“I have been vindicated”, Edward Onoja affirms as he eulogises Gov. Yahaya Bello’s leadership style, canvass support for GYB’s reelection


‘His relationship with his Ebira people is a bit dented because he has more relationship with the Igala people’- HRM Ohinoyi Of Ebira Land

Reading and re-reading the above quote, I have chosen to believe, as has my Governor, that a Nigerian journalist either misquoted my father, our father, His Royal Majesty, Alhaji Ado Ibrahim, the Ohinoyi of Ebiraland totally or severely distorted the contexts and words in which HRM was talking at that point in the interview. However, if this was inferred in anyway, then I can translate it as HRM’s fair judgement of a departure from our age long cultural stagnation in the cesspool of ethnic favoritism which assuages the character of Governor Yahaya Bello as a “detribalized” leader, a finer breed from the catalogue of leaders who are ethnic bigots which we have seen since the creation of Kogi state.

What the young and glass shattering Governor has done and still doing is a deliberate attempt to replace age long ethnic, religious and class barriers with solid and durable bridges that crosses love, oneness and unity.

Since the publication of the interview and the appearance of the above quote, commentators on every platform have given it their own interpretation. As a person, I too have my own interpretations too and I will try to explain them below:

I feel vindicated with the above statement which proves that I supported a man for Governor who is a detribalized Kogite and Nigerian through and through and whose agenda is not to solely and inhumanly focus on his tribe alone but on the collective development of our dear state.

I am vindicated.

What I hear those who ascribe to this statement is that he refused to be talked into distorting the balance among our populations created by providence itself but strives to give PROPORTIONAL attention to all tribes in our state.

I am vindicated.

I can testify that His Excellency’s philosophy of inclusive governance is not something strange to us. He repeats it at every opportunity he has. He describes his New Direction Blueprint as ‘a roadmap for ACCELERATED and PROPORTIONAL development of Kogi State in all her constituent parts.

I am vindicated.

My understanding of what all this means is that Alhaji Yahaya Bello has remained true to the three core values he adopted to guide his administration – Justice, Equity and Merit.

I am vindicated.

In addition, and exactly like he promised us from the early days, my boss continues to avoid the three evils/taboos he swore never to tolerate in his Government – Tribalism, Religionism and Nepotism.

My understanding is that the World is being told that in Kogi State:
~ Tribe or ethnic group is not the driver of government dealings with citizens or groups.
~ Religion or how a man worships is not the determinant of what a citizens or groups expect from the Government of Governor Yahaya Bello.
~ Nepotism or connection or Family/personal relationship with anybody does not confer unfair advantage on anyone or tribe over fellow citizens.
~ Every tribe and every citizen gets what is due to them on the merit of their case and the content of their character respectively.

I am so vindicated.

I am glad that I believed in this man and not only followed him, but encouraged many others to believe in him and follow him.

We supported His Excellency to become Governor based on a set of existential principles and he has not changed into a monster or turned into another thing. Rather he has continued to exhibit deep fear of God while daring to be different in a Society which sees nothing wrong with superiority complex and abuse of power.

Simply put, he exemplifies in a practical manner the greatest of all commandments – LOVE. ‘Love your Neigbour as yourself, not just your Tribesman’. The fact that 90% of all humans would instinctively do the very opposite does not make it right before Man and God. Does it?

If today he is catching fire for acting differently from past Governors and for giving every part of the state their due through an equitable formula of managing and distributing the resources of the state, then I remain mighty proud of him.

The way our population and other statistics are distributed in Kogi today, there is no way a Governor who wants to be fair can share anything, even his attention, among all the LGs in Kogi State and Kogi East which has 9 LGs will not gather more than Kogi West and Kogi Central which has 7 and 5 respectively. In an equal distribution, the man with 9 portions must have more than his friends with 7 and 5 portions. It is only equitable.

Nevertheless, I am also aware that if His Excellency’s Ebira kith and kin look around them in Okene and indeed the whole Kogi Central today, they will also see that Governor Bello has also been more than fair to them. Indeed, the network of roads, the electricity, water, upgrade of schools and other projects which dot the Kogi Central landscape is unprecedented and marks the best that Ebira has had under any government in Kogi State. The more important and in a class of its own is the Restoration of the dignity of the Ebira Traditional Institution And In deed all other Traditional Institutions across the State.

If His Excellency is now an Igala man for ensuring Igala land and indeed any part of the state is not short-changed because they do not have a son as governor now, I insist that His Excellency has acted with foresight as one who understands leadership.

Were he to be alive today, I do not doubt that Alhaji Bello Ipemida Ochi, a first cousin of His Royal Majesty the Ohinoyi and the biological father of our Governor would be proud indeed of the son he gave to Ebiraland, Kogi and Nigeria in the person of Governor Yahaya Bello.

I say without equivocation that my boss, friend, Siamese twin and Leader – His Excellency Alhaji Yahaya Eleojo Bello’s leadership style clearly demystifies the Tripple Nigerian MONSTERS of Ethnic Mistrust, Religious disharmony and Class divide. I see this as a breath of fresh air that deserves great commendations by all men of goodwill.

I know His Excellency is setting an example for the Next Generation and this statement is proof that in future nobody can accuse Anebira of unfairness to other parts of the state.

Trust me when I say we can only build a great Nigeria by emulating Governor Yahaya Bello’s style of leadership which to my mind is unprecedented. My sincere prayers is God should elevate him to a much wider sphere of influence.

We Igalas love our neighbors, and we are a people who show gratitude when occasion demands. I trust my people because We say what we mean, and mean what we say. We shall reciprocate our support for loving us,as rightly acknowledged by His Royal Majesty our dear father.

In the last election, you, my great people from Kogi East did not disappoint me and we delivered one hundred percent for APC and Yahaya Bello.

My Governor got accolades from his Ebira kinsmen for your feat. They hailed the decision of the governor to pick Edward Onoja, an Igala man as his Chief of Staff (a decision some resisted before) was the best thing the Governor did for them and the party. I equally saw my Ebira friends and brothers appreciating, hailing me and my kinsmen for not disappointing their son, our leader and Governor. They said we Igalas can always be Trusted.

These accolades are not for me, they are for my people. For that, I say THANK YOU on bended knees.

Me’ gba oooo!

I am calling on my people again to stand with that Ebira man (Ele-Ojo) whom his own Paramount Ruler And people have gifted to Igala and who has neither tried to oppress nor cheat IGALA. A man who has instead served with the fear of Almighty God and according to the injunctions of his Islamic faith.

I have no doubt Kogi East will be Bello-centric come November 2, 2019.

Our Attah, His Royal Majesty, Michael Ameh Oboni has commended his son, His Excellency, Governor Yahaya Bello for doing everything to keep the Peace and Unity of Kogi State intact.The Ohinoyi of Ebiraland has said same, as has the Ohimege Igu of Koton Karfe, the Obaro of Kabba and other ranking traditional rulers of our people across the state.

I believe that come November 2, Oma-Igala will do the needful to prove that we reward fidelity to those like Governor Bello who show us fidelity because one good turn always deserves another.

Let us stand with Bello and repeat the feat in a most convincing way.

God Bless Governor Yahaya Bello for us.

God Bless our Traditional Rulers.

God Bless Kogi State.

Bello-Onwu Nyo Tu Ma le gbaaaaaa!



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