By Philip Agbese
There is something about Alhaji Yahaya Adoza Bello, the governor of Kogi state. He can be a thorn in the flesh of those entrenched in anomalies. You would hate him; I can vouch. And that is the case with the PDP in recent times.
That the PDP has elected to go to war with Alhaji Yahaya Adoza Bello is a mistake. They have overreached themselves because he is such a hard nut to crack. I have long had admiration for Governor Yahaya Bello. I am more fascinated by his middle name Adoza. It sounds more like the Ebira version of Bulldozer.
This attribute has defined his eventful stewardship of Kogi state. He dared where no one dared. He took the bull by the horns. He was resolute and astute in all that he set out to achieve in the state. Those that felt he was a fluke have been disappointed because of his consistency in addressing those challenges that held the state down for several years.
I will like to use the issue of insecurity in Kogi state and how he was able to turn the tide around. In doing that, indeed, he ruffled feathers. Those engaged in entrenching crime and criminality in the state took to their heels for fear of the Adoza. And he didn’t disappoint. Maybe that explains the frustration of the PDP in the state.
Those armed thugs that were readily available for public nuisance steadily disappeared. And this affected the electoral fortunes of the PDP in the state and across the country. And as usual, a false alarm was raised to deceive unsuspecting members of the general public.
Did the plot succeed? No, it was dead on arrival. Yahaya Adoza Bello stood his ground and made those shenanigans realize that it was not business as usual. They looked for ways and means to diminish his towering influence and popularity. Yet it soared and consolidated to their chagrin.
Enter the world of Yahaya Adoza Bello, the white lion and the enfant terrible of North Central Nigeria. Fight him at peril. Engage him to your detriment and love him at your pleasure. He remains Yahaya Adoza Bello.
Consequently, I can relate to why the PDP has launched scathing attacks against him. It said he was encouraging acts of terrorism. I gasped for breath. Suddenly I ran to the trenches for thugs. But they were nowhere. Instead, I was confronted by a well-detailed security architecture that made things rough for unscrupulous elements in the state. I saw houses built from proceeds of crime go down. I also watched the police and other security agencies in the state in action, implementing security strategies that put Kogi on the front burner as a model with active support from the state government.
He was resolute, and it paid off handsomely. The awards and honours came in torrents. He was recognized by many but criticized by a few in the mould of the PDP, and they cried wolf where none existed. Was he discouraged? No. He was not; instead, he was buoyed by the contract he entered with the people as the state’s Chief Security Officer
You won’t be wrong if you qualify him as a sublime strategist with impeccable character. He has earned his stripes. This much the PDP must come to terms with and kindly retrace their steps. Kogi is not available for anything than the APC, as no amount of propaganda can work things in their favour.
There are no more thugs for rent in Kogi state, hence the PDP’s disillusionment. Unlike in times when the PDP imported thugs from the state to carry out their hooliganism across the country. And this is understandable for a party that has thrived on anomalies in its activities.
Yahaya Adoza Bello represents a new dawn, and the PDP is not comfortable with it. And they pressed in their ignoble drive to disparage him. This is every inch connected to the 2023 presidential elections. Kogi State is of interest. Yahaya Adoza Bello is the stumbling block, and he must be rubbished at all costs.
Yahaya Adoza Bello is the young, courageous and consequential that exudes loyalty, patriotism and commitment to the Nigerian project in ways too numerous to mention. It is always for the good of the country rather than what the PDP wants members of the unsuspecting members of public to believe.
Adozaphobia is the new lexicon that the PDP is eager to erase. Several attempts have failed. More is expected, but nothing would come out of it. The rational thing in this circumstance is to leave Alhaji Yahaya Adoza Bello alone. He is on top of his game. He is not a fluke. He represents the new dawn.
Agbese is a human rights activist based in the United Kingdom.