INTERVIEW: I will break Buhari’s record – Kogi Governor-elect, Bello

Kogi Governor, Yahaya Bello
Kogi Governor, Yahaya Bello

By the time he is sworn into office January 2016, Yahaya Bello, at 42, would be the youngest governor in Nigeria. He says his emergence as governor is an opportunity for the youth to prove that they can provide purposeful leadership, better than what the country experienced in previous years. Mr. Bello said an average Kogi and Nigerian youth would be proud after his four years as governor.

PREMIUM TIMES’ Sani Tukur and Jaafar Jaafar cornered Mr. Bello recently in Abuja for a short interview. He speaks about his plans for the state, corruption, and his deputy governor-elect, James Faleke.

PT: Shortly after your victory was announced, you said your party, the APC, and yourself, would embark on a kind of reconciliation with all aggrieved parties. How far has that gone?

Bello: Thank you very much. Like you rightly said, reconciliatory moves were made by both the national headquarters of our party, at the state level and at my own end and the leaders of our party, and it has yielded tremendous results.

Leaders from the east, west and central have substantially – over 90 percent – accepted my candidature and eventual success at the poll. That is why we have been able to draw up a list of personnel of high repute to partake in the transition as well as inauguration programme that is ahead of us. So we are very much in good shape.

PT: Are members of the late Audu family, and your deputy, Faleke, also part of the transition committee?

Bello: All Kogites across the divide are well represented.

PT: James Faleke says he would not turn up for inauguration as your deputy. In the event he sticks to his pledge and refuses to turn up for swearing-in, what are your plans? Are you going to pick someone from late Audu’s family or the region Faleke comes from?

Bello: I have maintained this position, which I would still maintain, that as at the time of the vacancy of the governorship position, I was chosen and as at that time, there was a deputy governorship candidate as running mate. I am concerned about myself then as the governorship candidate and now the governor-elect. The party can better explain the position of deputy.

PT: But did you guys talk since after the election?

Bello: We speak regularly. Honourable James Faleke and myself are good friends. We maintain our friendship and the relationship is a wonderful one.

PT: Kogi is a unique state with a rich diversity, so, what are the specific plans you have for the state as soon as you are sworn in?

Bello: I always say that the state is bleeding as a result of mismanagement and wasteful way of doing things. We would correct all this. Going by the manifesto of our party of diversifying the economy of our country, we equally want to look inwards as a state by improving our IGR (Internally Generated Revenue). What are those areas that are currently being tapped and those that are not tapped? Is what is being tapped maximally utilised? We also want to block all leakages that exist now.

Agriculture is going to be of serious priority. We are also going to partner with the Federal Government as well as get foreign and local investors to tap into our mineral resources because we don’t have the exclusive right of tapping into these resources.

Kogi State cannot be sitting on a gold mine and we are where we are today. We also want to look into the educational sector because at present it is seriously down. We want to completely overhaul it. In the health sector, our women and children are dying, that is going to be taken seriously. As for job creation, we cannot continue to employ as a state government. We must create that enabling environment for investors to come in and as such a lot of jobs would be created.

We would equally encourage our teeming youth to partake in the agricultural programme we are going to have and the entrepreneurial skills that we are sure they are going to acquire.

During our campaigns, we got a comprehensive documentary of how our villagers fare, so we are going to look into that and we would also encourage the investors that are going to come to the country to take advantage of their social responsibility very seriously.

There would be social reform by making sure that there is optimal performance within the civil service to avoid redundancy and the like.

PT: What about the fight against corruption at the state level, because, as you are well aware that that remains a major problem in this country and the present Federal Government appear to consider the fight against corruption as a top priority. We don’t see that level of enthusiasm from the state governors. So, in your own state, how do you plan to fight corruption?

Bello: Like the president rightly said, if you don’t kill corruption, corruption will kill you. If Nigeria does not fight corruption, corruption will kill Nigeria. It is the same thing with the states and local governments.

We would deliberately look at those areas where corrupt practices are taking place. This is our state, see where it is after creation 24 years ago. The question is are we desirous of a state in this nature? If we are not desirous of it, we would call on all those who are perpetrating those acts to desist and we would start from there and see how we would fix things.

PT: Late Audu had a plan for Kogi state because there were projects that he started when he was governor but was abandoned by his predecessors, what would you do with those projects and even policies?

Bello: Our leader, Abubakar Audu, may his soul rest in peace, was the first governor of our dear state and was as well as the second executive governor of the state. His developmental landmarks are still there. One way we can show appreciation for what he stood for is to ensure that his dreams come true by ensuring that we marry together almost all the developmental programmes he had and then embark on actualizing them aggressively. The state would be good for it.

PT: Earlier you mentioned the formation of a transition committee, but how much cooperation have you received from the present PDP administration in the state?

Bello: Immediately after my victory at the poll and emergence as governor-elect, His Excellency, Captain Idris Wada, the executive governor of Kogi state, called and congratulated me. He also told me that he would immediately put up his own transition committee members and urged me to do same and forward my own team members to him.

My team is being constituted now and within the week I am going to unveil, inaugurate and forward them to him. We are going to work harmoniously together.

PT: You would be the youngest governor in Nigeria by the time you are sworn into office, so what should an average Nigerian youth expect from your administration that is different from others?

Bello: Performance! By the grace of God I would have no reason not to perform excellently. I will break the record of even our president, His Excellency, Muhammadu Buhari. After four years, Kogi state will never be the same again. Expectations are high, and we know there are challenges out there, but we are going to move in aggressively to ensure we do well.

I will equally urge the youth to come on board, give us ideas to harmonize with ours so that we can build the state of our dream.

PT: Who is your Godfather?

Bello: Almighty Allah!

PT: I asked this because there are insinuations out there that someone must have pushed for you to be picked to replace the late Audu?

Bello: We looked at the state of Nigeria and realize that we desire this change. We supported our party and our president and we had it. On our own, as youth and young men across the state, and even across the country, then felt we needed to do it and we did.

Coming down, everybody knew that Kogi state is backward, and we can’t fight for change for the country, get it and we can’t fight for it in our state. Remember that the powers of the youth cannot be challenged. We have the voting population, we are vibrant and we have all the ideas. So, we were able to put ourselves together and say look lets tell those who held us to this level that they should let us free. God then crowned all our efforts with this success.

I would therefore, have no reason not to appreciate God by performing after I am sworn in. I would have no reason not to perform and justify the support that the youth and Kogi people gave to me. If I don’t do that, I would have disappointed God, the youth and even the leaders who assisted us in getting to the point we are today.


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  • REDEEM

    Premium Times stop deceiving Nigerians–and acting like the mouth organ of the Apes in APC. How much are u guys being paid for this hatchet mans job–u are doing for APC? Bearing all the controversies surrounding the selection of this opportunits–there is nothing pleasant about him for us Nigerians to learn-He stink like a group of black demons?–For he is like thief-Buhari who was imposed on us by the USA—The rightful person to be nominated for the job is the Deputy to late Audu. But had to be ditched by the Islamic party of Nigeria-APC because of his Chrisitan background for a Muslim-like him—following the untimely death of Audu—and not that he was nominated by INEC because he EVER dreamed or sweated for that post———-Buhari and the thieves in INEC stole the mandate of the people for u while PDP slept like mumus———–in a self induced—trance——in Kogi state—–Wada will remain governor sha————-regardless of the efforsts of the Apes in APC–to steal from where they did not sow.

    • Aminu Abdul.ajid

      Think about the constitution before all these jargon and grammatical error; you are typing.

  • Mephistoheles

    First of all, Jaafar Jaafar and Sani Tukur did not CORNER the Governor! You don’t use that word in this instance.

    …that said, the domino effect has started way earlier than even we could have predicted..

    Carry on Yahaya Bello….we are solidly behind you. If anyone gives you undue stress tell them that “Sarki’n yaaki” is with you.
    May God bless us all.

  • QZeee

    Zero is the easiest record to break. President Buhari has not started anything or done one thing well.

  • MESSI (antiKwarafshun Activist

    BREAKING NEWS! ‘WHITE’ WITCHES ENDORSE ‘BODY LANGUAGE’!

    According to an exclusive report by Vanguard newspaper now trending worldwide, WHITE WITCHES ASSOCIATION in Nigeria have pitched tents with the Buhari/APC and endorsed their body-language policy on solving national issues.
    I addition, the dreaded group claimed part responsibility for jonathan’s ‘loss’ at the polls..saying he REJECTED their overtures to him.
    This bizarre revelation from the APC coven..SORRY, WITCHES COVEN…has thrown shell shocked Nigerian religious communities into panic and confusion!
    According to insiders, the question on everyones lips is; WHAT RELATIONSHIP EXISTS(IF ANY) BETWEEN THIS SCARY GROUP AND THE ‘SYMBOL’ OF THE APC PARTY?

    *Editor’s Note: Kogites should fast & pray this is not the record the governor intends to break.

  • Damilola

    Of course he will, he has the capacity and standing. Deceit, subterfuge, forgery, perjury, prejudice, contempt of Court, among many other quintessential pervert nature of Mr. Body Language, is a good quality an ordinary man short of rationality like this man could emerging to BREAK

    • Chuks

      The country has moved on, deal with it. You sleep with hatred and bigotry. You wake up with more hatred and bigotry. You write stupidly, bigoted and full of hate, and you still have more than 3 years to gnash your teeth? Lord have mercy!

      • DTaj

        Chuks, God bless you. Let haters die from their hate! Buhari is our President till 2019 (at least) and we are recovering gradually from the corruption-laden govt of lame duck Jonathan! May God continue to strengthen President Buhari as he clears the rotten carcass of the past! Amen!

      • Damilola

        Deal with the truth and hold on to it!!!

    • Buhari4Ever

      Did your father cursed the gods?

      • Damilola

        Deal with the truth and hold on to it!!!.

  • citizenka

    Dear Governor-elect as a young governor help Nigeria move from the old ass licking and time wasting days of saying”His Excellency, Captain Idris Wada, the executive governor of Kogi state called” to a simple “Governor Wada called”

  • Malik Isah

    Great aspirations, and may God help you

  • Rommel

    In 1999,some governors were much younger,Donald Duke for instance was 38 yrs while Orji Uzo Kalu was 39 so age has nothing to do with achievements,these mentioned individuals did not perform exceptionally better.

    • Mephistoheles

      Rommel. what is wrong with you. Stop and think for a second if your comment has any value.
      You basically said young people have arrived at same positions in the past. So? What is your point? They should give up and never try again?

      We have seen comments from you that betrays the indolent character you would have many of these people here believe you are. (Perhaps we are the morons that think you are what you may not be.!)
      Regardless. your last comment is a ‘red herring’!
      Our only question is Why? Why throw a Red Herring at this point in time.

      P.S. We are to be addressed as ‘your excellency’. Disregard that advice at your own peril!
      Long live Biafra!!

  • Nandi

    Sorry, I’m really trying to understand. So this young governor-elect sets his ambition on “breaking Buhari’s record”. what record does Buhari have that anyone can aspire to, can someone please tell me? Promises disowned, Naira now 280 to the $, businesses crashing, petrol queues, violence increasing and soldiers killing and raping. Kogi people better beware if this is the record this man says he will bring to you. Anyway, many people now say they voted for Osinbajo and got Buhari. In Kogi, they voted for Faleke and got Bello, abi?

    • Ujana

      Yours was my first thought when I saw the heading of the article. What record does Buhari have that is there to be broken? Eleven days to end of year and Boko Haram still not defeated, Shekau not found (or maybe they are hiding him in a mansion next to the governors as the Pakistanis did for Osama Bin Laden since Shekau is Sunni like Buhari), Chibok girls not found, not even a single corruption conviction, not even single development plan, not even a single plan for preventing corruption on future. The only record Buhari has set is how many times he has gone overseas and spoke about how his government will fight corruption, even though world leaders are there to talk about sometime else such global climate.

  • Parasites O Parasites!!!

    BEHOLD BUHARI’S RECORD——–> BELLO MUST BE SICK

    1. You say that you are fighting Boko Haram yet you are travelling the world drinking tea with world leaders whilst your soldiers are secretly being slaughtered.
    2. You say you are fighting Boko Haram yet you were nominated as their spokesman and chief negotiator 2 years ago in proposed peace talks with the Federal Government.
    3. You say you are fighting Boko Haram but the man you appointed as your National Security Adviser was retired from the army a few years ago for ordering the release of Boko Haram terrorists under suspicious circumstances.
    4. You say you are fighting Boko Haram but the first thing you did when u came to power was to remove military checkpoints.This guaranteed Boko Haram free movement and access to the entire country.
    5. You say you are fighting Boko Haram yet last year you told the world that an attack on Boko Haram is an attack on the north.
    6. You say you are fighting terror yet since you came to power Boko Haram has grown in strength, has regained lost territory and has been declared the ”worlds number one most deadly terror group” by the Global Terror Index.
    7. You say you are fighting terror yet since you came to power Nigeria, according to the Global Terror Index, has been declared as not just having ”the first most deadly terror group in the world” which is Boko Haram but also of having ”the fourth most deadly terror group in the world” which is a group that the Index describe as the ”Fulani militants” and that we call the Fulani herdsmen.
    8. You say you are fighting Boko Haram yet since you came to power Nigeria has been declared the world’s ”third most terrorised country” by the Global Terror Index after Iraq and Afghanistan which were declared first and second respectively whilst Syria and Pakistan were declared fourth and fifth.
    9. You say you are a ”born again democrat” yet you voted against the protection of human rights at the United Nations alongside Iran, Zimbabwe and North Korea.
    10. You say you respect human rights yet you barricade Colonel Sambo Dasuki, the former National Security Adviser, in his home, endanger his life, deny him medical attention, flout court orders and make him critically ill.

    ————————-Femi Fani Olukayode

  • Parasites O Parasites!!!

    _BEHOLD BUHARI’S RECORD: —- BELOW MUST BE SICK. REALLY SICK.

    1. You say that you are fighting Boko Haram yet you are travelling the world drinking tea with world leaders whilst your soldiers are secretly being slaughtered.

    2. You say you are fighting Boko Haram yet you were nominated as their spokesman and chief negotiator 2 years ago in proposed peace talks with the Federal Government.

    3. You say you are fighting Boko Haram but the man you appointed as your National Security Adviser was retired from the army a few years ago for ordering the release of Boko Haram terrorists under suspicious circumstances.

    4. You say you are fighting Boko Haram but the first thing you did when u came to power was to remove military checkpoints.This guaranteed Boko Haram free movement and access to the entire country.

    5. You say you are fighting Boko Haram yet last year you told the world that an attack on Boko Haram is an attack on the north.
    6. You say you are fighting terror yet since you came to power Boko Haram has grown in strength, has regained lost territory and has been declared the ”worlds number one most deadly terror group” by the Global Terror Index.

    7. You say you are fighting terror yet since you came to power Nigeria, according to the Global Terror Index, has been declared as not just having ”the first most deadly terror group in the world” which is Boko Haram but also of having ”the fourth most deadly terror group in the world” which is a group that the Index describe as the ”Fulani militants” and that we call the Fulani herdsmen.

    8. You say you are fighting Boko Haram yet since you came to power Nigeria has been declared the world’s ”third most terrorised country” by the Global Terror Index after Iraq and Afghanistan which were declared first and second respectively whilst Syria and Pakistan were declared fourth and fifth.

    9. You say you are a ”born again democrat” yet you voted against the protection of human rights at the United Nations alongside Iran, Zimbabwe and North Korea.

    10. You say you respect human rights yet you barricade Colonel Sambo Dasuki, the former National Security Adviser, in his home, endanger his life, deny him medical attention, flout court orders and make him critically ill. —- Femi Fani Olukayode

  • tsunami1earthquake

    Only in Nigeria. This man is not ashamed to mouth this kind of nonsense! He is not ashamed that he is attempting to ride piggyback on a dead yet-to-be declared governor. This can happen only in Nigeria. Yes only in Nigeria can a vote scored by a dead aspirant gets added to someone else and the election continued. The question is: who owned those votes? Was it Abubakar Audu or this shameless man? Only in Nigeria would people want to make black to become white in broad daylight!

    Well, let him continue to mouth nonsense but he must remember that he is not even there as yet. Please, Nigerians, always try to do the right thing. I cannot understand how the votes of a dead man would be added to another contestant and this contestant declared a winner of an election! Votes are not hereditary or transferable. Once a contestant dies as in this case such votes are cancelled and the next person starts from afresh.

    • Mephistoheles

      my friend geerrraway from here!

      We are not personality cultists. Even if it is a goat, as long as it gets the job done, we will support it!

      People are the dumbest creatures you will ever meet in your life!
      Don’t get us wrong. AN individual may be smart….,but the minute you have more than 2 of them together, they become imbeciles!

    • Micheal Onoh

      Constitution is clear, after reading true the constitution I laugh at you guy’s who come online to talk ignorantly like motor park tout , you don’t know that the only person who’s qualified to be a replacement for Audu is Bello. I bet you that Bello was a divine candidate because God said I will show favor to whom I will period.

  • 4Nija

    He looks fraudulent, I heard he worked in Revenue Mobilization and conived with state officials to inflate state proposals which were later shared to make his wealth. I hope those days are behind him now, cuz that life went with PDP

  • Say the truth

    This fake image laundry and testing of water will not work. You can’t build something on nothing. You don’t even have a subsisting mandate as a governor elect to talk of performing as one. This fellow is already counting his chicken before the eggs are hatched. APC has shot itself in the leg by substituting this guy to inherit already cast votes for another person.

    • Man_Enough

      Nobody voted for bello. Check your voter card. They voted for apc.

  • Say the truth

    Hahahaha this fellow wants to break the record, of the longest fuel scarcity, six months and still counting, ever recorded in the history of Nigeria, as a nation. He wants to break the record of the most traveled elected official in six months. He wants to break the record of the confused government leader of Nigeria. He wants to break the record of the most despotic, bigoted, religious fanatic, sectional and hypocritical leader of Nigeria. Under Buhari, 14 year old son of his vice, Idiagbon, went to Mecca when there’s a decree in place against it. Buhari pronounced Abacha clean inspite of billions of dollars recovered from his family. What a record indeed.

  • Abubakar Nuhu

    INEC follow the constitution of Nigeria. therefore accept and have faith as a good Christian and pray for good kogi state under the canopy of Yahaya Bello. No body should take law into there hand. Falake is back in Lagos to continue his assignment, some body must not injure or loose his life because of the settled issue.
    Abubakar Nuhu ( Fleeting)
    Lagos

  • Abubakar Nuhu

    Yahaya Bello can do it better if he can do without sentiment. my and yours support can take make him proud and make Kogi proud. Falake accept the result in good faith and work with Bellow or I will come home to replace you and be the first youngest deputy governor.