In the bid to avert losing the ticket of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the November 2, 2019 governorship poll to other contenders, Kogi State Governor Mr. Yahaya Bello is on a begging spree.
He has practically relocated to Abuja, cap in hands begging President Muhammadu Buhari, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, APC National Leader Bola Tinubu, party chairman Mr. Adam’s Oshiomhole and anyone who could help him save his job.
Our correspondents gathered that Bello, who before now had a frosted relationship with Tinubu over his political godson James Faleke, has thrown his pride overboard to reach out to Tinubu, to solicit his help to clinch the governorship ticket of the state in the forthcoming election.
A top APC source revealed that the leadership of the party in Kogi is insisting on conducting direct primaries for all the governorship aspirants, a move designed to edge out Bello, who he said does not enjoy any support from the party faithful in Kogi state.
It was learnt that Bello, who was counting on his good rapport with President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo became desperate when he was told that there would be no automatic ticket for him in the forthcoming election, a development another APC source said made him panicked.
“There is nothing anybody can do including the president about Kogi state’s forthcoming governorship election. We don’t want Bello but if they insist that he must run, all the candidates will go for direct primaries and whoever wins will get our support,” a top APC executive disclosed.
The source noted that Bello fell out of favour with everybody in the state immediately he won the election and has ran Kogi state as his personal property ever since.
He stressed that the governor has not had “any meaningful project executed in the last three and half years. So how do you sell such a candidate to the Kogi people again?
“Again, from day one, Bello has been fighting every perceived political enemy in the state. Prominent APC members in Kogi have been driven to other political parties by the emperor governor and the few ones who have defiled his style of leadership are hounded daily.
“Unless APC is prepared to lose Kogi state in the next governorship election in November, there is no way Bello can run.”
It was gathered that the state APC leadership is also unhappy with the governor because of his alleged squandering of the over N30 billion Paris Club refund to the state to pay workers’ entitlements.
“Why won’t the people be angry with him? He just wasted such huge sums of money on nothing.
“The Presidency tracked how the states utilised what was given them, and Bello was among the worst culprits. Moreover, there is practically little to show as his achievements in office,” the angry party source said.
Top APC sources said what has compounded Governor Bello’s case is the fact that Tinubu, a former Lagos State governor and a top APC influencer, is mobilizing both human and financial supports for his political godson Faleke, a member of the House of Representatives, to clinch the ticket of the APC, insisting that Bello’s effort at pacifying Tinubu is just a waste of time.
For Oshiomhole, it could not be ascertained about his support of Bello for a second term but APC sources also said the chairman is very unhappy with Bello over his attitude towards party members in the state as well as the low record of performance of his administration in the last three and half years.