In the ever-evolving landscape of Nigerian politics, one name has consistently garnered attention and stirred discussions – Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State. With a track record of governance and a reputation as a formidable presidential aspirant, Gov. Bello recently made headlines with a surprising declaration. Despite his presidential ambitions, he revealed that, for now, his sole ambition is to support President Bola Tinubu to succeed. This revelation has ignited conversations nationwide, and in this article, we delve deep into Gov. Yahaya Bello’s vision and his commitment to President Tinubu’s success.
A Pivotal Moment in Nigerian Politics
Governor Yahaya Bello’s announcement came at a pivotal moment in Nigerian politics. As one of the major presidential aspirants within the All Progressives Congress (APC), his decision to prioritize supporting President Tinubu’s success over his personal ambitions is both significant and commendable. It reflects a commitment to the greater good of the nation, transcending individual aspirations for the collective benefit of all Nigerians.
The GYB Seminar: Setting the Stage
Gov. Bello made this declaration during an interactive session with journalists at the 3rd Annual GYB Seminar for Nigeria’s Political & Crime Correspondents/Editors in Abuja. This platform allowed him to articulate his vision and explain the rationale behind his decision.
Reflecting on His Achievements
Governor Bello began by acknowledging the progress and achievements made during his tenure as the governor of Kogi State. He expressed gratitude for the positive transformation he initiated and noted the significant strides taken to improve the state’s infrastructure, governance, and overall well-being of its citizens.
Confidence in the APC Candidate
While discussing the upcoming Kogi governorship election scheduled for November 11, 2023, Gov. Bello exuded confidence in the APC candidate, Usman Ododo. He believes that Ododo will build upon the solid foundation laid during his tenure, ensuring a landslide victory for the APC. This optimism reflects his commitment to the party and its candidates.
Upholding Unity in the APC
Governor Bello emphasized the importance of unity within the APC in Kogi State. He credited the party’s unity as a key factor in its electoral victories and stressed that despite differences, internal mechanisms within the APC exist to resolve issues amicably. This commitment to party cohesion bodes well for the future of the APC in Kogi State.
Prioritizing Merit Over Ethnicity
In a paper titled “Unity in Multi-Ethnic, Multi-Religious Society: The Kogi Story,” the state’s Commissioner for Information, Mr. Kingsley Fanwo, delivered a powerful message. He asserted that any candidate relying on ethnic sentiments is inherently incompetent. Kogi State’s commitment to prioritizing merit over ethnicity serves as a beacon of hope for a nation striving to overcome divisive narratives.
Responsible Governance and Debt Reduction
Governor Bello’s administration focused on responsible governance, transparency, and reducing the state’s debt burden. In a paper titled “Debt Burden, Transparency, and Accountability in Governance: Kogi’s Success Story,” the Commissioner for Finance, Budget, and Economic Planning, Asiru Idris, highlighted the administration’s deliberate policies. These policies aimed to entrench good governance through accountability, transparency, and a reduction in the state’s debt burden.
The Vision of a 32-Year Development Plan
Kogi State has initiated a 32-year development plan, a pivotal roadmap for realizing Gov. Bello’s vision of comprehensive state development. This plan is set to become a focal point for development partners’ interventions, ensuring sustainable progress and growth.
Advancements in Education
The Commissioner for Education, Science, and Technology, Mr. Wemi Jones, shed light on Kogi State’s commitment to education. Not only has the state provided free education in primary and secondary schools, but it has also made it compulsory for all. The budgetary allocation to the education sector has steadily increased, surpassing UNESCO’s recommended benchmark. This commitment underscores the state’s dedication to providing quality education for its citizens.
Addressing the Issue of Out-of-School Children
Kogi State has faced challenges regarding the presence of World Bank and other donor agencies in the education sector. Additionally, the lack of credible and accurate data on out-of-school children has been a pressing concern. However, Gov. Bello’s administration secured approval for the Adolescent Girls Initiative for Learning and Entrepreneurship (AGILE) Project. This project will fund access to education for out-of-school children and dropout girls for five years, contributing to their empowerment and development.
Journalists as Responsible Watchdogs
In a world where information is power, President of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Mr. Chris Isiguzo, highlighted the vital role of journalists. Off-season elections present both challenges and opportunities for journalists to fulfill their duty as responsible watchdogs of society. Isiguzo stressed the importance of transparency, fact-checking, and responsible reporting in influencing the nation’s future positively.
Governor Yahaya Bello’s decision to prioritize supporting President Bola Tinubu’s success over his own political ambitions is a testament to his commitment to the betterment of Nigeria. His administration’s achievements in Kogi State, along with his dedication to responsible governance, unity, and education, reflect his vision for a stronger and more prosperous nation.
In a rapidly changing political landscape, Governor Bello’s actions and words set a precedent for selflessness and collective progress. As the 2023 presidential election looms, his support for President Tinubu carries the promise of a united, prosperous Nigeria.