Open Letter to Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State: Stop the Looting Now

Governor Yahaya Bello

I was one of the first Ebira who gave constructive critics of you during the end of your primary election. I felt that to be a philanthropic leader, one must possess certain qualities. That was one of the reason I was not too sure of how your leadership will envisage.

If you remembered vividly I questioned your fame to wealth after you left civil service in a very short time. I remembered then that the youths of Ebira who are strongly in support of you asked for my head. I toned down my rhetoric due to the passion and support of you by the youths of Ebira. The bottom line then, for me was if the youths of Ebiras says this is the person they wanted to be making decision for their destiny who am I not to accept their choices.

As you must have known, I do not belong to any political affiliates in Nigeria and I am not a card bearer of any political party of Nigeria.

I am not in Faleke’s camp in any shape or form. You are aware of my critics of Faleke from the get go. Even if you are not aware, the youths of Kogites know my write ups against so called Faleke. I did not immediately support you until when Audu demised and the APC were scrambling for his replacement. Since you won the second highest in the polling during primary election. I felt at that point that God saw something in you that no human being could think of.

I have had one on one meetings with Prince Abubakar Audu in Maryland of which I told him my piece of mind of why I will not come home to run for an office under his leadership when I was approached in 2010. I do not want to go off on tangent in this open letter. Since the death of Audu all Ebiras and other mindful Nigerians believed that God saw something in you as a young man going into the leadership of the poorest state of Kogi.

I have openly criticized Audu of his leadership when he was a Governor of Kogi State I have done so for Governor Ibrahim and Wada as well. As a young Governor if you are not willing to listen to advises to filters such advises and make your own out the thousands of advises you get, then you are not ready to grow in leadership.

When President Obama came into power he was hit with the worst recession ever in the United States, if he was not open to advise he will not have succeeded the way he did.

In the past I have spoken to you by phone calls when you just became the Governor of Kogi State. Some of my advice to you then if you recalled, was to carry the youths of all Kogites along. In your selections of cabinet members, I was pleased with most of your selections except that of Chief of Staff. In given you the benefit of the doubt since you were so adamant then that it is either your intimate friend Onoja or no one else, the rest of us has to back down because

you are the Governor and the decision is yours to make. The concerns citizens of Kogites especially that of central will only want to see you succeed. I am not saying you do not have rivals in Ebiraland that are siding with other camp because of their selfish interest. Yes, I was well aware of such elements. They did so because of their selfish interest undermining the

interest of the progress of the central and that of the west.

For twenty years or more, the west and the central were marginalized by the east, hoping that the coming of your leadership the marginalization will stop at the very least. I will be frank with you that though your leadership has just kicked off which is still less than a year you took office, but what you have done so far is still difficult for anyone to rap their heads around your accomplishments. I am not here to castigate you; I am here to advise you since you have totally block every single fellow who genuinely wants to see the progress of the State.

Most of my calls to you are diverted to Onoja, whose favorite words ‘The Governor is busy now I will let him know you called.”

To me it does not matter whether you chose to receive my calls or it is diverted to Onoja the fact remains that I will still send my concerns through any means of which you will definitely read my concerns. All these will have been private had you not instruct Onoja to be your mouth piece.

As an ordinary citizen of Kogi State, I am concern about the way your leadership is heading. I expected that your executive board members will be comprised of people, highly intelligent Kogites who can critically review of what works and what does not work to guide

your leadership and come up with leadership framework that Kogites desperately needed.

Such persons or Person can come from the three arms of the States central West and East. Such persons like Onukaba Ojo, and others whom I cannot precisely mentioned their names. These people are well experienced in the leadership they will have been the pivotal of your successes.

No man is an Island by themselves, I will urge you to have self-reflection of your leadership and make some changes of things that does not work. At this moment you can make such assessments and adjust. We all know you are bound to make mistakes along the way but if you failed to learn from your mistakes then you are heading for doom’s day. I also noticed that you

enjoyed praises of you at all times. A leader that is always praised even when he is heading for a pit and enjoys such praises should think again.

I have to admit, that some of your advisers you appointed are doing extremely well, I will give it up for Engineer Ohere for his leadership. He is one of those who has given a very strong face of validity to your leadership. His power is limited to his office and that office alone. I commend him with standing ovation. Prince Abdulkareem I am sure he is equally holding his office well but again his power is only limited to his office alone.

If anyone, will like to view this letter as an attack on your personality they can go ahead and do so.

Again, I will continue to be the voice of the voiceless whether anyone agrees with me or not even if I am the last man standing.

The issue of the nonpayment of salary, is mind bothering to me. There is no way you can tell me that for so many months you are still chasing ghost workers. We still have majority of legitimate workers that have been screened successfully who are still having difficulties in getting paid. Today is their bank account tomorrow is something else.

I know your mouth piece like to quantify such workers as ghost workers everybody cannot be a ghost worker in Kogi State.

I will have wished that you hold off on all these expensive life styles of buying cars for your crews and all the chiefs of Kogi State to deal with nonpayment of salary before you embarked on such move. It does not speak well of you trying to please those who have, at the expenses of those who have not. It is unethical to make such move. It shows your lack of sensitivity toward issues that concerns the masses.

His Royal Majesty Ado Ibrahim cannot even have a one on one heart discussion with you without you asking your Chief of Staff to be your mouth piece at every meeting with him. To me, that is a disrespect to our Royal Majesty Ado Ibrahim. In the first place that was the reason why that cap should not have gone to Igala. I am well aware and well informed when you got rid of the chairman of the screening committee that came

from the west who obviously make a mistake by speaking with journalist instead of coming directly to you. You then appointed someone from Igala to take over such responsibilities, when it is Igalas that had the highest ghost workers in the State. The incredible job that was done by this western person was later lay to rest while the Igala’s ghost workers made their head

back into the legitimate list. Do you need a brain surgeon to explain that aspect to you of course not?

You have chosen to be a ceremonial head while your Chief of Staff is actually the one governing the States for the Igalas. If you fail in your leadership, then the entire central have failed and we will have nothing to prove that we will be ready for such role in future. I also understand that those who are close to you will not have the bulls I have, to be so direct in my assertion to

you. It is not because they are not seeing what you are doing wrong they are afraid to come forward because they knew you do not take constructive critics lightly. Some of such Ebiras that even open up to you to pay salary you distance yourself from them and ordered them out of your office never to step in your office

again. That is not leadership. That is totalitarian regime. You avoided having a heart to heart discussion with our Royal Majesty Ado Ibrahim just because you do not want to be critic. I do not blame others who all they do was to accord you with praises from head to toe. You are quick to tag someone as enemy of your progress because they offered suggestions that should have been seen as a reflection piece of your

administration. If you wish you can tag me anything you like, I am known to speak my mind even if the wall of Jericho will fall on my head.

Moving forward, you will need to accept constructive critics that are the only way you can be successful. You cannot claim you know it all. You must be flexible in your leadership to create such flexibility in your cabinet meetings with your advisers. You should tap into so many elders who have been through the trenches of leadership or serves as an adviser either in the state level or federal level. You should be open

to sincere and honest assessments of the situations in Kogi State. You must find a quick remedy into the nonpayment of salary of workers both State and Local Government. You must be transparent to succeed in your leadership. You cannot be doing same old same old, and expect success. You must learn from the failure of those before you such as Wada Ibro and Audu including our beloved son and father of the soil,

late Governor Adamu Atta. At this moment, I will say I wish you success always in Kogi State to impact positively in the lives of all Kogites and Nigeria at large.

Thank you Mr. Governor for your listening ears….

Humbly submitted by a concerned citizen of Kogi State

– Joseph Ozigis Akomodi

New York City, USA‎

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