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Before the frenetic whirlwind of governance shifted from the Kogi East Senatorial District, to the Central Senatorial District of Kogi state in 2016, I had for umpteenth times labored in vain to convince some people with the bloated ego of numerical majority, especially those from the Eastern axis of the state that power belongs to God, and that it is only him who chooses who he gives, how he gives and when he deems it fit.
Then, I went as far as making a reference to the story of the son of a fisherman, (former president Goodluck Jonathan) who from the obscurity of Otuoke, an Ijaw speaking community in Bayelsa state, rose from nowhere to become the governor of his state, and then few years later as the president of Nigeria.
However, despite my efforts, the so-called ‘majority’ predilection kept playing tricks in their minds; their minds were so much impaired with the rhetoric that a minority can never rule over the ‘majority’, while forgetting that the ways of God are distinctly different from that of humans.
In fact, the harder I tried to school them by even going spiritual, admonishing them that God can choose to honour the so much maligned and disdained ‘minority’ at any time he desires,the more my admonition hits their brick wall of resistance..
They abhor the belief that there is a certain supreme being who presides over the affairs of man, who despises oppression against the oppressed, and who has a way of fighting on the side of the oppressed.
In fact, they took the hyperbolized ‘majority’ toga to a ridiculous height. To them God can never be so ‘unfair’ to allow the minority to preside over the affairs of the state at the expense of them the ‘majority’.
The chicken then in 2016 came home to ruse, the reality of God’s unique way of intervening in humans’ affairs prevailed in miraculous way over the fabled rhetorics of man’s ways; God indeed showed himself to be true God of impartiality, God who detest partiality, and then, like Jonathan, he bestowed a man, called Yahaya Adoza Bello, the then Nigeria’s youngest governor, from obscure background in Agassa, Okene Local Government Area, to superintend over the affairs of the state in 2016, before the very eyes of transducers.
Yahaya Bello, who is a dogged fighter with the proclivities of withstanding marathon race, took part in the APC gubernatorial primaries which he lost to the eventual winner, the late Prince Audu Abubakar.
The election came proper and Prince Abubakar, a former Governor of the state was coasting home to victory until death struck, which probably remains first of its kind anywhere in the world, for a candidate who is inches away from electoral victory to die in the heat of election. His death thus delayed his being declared as the winner by the Independent National Electoral Commission(INEC).
With the late Prince Audu’s sudden death, there was a temporary impasse of who would inherit his leading votes.
Thus, Bello, an Ahmadu Bello University-trained accountant, became the candidate of the APC in the supplementary election where he defeated Captain Idris Wada, the then incumbent Governor and candidate of the PDP.
At 45, Yahaya Bello would also recontest, and win his reelection bid in 2019.
Yahaya Bello’s emergence birthed hope, pride and bragging rights in the Ebira speaking extraction of Kogi District state,who were hitherto targeted with disdainful jibes as ‘minority”.
His coming gave Ebira nation, that were hitherto like herds without herdsman, wandering through the thick and dark forest of Kogi politics without stewardship the needed political pathway.
When he became the governor, the Ebira nation, which hitherto lost its political relevance and pathways, just like the centrifugal Fulani cows without their shepherd found its ways again, by uniting the people, and giving them the desired direction.
No one ever thought the Ebira nation could be this united to fight its external adversary and foes, especially looking at where they were coming from then, when Ebiraland was nothing short of a rudderless ship politically without a captain.
One could still recall with vivid nostalgia, how Ebiraland stood motionlessly in a standstill position then, at the spot the late AT Ahmed left them politically. They couldn’t proceed an inch further.
However, Yahaya Bello’s coming has now given the Ebira nation that sense of belonging, political relevance and directions as a leader, the realities that they were hitherto bereft of.
Before Bello’s assumption of the popular Lugard House, things fell apart for them like packs of cards without anything to hold onto.
In fact, life in Ebiraland then became solitary, short, brutish and nasty, like that of the hobbesian state.
Before Yahaya Bello became the governor, lives of in Ebiraland were frequently taken to the slaughter slabs with crass levity and recklessness.
Then, bloods of their brethren flowed on the surfaces of the soils; where exterminations, pogroms, butcheries, carnages and holocaust reigned supreme.
It was as though the devils and their agents had just berthed on the land then, as empathy was lost, sanctity of lives became nonexisting, and social solidarity was a distant thing from the people.
In fact, then, the people were all simply at war with themselves without a political leader to prevail on them to plunge or bury their destructive swords into their sheaths.
Then, they lost political relevance, seemliness, suitability and bearing in the Kogi political space, because their home was in a disarray, as well as in diametrical disunity, and bereft of a political leader to unify them.
In all these years, while the Ebiras writhe in pains, their brothers across the water rejoiced and wrote their gains.
In fact, it was nothing short of the mischievous divide and rule tactics from them then, as the cracks in Ebiras’ walls had harbored their lizards as comfortable abodes to exploit them politically.
Then they were mocked, demeaned, derided and traduced by the Igalas as “slaves and stupid minority”, whose relevance is metaphorically akin to that of tools used by a taskman to carry out a particular task and get dumped on the same task ground with disdain upon the completion of the task.
They were seen as a second fiddle (deputy governor) at best, and even had to settle for a third at a point, especially during the Idris Wada era.
Ebiras assumption to the revered Luggard House then, the office Alhaji Yahaya Adoza Bello later occupied for eight years was disdainfully viewed as an abominable anathema by the Igalas since “slaves” don’t share the same throne with “kings”.
As all these sad trajectories in Ebira history trudged on with corresponding contempt, revulsion, malignancy, virulence and belittlement from their Okura brothers, the supreme God in his mercy came through for the Ebiras in a manner that is beyond a mere mortal’s comprehension.
The divine intervention is the Alhaji Yahaya Adoza Bello’s miraculous assumption of the Lugard House in 2016.
Thus, in reference to the Qur’anic reflection No. 485. Āyat 8:49, where during the battle of Badr, the supreme being, (God) helped the Muslims to conquer despite their apparent weakness, being smaller in number and had limited weapons,in a miraculous and transcendental manner, God again came to the Ebiras’ rescue to overcome their adversaries, archenemies, foes and nemesis in 2016 by bequeathing Yahaya Bello on the Ebiras as a political leader, who came to bring respites and succor to them.
His coming as a governor is an apt metaphor of Ebiraland’s biblical Moses, who delivered them from malignancy and contempt.
He came to liberate the Ebiras from the bondage of political slavery,servitudes, servility and thralldom.
He came to remove that denigrating tag of “second class citizens” off their necks, in a state where the (Ebiras) were fundamentally pivotal to its creation in 1991.
Ebiras, courtesy of Yahaya Bello have been able to retrace their hitherto political lost path in the Kogi political space, gaining more political ground, and now have their second son, Ahmed Usman Ododo in the Lugard House as the governor of the state.
They have now joined the pantheon of not just Kogi kingmakers, but also the “Kings”. They are no slaves as they were hitherto taunted by their Okura brothers.
They have found their hitherto croaky voices, that when they speak, people listen and don’t disdainfully ignore them.
The Yahaya Bello’s coming on board as governor has now restored eternal sanity in Ebiraland. The Ebiras can now go to their beds with their two eyes closed without fears of nocturnal attacks.
Gone are the days when in anarchical manner, non-state actors took up arms against the state unhindered, with even a cell of Boko Haram insurgents rearing its ugly head then in Okene.
Now, they can count modest achievements, and not the filthy carcasses of their dear brothers, whose bloods spurt from the barrel of guns, because they were left to their fates to kill themselves till they get tired out.
Yahaya Bello’s coming as governor brought about the long awaited flicker of light at the end of Ebiras’ tunnel, with landmark achievements in the areas of security, mentorship and human capacity building, gender inclusion, vision and clear decision making.
Yahaya Bello is indeed a game changer. Truly he came, he saw and he conquered. The trajectory of Yahaya Bello’s political voyage is a restoration of hope to all minority ethnic or tribal groups in Nigeria.
Surely, a son of nobody can actually become somebody. Now I know.
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