The nature of politics and governance in Kogi state under the supervision of Mr. Yahaya Bello, the state governor exudes embarrassing odour. Its stench pollutes the state political and socio-economic environment. The capacity of Bello and his cronies to destroy the state within a short period is amazing. Contradictorily, these category of people working with Bello continue to hail him as the last strong hope for direction in Kogi state. Unfortunately, some of the Bello fundamentalists, particularly those he handpicked and are causing more harm in the state in the disguise for governance and are paragon of this kind of moderation whose penchant for untapped statesmanship is unassailable.
In Kogi state, Bello and his boys pretends and claims their legitimacy comes from the authority of the people and their rule is based on the consent of the people.
Then we ask, if they enjoy their support from the masses as they claim, why do they maintain fearsome crack units of the police and the armed forces for their protection? Why is the larger proportion of the state income expended on bullets than bread? Why are they scared of those whom they govern, preferring the comfort of bullet proof vests to the pleasure of living among the people?
Kogi state is not on fire at the moment partly because the people themselves have not reciprocated elitist violence against Bello and his men. The false image that Bello his boys in the darkness hour of the citizens tribulations appropriate to themselves does not abort the reality of the state existence as a society where power is directed by miscreants, pirates and adventurers to the accumulation of private fortunes.
Kogi state at the moment has no direction, and her potentials have been destroyed by the governor and clueless cronies. Kogi state at the moment appears to be one of the most corrupt, insensitive, inefficient state within the Nigerian state.
May we remind Bello and his men, leadership and governance scarcely exists in a situation where a minority of unproductive parasites in government house enjoy; free access to official cars, free shopping abroad and illegitimate perquisites such as uncontrolled acquisition of wealth. This consolidates the institutionalized robbery of the common people of Kogi state by the governor and his cronies.
The governor and his team must know, politics and governance is a serious business. The strong link between economics and politics does not leave politics and governance in the hands of cowboys. In their elementary understanding of politics, it is important one educates them that the performance of the state economy is dependent on the political foundation of the state, and politics is the social engineering where that happens.
The economic determinism of Kogites under Bello is now a misery. It is important one helps us inform the governor and his team, the idea of politics and civil governance is to create a platform for participatory governance. And that has to be done within the democratic setting which is the framework within which we operate.
Unfortunately, the kind of politics Bello and his team plays at the moment is too confrontational and they forgot there is urgent requirement to find a means of transforming our politics to one that gives consensus to development priorities that could transform our economies and the state.
Lest they forgot, our ability to lead developmental process, direct our affairs, build a strong institution is dependent on the type of leadership we have, and this kind of their leadership is never an alternative.
I continually weep for my state, we thought the emergence of Bello as a young man will lead to the remodeling of our politics and governance. Unfortunately, that is not happening. One would have expected the young Kogites in the state house to structure the state politics to be more citizens’ engagement and make the political parties not to be essentially “periodic vote gathering organizations”.
Bello and his team must create democratic structures within which the people will have debates on the problems facing them and about the choices that needed to be made.
Their type of governance is not people driven, and their ability to understand what is happening in the state is weak and that translates into weak and unfocused governance we see in the state today. If these characters must be in the corridors of power, there must know, there is no other platform to negotiate our wellbeing and define how we will develop other than our current democratic platform.
Audu Liberty Oseni, firstname.lastname@example.org
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