Yahaya Bello: The Ugly Face Of APC (By Eniola Bello) A Rejoinder By Elder Omale-Ben.


This caption featured in the THISDAY Online of March 8, 2021 at 3:11Am, and took every reader through someone’s perspective of another. Some of us who are outside the Government House in Lokoja are either too far away from home to see clearly the happenings and resort to chosen grapevine for information; or slightly in touch with someone who can help us with information about home. Anyhow, we have a source. But, the authenticity and reliability of our different sources determine the genuinety or otherwise of our ‘facts.’

The Front Page Strip Advertisements in whatever number of newspapers is a campaign for new membership for the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC. Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State is the Chairman of the Committee to mobilise the Youths, Women and People Living With Disabilities, PLWDs.
* What is wrong with one carrying out his/her job and doing it aggressively, committedly and with passion?
* Can one disengage the message from the messenger?
Even as an Editor in THISDAY newspapers, Eniola Bello is still regarded and known by his name and his employer as almost siamese.

” _Join Africa’s Largest Political Party_ ” is not an isolated campaign slogan. It connotes size, spread, network and phrase for convinction to the prospective followership.

Image-making is a career, a role and responsibility; no doubt. If by omission or commission an image maker failed to promote the product enticingly, the outcome is gross failure. In the other way round, doing the same well results in resounding acceptability – the present outcome of what APC seems to be enjoying as soon as Yahaya Bello took the gauntlet of mobilization. The echoes of this stride is what his legislative team in Kogi State are actually riding on and playing out.

If awards bestowed on individuals or corporate entities are classified as ” _engineered_ ” or ” _arrangee_ ” packages, it means Eniola Bello has shot himself in the foot as a journalist-cum-media expert among those who usually promote awards globally. That is to say: There Is no value to recognition – no sense in judgement of choice. Let him clarify by himself, as to whether whichever awards that have ever been given out by THISDAY newspapers were arranged!

It is also an affront to the APC to ‘ _not be paying for those daily front page strip advertisements_ ‘ simply because the cannons are coming from a committee headed by Gov. Yahaya Bello.

Eniola Bello is entitled to his opinions. He is entitled to his understanding of schemes. He is entitled to his intuition. But, he should know that freedom of expression is not and cannot be total – he shouldn’t take undue advantage of that ‘liberty’ to reduce many other Kogites as people who cannot and do not have the sense of judgement as to what is good for them. Yahaya Bello is an individual, but not as individual to be rubbished by another individual who is reaching his own level of judgemental incompetence. Yahaya Bello is the incumbent Governor of Kogi State – the State with the unique status of a mini-Nigeria, a microcosm of the entire nation, a State that osmosises other 10 States and the FCT. This privileged status of Kogi State is rare.

To further display his level of ignorance (I wouldn’t say lack of knowledge) about Kogi State, it is a pity that Eniola deliberately refused to know (or is he oblivious?) that in every human or societal endeavour, *SECURITY* (of lives and property) remains the pivot upon which all activities rotate. With security, every other things would operate smoothly – he should be reminded of that. If he doesn’t feel secure in THISDAY newspapers (by whatever parameters), he must have abandoned the stable long before now. I expect his kind of person to know as little and basic as that – ‘ _Nothing kills faster than fear_ ‘ of course. Security service is an invisible product. So is Peace, and Unity,

The Covid-19 imbroglio heightened Eniola’s ignominy, and those of the other Governors in the NGF (Nigerian Governors Forum). The 35 governors on one side against only Governor Yahaya Bello’s divergence is only a juxtaposition of numbers. Just because they grouped into a bandwagon does not justify their stance as the good one – Steve Biko once stated this: ‘ _I’m going to be me as I am, and you can beat me or jail me or even kill me; but I’m not going to be what you want me to be.’_ Also, Mahatma Gandhi says that ‘ _Many people, especially ignorant people, want to punish (crucify) you for speaking the truth, for being correct, for being you. Never apologize for being correct, or for being years ahead of your time. If you are right and you know it, speak your mind. Even if you are a minority of one (as Yahaya Bello is today), the truth is still the truth._ ‘ Our own Governor Yahaya Bello has stood on the side of truth. Anyone who cares may ask and confirm that from Bill Gates.

According to Governor Fayemi as Chairman of the NGF, that the welfare of the people should be paramount to leaders – that is very true. But, taking a stand to protect your people is also as important of any leader who has his people in mind. That is the reason why Yahaya Bello has insisted that the humongous budget for the procurement of the Covid-19 vaccines should rather be committed to improving medical infrastructure in the stead. What again is better than that: established health facilities for independence and patronage by neighbouring countries! One should wonder the sense of reasoning that anyone would ascribe to, in this circumstance. Governor Yahaya Bello took the buck of responsibility and stood his firm ground to defend and protect his people in Kogi State from calculated evils.

While Eniola Bello weighs science above opinions, the same science follows opinions to postulated theories before any would be ascertained. What a scissic analysis! It is hoped that people wouldn’t be getting shocked over his literary feat at the moment. It is also feared that he is beginning to attain his intellectual decline.

While Gov Yahaya Bello’s commissioner for health wouldn’t be in the dark world away from his Principal’s position on such a ‘celebrated pandemic’ as Covid-19, the Chief Of Staff to the Governor is also an intellectually vast and established Pharmacist (Asuku). If His Excellency wasn’t properly informed on the pandemic, he wouldn’t take such position solely by himself. If Eniola Bello as a Kogite does not have all these in the know, then it is pathetically unfortunate.

Let’s take for instance, Prof. Maurice Iwu’s outcry from the onset of this. He was of the opinion that homemade medication would be the most potent way to tackle the new wave outbreak. Alas! Nobody, even from the Presidential Task Force cared to hear him out. Even the entire other professionals with the same resolve were ignored. WHY???

For Gov Yahaya Bello to opt not to subject his people in Kogi State to vaccines or vaccinations is a conscious decision made. On a personal note, I would cheer him for standing his ground, even leaving the people to personal decisions on the vaccines or vaccinations.

What became of our numerous children of Kano State sometimes ago when they were subjected to vaccinations against polio? Pfizer deceived us into accepting and allowing the children take the vaccines!! It was little wonder therefore, that those vaccines were considered as means to reduce birth rate and potency among the most populous city down the Sahara desert. Have we quite recovered from the devastation yet?

Whether Eniola and his ‘sponsors’ or ‘pay masters’ like it or not; whether they like it or not; whether it goes down well with them or not; and whether it is a planned or calculated calumny against the person and image of Yahaya Bello…..it is a belated blackmail, built around a misinformation. Why is Eniola in a hurry to tarnish and castigate a particular person, just because he just woke up from a slumbering nap? Why would Eniola not allow Nigerians until the 2023 electioneering activities, when they can choose to elect the person of their mind and the person after their hearts?? Is it because they just realised that the person has fast gained acceptability ‘within a short time’ relatively???

‘Perception’ is a word as good as ‘suspicion.’ Assumptions are pre-emptive and prejudicial and against the tenets of investigative and objective reportage. Eniola should have known that better than those of us who are not masters of the pen, those of us who are not literary giants, and those of us who are mere watchers of journalists.

My understanding of Eniola Bello’s knowledge of Kogi homeland is that he only sees the State and the people from a very distant point, and relied on hear-say disposition. ‘ _How can a child be thought to love beauty when it never sees beauty except in books?….. And, how can it wish to improve its own surroundings when it has never seen anything better?’_ are the expression of C.D. Darlington in his essay On Students Life.

As a matter of truth, Yahaya Bello’s position and responsibility and role as Chairman of the Committee to attract new membership into the ruling APC has resulted to an overwhelming outcome, thus endearing the messenger to the hearts of many. There is nothing that any human can do about and against it any longer. The massive response from the prospective share of the electorate populace has already defined itself.

I may not be, and do not have to be a Prophet to understand realities. If history is anything to go by as a guide towards the future, Eniola is supposed to wake himself from the long nap. Gov Yahaya Bello, as (not ‘if’) the ‘face of the New APC’ is nothing to question any longer. He is already at work. It is therefore, pathetic for anyone to state at this stage, that the image of APC is imaginary!!

Having examined what and how Yahaya Bello got to this point today, I have further understood the tag of “Destiny” in people’s lives. Not man, not woman, but God alone makes a person attain whatever he/she is destined to. We should remember that there’s a Being that directs and leads one to the destined spot of life. Any human who plays supernatural to define the fate of another, is usually confronted by the real supernatural force. Whether, and how a person becomes whatever is beyond human comprehension and machinations. It is likely he is being driven by an unknown and invisible aura.

Gov Yahaya Bello is human. He could be liked and loved by some people. He could also be hated and despised by other people. It is simply natural, and normal. It was Paulo Coelho who says that ” _if everybody loves you, something is wrong. Find at least one enemy to keep you alert.”_ Yahaya Bello does not need to find an enemy any longer – there are enough of them readily available. And, Eniola Bello can be taken to be one. The good side of it all is that Gov Yahaya Bello is being made to be at alert – and he would rather be grateful for them who are out there. Thanks be to God.

Before I return to where I was before Eniola episode of deliberately taking the other course of blatant neglect and disregard, my sympathy for him is summed up at Martin Luther’s clip, that ” _Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.”_ If the Covid-19 pandemic has an above 90% recovery rate, as against other deadlier viruses or diseases of over time, one rightly wonders the peculiarities of it that our whole economy must be stagnated, and emptied at the expense of the people who are being pretended to being protected!!!

What is considered “something concrete” is relative by people’s sense of judgement and sense of priority. In this disclosure, all the accolades on Yahaya Bello that are cumulatively earning him various awards lately are not a twinkle achievement. Regarding such recognitions as ‘arrangee’ is a face-slap on the entire Nigerian Youth Constituency. It is an abuse to the entire Nigerian Women Fold. It is simply callous towards the Nigerian ex-International Football Stars. It is a disrespect for our Elder Statesman, President Obasanjo. It is yet a blackmail of the Nigerian Amalgamated Traders. Again, it is a desecration of the entire Christian Association of Nigeria. I beg to believe that Eniola’s uncanniness deserves to be pitied at this point for his blanket smear on just everybody.

In conclusion, may I ask a few rhetoric questions:
One. What exactly is Eniola Bello’s grouse on Gov Yahaya Bello?
Two. Is it because everything all the while have to do with, and in favour of Governor Yahaya Bello?
Three. Does Eniola Bello want recognition at home in Kogi State, and thinks this path is best for it?
Four. Has Eniola decided to tow behind Dr Reuben Abati and Deji Adeyanju for any reason?
Five. Does Eniola so believe in his information source on Kogi State so much that he doesn’t need to confirm before wasting his ink?
There are many more to ask, but these may suffice for now. Yet, Nigerians are themselves and should know who is on the side of truth or lies, the side of honesty or mischief, the side of building or destruction, and the side of objectivity or prejudice…

*Elder Omale-Ben Amedu,* a Development Expert, writes from Abuja*

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