Truth be told, Governor Yahaya Bello is leaving Kogi state better than he met it and There is no gainsaying, his antecedents is a fulfilment of the biblical saying that better is the end of a thing, than it’s beginning thereof. History will be kind to such a man whose ideal, encapsulates the that of perseverance, resilience, and dedication and whose journey has led to a more satisfying and fulfilling outcome and rewarding conclusions.
The First tenure was bedevilled by myriads of problems that emanated from the Civil Service reforms/Staff Audit and other political battles. Other issues that emerged from the ashes of his divine emergence included a prolonged legal tussle and a shredded political party, with enemies within and without.
GYB’s first tenure did not finish without his administration scoring huge points and leaving its indelible imprints particularly in the areas of developing a strong security architecture and reforming the civil service. These particular areas amongst other things were milestones which his government aced in the first four years despite being subjected to stiff condemnation and turmoil. These trying times eventually would provide a platform that ushered his administration’s giant strides in the second tenure.
Capitalizing on the experiences he gained from sourjourning through his first term in office, Governor Bello blazed the trail as a phenomenon leader, now refined as gold through the fiery furnace of politics. Many have openly admitted and confessed that his political precedence still leave much in awe, this according to many of his admirers have earned him new nomenclature added to the popular “The white Lion”, recent additions to theses collections includes “father of modern politics”, “Jagaban of Kogi State and beyond” “Political calculator”
Governor Bello tremendous strides in key sectors like Security, Education, Healthcare, Infrastructure, human capital development, youth and women empowerment is what only a visionary and audacious leader and history will truly be kind to the young man from Agassa.
A cursory look at the education sector, the uncommon accomplishments include improving education through increased funding and infrastructure. Aside from establishing two universities and fully funding their take off, existing tertiary institutions have been fully accredited by relevant bodies. These existing instituions have also being positioned to reflect governor Bello’s stand on quality education.
A closer look at the Nigeria-Korea Friendship Institute (NKFI) of Vocational and Advanced Technology and the good gesture benefitted under the leadership of governor Bello, the governor directed the unprecedented release of funds for the institution’s accreditation at a time when all government accounts were frozen.
The governor being aware of the planned accreditation specifically unfroze the institute’s account to allow for a smooth and successful accreditation by National Board of Technical Education. The board being in the know of current events in the state were exceptionally impressed with governor Bello in a thank you message conveyed to him through the Institiution’s management over what the Nigeria Board of Technical Education officials described as a show of passion and commitment towards education particularly, technical and vocational learning.
Implementing healthcare reforms and making available infrastructures for better accessibility has always been Governor’s Bello desire. His commitment involved initiatives such as increased access to medical facilities, healthcare infrastructure development across the senatorial districts, employment of more medical staffs, and measures to address public health challenges including equipping PHCs across the State. These improvements contributed significantly to the well-being of the community.
Despite bordering 9 States and the Federal Capital Territory, Governor Bello has sustained a solid security and safety architecture and has scored high in terms of security in the country by enhancing security through effective law enforcement strategies, local intelligence gathering, collaboration between security agencies, involving traditional institution more as well as other policies and initiatives.
Entrusting and empowering “Sons and Daughters of Nobody” with responsibilities and a place in the decision making table, GYB indeed pointed to and took Kogi State along a New Direction path, a far departure from what used to be norms and practices of old. No one can even deny, Kogi State is peaceful, demonstrated through several events which in previous times could have easily degenerated into any form of crisis.
The recent appointment of high ranking traditional rulers including a New Ohinoyi of Ebira-land, Maigari of Lokoja amongst many others notable traditional stool, as well as a stable Local Government Administration, is a pointer that governor Bello, made kogi state better than he met it. Governor Bello has also been able to intentionally build a state where inter religious, inter ethnic and inter class harmony a reality.
Very impressive is the fact that unlike previous antecedents, few days to handing over after 8years stint in governance, Governor Bello is not owing the state Civil servants even a month salary, indicating that he will not be leaving this liability for his successor, Alhaji Usman Ahmed Ododo like those before him did. Alhaji Ahmed Ododo truly has a very big shoe to fill and he has been prepared to surpass the landmark achievements of the Essential Governor Yahaya Bello.
Williams Charles Oluwatoyin
Rector, Nigeria-Korea Friendship Institute of Vocational and Advanced Technology