On the 6th of November, 2019; in a piece titled: “Kogi 2019: Oshiomhole’s all in with Yahaya Bello,” I underscored how then APC party Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, stood tall by Yahaya Bello, the Governor of Kogi State. By some divinity, Yahaya Bello became the governor of Kogi State back in 2015, and was poised to contest for a second term in 2019. The circumstances surrounding his path to the number one seat in the state, were a clear declaration, that Yahaya had become a special purpose vehicle, for the launch of Nigerian youths and women, into executive electoral positions in Nigerian politics. In my piece, I praised him for embarking on an unprecedented agricultural revolution in Kogi, purchasing a whopping 1000 hectares of farmland, sharing the land to youths in the state; along with mechanised farm implements. He had purchased 375 Fergus tractors, with full implements, and three sets each, of mini-harvesters, planters, broom sprayers, and rice reapers. 1500 tillers were also procured and distributed to farmers in the state. Yahaya Bello was getting Kogi to take advantage of the nodal location of the state. Back then, I was hounded by some Kogi indigenes who felt Yahaya Bello had come short of their expectations. I stuck with my conviction nevertheless, and in penning down again on Gov. Yahaya Bello; I am filled with inner pride and vindication.
Even my corner of Unguwar Alkali, in Bauchi state, benefitted from Yahaya Bello’s noble initiatives and programmes, courtesy Gimbiyan Talban Bauchi, Dr. Safiya Stephanie Musa. A huge medical outreach programme was in Bauchi for a few days, giving succor to the needy, who had medical problems they couldn’t afford to take care of.
This was courtesy of a partnership between Dr. Safiya, and the Yahaya Bello Foundation. Patients with diabetes, high blood pressure, hepatitis, uric acid and other similar conditions, were diagnosed and given medication. Even medicated eye glasses were prescribed and given to patients with different eye problems.
Perhaps because Yahaya Bello became a presidential aspirant, and had gained so many envious ‘bots’ who vowed to diminish him, his projects and accomplishments as the number one citizen of Kogi State became obscure. Still, they couldn’t take away the enthusiasm, hope, candour, and vibe of the Bello for President campaign.
The more he gained momentum and traction on a national level, the lesser his contributions to the development of Kogi were showcased and appreciated. Now that he has handed over his campaign structure to BAT, and has thrown his full weight, behind the candidature of Asiwaju, Kogi State and its milestone achievements are being highlighted left, right and centre; one more time.
Where do I want to start from? Because there are more than 51 gigantic projects, already commissioned, or waiting to be commissioned by the Yahaya Bello administration. Khalid Abu Khalid, said, “Gov. Yahaya Bello that people take for granted and mostly criticise, seems to have done much better than most of our governors today.” Well to start with, there’s the Ejiba Rice Mill, fully completed and functional, sitting on 800 hectares of land, producing the Confluence Rice, providing 6000 direct and indirect jobs. Another is the Ultra Modern Hospital at Gegu, Kogi LGA Koton Karfe. We have a new Kogi State Specialist Hospital Lokoja. Worthy of mention is the Prince Abubakar Audu University Teaching Hospital, Anyigba Kogi. Others are the Confluence University of Science and Technology Osara. There’s a new Kogi Revenue House too at Lokoja. Another health facility is the Kogi Reference Hospital at Okene.
Healthcare is receiving the utmost attention ever, in the history of Kogi State. There’s another Modern General Hospital at Eganyi and another at Isanlu. The expansion/ reticulation of Okene water works is one of the projects in the Journey to a New Direction, an Album of projects executed by Yahaya Bello.
Road works are in a league of their own, certainly too numerous to capture here. Mentioning some will include; Ejule-Umomi-Ugwolawo-Ajaka-Ida Road, Okpo-Olamaboro Road, Okene Township Roads, and the Ihima-Adayi-Eba-Okengwe Road. Eika-Kuroko-Inioziomi Road, Enyinare-Ahace Road, Okene-Eba-Ahogede, Iniorere-Osisi-Paul Road, all join the fray of unprecedented Road networks executed by the Yahaya Bello government. There’s the construction work going on, to control the overflowing of River Niger and Benue, incase of flooding.
Education is not kept out, as we have clusters of GYB, Governor Yahaya Bello, Model Science Secondary Schools in Lokoja, Adavi LGA, and at Isalu Yangba West LGA. 3 schools of Midwifery are sited at Obangede. Hostels are being built in at Obangede. Lecture theaters are being built at College of Education and Technical Kabba. A Military Forward Base at Achoze in Okene LGA is also in place.
Yahaya Bello has represented the Newage very well. He has secured the peace and sanity of Kogi, ridiculing the narrative that Kogi is a den of violence, a hideout for criminals, and a breeding ground for unscrupulous elements in our society. My friend Engr. Olayinka Braima, excitingly tells me about what Yahaya Bello has done and what he would love to see him do before he leaves the glorious scenes that he would be leaving behind in Kogi.
My prayer is that Yahaya and the like, remain relevant in the future analysis of the APC, as new frontiers open up, where purposeful leadership and tested hands are an imperative to the continued development of our fatherland Nigeria.
Tahir is Talban Bauchi.