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Kogi Government House: An Imaginary Rift Between Bello And Onoja

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But for the fact that perception is often misconstrued as reality in this clime and even elsewhere, one would ordinarily have ignored the latest madness afflicting some embittered and frustrated foes of the Governor and Deputy Governor of Kogi State.

GYB ‘s Chief of Staff, Pharm. Abdulkareem Asuku Mohammesd Jamiu

Perhaps suffocating under the stark reality that God and good seem to have planted a permanent hedge around the two leaders which has made them difficult to subdue, both in elections and in governance, their increasingly desperate detractors are resorting to childish psychological warfare and false propaganda about an imaginary altercation between Governor Yahaya Bello and his indefatigable loyal deputy, Edward Onoja. Maybe they believe that if they project enough ill will at them it will suddenly become true. After all, a drowning man will clutch at the flimsiest straws.

The retailers and vendors of this asinine ware are leaving no stone unturned to mislead unsuspecting members of Kogi State to believe that Governor Yahaya Bello, who won his re-election for a second term in office in stellar fashion and with an overwhelming majority of the valid votes cast, is at loggerheads with his deputy cum consiglieri, Edward Onoja, who has always stood unflinchingly by his side.

Perhaps in a bid to kill 3 birds with one stone, the fabricators of the phantom rift stories are also making concerted attempts to drag down the Governor’s Chief of Staff, Hon. Pharm. Abdulkareem Asuku, by accusing him of being the rift-maker and capo di tutti capo of troublemakers between his two leaders.

Gov Yahaya Bello and his Deputy David Edward Onoja working for a better Kogi State

In reality, anyone who, like this author, is familiar with the inner workings of Lugard House as the Kogi State Government House is fondly called, knows that Hon. Asuku who took over as Chief of Staff after Chief Edward Onoja served Bello in that capacity for almost four year before moving on to his current position, can often be found in amicable tête-à-tête with his predecessor comparing notes, fashioning out strategies or simply touching base.

Unfortunately for those who have been cursed with the onerous task of fabricating disenchantment between people who have no problems at all with each other, their burden is a deadweight with no destination. It is in this regard that these unfortunate propagandists are most like Sisyphus who, in Greek mythology, was punished by the god Zeus, who forces him to roll a massive boulder up a hill for eternity. Every time he nears the top of the hill, the boulder rolls back down. In like manner, as each story of rift collapses before the evident amity between the three gentlemen, their detractors have to find a heavier story next time, vainly attempting to balance out past failures.

L-R: Kogi Deputy Governor, Chief David Edward Onoja and Governor Yahaya Bello

It is pertinent to state without equivocation that Governor Bello and his Deputy remain the best of friends that they have always been. As far as official functions and private lives are concerned, Onoja remains unapologetically loyal to his boss who continues to describe him Onoja as his siamese twin and trusted man.

A stranger does not even need to travel far to confirm for himself that all is well in Lugard House. How will a boss who is aggrieved with his deputy send him to represent him at every august event that he cannot himself attend owing to competing pressures of office? From meetings of Governors to coronation of traditional rulers to congresses of key religious and civil organisations, Chief Edward Onoja has been honoured by Yahaya Bello to represent him. If there was such a rift as the abjects hopefully promote, the Governor would simply have reserved his exclusive rights to attend such events to himself. We have seen other governors do it and the heavens did not fall.

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For the avoidance of doubt, those trying to drive a non-existent wedge between the two leaders and by extension, the Governor’s Chief of Staff were the same unhinged elements who concocted all manners of mendacious lies to discredit the Governor from being re-elected for a second term in office in the November 2019 gubernatorial election. It is clear that having failed in their satanic and sinister agenda to stop the duo from being reelected, they are now trying to create an imaginary altercation between the Governor and his loyal Deputy so that they can derail them from delivering on the social contract they made with the people of Kogi State.

In any case, and there is a catholic truth: Chief Onoja has never hidden his unalloyed loyalty and undiluted commitment to whatever Governor Bello stands for or represents, long before the Governor even contested in any election. The Governor, likewise, has never hidden his love and respect for his impassioned loyalist and number one fan. The two of them, by every feasible metric of evaluation, are the closest Numbers 1 and 2 citizens of any state in Nigeria today.

It is on record that many in Kogi East, the largest senatorial district in the state and the one with the largest voting strength, were against the re-election of Governor Bello in 2019 under the premise that power must shift back to the zone where it has always domiciled since the creation of Kogi State until Bello, an Ebira from Kogi Central, shattered the ceiling and won the seat in 2015.

At the risk of sounding obvious here, one is certainly going to be labelled as anti-Igala if you projected Bello for Governor in 2015, succeeded then tried same again in 2019. Yet Onoja, product of a unity college and a detribalized Nigerian like his boss, put friendship far and above primordial tribal sentiments and ethnic provincialism and staked everything to ensure that his principal won reelection. A deputy who wanted to undermine his boss could have nursed dreams of his own. But that is not just the character and the essence of Chief Edward Onoja.

One of the purveyors of these falsehood is one Austen Anibe. He has openly written pernicious falsehoods trying to impugn the characters of the Governor and Deputy of Kogi State. Being a serial conman and blackmailer, one can only wonder what favours the duo in Lugard House denied him – either directly or by accident.

Of course, nobody ever takes Austen Anibe seriously because there is, among the sensible public, credible suspicion that he may not be totally compos mentis. This suspicion of impaired mental functioning is fuelled in part by the wild and uncoordinated nature of his myths. For instance, in recent publications on social media he alternates between pushing stories of the imaginary rift between Governor Bello and Edward Onoja and accusing them of being confederate in a hit-list of 15 notable Kogi Easterners allegedly marked for assassination in order to pave the way for an Onoja governorship run in 2023.

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The question which only sane minds can see begging for an answer is, ‘how can a Yahaya Bello who is allegedly desperate to part ways and be done with Edward Onoja for good, be at the same time so committed to his as yet unstated ambition that he is willing to off 15 people for it? Laughably, Anibe adds himself and one Austin Okai, another eponymous miscreant, to that list. In which wacko universe does Austen Anibe and Austin Okai feature when men of ‘timbre and calibre’ are aggregated?

To show just how murderous Anibe is, he did everything humanly possible during the recent #EndSARS protests to hurt innocent people and only failed because nobody in Kogi State accords him any credibility. In a series of social media posts, he feverishly tried to pitch the youth of Kogi State against Chief Onoja by alleging that he warehoused COVID-19 palliatives in his private residence in the village. He also claimed motorcycles meant for the youths were hidden away in Onoja’s father’s house.

All the allegations were totally false and baseless, but had the potential for major mischief. Kudos to the youth of Kogi State who ignored the rantings of Anibe and his proprietors. Assuming our youths were not so sensible and had believed the mentally deranged laggard, hoodlums might have invaded the residence of the Deputy Governor in the village and we might possibly be mourning some serious mishap to his loved ones today. Still our people must come to agree that madness does not mean that the community will overlook a madman who consistently tries to set the village on fire. Austen Anibe must have a reckoning with the authorities for his misdeeds.

It is against the background of the foregoing that I turn my attention to other attempts to undermine Governor Bello and Deputy Governor Onoja. There is a claim of financial graft against the Governor and his Deputy by a non-existing MAWA Foundation, at least that is the name the unknown entity, otherwise known by its twitter handle @AfrikaReport, goes. Whoever is behind the sham handle alleges that N400m was spent to renovate Onoja’s Office as Deputy Governor before he moved in. It goes on to suggest that the said amount can provide clean water to 133 communities in Kogi State. It’s on record that this same Edward mobilizing resources and supported by his boss and other friends and associates have added nearly 30 of such rural water schemes since 2016. On December 5th of this year he is billed to be commissioning another 11 Projects, 7 of which are rural water projects. You can hate a man for his divine rise but can’t deny the impact he leaves behind in his track. CEDO rural touch is legendary, hence his acceptance by the people.

The publication and its claims are as false as the hidden and inconsequential fellows behind it. The simple truth is that Edward Onoja is using the Deputy Governor’s office as inherited from his predecessor. No renovation work was done. Even his official residence was only marginally renovated, and only because the previous occupants left it in such bad shape. Even at that, the amount expended to make it habitable for the new Deputy Governor is not even a percentage of a fraction of N400m. Not only that, payment was staggered over half a year to reduce the burden on state finances.

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In the end, people of good conscience must ask why the purveyors of these imaginary stories of rifts, assassinations, embezzlements are coming from and where they think they are going.

One, the wasting locusts are obsessed about who succeeds Bello when his 2nd term ends in 2023. This is only 2020. No mortal can foretell what will happen tomorrow with any certainty. If only they will borrow themselves some sense they will join Chief Onoja in his frequent chorus: ‘2023 is in the hands of God and nobody can predict who will see it’. Not even those who are projecting who will be Governor in 2023 and getting ready to do and undo for it.

Two, Kogi State under His Excellency, Governor Yahaya Bello has been a model for judicious management of public funds. It has always ranked in the top 3 nationally in all World Bank indices for prudent management of public funds. Three weeks ago the New Direction Administration scored an unprecedented 100% in all nine indices for States Financial Transparency, Accountability and Sustainability (SFTAS). It is currently ranked numero uno in SFTAS in Nigeria. Those on the lookout for institutional misappropriation of public funds are destined to be disappointed for a long time.

Three, this writer is fully convinced that the reason the likes of Austen Anebe and the fake MAWA Foundation continue to fabricate and circulate fake news about Kogi and her leaders is because they have not been brought face to face with the legal consequences of their perfidy. My counsel to Bello and Onoja is to prosecute these people.

Dear Asuku, if your bosses are too soft-hearted about this matter, rise to the occasion before fake news and hate speech derail Kogi’s New Direction. It is like the good Book says in Ecclesiastes 8:11, “Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil.”

In conclusion, the ways of God are not the ways of men. Like we say in our local parlance, man proposes, God disposes. The providential way Governor Bello came to be in 2015 should serve as a significant lesson to those trying to play God at the moment, marking the fate and credentials of those who will succeed Governor Bello or not. For Governor Bello, greater responsibilities await him at epic center of our national life given the yearning gap in national leadership and cohesion. His traces at the state level where he has harnessed the potentials of the youth and set them up for veritable productive is a begging template that should be replicated at the center. The big picture should be the preoccupation and not the distracting waves of neophytes parading themselves in feeble opposition or wannabes.

Kogi State is on the verge of redemption. There is a new wind of holistic and organic development blowing across the land. And that is exactly the focus of Governor Yahaya Bello. The same thematic focus drives his loyal deputy, Edward Onoja, who wants his principal to succeed against all the odds staked by the naysayers.

Barr.Zacchaeus Dare Michael,
legal practitioner, public affairs analyst and APC chieftain.

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Opinion

HON. OLOBATOKE SEGUN SAMUEL’S DISPLAY OF COMPETENCE, INTEGRITY, AUTHENTICITY IS WORTHY OF EMULATION

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HON. OLOBATOKE SEGUN SAMUEL’S DISPLAY OF COMPETENCE, INTEGRITY, AUTHENTICITY IS WORTHY OF EMULATION

 

 

There are three broad set of qualities we the electorate must expect our politicians to display: Competence, integrity and authenticity. For a politician to be authentic, he or she must be judged to be in touch with the lives and outlooks of ordinary people.

Every good politicians place more relative importance on integrity traits while Journalists value competence most. The personality and qualities of every political leaders has long been acknowledged as an important element of politics and influence on political attitudes and behaviour of our leaders.

The need to explore the structure of citizens expectations towards politicians personality traits and relationship between these expectations and political trust is very much important. To distinguish Authenticity from integrity associated with honesty, being true to principles, Keeping promises and competence associated with Skill, effectiveness, getting things done in a proper way. It would seem appropriate to focus on the human dimension on whether politicians are seen to be in touch with ordinary people, accepting of themselves and others and to also understand everyday life of the people they represent.

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These qualities are what you will see in HON. OLOBATOKE SEGUN SAMUEL because he is that good politician and our prospective Member of House of Representatives that is more confident and straightforward in his dealings with his people, he is more open to new challenges that is currently facing our people.

Hon. Olobatoke Segun Samuel is a leader whose display of Competence and integrity is what other politicians need to emulate in order to make things better for the people they represent. Olobatoke Segun Samuel is that man with good political leadership Skills that will prove to us to be a successful leader if given the opportunity to represent us at the green Chamber of National Assembly. He is an astute politician who can easily distinguish between success and failure. He has a visionary dream for our constituency and Also understands how to turn his vision into success stories. Hon. Olobatoke Segun Samuel is a responsible leader that will give high regard for morality, law abiding with no tendencies to corruption. He is a man whose greatest strength is to derive Joy in serving his people in every aspect of life in such a way that will make his followers have trust in him. The very best way for a good politician like Olobatoke Segun Samuel is to build trust and to also display good sense of Character and qualities composed of Values, beliefs, trait and skills. Hon. Olobatoke Segun Samuel is a good politician who have a thorough Knowledge and up-to-date information about Kabba/Bunu/IJumu federal constituency where he is going to contest an election to represent us at the green chamber of National Assembly. OLOBATOKE SEGUN SAMUEL is a well discipline personality with selfless service that will make live better for our people through so many sacrificial and humanitarian services to the downtrodden. He is that politician that will leave his constituency better than before if elected. Greatness is within reach of a good politician like HON. OLOBATOKE SEGUN SAMUEL who consistently do things to transform the lives of his constituents.

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He is a leader who always aspires to be a great politician that must have the ability to find and analyses problems in his constituency and find the best solutions for all these problems as there is no problem in this world without solution.

We put our trust in God almighty to give us a good leader like OLOBATOKE SEGUN SAMUEL to lead us come 2023 by his grace.

Together We can make SOS for Reps, our Collective Project a dream come true.

God bless the entire people of Kabba/Bunu/Ijumu Federal Constituency.

Signed:
SOS MEDIA TEAM
04/10/2021

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“Your Excellency Sir, Kindly Beam your Inspection Compass on Okene Water Project” – An Open Letter to His Excellency, Gov. Yahaya Bello

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“Your Excellency Sir, Kindly Beam your Inspection Compass on Okene Water Project” – An Open Letter to His Excellency, Gov. Yahaya Bello

 

An Open Letter to His Excellency, Governor Yahaya Bello, theExecutive Governor of Kogi State

 

 

Your Excellency sir, kindly beam your inspection compass on Okene Water Project

 

 

Written by: Bello Abdulhameed Ivavah

 

 

Your Excellency Sir, I want to use this opportunity to once again appreciate you for your avowed determination to revamp the erstwhile decrepit state of infrastructure across the state. Also appreciated is your recent and timely effort to tour and assess the ongoing projects within and outside Lokoja, where you commended and condemned appropriately their respective handlings by contractors.

Your Excellency, you would remember that in your effort to ameliorate the suffering of the masses and improve the well being of citizens especially in Kogi Central, you graciously contracted Okene Water Board project in your first tenure which was backed up humongous sum of money. The news that Ebira people would have potable water in their households gladdened their heart and affirmed that you are truly son of the soil who knows the yearnings, aspirations and sufferings of his people.

Unfortunately, this has become a tall dream as the much-needed water project has been subdued callously by mindless and inhuman corruption, avarice, self aggrandisement, parochial interest , egocentric and diversion of funds by some of your trusted Lieutenants in your first tenure.

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As an objective individual and a core DATA BOY and a promoter of your government , I have taken much of my time to critically analyse the administration under your watch. I have drawn this distinct and unequivocal facts that you are indeed a developmentalist, a project warrior and a succor vaccine for all infrastructural decay. You have worked tirelessly to ensure that long after you leave office, your signature projects live on. However, as a leader, we know that you are not omnipresent but some of your lieutenants saddled with this responsibilities of executing tangible projects are misusing funds to the detriment of the people of Kogi State with particular reference to Okene Water project, thereby eroding your effort

Needles to admit here that it would be a collective slap on our face and generational insult if decades of acute water scarcity across Ebiraland cannot be addressed squarely before the end of your eight-year tenure. It may amount to leaving your abode in ignoble filth and stench thinking that unknown sojourners would clean the mess. This is practically impossible because charity they say, begins at home.

As a leader on whose shoulder the destiny of the state is squarely placed at this material time, the accolades and knocks of this administration lie on your personality and we know that to avoid untoward situation especially as regards execution of the water project, you swiftly constituted the committee which has obviously failed in their assignment.

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Your Excellency sir, It is very unfortunate and disheartening to notify you that the said “water board” in question is still in shamble state and total comatose despite your effort, thus the victim of such area are still suffering from acute water supply of which our prayer points right now (which may not be granted) is for God to sustain the raining season longer than before. Dry season is near and Ebira women will soon resume hunting for water in the mountainous and upland topography amidst wanton case of kidnapping! Just like you expressed displeasure over the shabby handling of Kogi State Specialist Hospital yesterday, I use this opportunity to implore you to call all actors, saboteurs and enemies of Ebira people that were involved in the water project to account for their embezzlement.

Your Excellency, this call for accountability is imperative because the only achievement of those involved in the water project is to procure fake pictures to mislead you to believe them that the project has been successfully implemented and completed to the benefit of the people that it is meant to served. While in reality the people of the central are in agony, crying out aloud that this time is the best time for solutions, and this ugly scenario is capable of eroding your good legacies in Kogi Central, Your Home Town!

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While in actual fact, there is nothing on ground to justify the huge sums released to the committee for the execution of the project, it is against this backdrop, we condemn in strong terms this broad day light failure, robbery and insult on the intelligent people of Kogi Central Senatorial District.

Your Excellency Gov. Yahaya Bello I wish to as a matter of urgency plead with you to take a bold steps by visiting the area for inspection to see the true state of the project to enable you take inform position on the way forward and ask the committee to give an account on how the huge sum was spent with little or nothing on ground to show for it, contrary to their report and claims that the project have been completed.

Your recent condemnation of substandard execution of ongoing renovation on Kogi State Specialist Hospital Lokoja has once again reiterated your passion for tangible development and that propelled me to write this letter on behalf of the entire Ebira people who are gnashing their teeth as a result of painful pangs of acute shortage of potable water. We hope and anticipate for plausible solutions as soon as this piece gets to you.

Bello Abdulhameed Ivavah
Writes from Ajaokuta LGA
The Home Of Steel
28th Sep 2021

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Opinion

Obaseki and The Psychology of Manipulation.

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Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State
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By Isaiah Jesuobo, Benin.

During the Obaseki’s administration in APC, the governor accused the leaders of the party of asking him to share Edo State money meant for development, and that when he refused, the leaders instituted fights against him.

This narrative sold like wildfire as it was in the lips of all well-meaning Edo citizens. The people forgot that even when he said he didn’t want to share the money with the leaders, we didn’t see any development; there were no roads being constructed, no employment into schools as some had just or two teachers from SS1 to SS3, no signature projects, public hospitals were without doctors and nurses.

All we were seeing were rampant MOUs gulping millions, decaying infrastructures, noise of probe in loan deals he was part of, demolitions, empty talks, audio claims, theoretical paperworks.

Even when the leaders of APC asked him to name those who asked him to share Edo State money with them, he went mute. It was obvious afterwards that it was a lie.

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On this note, in 2020, he was screened out of APC by the gubernatorial screening committee and was accepted by the notorious Secundus led clique for pecuniary gains without informing the stakeholders in Edo State, without the interrogation of his person or what he had done in the state after four years that would have merited his admission into the party.

Fast forward to a year later, this same Obaseki who one said he would never share Edo State money with politicians accused PDP members of collecting money from him in billions to acquire the gubernatorial ticket. Again, when asked who and who collected money from him, he went mute in his contradictions as usual.

It has become apparent that Governor Godwin Obaseki works on the emotions of the gullible masses and those political profiteers to twist and turn narratives to suit his inabilities. And this is one of the characteristics of a dictator.

Obaseki is very manipulative in his scheming, calculative in his craft and media-sarvy in his shrewdness.

Manipulation, as used by Obaseki, is the exercise of harmful influence over others. People who manipulate others attack their mental and emotional sides to get what they want.

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The person manipulating — seeks to create an imbalance of power, and take advantage of a victim to get power, control, benefits, and/or privileges at the expense of the victim.

After bringing APC leaders to public ridicule, his next target audience is PDP members who left their umbrella to go into the rain to welcome him to their fold. (He never appreciated this act.

He paid aides can openly come out to say he was never a political orphan) His intention is to manipulate the public to thinking his failures not being able to constitute his cabinet, appoint aides, conduct LGA elections and even keep the various promises he made in 192 wards has to do with PDP and his leaders who has refused to allow him dominate the party the way he did in APC.

It’s only fools and their likes that can buy into this story: we have told him to appoint only all his men, the new PDP, into his cabinet without considering us from the old PDP, but he should do so quickly as his actions and inactions are becoming embarrassments to the party, PDP. He didn’t promise to rule over only his party men, he promised he will govern over the entire Edo citizens. The public, irrespective of their political affiliations, is disenchanted that a year after election, they have been blanked out of governance rather, the government is chasing shadows on how to force vaccinate the people against their wish.

Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State

Gov. Godwin Obaseki, Executive Governor, Edo State

As we speak, his rating has nosed-dived and that of PDP. The party its members must continue out against Obaseki so that the public can separate his personal failures from that of PDP he has taken up arms against or else, going forward, PDP will fair well in subsequent elections, which Obaseki won’t care about as he is not a member of PDP, it was just a vehicle for him to achieve his inundate ambition.

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