Stakeholders in the All Progressives Congress are gradually noticing Governor Yahaya Adoza Bello of Kogi State’s determination to pursue his ambition to become President of Nigeria (APC). From being a fringe candidate for the country’s highest office, he is increasingly courting key constituencies who can swing the party’s presidential ticket in his favor. His unwavering commitment to the APC, which should be rewarded, was evident during the party’s Caretaker and Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee’s registration window for new members.
It’s true that Bello had a lot of problems at the start of his presidency. Because of the circumstances surrounding his election as governor, a few vested interests who were unable to have their way as Providence clearly charted his path resorted to making state governance difficult for him. That was, however, before he learned the ropes. The Kogi Governor has since mastered the ring and begun to inflict telling blows on his political opponents while making visible progress in development, much like an astute pugilist.
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Under Bello’s leadership, Kogi State has progressed up the list of Nigerian states that have met the UN Millennium Development Goals. Gender inclusivity is one of the areas where Kogi has made significant progress. The security challenges that come with sharing borders with nine states are daunting. Bello’s ability to significantly reverse the trend that has resulted in a large number of ungoverned spaces in Kogi is still a marvel. He appears to understand that the primary responsibility of government is to protect people and property.
Recognizing that he was carrying the hopes of many younger people, Bello, Nigeria’s youngest governor, has approached governance with the deliberate intention of changing the long-held belief that youths are incapable of handling such enormous responsibility. He is now the toast of many prominent youth organizations, who hail his exemplary leadership style and achievements in Kogi State governance. Many young men and women have been given the opportunity to prove their mettle after being assigned to various positions of responsibility, and his record of youth participation in leadership is impressive.
As fascinating as Kogi State’s religious, cultural, and ethnic makeup is, Bello has managed to strike a delicate balance in that multi-ethnic, multi-religious, and multi-lingual environment. It’s a miracle how he manages to keep the people living in peace. The governor of Kogi has used the ethnic divide as an opportunity to practice inclusive governance.
The governor’s first three appointments, made shortly after his inauguration on January 27, 2016, were distributed evenly among the three Senatorial Districts. Hon. Edward Onoja of Kogi East was the first Chief of Staff in Kogi State to be elected from a zone other than the Governor’s. His SA Media came from Kogi Central, while his CPS came from Kogi West.
“Bello is the man we’ve been anticipating. He is like a nucleus, and he is a man who understands governance dynamics,” a powerful APC member in Kogi said.
“Kogi State has never had it so good, and Governor Yahaya Bello has achieved so much with the resources available in the state; if given the opportunity to rule Nigeria as President after President Muhammadu Buhari’s term ends in 2023, he will do even more,” he said.
Previously, Kogi State was divided along ethnic lines, corroded by disunity as politicians sow division in our people’s minds for their own political gain.
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Among all the current and former governors who have expressed interest in the presidency, Bello is arguably the only one who has been able to advance his case with the active support of members of his state’s National Assembly. Senator Smart Adeyemi, Chairman, Senate Committee on Aviation, who was the Director General of Bello’s second-term governorship campaign, is in Bello’s corner, as are two other senators from Kogi State: Senators Yakubu Oseni, who represents Kogi Sentral, and Isah Jubrin, who represents Kogi East.
These Senators have been emphasizing the importance of electing a young and energetic president to lead the country in 2023. According to them, the governor has exclusive programs and policies with which he will grow and develop the country, propelling Nigeria into the top ten countries in the world, and that the economy of Kogi state has seen a tremendous leap for the better since the governor took office.
This experience in successfully serving a complex society like Kogi State could help him win the presidency of Nigeria. As a result, it’s not surprising that more Nigerians from various backgrounds are joining the Yahaya Bello Movement. He is now the lovely bride, being courted by professionals and influential people. The Kogi, on the other hand, is wary of his associates. For example, he prefers to work with journalists. The first GYB Seminar for Political and Crime Correspondents in Abuja was a recent public engagement with the Fourth Estate of the Realm.
Many critics were taken aback by Bello’s willingness to listen to others’ opinions while also expressing his own. He urged journalists to follow their mandates because they are instrumental in setting the agenda for good governance. He believes that journalists, through responsible reporting, can help build a more united and secure Nigeria in 2023 and beyond. Bello went on to say that any politician seeking a position in government is there to serve the people.
“How we set the agenda for those in governance will determine how prepared we are for a better Nigeria,” he said.
“Politicians seek to serve you, which means you’re hiring a servant, and as such, you should be able to set the criteria and tone because the terms are dictated by those who hire.”
The Global Alliance of Public and Private Professionals, or GAP3, for PYB, is one of the pressure groups that has canvassed Bello’s interest in the presidency.
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GAP3’s National Co-ordinator, Hon Ahmed Chikaj, said the group is a movement made up of professionals and citizens from across the country that aims to bridge political divides in Nigeria and rally support for Governor Bello, who he claims has exceeded his campaign promises to the people of Kogi state, a feat he claims Nigerians are hoping for at the national level in 2023.
Chikaji stated that the group wishes to begin the process of birthing a new Nigeria, led by a young and visionary leader, to lead the country out of the woods of unhealthy ethnic relationships that have plagued the country in the past, according to him.
He urged Nigerians to vote for Governor Bello in the 2023 presidential election, saying that a leader like him is rare, and that he is the epitome of humility.
Bello was sworn in as the fourth democratically elected Governor of Kogi State on January 27, 2016, with no deputy having won the re-run election.