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Gov Bello And Sharks-infested Waters Of Kogi Politics



Lately , Nigerians had to endure the sour , foul and unpleasant  experience of witnessing   strings  of poorly staged orchestra of  political brinkmanship   in recent times  – starting   from an individual with  penchant for the absurd to a  handful of individuals in desperate  showmanship performance, ostensibly  meant  to  extend  the creeping  arc  of  political thuggery and  clandestine opportunism in the   Kogi  State political spectrum .

While meaningful intervention to curb the spate of organized violence and elite-sponsored security breaches in the state    are being planned from the inner recess of government   at the national level , in conjunction with the state executive –some strange elements in political clothing seek their   relevance in contrived security breaches in a cruel bid for dubious political precision and prankish publicity stunt. Thanks to the incipient trend in the polity,.

Political vampires in executive apparel and other noisy and rudderless individuals elected to political offices have discovered precious pastimes in rambunctious hooliganism via collaborative enterprise with   idle minds to create emergency security situation. The objective is neither unfathomable nor lost to any discerning mind –a clever and desperate bid to shift and divert public attentions from their ignominious failures.

Not a few would mind being reminded of   the high drama hara -kiri acrobatics staged by a supposedly ranking senator from the Kogi West who is known more for childish entertainment and egregious drama series than responsible legislative activism. To this end,  it was the default trend when the nation was  barely just digesting  the inherent risk in the unenterprising  escapism of jumping from a fast-moving vehicle  in the desperate bid to evade the long arm of the law ,  an improved  version worth premier rating in Hollywood blockbusters was launched into the public space .  A boring account of   how,  under  the hot  chase of a phony enemy ,  an individual  survived   twenty bullet shots  dominated public space –  a prelude  to an alleged  kidnap where no  ransom was demanded nor was any contact made by the  abductors,   neither was  the police informed. A funny record- breaking claim of spending   11 hours on the tree top added flavor of absurdity to the drama

It was an extended phase of this never-ending  drama  of absurdity  when,  penultimate week , a handful  of  desperate strange bedfellows with the lead actor , senator Dino and his new recruit , Senator  Salawu Ogemnbe –a senator from kogi central  and his co-travellers in the House of Reps    attempted a feat  of feeding the nation with a modified version of  another round of hot-chase by a  phantom enemy, vide the nation newspaper story tilled

“Kogi senators, Reps allege harassment by Bello”   in which the group said: “This cry has become imperative because persons holding contrary or alternative political views with Governor Bello can no longer move freely within the state, neither can they hold political meetings or conduct political activities such as town hall meetings, constituency empowerment programmers without violent interruptions by the state government and its agents.

This  riotous run of bizarre   events in kogi  state  threw up by this new group  is not particularly strange – it’s a  contrived  pattern  with expanded mandate and membership and  under the leadership of Dino and his newly crowned Ccaptain- Ogembe.  Dino needs no introduction to any one – his brand of default politics is duplicated and documented in various modules  of confrontation, controversy and thuggery –long before the appearance of Bello on the political scene The mystery  surrounding the disappearance of a key  witness who was to testify against his election in 2008  remains unresolved. He was at the centre of the fight that broke out in the House of Reps during the Patricia Etteh saga where his  dress  was ripped apart and  beamed to the whole world.  

The person of interest in this new drama series is  Senator Ogembe who had been in politics long before Bello but   would struggle in vain to   disown his role in the destructive brand of  politics bordering on youth thuggery , organized violence and  gangsterism  foisted  on  Kogi State during his reign as   Care Taker  and  Chairman , Okene Local Government . In effect, a bold matching index of violent political tradition had been foisted on the state by previous actors whose idea of political power rests in arming armies of unemployed youths with dangerous weapons to secure dubious electoral victory. Productive  engagement  of youths in capacity development schemes would be asking too much of them .   If Ogembe is now crying Wolf, he should ponder on whether he is not being hunted and threatened by the monsters they created – what goes around surely comes around

In very recent memory,  before the advent of Bello, kogi central and its environs  ingloriously slipped  into a  horrible   crime zone swirling with  assorted criminality –  nightmarish flares  of  unrestrained gangsterism   , mysterious killings and broad day shooting , kidnapping  and armed robbery  crept  into our streets and was threatening to slighter into our homes..We only needed a reminder of how the old political brigades recruited hordes of idle youth  and armed them with dangerous weapons  to  terrorise political  opponents Those youths have now regrouped and transformed into hideous violent criminals threatening our homes and making life hellish for our people —-thanks to the activities of the pre-Yahiya Bello political actors –  their bold signatures and imprimaturs  in  youth thuggery  recruitment enterprise still ring riot in public conscience .

Shouldn’t the likes of   Senator Salami  Ohiare- be a  leading treasure ,   custodian  of political wisdom and a graceful  panjandrum , advising and sharing his experience  with the younger Bello  , inclusive of resourceful legerdemain garnered  in his  long sojourn in kogi politics?

  The  resolve of the governor to shut his doors and turn deaf ears  to the hypocritical cries of alienation,  marginalization and non –consultative attitude to the old brigade politicians  is not unconnected with their terrible profile which cannot provide an inspiring template for  navigating   through the multi –layered warren of rot and  devastation inherited  from previous regimes. Bello’s   preferences are  reliable working partners made up of   few untainted  older politicians in the  likes of  Alh  Tijjani Damisa , ,Abubakar Yahaya Karaku  and scores of trusted   aquittances  who believe in  his vision and  governance philosophy and are passionate about realising his core developmental goals  for the state .

Shortly after his resumption of office, Bello took cognizance of the security landmine he inherited from previous political actors and convened a security summit to find a way of nipping the security threat in Kogi Central and other parts of the state in the bud. Various stakeholders  from kogi central  were invited to get their input.  Bello’s singular declaration on the occasion was unambiguous –he said –All those who recruited and armed youths should recall those youth to give back their arms in exchange for productive engagement with the state government –Ogembe was allegedly in that meeting. Can he, in all good conscience, tell Nigerians what he said and  the role he played in forging  a resistant front against security situation in Kogi Central? 

– Yakubu is coordinator, Front For Middle Belt Expression





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