By Babajide Obafemi,
Governor Yahaya Adoza Bello of Kogi state yesterday ended his first term on a high note.
In an emotional but promising valedictory session, the governor and the remainder of his backroom staffs came together in prayer to wrap up his rather tempestuous, turbulent and tumultuous first tenure in office.
The governor had gone through series of hydra headed, humungous and shattering dare devil issues during his first four years that just wound up. Issues that had to do with payment of salaries to civil servants, non-quality performances by his co-travelling appointees and crass youthful exuberances where what the governor was accused of by critics.
Take the non-payment of salaries for example, the governor claimed that it was an open secret that the state was paying too much, more than the work force. It meant that there were ghost workers that needed to be weeded off the system, hence, the invitation of a screening team to ascertain who is who in the state’s workforce. The screening which would now take forever, was the beginning of a long duel between the governor and his civil servants.
Another mare’s nest that became so nagging for a very long time was the simple fact that Bello threw his appointments at undeserving individuals.
The APC mercenaries and the Audu/Faleke group who had felt battered, bruised and beaten by the unexplainable death of their principal at the eve of their victory were more stricken with grieve and gall at the gait and recklessness that characterised the manner at which the young governor dole out appointments to underserving and perceived opponents during the election that he came in to benefit from.
In spite the many efforts of the then APC led Oyegun’s interventions; to the internally aggrieved factions of the then APC in Kogi State, Bello’s Macbeth had murdered sleep, so he shall sleep no more.
“How on Earth shall we work this much for our principal and after his death, one boy will come and cart away our dividends and then share it to those who worked against us during the polls”, one of the APC aggrieved member was heard lamenting.
But to Bello, after soliciting and stretching a hand of fellowship to those who were aggrieved and they seem head bent on seeing their tribunal and court cases to a logical conclusion, he too drew the line and carried on despite criticism and noises. With little experience and lack of quality advise from reliable angles, he wobbles, falters and sometimes falls but he was able to pick himself up, sometimes dusting himself up and forging ahead.
The end they say justifies the means, Bello at the end of the day, towards the twilight of his first term was able to pacify and convince aggrieved foes turning them to friends at his advantage and the party’s advantage for the needed victory, at the just concluded gubernatorial polls. This means that baring any disruptions at the tribunal or higher court, APC will lead the state till 2024.
On his part, Bello we heard, had promise stakeholders of giving them a listening hear this time, distributing appointments to deserving people, appointing technocrats, payment of salaries as at when due and continuous consultations of who is who, on projects, policies and implementations.
Pointers, suggestive of positive days ahead are beginning to rent the air in the state, a clear indication it is that the young governor may channel his youthful vibes positively this time, cutting down on excesses and facing governance as it were.
To the surprise of many, salaries are now been paid on time, even arears are been paid also. Feelers and murmurs from those appointees that were dropped after the election shows that on appointing new appointees, it may not be business as usual.
As if to drive the nail of positive change through, the flamboyant governor who stays more in the Nation’s capital more than his State’s capital now see the need to sit down at his duty post. The fact that his swearing in, will be done on a low key, within the confines of the government house and not the stadium as usual serves as the icing on cake of prudency in the state.
Eulogies, prayers and promises were made in wrapping up, at the last executive meeting of his first term, it will now be seen if truly those promises will be followed up and accomplished.
Obafemi writes from Akogba mountain top in Ekinrin-Adde