My dear Bello, congratulations; though it has been over a year you came to the seat as a governor, I have not officially congratulated you. You have indeed become a popular person, if not one of the most talked about person in Nigeria. I cannot say I am not proud of you just as can’t say I am proud of you. Being a governor of Kogites is not easy, especially when a young man like you takes over power. I hope you understand what I meant. Imaging you as a governor is like having someone in primary one as a VC in ABU Zaria. But that should not deter you. You are doing a service and a national one for that matter. I am happy that you know and we knew your are our leader.
Kogites says that I should tell you not to ignore the newspapers and Television report that workers are dying, kidnapping and stealing are the order of the day. They said I should tell you that when Audu, Ibrahim and Wada were there, the situation was different.
They said I should also tell you that some people are now receiving the salary alert for over 22 months and the amount some are receiving ranges from N400 to 30% of the owned salaries. But i know you will persevere because I have noticed you for a long time now, your eye shades has an advantage, it prevents you from seeing the ugly side of the state which is good if not for anything for your health because I heard what happened during one of your recent meetings.
My neighbour is asking whether you are seeing how Jigawa state, Bauchi State and other state are doing. I won’t mention Lagos because in the next ten years you won’t be able to meet up with them. Hope you heard what Enugu state government is doing? They paid 13 months’ salary without anyone complaining whether they were left out or whether the amount was a wrong calculation or should I say they were paid in full.
Your bag, I mean the chief of staff who you carry about has given us body language that you will contest come next election. I think you may have to shelve your idea of coming back to the Lugard house. You see, even the blinds, the villagers both literate and illiterate have done their voters card in a bid to send you parking. I was even surprise when my neighbour took his goat and birds for voter’s card registration. You will have to hold on for a while; that is if not forever.
The life of a Kogite is now terrible and everyone says you are the cause. I am sure ABU Zaria does not have age limit for admitting student. When you are sent packaging it will be good if you take a course on public administration, the study will no doubt help you on how to manage public offices.
I can’t believe you were thinking of another four years of joblessness, lawlessness, nonchalant, and bad human welfare conduct going on in the state. I will advise you as a brother, just forget it. You will lose even if a mad man were to contest against you.
I do not wish to make you panic but I am afraid you will just waste your money-but don’t worry, I don’t care if I should be your campaign manager as far as money is involved, though you will still lose.
Have you heard of scratch ‘my back and I scratch yours?’ oh sorry I forgot you don’t like idioms right from your days in secondary school days but you can ask Edward, I think he look smart enough to know what it means. I think that pattern can only work in your dreams for now, unless you listen to what I have as a suggestion. Maybe let’s start from the payment of all the staff salaries both cleared and not cleared ones; for now we don’t even know what cleared and not cleared mean as if they once cleared are grasses that re-grows because after being cleared they become not-cleared. Then make sure we have adequate light supply, at least for 12 hours daily, you know we are not too greedy people. Our roads too are in bad states and we also need street lights and good security since locking our doors alone cannot prevent thieves from boring holes on our walls to gain access into our very main bedrooms.
As you may have known, once human beings begin to enjoy, they forget their pain and sorrows. So that pattern might work for you even if not to win at least you will get 500 votes. Also your name could be changed from Obo-ilo to Ugwu soup.
Listen, when I wake tomorrow morning I want to hear that the Kogi State Governor have directed the payment of workers’ salaries and arrears and it should be before the Christmas Eve. We will talk about it when you have done the right thing.
No, you don’t need my phone number; I haven’t forgotten what it means to send this kind of letter with my phone number.
Meanwhile, I am sending this letter with pictures of staff who have died without being paid and the pictures of in bad states and also roads too. There is Kano Gorasa and kwa-kwa, I hope you will enjoy it.
Just as lightening is so fast and heart thrusting, the moment and how destiny turn tables on them that particular day was also fast. It was like a dream to him as he sat in the middle of the sitting room weeping like a punctured tank rushing out. Four family members came inside and lifted the lifeless body of Uncle Dowd for burial. Many thought came and flogged him deep down into his brain and he felt like erasing the memory away and wished it was just a dream.
The memory of his dad, uncle Dowd torments him. It was like bush fire blazing through the forest, flogged by the harmattan. The voice of his dad early in the morning calling out to him to get ready for the Morning Prayer played an endless loop. Those smiles whenever he returns from school in the evening replayed too. As he turned sideways, he noticed the Panasonic radio switched off and more tears gushes out of his eyes. He cherished the radio just as he cherished his dad. Uncle Dowd and his radio were friends, as he never ate without it.
He remembered the dead look he always wears each time he prayed the five mandatory prayer when the time had passed. Thinking about all the little and big things about his dad ate him dry.
Beside uncle Dowd’s favourite sofa, his wife sat restless on the tiled floor. In her eyes were tears she could never shed. If she sits, she stood abruptly and when helped to stand, she sits. The pain and sorrow she was trying to endure was much and enough to get her crazy. Her hair scattered, her eyes bulging like that of a toad and tears drew the map of many nations yet undiscovered on her cheeks.
Bello you will die, you will die before your children grow up. You will go blind even if you have a long life. Unless there is no God, unless I didn’t gave birth to my five children and married the Dowd before you became governor. You starved us and still killed my husband, my only hope for survival because he stood against you! You will die a miserable death.
Some women tried to calm her down. But she was already out control. Her pain and sorrow was such that has no cure. How am I going to take care of five children, young children without a father, without salary for the past 20 months? All this and the death alone were killing her too. She wished she never gave birth to them after all. She also wished they all died at a time, all seven of them. In that case no one would be left to suffer afterward. No! She roared, maybe afraid of her own thoughts as well. No they will replace their father; they will repay Bello and his officials.
Muhammad sat where he was, sobbing like a vulture beaten by a heavy rain. His was not how and who killed his father, but why it has to be at that crucial time in his life. He was still in senior secondary one and the eldest among five. The task and responsibility ahead alone was a mountain he must learn how to climb, when he could barely walk properly.
I want to let you know that this little piece has really given me a lot of headache thinking about how to really start writing it. I don’t know if this is perfect but this is my final decision. I have to start this way, maybe it is unprofessional but what do I care if my aim is achieved and you the reader finally get to see my points.
Yahaya Bello is a household name in one of the Middle Belt State of Nigeria, Kogi State to be precise. Bello, to the Igalas, the majority of the state is the synonym to Obo-ilo (which literally means bitter leaf soup). No one really knows how they come about the name but it does makes sense thinking about how they rhythms and maybe due to the bitter and hard living conditions he is left Kogi people with.
Who is Bello? Bello happens to be the youngest, nonchalant, uncultured and a kindergarten governor of the people of Kogi State. I won’t tell you how he became the governor of Kogi state. If you want to know click on this link http://www.google.com/YahayaBello
After the unfortunate death of the rightful winner of the governorship election, Adu-oja(which literally mean slave of the people), a name which he acquire for himself through his selfless service for his people or perhaps to the people of the state, the stubborn, uncultured young man was named a replacement for the vacant position.
LET ME PRAISE MYSELF FIRST
Let me praise myself a little. My friends used to call me Okocha before Ronaldo and Messi made their name to stardom, since then I was called either of them by name. Maybe I was the best on the field in my own world outside La-liga and the English premier league.
You will be surprise to hear this but it’s true. I’m a good artist too; a glance at my room will leave your mouth agape. This no doubt earned me the title of “Leonardo da Kogi”. Not only that but also I was a good singer, the Lionel Richie of my hood.
Before I forget, I was the love doctor to all my friends back then in school. They were no issues concerning love that I wouldn’t be asked about. Most of the tactics which I taught them works miraculously. Instead of calling me Shakespeare, they resorted to Sha Rukh Khan, the Bollywood king of romance. Maybe there was no spear in me they could shake, which was why they didn’t call me Shakespeare.
A VOICE FOR THE VOICELESS
Now let’s talk about how Bello, Kogi and his governance concern me. My name you already know. My father used to tell us right from childhood that we were Kogites but I never believed until his death when we had to relocate due to troubles from his people that our mum was too young to take care of us alone in the far away from home northern Nigeria.
Before his death, none of his children knew he had a house in the state. It was a secret he hid from every one of us except our mum. We moved into the house after burial and it was like starting all over again.
Oh I forgot to tell you about my first experience in the state. I will say it was the most unfortunate thing to have occurred to me. Before leaving the north for my state, I was full of enthusiasm that I was going to a state equipped with basic amenities, but when I finally left Abuja behind and entered Ohono, the first Village or Community I could remember easily to be where I noticed I was in Kogi state, my heart melted in shame. The first entrance of the state was nothing to write home about.
Also, entering into the state capital will leave your eyes wet with tears of disappointment. Believe you me; your heart will boil in anger to see such a welcoming disgrace. Big Lorries, and trucks parked at every corner of the road and leathers and dirty clothes littered everywhere.
Let me stop here before the former Governors read this and actually think I am saying they did nothing. You all tried. Weldone sair!
After some months later, my mum got a job at one of the general Hospital. She was a nurse. This is where Bello came in. She worked under both Ibrahim Idris and Wada and we were very contented not really rich.
After the exit of Wada, Obo-ilo began to act up. Screening without ends and that became the beginning of our nightmares. Bello himself was not aware of his doings. He was like a kid holding a pencil and a drawing book in his hand, painting and drawing as he wishes without dimensions.
Mum began borrowing to pay for our school fees as the nature of her job wouldn’t permit her to start any business.
Last night I overheard the person she had been collecting money from asking for her money. Bello, please pay our fathers and mother so that no one would disgrace them because if they do we may forgive you but we will ask God to pay you back accordingly.
We can’t eat good food
We can’t wear better clothes
We can’t afford our school fees
She works in the clinic but we can’t afford medical fees
PLEASE PAY OUR PARENTS!!!
BELLO IF YOU READ THIS IT’S JUST A LITERATURE… IF THERE WAS ANY INSULT IT WAS TO BLEND THE WRITE UP NOT TO TARNISH YOUR IMAGE… WELDONE SAIR!