Politicians always have their eyes on the next election. We are still in the year 2023 and political actors in Nigeria are already preparing for the presidential election which is three years away.
While a number of politicians namely Atiku Abubakar, Governor Kayode Fayemi, Governor Nasir El Rufai, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Governor Dave Umahi and others are rumoured to be interested in the job of President Muhammadu Buhari, one irregular politician has been discreetly expressing interest in the position.
GOVERNOR YAHAYA BELLO – A MISTAKE!
Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State who is a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress has been trying to enter the race through the backdoor. Bello is rumoured to be a trusted friend of Buhari and it appears he intends to leverage on this closeness to the president to achieve his political dreams. Bello has regularly denied any interest in running for president, but his campaign posters have been flooding the streets in and out of Kogi. Although he has denied endorsing them, rumours have it that Bello is actually interested in the seat and he is testing the waters.
He is gradually getting the support of some political allies in Nigeria. Senator Jibrin Isah of Kogi East Senatorial District has thrown his weight behind the presidential ambition of Bello, urging the people to rally round him.
If Bello who is very much a lightweight pretender, and not a contender in the presidential race is given a chance, Nigeria is doomed. Everything positive has dramatically turned negative in Kogi state since Bello took over power in 2016. The first casualty in the state were the civil servants. They were owed salaries for several months under the guise of a verification exercise which lasted for almost a year. The payment of gratuities of retired workers has also been massively derailed. In no time, Kogi started witnessing cases of suicide due to severe economic hardship.
Insecurity in Kogi is almost in an all-time high. Incidents of kidnapping, robbery, thuggery, violence and other similar urban crimes have been on the rise under the leadership of Bello. Bello has also been playing politics with the coronavirus disease. He refuses to cooperate with the NCDC officials. He recently talked down to the coronavirus vaccine and had to be condemned by the Governors’ forum.
While the workers toiled in poverty in the confluence state, the young graduates had no jobs to take up. The state recently introduced an obnoxious ‘bread levy’ which was aimed at taxing every loaf of bread bought by the poor masses. The state had to back down after intense backlash by the media.
The challenges bedevilling Kogi State are overwhelming and the conditions are not improving. Bello doesn’t deserve to be elevated politically. Nigeria is already down, with Bello, the country will be buried.
APC should never make the mistake of presenting an unpopular candidate like Bello and if the party does, the electorate should avoid him like a plague. A vote for Bello in 2023 is a vote for poverty and backwardness.
What do you feel about the presidential ambition of Bello? Will you vote for him if he contests? Do you think he is a good leader? Share your views in the comment section.