‘Why Ex-Kogi Govenor, Yahaya Bello May Be In Trouble’

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The political journey of the immediate past governor of Kogi State, Yahaya Bello, appears to be on a rocky path as he encounters challenges from significant figures within the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Reports emerging late last night suggest that Bello, just weeks after concluding his term as governor, is facing potential reprisals from powerful factions within the party, displeased by his actions and decisions during his tenure.

A high-ranking official within the federal government disclosed to Vanguard that Bello’s tenure was marked by decisions that antagonized some within the APC’s ranks.

These decisions, according to the source, were overlooked at the time due to Bello’s strong association with the administration of former President Muhammadu Buhari.

However, it appears that there is now a willingness among some party members to confront Bello over his past actions.

Despite maintaining a significant presence in the APC, the former governor’s conduct, particularly his bold campaign for the presidency against the backdrop of Bola Tinubu’s candidacy—who was widely viewed as the favored successor to Buhari—has reportedly upset individuals close to the presidency.

The APC official said, “Do not forget that Yahaya Bello mobilised heavily to become the president of Nigeria despite knowing that President Bola Ahmed Tinubu had been endorsed by the APC and he only gave up the ambition after being rounded defeated by Tinubu at the Eagles Square.

“Although, the former Kogi State Governor has since aligned with Mr. President and earned his support during the governorship election in Kogi State, which was won by the APC’s Ahmed Usman Ododo now the Executive Governor of Kogi State, there are feelings that those who were uncomfortable with the stance of the former Governor against the zoning arrangement in the APC and the fact that he might still habour a presidential ambition come 2027 have not taken their eyes off the former Governor of Kogi State.

“Don’t also forget that the same governor denied the existence of Covid-19 and acted against all the measures adopted by the federal government in conjunction with the international community to stave off the deadly disease, a development that seriously embarrassed the government and people of Nigeria, but there was nothing the party could do at the time.

“Now, those who lost out from the many economic and financial benefits that might have accrued to the state are still unhappy with the same former governor, who feels he did something extraordinary to save his state and people.

“As if these were not enough, there were posters last week at the APC Secretariat indicating that the former governor wanted to replace the APC National Chairman, who was just elected some months back. These are some of the issues, which have riled some powerful elements and ex-governor Bello needs to be very careful with his actions.”

The aftermath of the last gubernatorial election in Kogi State has seemingly intensified internal discord within the All Progressives Congress (APC), with former Governor Yahaya Bello at the center of the controversy.

Despite Bello’s influence in ensuring the succession of his preferred candidate, the election has reportedly left the party with significant “collateral damage” and exacerbated tribal divisions within the state.

Vanguard’s investigation reveals that Bello’s maneuvering in the gubernatorial election has alienated several party leaders, some of whom openly supported the opposition candidate as a form of protest against Bello’s leadership style.

This act of defiance underscores the depth of dissatisfaction within the APC’s ranks and signals a reluctance among its members to see Bello continue as a significant influence within the party.

Amid these political tensions, Bello now also faces legal challenges. The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has recently amended its charges to include the former governor in a case concerning the alleged laundering of N80 billion of Kogi State funds.

The timing and rationale behind Bello’s inclusion in the amended charges, especially considering the alleged offenses took place in 2015—before his tenure as governor—remain subjects of speculation.

Questions linger over whether Bello’s initial exclusion from the charges was due to the immunity he enjoyed as governor or if other factors were at play.

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