Exactly five years today, Alhaji Yahaya Bello picked the APC Gubernatorial interest form for the Kogi State Governorship race, it was an uneventful day as little or nothing was his reference. He was relatively apolitical lightweight, with no structural clout – he was a lonely man propelled by the unseen wand of destiny.
With few co-believers like his Siamese twin now Deputy Governor, Edward Onoja, the man dared the odds, and today he sits in fulfillment of an audacious dream.
On this day, he made a historic visit that would later turn on to be a defining watershed in the wall map of providence, with a sparsely sourced supporters, he visited the Kogi APC State Secretariat in Lokoja where he formally declared his intention to contest the Kogi State Governorship election on the platform of the APC.
Typical of those who leave a trail in reference he stunned the party Executive Committee when seized the event to pay all the outstanding salaries of the secretariat as well as the secretariat rent that was due for two years.
More shock was to come when he announced a donation of a new 18 seaters bus to the State Exco! And the birth of a what was to become fruition was conceived and thus begun Yahaya Bello’s new direction ride.
While the state basks in awe of a new political csar, one man who is an obstinate believer of hope and guts was at the receiving end of those who see just their today. Edward Onoja was bashed, lampooned, and labeled a scammer who had come to defraud Yahaya Bello by dangling before him a political bait.
While his Kogi central folks fumed at thrusting his trust to Edward, Edward’s Kogi East brethren called him a traitor – for why would an Igalaman abandon his Igala brother in support of an Ebiraman for the exalted Lord Lugard House! It was an excruciating reference for Edward Onoja and the likes of Ahmed Attah who saw beyond the status-quo.
How Yahaya Bello emerged Governor of Kogi State has been told in repeated notes, the crux of my writing is how guts baked in unmitigated hope can change the destiny of a people. What if the man had feared the existence of then political juggernauts in Kogi, what if he hadn’t listened to the relentless push of his friend Edward Onoja- what if he had conceded to the drumbeat of fear and the whispering of pessimists- the story we are telling today would have been a tale.
When you have a dream, push it with all the convictions, for no one knows tomorrow but we still plan for it.
Governor Yahaya Adoza Bello defied age, fear, and pessimism to contest the Kogi seat, and today he sits in fulfillment of an infantile dream. What is your excuse not to dare your dream?
Like I always say, who you befriend is a function of your greatness and otherwise, had Edward Onoja not believed in the aspirations of his friend, he wouldn’t have been sitting as the Deputy Governor of Kogi State where he doubles in traditional reference as Commander of Igala Kingdom(CIK) and Olimene Attah Igala – a man once described as a traitor by his kinsmen. In life, Never underrate underdogs…
They are capable of springing surprises.
It’s clear the future holds more for this duo in their mid 40 years in the State and National leadership space at the rate and momentum they are serving and weathering obstacles
*Haruspice is the lord of the musing school and he brings you this nugget in tonic relishing.