By Tunde Asaju
It is hard to comment on issues affecting my state. I am now an elder statesman by every standard. It makes things very hard. For one, younger people are in charge and when you have not bought a G-Wagon, built a winter house in summer climate or even have any of the titles that makes people think you are superhuman – Dr, Prof, Alhaji, Deacon, Pastor ati beebee lo, you have to respect your age and keep quiet.
In a society where these nomenclatures are the basis for interactions, those of us who do not feel inferior because we have not joined or benefitted from the gravy train keep quiet. At the end of the day, it is people who are registered to vote in Kogi that are qualified to make decisions as to how their state is governed and by who.
But today, I read the statement credited to one Fanwo who is the spokesman for the not-too-young-to-run but too-daft-to-make-meaningful-impact governor Yahaya Bello. I couldn’t but laugh. Mr Fanwo believes that whatever hot soup his Oga has fallen into was as a result of hecklers living in the habroad! It is the most presumptuous rebuttal I have read since Femi Adesina showed the difference between living in a hut and living in the Villa.
So, Yahaya Bello believes that his troubles are instigated by those who are oceans away from his base. Delusion is a disease that affects those without capacity to make impact. Bello says he has over 200 projects executed in Kogi. I clap for him. But I don’t know too many civil servants joining me in that clap. I don’t know any pensioner clapping for him – bottomline.
Of course, it would be ludicrous that Bello would spend all the money showing up at Abuja Airport to show his loyalty to Buhari in his global junkets without at least erecting some sub-standard venture or a locally-standardized one but at ten or fifty times its normal cost. As sad as things are, someone should tell Yahaya Bello that when the people voted for him, they expected him to work. It is therefore nothing special if he finds time, between needless Abuja junkets and clowning at the gym to do something else. It is natural even for idiots to break monotony. If for nothing, it’s good for photo-op and he is learning from Dino Melaiye who is like him in another way.
It was expected, that being the youngest governor in office, YB would show with superlative performance that the trouble with our state and country is not age-induced. I am Kogi, I live abroad, but I have never discussed YB’s appalling performance in office with any other diasporan. Usually, most people who live outside are very busy earning a living – the price they pay for the peaceful sleep they get and the freedom to move without fear of being kidnapped or killed as happens basically everywhere in Kogi under his mismanagement.
As they say in elementary classrooms -Bello should face front. It is now a known fact that he has failed. That the ‘rumour’ is out of a rift (real or imagined) with his party at this time shows that he is on shaky grounds. He has until November to redeem his image, because the Buhari he usually use to heckle people doesn’t really have his time.
Mr. Bello’s advisers should tell him to go and attend to the myriads of problems he inherited with no clue on solving. He should commission people to give him a roadmap that could transform #Kogi, one of the most metallurgically-endowed states in Naija into a working paradise. He should redeem his age and his image by paying salaries and pensioners as and when due. He should address the insecurity situation in his state and stop finding John and Jane blames all over the world.
Diaspora Kogians have no trouble with him or his retinue of indolent advisers. We would be proud of our governor if he is known for something better than being the president’s lapdog. We’d proudly support a governor who makes living and working in our state a secured possibility. We can’t do anything to change the status quo at home, except lament and try to influence our citizenry – finish!
YB, I hope Kogi people see through the election-induced dynamism and the subterfuge that you are going to be unleashing on them from now till November to send you anywhere but the seat you currently occupy. If they fail, it still wouldn’t change the fact that you’ll have nothing to add to the history of our state except a picture showing that you once misgoverned it. Only you can change that verdict of history and you don’t have much time to get going!
My name is Tunde Asaju and I speak for myself.
▪ Asaju, one of the first journalists posted to Kogi State when the State was created in 1991, is based in Canada and posted this on his Facebook wall