The Bello regime in Kogi state is a total disaster and antithetical to democracy. Democracy is explained as a government in which the majority have their way in deciding who gets what, how and when in the society. It seems that in Kogi State, Bello is the majority. He decides who gets what, when and how in Kogi State.
He even has the State House of Assembly wrapped around his finger. The function of the legislative arm of government in a democracy is to check the excesses of the executive arm. But when the legislature becomes the an appendage of the executive, a totalitarian government is in the offing.
In Kogi state, the State Assembly has converted itself to a house made up of mere like political errand boys. Bello has knocked his own party on the head, grabbed it and put it and put it in his pocket.
Instead of the State Assembly to address Bello's poverty generating approach to conducting the affairs of the state, they are considering going to Kano to beg their colleagues to support Bello’s frail but wasteful presidential ambition. Recall that the legislature is as important to democracy as the executive. But the Kogi Assembly has been vanquished, subjugated and has become a toy in the hands of Bello to perpetuate his misrule.
Bello’s quasi democracy is now a joke and a reference on how not to be a semi autonomous unit of a wider government. He has pocketed his own party in his pocket. This has struck fear in the hearts of the opposition structure. I would not blame because the former PDP Divisional chairman Okene that was abducted his home in the midnight is yet to return 2 years after as his whereabouts remain unknown.
Organized labour leaders have gone mute as teachers and other workers in the state are only surviving on stipends. The government pays the stipends whatever the governor likes, and to those he chooses to pay. No one questions the emperor. If you were lucky to get in his good books, you should be thanking God. Talking about having any form of rights to your monthly pay is like trying to crack a granite with a sponge.
The media has obviously adopted the I cannot come and go and kill myself position. No one wants to risk the wrath of the maximum ruler. The media watches helplessly as the hydra headed corruption continues to eat deep into the fabric of the state.
A popular proverb says it is logical to conclude that the fore that gutted the market square started from the akara spot. Bello handpicked the local government chairmen.
They are just like salary earners with no executive powers. For years, the accounts of the local government authorities have not been audited, and thus, the local government Auditor, who is also Yahaya Bello’s kinsman is having a ball with the state treasury.
Bello seems to have shifted the Kogi State headquarters to Abuja. He is seen more in Abuja than in Lokoja where he ought to be attending to issues. Ever since he started chasing the wild goose of a presidency for which he is roundly unqualified, the already stretched resources of the state have taken a battering too hard to believe.
How can a man who has not commissioned a single project since coming to power be taken serious in his presidential ambitions? I dare say that it is callous to leave your state in a quagmire and use their resources to chase a dead-on-arrival dream.
He has been nicknamed failed Bello by Kogians for reasons bothering on his inability to revive the comatose infrastructure.
There is no potable water in the state headquarters, the roads are dead and the entire city is in palpable darkness.
The big question is how a man could do these to his people and still have the nerves to mindlessly waste the resources in chasing a wild goose. The elders should prevail on Bello to grow a conscience. Kogi state is dying.
Usman Okai Austin
Writes in from Abuja