Home OPINION COMMENTARY Kogi Bubbles As Ododo Takes Over From Gov Yahaya Bello, By Omeiza...

Kogi Bubbles As Ododo Takes Over From Gov Yahaya Bello, By Omeiza Ajayi

Residents of Kogi state and well-wishers would tomorrow, Saturday, January 27, converge on the Muhammadu Buhari Square to witness the transition of power from Governor Yahaya Bello to the Governor-elect and his erstwhile Auditor General for Local Governments, Alhaji Ododo Ahmed Usman “OAU.”
The atmosphere in the state is carnival-like. An attempt by this reporter to book an hotel in Lokoja, the state capital, two weeks before the D-Day was unsuccessful as every available hotel room in the ancient city had been booked ahead by people from all walks of life who want to be witnesses to history. Perhaps, an evidence of the popularity of the mandate freely given to Alhaji Ododo on November 11, 2023. Like bees to a nectar, so is the name, Ododo, which literally means flower in his native Ebira language.
Both the governor and the governor-elect have been reaching out to people, preaching the ‘One Kogi’ gospel even before and after the election. Only few days ago, Gov. Yahaya Bello received in his Abuja home, his immediate predecessor, Capt. Idris Wada who is of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party PDP.
Wada commended Bello for his sterling performance in the last eight years and promised to also support the incoming administration of Ododo.
Thereafter, the Governorship Candidate of the African Democratic Congress ADC and a member of the House of Representatives, Hon. Leke Abejide also visited Gov. Bello in a move that upset conventional expectations and shocked political analysts who had thought that the outcome of the governorship election had created a gulf between the duo.
Curiously however, Hon. Abejide expressed his unalloyed commitment to the Kogi Project under Alhaji Ododo.
“Your Excellency, let me congratulate my brother, Ahmed Usman Ododo, the governor-elect of our dear state once again. We all ran a good race and we also believe that at the end of it, only one candidate will emerge and we have Ododo as that candidate today. My participation in politics is about the people and once elections are over, all issues around it must be put behind to forge a progressive administration.
“The interest of our people supercedes that of individuals. I will support Ahmed Usman Ododo to succeed in the interest of our people,” Abejide had told Governor Bello.
As Ododo takes over, a former coordinator of Kogi Peoples Movement, Aliyu Ismaila has however called on the Governorship candidates of the Social Democratic Party SDP, Alhaji Murtala Yakubu Ajaka and that of the Peoples Democratic Party PDP, Senator Dino Melaye to bury the hatchet and join hands with the new administration in the interest of peace and development.
He said: “Those who seek to exercise political power must be able to discern when to keep fighting and when to stop. Now’s the time to stop and queue behind the incoming administration.
“Elections would always come and elections would always be won by an individual. Both Ajaka and Dino used to be in the same camp with Yahaya Bello. So what changed? Why the sudden animosity against the governor?”
Indeed, Dino was so close to Bello that eight years ago, during the inauguration of the Gov. Bello, the then Kogi West Senator, had told the audience that “Kogi people voted for Audu, but God voted for Yahaya Bello.”
While residents are upbeat about tomorrow’s event, Gov. Bello has himself been carrying a long the Governor-elect, meeting with relevant stakeholders and the business community.
At a time when some governors would wish they had more days in office, Bello seem eager to leave, having prepared a worthy successor to continue with the state’s 32-year development plan.
Apart from delegating some responsibilities like projects commissioning to the incoming governor, Bello on Wednesday in Lokoja, freely handed over his red pen to Ododo – a symbolic transfer of power, even days before his tenure would elapse.
The red pen is not often used in writing, yet it is perhaps the most powerful in our world. Some of the words associated with it are; “Approved”, “Treat”, “Deal” and “Proceed”.
It had in some cases precipitated conflicts between predecessors and their successors. However, in Kogi, Gov. Bello may have set an example for his peers by willingly relinquishing his red pen even days before the official handover. Unlike in some states where past officials have to be chased around to hand over some government property or documents in their possession, Gov. Bello had since concluded the handing over processes in some Ministries, Departments and Agencies MDAs, and only retained few officials who he also directed to conclude their handing over processes on the eve of Ododo’s inauguration.

Leave a Reply