In another destabilising move by the governor of Kogi state, Alhaji Yahaya Bello to continually hold sway, allies and government officials of the Eastern flank were passed a vote of no confidence barely a week after what can easily pass for the most fraudulent election in Nigeria’s democratic practice; the gubernatorial election in Kogi state. The governor who practically rained threats on his deputy Chief Edward Onoja, Jibrin Isah Echocho, the deputy minority leader in the house of representative, Honourable Halims Abdullahi and Hon IJN went haywire as a result of unfavourable outcome of the exercise in Kogi East. He called them betrayers whom he outsmarted promising to reward Okuns of the West Handsomely for not voting Senator Dino Melaye thereby eschewing ethnic politics.
Ordinarily, the purported outburst indicates a disappointment from those GYB trusts to the core, but an ardent observer understands that the governor’s discourteous remarks on Igala-APC leaders did not raise an eyebrow. Instead, it was a quid pro quo for which Edward Onoja and his gang sold Igala/Bassa for a governorship ticket that was never agreed upon, going by Yahaya Bello’s revelation. For record purposes, Bello contradicted existing realities by insinuating Edward, Echocho, Muri and Halims betrayed him. They did not. The Easterners simply discerned their traitors having realized they were sold out in 2019 by these folks and rejected them in totality but capitalized on Muri’s boldness against Bello to support him as a means to an end. They Once bitten, twice shy. Kogi East does not need a soothsayer to know the corrosive consequence of Bello’s third coming through a colorless, unintelligent and mindless surrogate. But these folks were programmed adrift to deliver Kogi East in 2019, and the same gesture was expected of them in 2023 but it ended a futile attempt. Little wonder, Igala/Bassa is not a slave and will never be one. It was crystal clear from the poll to the surprise of the tyrant and his cohorts in whose figment of imagination thinks they own the state and everyone therein. Moreso, beyond the factuality of Kogi East winning the election lies underpinning fact that, Edward and his gang created a monster in 2019 and are now victims of the same monster if Bello’s outburst is anything noteworthy. Edward educated Bello on the shortcomings of the Igala nation, insulted anyone and everyone who dared even a whisper. Evidently, they contested against Igala/Bassa but they were defeated woefully by a newfound Igala resolve.
Again, the outcome of the exercise in Kogi East is a continuity of quests to be liberated from the messianic grip of an enfant terrible; a struggle that Edward, Echocho, Zachariah and their co-travelers consistently jettison. Kogi East won the
2019 election if not for these crops of APC leaders, same as 2023 that the disparity glares enough for what the Judiciary should annul. Further analysis also adduced a Kogi East wearied of a moloch system and a people resolute about changing the trajectory if not for these Eastern APC moles. In short, with all that transpired, it is not far from the truth positing that Bello dispatched his loyalists across parties to disrupt election in Kogi East and the show of disappointment is a perfidious attempt on the people who knew the fault lines emanated from his apparatchiks. If not, how did Jibrin Isah Echocho who practically begged to deliver his polling unit to APC betray Bello? How did GYB benefactor like Edward Onoja who was all over the place in 2019 betray him? Why the insult, warning and caution? Did they actually betray Bello? The answer is NO. As a matter of fact, they were the anti-Igala agenda defeated from the East, not Ododo. It is just a matter of time, we will realize that Bello is indirectly saying thank you to Edward and co for a job well done.
Fellow Kogi Easterners, the task to liberate ourselves from the boors of poor leadership has begun. Going forward, we must be deliberate about winnowing chaff from the wheat. It will also serve us best to know that Bello is just an agent provocateur out to facilitate another romance between the people and his disruptive mechanisms in the East. Those he lambasted actually paid their dues as far as Ododo’s victory is concerned. The tantrum could also result from a feeling by the monster that they are no longer valuable and upon that realization evolve a new set of people to be used and later dumped. Of course, (s)election has come and gone literarily making the APC in Kogi state Bello’s personal estate. For the beneficiary of the phenomenal fraud, Ododo, he must know that his greatest albatross is Yahaya Bello and the new Easterners and Westerners that will pose as new Edwards, new Echochos, new Okwos (Makama) and indeed, new weaklings. It may be another government but the truth is that it can only be held in place by our disunity, selfishness, and greed.
JOHN PAUL Writes from the Nigerian Institute of journalism, Lagos.