- Security Aborts Saudi Trip, As Kogites Threaten Mass Defection
By Ben ADAJI, in Lokoja
These are certainly not the best of times for the embattled Governor of Kogi State, Alhaji Yahaya Bello as the 11 man disciplinary committee set up by the state working committee of his political party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), has recommended his indefinite suspension from its folds. nationalTRAIL investigation reveals that the committee which sat for over four hours in Abuja on Thursday had indicted the Governor of various allegations of anti-party activities and therefore recommended his indefinite suspension from the party. Aside from moves to suspend Bello from APC, security operatives at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport last week prevented the Governor from travelling to Saudi Arabia to perform the Lesser Hajj. Investigation further revealed that the security operatives who claimed to be acting on orders from above stopped the Governor from boarding a Turkish Airline flight scheduled for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. It was also gathered that Bello who was highly infuriated rushed to the office of the Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo to complain but he was advised by a senior staff in the office of the VP to go back to his state to face the workers’ strike adding that the directive was from the office of the President. Governor Bello’s ordeal began early last month when prominent APC stalwarts in the state stated complaining and expressed displeasure over the way and manner he has been running the affairs of the state as if it were his personal estate with total exclusion of the party. This compelled the state working committee of the party to set up the 11 man disciplinary committee headed by Senator Dino Melaye with the State Secretary of the party, Barr. Thomas Adejo as its Scribe. Other members of the committee included, Sen. Mohammed Ohiare, Sen. Abubakar Abdulrahman, Sen. Nicholas Ugbane and Haddy Ametuo. Others are Hon. Folashade Joseph, Hon. Buba Jibrin, Hajiya Hajara Aliyu and Hon. Suleiman Ali. The committee at the end of its assignment last week indicted the Governor of all the allegations, which included appointing card carrying members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as Commissioners, Special Advisers and Caretaker Committee Chairmen of Local Government Areas. The committee further indicted the Governor of
high handedness, display of arbitrary use of power or power drunkenness, including the fueling of the crisis in the state Assembly which, according the committee, was responsible for the workers’ strike currently in the state. All these, the committee in its report holds that it was against the people oriented ideals and principles of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC). nationalTRAIL learnt that the report of indefinite suspension on Governor Bello recommended by the committee has already been submitted to the state working committee of the party for onward transmission to the National Working Committee of the party in Abuja. Meanwhile, Governor Yahaya Bello has persistently denied most of the allegations leveled against him and blamed them on his detractors who, he said, were bent on destabilizing his administration. As numerous crises continue to bedevil the state, prominent APC stakeholders across the state blame the National Secretariat of the party for failing to the checkmate Governor Bello’s excesses, thereby bringing the party in the state to disrepute. Alhaji Abdul Adamu told our correspondent at Ankpa Local Government that he regretted working for the APC in the last general elections, adding that the current happenings in Kogi State is suggestive of a state without a governor. Adamu holds that if nothing is done immediately to arrest this ugly situation which has stagnated development in the state, he and his teeming supporters would be left with no other option than to dump the party. Also Mr. Julius Aremu, another APC stalwart from Ogori-Magogo Local Government Area of the State lamented that the National Secretariat of the party had turned its back on Kogi State thereby leaving the teeming supporters of APC in the state who overwhelmingly voted for it in the last general election at the mercy of Governor Bello whom he described as “a village dictator”. The views of Adamu and Julius are not different from several other APC stalwarts across the state who spoke to National Trail in Lokoja last week. They all expressed concern over the level at which the Governor and the National Secretariat of the party were drifting from the realities on ground in the state and instead were busy chasing shadows.