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Home » When Wada Visited Bello To Welcome Him To Ex-Governors’ Club

When Wada Visited Bello To Welcome Him To Ex-Governors’ Club

Wada Visits Yahaya Bello

In next two (27th January) days, Governor Yahaya Bello will hand over power to his worthy successor, Governor-elect Ahmed Usman Ododo. Everything that has a beginning must surely have an end. By 12noon on Saturday, January 27, 2024, the all-conquering GYB will become a former governor.

In is worth mentioning that GYB came, saw it all and conquered on all fronts. Nothing and no one could stop his momentum. He came on board and like a raging bull, hit the ground running in every sense. Few hours after his inauguration on January 27, 2016, he announced his first appointments; Edward Onoja, an Igala Christian as his chief of staff, Kingsley Fanwo, an Okun Christian as his chief press secretary and Abdulmalik Abdulkarim, an Ebira Muslim as his special adviser on media and strategy. This announcement altered age-long political tradition in Kogi state.

Few weeks after, Governor Yahaya Bello began a relentless war against sleaze in the civil service sector. While his fate was still dangling because many believed the courts will throw him out of Lugard House within months, the daring GYB entered into the forbidden forest of workers screening exercise.

Simultaneously, GYB launched a ferocious offensive against criminals who were operating comfortably across the state. These criminals were robbing banks at will and kidnapping people as if one is picking up stones on the floor. He raged like a ruthless lion, pulled down their fortresses, secured the services of police helicopters to raid their hideouts from the skies and re-worked the entire state’s security architecture.

Against the wishes of many, he scaled through all legal hurdles unscratched! He dodged all landmines and survived all innuendos. His first term in office was secured and assured.

He stepped on toes of powerful people and many felt he will be paid back when he seeks a second term in office. Yes, the political warlords arrayed their armies in 2019 when GYB sought the mandate of the people for a second term in office. Once again, he proved cynics and pundits wrong. He won his reelection in a ‘moonslide’ – more than a landslide as he defeated his closest challenger with an unprecedented margin ever witnessed in Kogi elections.

The second tenure was more eventful and GYB became even more daring. Under his watch, it became an act of stupidity for criminals to operate in Kogi. Within the four years, he speedily etched his name in gold by embarking on first-of-its-kind projects across the state. From constructing the first ever flyover bridge to building a world class referral hospital and building two universities from scratch, GYB has successfully walked with his two legs into Kogi state hall of fame.

Like 2019, GYB sealed his place in the politics of Kogi state by anointing and galvanizing support for his protegé, Alhaji Ahmed Usman Ododo at the November 2023 polls.

Wada’s Visit

Last Saturday, exactly one week to the expiration of GYB’s tenure, his predecessor, Captain Idris Ichalla Wada, paid him a special visit.

Captain Wada commended GYB for his sterling performance in office but the visit was more than what he said. He was actually welcoming GYB into the Former Governors’ Club.

After handing over next Saturday, I expect GYB to pay a return visit to Captain Wada to obtain his membership card and get the rules and regulations guiding the club from his predecessor.

The gentle and ever smiling Captain Wada will take GYB to a cool golf club and get him registered. There, GYB will be able to unwind and reflect on the hectic eight years as governor of Kogi state.

From there, Captain Wada will take GYB to the current Head Boy of the Club, Alhaji Ibrahim Idris. Ibro will teach GYB how to build hotels. Armed with the lecture, I expect GYB to build a hotel in Abuja. This is very important. When we leave Kogi for Abuja to gossip about Ododo and other happenings in the state, he will have enough rooms to accommodate us. We will come. Don’t say I didn’t tell you.

Unfortunately, the former Head Boy of the Club is deceased. However, his son, the Minister of Steel, can give some lectures on how the Late Prince Abubakar Audu enjoyed his political holidays post 2003.

Next Onslaught

GYB is still young and his blood still very hot. He can’t retire now. We won’t even allow him to hibernate.

First option is to beg President Tinubu to appoint GYB as a federal minister. However, on a second thought, we hope you aspire for a better position because from recent history, it seems anointed governors don’t fear god-fathers holding ministerial or senatorial positions.

I reason that reclaiming the national chairmanship of APC for north central will be ideal. As national chairman of APC, if Ododo contracts the ‘Fubawik political virus’, you can easily give him the ‘Ambode treatment’ in 2027. But I trust him. Ododo will remain the Ododo you have always known. Kogi no be Rivers.

As a new member of the Former Governors’ Club, bring new dimensions to the club. Encourage the older members to look back and contribute more to the state. Mobilize members of your new club to launch private development projects in the state. Three of you can organize fund raising event to build sport stadia, build/renovate schools and clinics, empower women and youths, build industrial park etc.

In all, I wish GYB God speed as he steps into a higher level of responsibility.

– Olalekan Abidemi writes from Lokoja.

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