“I paid a visit to my friend H.E Governor Yahya Bello, the Executive Governor of Kogi State. He is passionate about his convictions.” -Daniel Bwala, APC member, Political Analyst
By George Onmonya Daniel
Governor Yahaya Bello is perhaps the only person who has come out openly to express interest in becoming the president of Nigeria in 2023. Whether he is serious about it or just politicking but has his eyes on something else is what a lot of people don’t really know. If you ask a lot of people they would tell you Governor Yahaya Bello is looking for something else using the presidential interest as a bargaining chip.
Why are most people saying Governor Yahaya Bello is using the presidential bid as bargaining chip? Governor Yahaya Bello is not a major ethnic group, in fact his Ibira tribe is even minority in Kogi State. We all know how he became governor In 2015. It was by providence. After an election in which the APC flag bearer was leading with wide margin and had obviously won, the man dropped dead. The All Progressive Congress (APC) afraid of litigation decided to ask the man who came second in the party primaries to take over. Because the election was inconclusive the deputy gubernatorial candidate of the dead man couldn’t automatically take over. That was how Mr. Yahaya Bello took over. In 2019 we all saw the bizzarre election in Kogi State. It wasn’t what anyone would actually call election. Using the police, thugs and extreme violence, Governor Yahaya Bello became governor again.
As the victory of Governor Yahaya Bello’s second term was being celebrated, his supporters favorite song was “ratatatata,” the sound of gun. Looking at the camera two of his female supporter made a sign of gun with their hand, dancing as they hail and praise Mr. Bello, they describe in their song how they won the election by the sound of gunshots. How then can a man who could not win the election in Kogi State without extreme violence win an election in Nigeria? Of course he can by the gun, but how is Mr. Bello going to get the ticket of his party, the APC?
First, Southern Nigerian governors have had a meeting saying the position of the president must be zoned to the South in 2023. It is clear that All Progressive Congress (APC) will do that or risk breaking up which APC politicians cannot afford. If there is a problem and they lose to the rival People’s Democratic Power (PDP) they know half of them would end up in prison as the PDP would hunt them with EFCC cases and slam them with corruption charges as they have done to the PDP over the years.
If the presidential ticket goes South it is most likely a Christian would clinch it. The people who control power in Northern Nigerian would prefer a Christian from the South so that one of theirs, a Hausa/Fulani Muslims be the Vice President to protect their own interest. Being from the Middle Belt they would prefer their own, a Hausa and a Fulani Muslims, than a Middle Belt Muslim like Governor Yahaya Bello.
As Kogi State governor, Mr. Yahaya Bello has done much to impress his own people that he is a progressive Nigerian who has the capacity to take Nigeria one step ahead. As a governor he is among the worse governors in the north. In a NEWISUES poll last year, Governor Yahaya Bello and Governor Ortom of Benue were voted as the worse governors in the north.
Governor Yahaya Bello has become the name people use when they want make an example that young people are no difference from the old in terms of failure of Nigerian politicians. The young are clamoring for powershift to them. In most debates nowadays people use Mr. Bello as an example that even if power shifts not much will change. The story has always been, is Yahaya Bello not young? What has he changed in Kogi State?
Becoming Nigerian president is beyond showing interest, making posters, inviting sportsmen and celebrities to the government house, traveling around and all that. It is mostly embedded in ethnic, religious and interest of the majority tribes, two of the majority tribes actually, Hausa/Fulanis and Yorubas. Even the Igbos are cut out from that position.
Former Minister of Aviation, Chief Femi Fani-Kayode, has said Governor Yahaya Bello is serious about his presidential ambition one time after paying a visit to the governor of Kogi State. Mr. Daniel Bwala, the APC television man who is always on television defending the party, is saying the same, yet we all know that Governor Yahaya Bello chances is very very slim if not impossible.