By Kingsley Fanwo
Whenever I hear or read anyone saying GYB is an accidental Governor, I laugh. The ignorance of the mind with audacity is a dangerous thing.
GYB didn’t become Governor by accident. He worked hard for it. He prayed for it. He planned for it. He moved for it. He assembled a crack team for it. He was a movement and that was acknowledged by the late Prince Abubakar Audu.
As an insider in the whole struggle, I knew how we were not working to come second. Hon. Edward Onoja , Asiwaju Idris Asiru, Alh. Jibril Momoh, Barr. Deedat and Dr. Tom Ohikere among many others were strongly optimistic of defeating the powerful Prince Abubakar Audu.
Let me give you a bit of how strong the late Prince Audu was. He was a former Governor of the State who had also contested for Governorship on a few occasions before 2015. So he had an excellent understanding of the political landscape of Kogi State.
He was in the old APP, ANPP, ACN; so he was rooted in the opposition politics. He knew the opposition leaders so well and he brought them together with the likes of the late Chief James Ocholi to form what is now APC today. The late Audu was a veteran in the game.
Yet, someone assembled a group of largely “politically inexperienced” young people with the aim of taking power from the old order. What they lacked in political experience, they gained in a deafening faith in their youthful spirit of confidence. We were fearless because we were following a lion. We were different in our approach because the leader is digital and tactical. Young professionals keyed in, spent their resources because they believed Alh. Yahaya Bello was the Messiah to take Kogi to the level it should be.
I can boldly say we were the most organized Campaign Organization. We went round the State to talk to people and assess their needs. Our Blueprint Team visited every community to assess their needs. So whenever AYB spoke to any issue, he was speaking from an informed point view.
The established political system began to take him serious. Questions started coming out. “Who is this boy?” , “Where is he coming from?”, “Who is his godfather?” Questions.
When you move with faith and confidence, you will be noticed. Yahaya Bello was an example.
But faith without work is nothing.
AYB worked and was confident his work would be rewarded.
In 1999, APP fielded Chief Olu Falae against Chief Olusegun Obasanjo. The former lost to the latter. In 2007 and 2011, President Muhammadu Buhari was a Candidate for the Presidency. He lost.
When he came out in 2015 against someone who had “defeated” him before, only a few Yahaya Bellos believed the magic was about to happen.
Alh. Yahaya Bello threw his weight behind President Muhammadu Buhari and worked with the Kogi Youth Arise Group to deliver Kogi State to the All Progressives Congress. He supported APC candidates financially in the State to deliver APC. The risk paid off.
So coming into the Governorship poll, Yahaya Bello was with the mindset of “Anything is achievable no matter how impossible it looks”.
Contesting against Audu was a risk. I had earlier highlighted the strength of the late political czar of Kogi State. But to Alh. Yahaya Bello, anyone was beatable in the contest. Coming such a close second, Bello won. The rest is now history.
Bello and The New Horns Of 2019
Any horn coming into the Governorship ring must be strong, tested and trusted. It is not a ring for bitterness. It is a ring where the tactical triumphs.
While AYB worked for the party in 2015 without thinking the late Prince Abubakar Audu would claim the glory, the green horns of the 2019 worked against President Muhammadu Buhari and the APC in 2019, thinking APC’s loss will put them in good stead to tell the world GYB was not on ground.
GYB defeated them and their machinations. They lost it all. Political smartness should have taught them to work with the Governor and claim a joint glory. But their Earthen Image made of clay chose to dance in the rain.
While GYB bankrolled candidates for the National and State Assemblies election in 2015, the 2019 green horns worked against the National and State Assemblies candidates in their respective constituencies. Kogi APC has two Senators, 7 reps members and 25 House of Assembly Members. Except one of the Reps members that have indicated interest in The Governorship too, all these elected parliamentarians are working for just one man, their benefactor and sponsor- GYB!
I can recollect vividly how our Team Head Of Strategy, Chief Edward Onoja assembled all our Coordinators at Reverton Hotel to indoctrinate them into the New Direction Agenda. You can’t market what you don’t know. That was after our tour of all the 21 LGAs in the state. We were well prepared. Yesterday , the only slogan was no salary. GYB paid the salaries and they ran out of ideas. Where are their plans? No plans. No focus. All they say now is that they are retired this and that and that they cannot be intimidated. This is ridiculous.
Let me go to the last difference. Prior to the 2015 election, APC had a serious issue of nomination of candidates. Some candidates were gifted tickets and some members moved to Accord Party, especially in Kogi West.
Those who went to Accord Party had a significant percentage of the APC delegates. That bloc decided to work for GYB at the primary election. So GYB came into the contest with a bloc supports from Kogi East marshaled by CEDO, Kogi Central who saw him as theirs and Kogi West with the Accord Angle.
Before they waste their resources, they need to ask themselves certain questions secretly. They should leave out their DGs and fake supporters.
- Did I participate in the party Congresses?
- Did I participate in the party primaries that threw up our candidates in 2019?
- Did I Campaign for the party before the 2019 polls?
- Do party executives and members know me?
- Can I actually defeat this Bello that has been sponsoring the party since 2016?
- If Bello could go to Ondo and Ekiti to snatch victories, can I defeat him in his own territory?
I am not telling anyone not to contest. And some might even call my position table manners. But I call it Logic Manners.
Bello will win again.
God bless APC
God bless Kogi State.