The former Deputy Governor of Kogi State, Simon Achuba has reacted to the 2023 presidential aspiration of his former boss, Governor Yahaya Bello, stating his inability to lead Nigeria.
Culled from an exclusive interview he had with Kassim Omomia, Andy Asemota and Alex Emeje, the erstwhile number two of the state relayed his displeasure with the Yahaya Bello leadership, adding his take on his presidential ambition.
“You see, in life, you are not born today and you immediately become an adult. You go through the processes of growth. When a child is born, he first starts crawling. He starts babbling and mumbling some words. He starts taking steps and he starts walking. If in little thing, you cannot excel, how do excel in great things? You are given g a family to manage, you couldn’t manage it but you want to be giving an entire village to lead.
“You are given a state to manage, you cannot manage the state but you are talking of managing the entire country. Has Nigeria become a cheap nation or a failed state, such that Bello will become its President? If it is, it means that everyone should carry his load and relocate to any nearby West African country because there will be no hope. I wonder why the leadership of the party allowed him to be wasting the people’s resources and deceiving himself,” Achuba said.
Relapsing on the progress and challenges faced by Kogi State after six years of the Bello-led administration, Achuba said the governor had no intention to do good work despite the pressures he mounted on him.
He said that” every step was taken in deceit to make people believe there was a desire to do something, but at the end of day, those projects flagged off were never accomplished, at least I can cite more than 30 instances.
“Starting from my local government, Egbagi road was flagged off and up till this moment, nothing has been done. Go to Bata, Bata road was flagged off and nothing has been done. Go to Igala Mela-Odo road, it has long been flagged off, but nothing has been done. Many projects – uncountable projects -were flagged off but none has been done. Go to (Kogi) West, it’s the same thing.
“Sometimes, when contracts are signed, as soon as they are mobilised to site, that is the end of the project and that has been the situation. And it was very embarrassing for me that have been very critical of people in government, who had not been performing.
“I wondered how come I was in government and the same thing continued. I kept putting pressure on him but when I was two years in office; I went to him and said sir, ‘it is an aberration for us to be in office for two years and there is not a project to commission; it is not done anywhere. I said if he so pleases, let us look at the projects left by our predecessor (Wada) that were over 90 per cent near completion, let us complete them and invite Mr. President to come and commission them’.
“Nobody would have bothered whether we were the ones who started the projects or not but all that advice fell on deaf ears. For instance, Kogi Hotels had been built and over 90 per cent completed. Its interior works had all been done, all that was left was landscaping alongside furnishing.
“Till this moment, the hotel remains the same. What he did in our third year or fourth year when the President was coming for campaign, he thought that the President would come and he would take the President there. He started painting the hotel in a hurry but the President sent a message to us because he had a security information that there was nothing for him to commission and it would be embarrassing for a President to come to such a place and say he wants to commission an unfinished work, that he was not coming for any project.
“The President came and went straight to the stadium and from there he left because security information must have told the President not embarrass himself. Going down the memory lane, after his first tenure, he manipulated himself back against the wish of the people of the state. He is yet to repent. Up till this moment, there is nothing you can point as the legacy of the Governor Bello”
Achuba noted that he is still a member of the All Progressives Congress, and had never made declarations of leaving the party.