2023 Presidency Gamble, Political Thuggery and Kogi Governor’s Bare Faced Lies
By Adamu Ojonugba
Like other awed Nigerians, I watched Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi state on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily programme yesterday (Wednesday). My Governor was trying his best to sound ‘Presidential’ during the show. The most outrageous part was when Bello claimed he is not into political thuggery and election violence.
Bello’s posturing throughout the television programme showed without a doubt that he is keenly interested in gambling with our resources to prosecute a notorious 2023 presidential project. Yes, notorious because it is not, and can never be, a popular project.
This brings to mind the way Bello was dubiously ‘packaged’ in 2015. He entered the 2015 APC governorship primary race in a colourful way. We saw a smiling young man with his gap tooth. He had the best and most colourful campaign designs, posters and what have you. He was projected as young man with vigour and fresh ideas that can move Kogi forward. He didn’t show any sign that he is a brute with unquenchable appetite for violence. He has revealed his true self to us in Kogi and now, he is trying to hoodwink the entire nation. Like to his hirelings, they promote his youthfulness and other jejune traits as reasons why he is fit for the nation’s top job in 2023.
There is doubt that some media merchants have promised to help him launder his globally battered image and will try everything to package Bello from one media house to the other so Nigerians can begin to see a new Bello that is peace-loving, energetic, detribaized, fearless and good enough to succeed President Muhammadu Buhari in 2023. Why are they not marketing his love for civil service and regular payment of salaries? Why not project him as a democrat who believes in freedom of association and expression? They can not!
All the 2023 ‘Yahoo’ Presidential hype are anchored, and can only be anchored on bare faced lies. The only energy Bello has, aside physical exercises, is largely for manufacturing evil deeds.
Back to Bello’s bare faced lies on use of political thugs, he is indeed of the biggest investors in thuggery and violence in Nigeria. This is well known fact all over the country. He is so ‘effective’ in the use of political thugs that he has been exporting them to other states during campaigns and elections. Check his activities in Ekiti, Edo, Ondo and other states during recent elections.
Ask Senator Dino Melaya what he went through in the hands of Bello Boys. In broad day, Bello’s thugs stormed Felele in Lokoja, where Dino was addressing supporters on June 12, 2017. Their intent was clear – kill Dino.
Ask Barr. Natasha Hadiza Akpoti what she and her supporters went through between 2018 and 2019 because she dared to contest for senate and later governorship. On Friday, January 11, 2019, after Natasha-SDP peaceful street campaign in Ihima, Okehi LGA, Bello Boys launched attacks on her supporters. Not done, on Saturday night (January 12, 2019), they started going from house to house, attacking Natasha’s supporters. They killed one of them , Ojo Enesi in Obeiba, Ihima. Ojo Enesi is in his mid-twenties.
In August 2019, the chairman of Okene (Bello’s LGA) chapter of Peoples Democratic Party, Musa Adelabu, was abducted. Till date, Adelabu has not been released.
During the 2019 senatorial/house of reps election, why did opposition leaders turn back from coming to Kogi state for the polls? Who mounted illegal road blocks at al entrance into the state?
During the November 16 governorship election, Kogi was turned into a war zone. Gun shots rattles across the state capital as thugs moved freely across the town stealing ballot materials from polling units. Those who stayed at home were not spared as helicopter was deployed to shoot residents fom the skies. A 23 years old lady, Deborah Omoba was hit by a bullet from a helicopter gunshot during the election. Deborah was sleeping in her residence at the pastorium of the Apostolic Church headquarters, Ajara quarters, Lokoja when the bullet released from the helicopter which hovered round the compound few seconds earlier pieced through her body and lodged at her upper region of her thigh very close to her private part. She was hospitalized at the Federal Medical Centre in Lokoja.
Speaking after the Kogi election, the Inspector General of Police said thugs overwhelmed police officers deployed to the state during the election. Why is Bello lying? Just to look good for the presidential gamble?
No amount of ‘stain remover’ can wash Bello’s dirty linen clean. He is a well known brute. We in Kogi are used to Bello’s penchant for lies, especially when he is outside the state. We will soon compile his long list of lies for the world to read.
The activities of political thugs was also felt across Kogi East and it culminated in the gruesome killing of Mrs Salome Acheju Abuh in Ochadamu few days after the notorious November 16 Kogi governorship poll. Salome was burnt alive in her house by these thugs. Till date, nobody has been prosecuted or punished for this satanic act. Speaking on Channels television yesterday, Bello talked about Salome for the very first time! He didn’t even deem it fit to pay the family and community condolence.
On Sunday October 25, 2020, residents discovered and carted away palliatives hoarded in a warehouse in Lokoja. This was part of the nationwide outrage against the criminal hoarding of palliatives meant for citizens during COVID-19 lockdown. On Monday, October 26, Lokoja witnessed the most sordid act of political thuggery when gun wielding touts went around the state capital shooting at residents. Many died while more sustained various degrees of injuries. On of the injured residents was the correspondent of Sun Newspapers in Lokoja. Nobody dared to report the arson that took place in Lokoja that day! The fear of Yahaya ‘idi-Amin’ Bello is the beginning of wisdom.
This is the same character some persons are promoting as fit to rule Nigeria?? Some Nigerians are destined for the hottest part of hell fire!
- Adamu Ojonugwa writes from Lokoja.