God, the maker of the earth, who lifts up and brings down powers, kingdoms and principalities, has by His infinite knowledge captured in His Holy Word the reality of tenures- To everything there’s a season, a time for every purpose under heaven. This is the harsh reality that Yahaya Bello now faces as he exits the office of the Governor of Kogi State, having desecrated the untainted empire that God gave to him on a platter of gold 8 years ago.
The inglorious tenure of Yahaya Bello was a true reflection of the refrains in one of the popular numbers of the legendary Fela Anikulapo Kuti, ‘Dem bring sorrow, tears and blood, their regular trade mark’. These were the hallmarks of Yahaya Bello’s reckless governance of Kogi State. The seed of pain planted in the early years of his ascent were watered by the bitter tears of civil servants, while the harvest of the fruits of his wickedness were washed by the tears of traditional rulers in the fading days of his descent.
The people of Kogi State will heave a sigh of relief from the intimidation and repression that characterised the eight gruelling years of Yahaya Bello.Though a child of democratic benevolence, the self-styled white lion demonstrated beastiality with military savagery. It was either his way or the highway. This explains why he hunted me and others he considered opponents with ferocious venom. He sent assasins after me four times, but the Almighty God who will not give the soul of his beloved to hades delivered me from them all. For my sake and for the plot to eliminate others, he gave freedom to condemned criminals and deployed them against innocent citizens. The blood of Salome, the poor woman roasted in her house by the agents of Yahaya Bello, is still crying for vengeance. At the peak of Covid-19 when Doctors at the Federal Medical Centre, a Federal government facility that sought to give medical support to Covid-19 patients received the unwanted agents of the callous governor, who never wanted a contrary opinion, even where science proves otherwise.
In eight years filled with tension, the Emperor of Kogi exhibited unbridled arrogance of power breathing brimstone and fire as he operates what he called a ‘system’, an arrogant description of the self-vested deployment of power similar to ‘I’m the state’ posture of Louis XIV, a reference to the absolutism that construes power as an interminable heritage. It’s over now. We, the preys, can now circulate, freely delivered from predators, vampires, and agents of death.
With the end of the lifespan of the tyranny of the minority, corruption, which was clothed with the garment of kleptomania, will be unmasked. The fortuitous Yahaya Bello, who received more inflows from Federal Government largesse than any previous administration, ended up earning the gold medal of corruption and failure. At various times, his currency couriers were found with billions of naira- corporate assets belonging to the deprived and dehumanised people of Kogi State. The prodigal son is an angel when rated along Yahaya Bello. Having robbed Kogi State blind, the luxury apartments in Kuje prison should now be his new lodge. He caused 12 court suits against me, but to the glory of God, I have won 11 out of 12 frivolous cases and discharged from them all.
When the colourless lion assumed office in Kogi, the people had thought that the social cohesion in the state would be enhanced, especially in power sharing and management in the state. Rather than play statesmanship, he subscribed to unprecedented nepotism in all facets of his administration. He has not only promoted his kinsmen to incompetence, but he has bequeathed power to his own locale. It’s so bad that even in infrastructural and social development, he placed his part of the State excessively ahead of other parts of the state by building roads, health facilities, and a University in his district . It was with the pressure from opposition parties in Kogi West that he hurriedly established a university in Kabba. Locating a university in Kabba is a welcome panic. However, with stories flying around that the lion who spends naira and dollars claims to have expended N6B on the University, it is only a matter of time for the immediate and remote reasons for establishing the University to manifest.
As Yahaya Bello pales in power and splendour, Kogi State needs to rebrand. Before his entry into the saddle of governance Kogi had a great profile of a state that is blessed with human and material resources, particularly mineral resources, which have persuaded investors like Dangote and Mangal to locate their industries in Kogi State. Sadly, Yahaya Bello has succeeded in frightening investors away. The disruption of the operations of Dangote Cement Factory in Obajana and the altercation between the State Government and BUA are indicative of the brand identity that the erstwhile lion represents. Often, decent Kogites are embarrassed when people outside the state talk about the zoo man with contempt.
For those who are confident that the former Lord of the Manor in Kogi has become unstoppable, let me borrow some verses from Psalm 73: 3-6, to erase their error because, as the Scripture in reference says:
‘For I envied the arrogant when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.
They have no struggles; their bodies are healthy and strong.
They are free from the burdens common to man; they are not plagued by human ills.
Therefore pride is their necklace; they clothe themselves with violence’. Judgement is by the corner.
I praise the people of Kogi State for their elasticity to bear and grin the excesses, destruction, intimidation, oppression, exploitation, and ruinous conduct of Yahaya Bello. I was, perhaps the only voice that reprimanded him once I discovered that he had departed from the path of grace that God planted him. With the passage of time, the tenure of the terminator who terminated career and appointments and who attempted to terminate my life is now terminated. We are now back to the street together . I will welcome him with this verse in Isaiah 3:11, ‘ Woe to the wicked, it shall be ill with him, for what his hands have dealt out shall be done to him’.
Senator Dino Melaye
27th January, 2024