The current travails of the immediate past governor of Kogi state, Alhaji Yahaya Bello, may not be unconnected with some of his actions and inactions which some ‘forces within and outside the government’ are not comfortable with during his tenure, Blueprint has gathered from multiple sources.
Just recently, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) amended its charges to include the former governor in a suit the Commission took up 2023 and charged some persons to court.
Although the state government had clarified that Bello didn’t steal its money, our findings revealed the current travail of the former governor may have been rooted in some “ego clashes” over what he stood for and against while in office.
A source who spoke to this medium under anonymity, said, “the problem is really not about his stewardship in Kogi, but borders on issues such as his courageous decision to step out to contest the presidency during the APC primaries, the role he played in naira redesign debacle, his speculated national chairmanship ambition of the ruling party, the local politics within the APC vis-à-vis his stand in the emergence of the incumbent governor in the state and of course his stance on COVID-19 during which Kogi remained the only state that refused to shut down.”
“Besides, don’ also forget that Governor Bello threw his hat into the ring in the build up to the 2023 general election, to contest the nation’s number one seat during the APC primary election that eventually produced incumbent President Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu. And as a democrat, he has put that behind him and aligned with Mr. President, which in turn earned him some level of support during the governorship election which threw up APC’s Ahmed Usman Ododo as Executive Governor of Kogi State.
“And there is this local angle or dimension to the whole thing. Some people still feel bitter and brutalized over the democratic arrangement as against zoning arrangement in the APC which eventually brought up Ododo.
“The last governorship election in Kogi State came with huge collateral damage and cracks that reinforced deep animosity within the rank of the APC and tribal fault lines in the state. This has earned Bello fewer friends in the aftermath of the election which saw elements in the APC actively supporting the opposition candidate in the state. But, God’s will has been done. It is shocking that this class of people are still not done, especially seeing the former emerge as a power broker within the party. Of course, they must move to ‘cut him to size’ and reduce his influence in the party.”
To another source, his speculated ambition to become the national APC chair could be partly responsible for this. “Don’t forget as politicians, we hate people eyeing our offices while still there. You are aware that shortly before the expiration of his second term in office, there were calls from a section of the party and its supporters that the former Governor of Kogi State should seek the office of the National Chairman of the APC.
“Even when he is yet to make a formal declaration, some feathers were already ruffled by Governor Bello’s political aspiration and are allegedly ganging up to frustrate the ambition is any even existed/exists in the first place. So, the supporters feel this is one reason the EFCC is after him now.”
“Also, the naira redesign and the challenges that came with it is also fingered as one reason for the ex-governor’s travail. Like President Tinubu(even as the party’s presidential candidate then), Governor Bello and his counterparts from Kaduna State(El-Rufai) and Bello Mutawalle of Zamfara State took a legal dimension. Some powerful persons have not forgiven this push by the trio, whose efforts saved the nation’s democracy from being derailed as a result of naira scarcity. The same group is still at work and would do anything to ridicule him as they believe his cordial relationship with the president will earn him some prominence in government.”
“So, my brother what we are saying is that “the contention is the timing of the amended charges and suspicion of political vendetta allegedly by some powerful Nigerians who may not be positively disposed to the rising political influence of the former Governor who has been a towering figure in the rank of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Nigeria,” Blueprint further gathered.