Bello would win, not in spite of, but because of his flaws – flaws which have dogged his predecessors in the past two decades but have not left the voters any wiser. Bello is done on social media, finished off by his perceived arrogance, his imperial style, and his acrimonious war with civil servants. But he is alive, well and coming back for another four years.
By last week, the governorship/senatorial election in Kogi State had been reduced to a sex duel, with Senator Dino Melaye inviting his arch rival, Governor Yahaya Bello, to a mojo contest.
Kogi’s number one problem in the last two decades has been poverty, not a shortage of testosterone. The State’s monthly allocation is five times smaller than what Dangote gets monthly from the Obajana Cement factory also located there. Poverty is its biggest problem. To make matters worse for the State, the last 20 years of civilian rule have produced leaders determined to divide, incite and rob.
Melaye’s invitation is part of a torrent of distractions that has nearly overshadowed the main issue as Kogi voters go to the poll again this weekend. Before Melaye’s video, the deputy governor, Simon Achuba was removed for acts of gross misconduct and dramatically replaced in spite of his protests that the House of Assembly’s report did not indict him as required by law.
While the dethroned deputy governor was kicking and screaming on the deck, news made the rounds that Bello had bought the main traditional ruler, the Attah of Igala, a Rolls Royce, not only to bring him at par with a number of traditional rulers across the country, but also to optimise his comfort and pleasure as he navigates the rugged roads of Lokoja.
In other words, while the election clock wound down, the headline news on mainstream and social media was hardly about poverty or whether voters thought the governor had performed to deserve a second term. It was, instead, about mojo, infighting and royal comfort.