The reality is that he has a very slim chance, his attitude and the fact that he is from a minority ethnic group has not helped him. He has burnt his bridges in just three years. The people’s major grouse with Gov. Bello is that he has failed to pay worker’s salary in the state despite receiving bailout funds from the federal government. “It would take a miracle for him to emerge victorious. I don’t think that’s a risk APC is willing to take,” said Unekwu Danlamin, a resident of Lokoja.
According to a reliable source, Gov. Bello is hoping for Buhari to influence the election. It is one of the reasons he spends most of his weekends in Abuja. He has also visited the Villa more than any other governor in Nigeria.When Buhari returned from the United Kingdom last year, Bello declared a public Holiday in Kogi State to celebrate his return. Many felt that he went overboard with that.
He has also been present at the airport whenever Buhari returns from his trip abroad. Last year, Yusuf Buhari, the son of the president had an accident and was flown to Germany for treatment. When he returned to Nigeria in March, Bello who has become a regular face at the Presidential Villa went to receive him at the NnamdiAzikiwe Airport in Abuja and accompanied him to Aso Rock to meet the president. That act by the governor got many Nigerians furious, especially residents of Kogi State.
Bello, it was gathered by this newspaper, also has the ears of the first lady, Mrs Aisha Buhari. The national women leader of the APC, HajiaSalamatuBewa is also on the side of Bello.On the other hand, the National Chairman of the party, Adams Oshiomhole is well aware of Bello’s lapses and weaknesses. He is also aware of the peculiarities of Kogi politics.
A former aide to APC national leader Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu who pleaded for anonymity, said there are plans to deny Bello the party’s governorship ticket. “Apart from Oshiomhole, Tinubu is also not willing to lose Kogi and they are already holding talks on replacing Bello with someone acceptable, a man with a clean track record that could easily be sold to the electorate. That would be a lot easy for the party going into race than a Bello option,” he said. He made it clear that “they are looking for someone from the eastern part of the state.”
He however noted that the only thing that may hamper this plan is if Buhari interferes. He continued: “If Tinubu and Oshiomhole are allowed to run the show, be rest assured that Bello will not return.”
At the time of filing this report, efforts to reach Kingsley Fanwo, the Chief Press Secretary failed. Phone calls were also put to Governor Bello’s Chief of Staff, Edward Onoja to get his reaction, but he did not respond.
© 2019, Obinna Ezugwu . All rights reserved.