By Adurodija Ebenezer
Philosophers have played a significant role in shaping our understanding of leadership and providing us with useful models to guide our own leadership journeys. The ultimate goal of visionary leaders is to leave their political jurisdiction in a better state than they found it, and this aspiration serves as the driving force behind the requirement for leaders to have a substantial influence in the complex realm of governance.
Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State has emerged as a radical Governor with innovative ideas that have positioned him as a proponent of early thinkers’ leadership theories. He has implemented the EBIGO policy, which stands for the major ethnic groups in the state: Ebira, Igala, and Okun, which has resulted in the fair distribution of amenities and a balanced approach to appointments, ensuring justice and fairness.
Governor Bello’s approach is guided by the New Direction Agenda, a compass crafted by the government that was upgraded for his second term in office and christened Let’s Do More. He has made it clear that he will not take any risks with the welfare and future of the people of Kogi State.
Governor Yahaya Bello’s visionary approach focused on five pivotal areas: agriculture, tourism, industry, health, and education. To bolster agricultural production and productivity, he has implemented measures such as facilitating improved access to credit, modernising farming techniques, and encouraging private sector investments.
Kogi State, under the leadership of Governor Yahaya Bello, has been prioritising education to empower its citizens and lay the foundation for sustainable development. The state has established several prestigious universities, such as Prince Abubakar Audu University in Anyigba, which has attracted thousands of aspiring students. These institutions have achieved 100% accreditation, demonstrating their commitment to providing quality education and training. The Confluence University of Science and Technology, Osara, is another notable institution that aims to promote science and technological education. The government’s commitment to investing in education and fostering innovation has made these institutions highly sought-after by students and employers. The establishment of a general-purpose university in Kabba, located in the Western Senatorial District of the state, has also created new opportunities for economic growth and social development.
The transformation of secondary schools, such as the GYB Model Secondary School in Adankolo, Lokoja, has left an indelible mark on the history of the state. This project has been replicated in other senatorial districts and aims to promote science and technology in Kogi State.
The government has also made significant contributions to primary education funding, enhancing school infrastructure, and implementing scholarship programmes and educational grants to ensure equal opportunities for underprivileged students. Governor Yahaya Bello’s legacy in education serves as a model for other states to study, particularly in terms of educational development.
Under Bello’s leadership, Kogi State has provided comprehensive healthcare services, including community-driven interventions and referrals when necessary. Proactive measures have been taken to control public health emergencies through various intervention programmes, including the establishment of a public health emergency operation centre and treatment centres for diseases like Lassa fever and other infectious diseases.
The progress made in the health sector of Kogi State is a testament to Bello’s commitment to improving the well-being of its citizens. Through strategic planning, effective governance, and partnerships, the state has achieved remarkable milestones in healthcare delivery. Kogi State has been certified polio-free, and the government has established a Drugs and Medical Supplies Management Agency to ensure the availability and distribution of high-quality drugs and medical consumables. The Bello-led administration in Kogi State has not failed to meet the electorate’s expectations, with notable projects such as the Central Reference Hospital in Okene expected to attract patients worldwide and provide commendable service provision.
Under Bello’s transformative leadership, the health sector has witnessed an unprecedented transformation, surpassing any previous records in history.
The government under Governor Bello’s administration also focused on infrastructural development, meeting the electorate’s expectations through exceptional quality projects.
Governor Bello has made significant strides in improving the road networks throughout Kogi State. The construction of the Ganaja Junction Flyover in Lokoja has alleviated traffic congestion and improved the efficiency of the road transportation system. Governor Bello’s administration has also undertaken numerous road rehabilitation projects across the state, resulting in smoother travel for citizens and promoting rural development. The ongoing development of 29 roads across Kogi State demonstrates the commitment of Governor Bello’s administration to infrastructural development. A significant percentage of these projects have been completed, showcasing the administration’s dedication to progress. Governor Bello has also spearheaded the establishment of the President Muhammed Buhari Civic Centre, a state-of-the-art event venue with a capacity of 15,000 people.
The team working alongside him in the new Direction administration consists of individuals with exceptional intellectual capabilities, remarkable cognitive skills, and unwavering political determination. Worth mentioning is Alhaji Usman Ahmed Ododo, the APC candidate for the forthcoming governorship election in Kogi State on November 11, 2023. Ododo is a former Auditor-General for Local Government in Kogi State and emerged as the winner of the APC primary election held on April 14, 2023. He is widely regarded as a loyalist and protégé of Governor Bello.
He is seen as a competent and credible administrator with a track record of transparency and accountability in public service. He is an independent-minded and visionary politician who would take Kogi State to greater heights. He has the capacity to sustain and surpass the uncommon legacies of Governor Bello without compromising.
Usman has a good rapport with stakeholders in Kogi State, including traditional rulers, religious leaders, civil servants, traders, farmers, youths, and women.
Ododo’s close association with Governor Bello has positioned him as a formidable contender in the upcoming election, as he has received the unwavering support and endorsement of the Governor. With his extensive experience, Ododo brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the table, making him an exceptionally strong candidate for the governorship position in Kogi State.