me Governor Yahaya Bello has performed better than his predecessors.
On Security, healthcare services, education, infrastructure development, agriculture, civil service reforms, peace, unity, he has tried.
It is on this note, I call on well meaning people of Kogi West and especially Okun sons and daughters both home and diaspora to join hands to support and return Governor Yahaya Bello as the 5th Executive Governor of Kogi State.
Obafemi Bello Gbajumo – Lokoja