(With Abstract and Reference)
His Excellency, Alhaji Yahaya Adoza Bello, is the Governor of Kogi State, in the North Central Geopolitical Zone of Nigeria. Yahaya Bello is a prominent Nigerian entrepreneur with diverse and humongous investment interests across several sectors of Nigeria’s economy. Old friends agree that not only is he divinely blessed, but that he was blessed early. They testify that he became a billionaire early, and long before his foray into politics.
Those who know Yahaya Bello well will tell you how he was hurt by the underdevelopment of Nigeria, and his native Kogi in particular, especially how the roots of that underdevelopment was fertilized by the rampant corruption and arrogance of successive political elite and their public service and private sector collaborators. As a youth, he was pained no end by the suffering of the ordinary citizen and driven by radical ideas of a dream nation.
The foregoing, along with his belief in Muhammadu Buhari as the Change Agent for Nigeria, motivated him into politics, an undertaking at which he has also proved very successful – like in everything else he has tried his hands.
Born on 18th June, 1975 in Agassa, Okene Local Government Area of Kogi State, he spent most of his early childhood in his native Kogi State during which period he completed his early education before leaving to earn secondary and tertiary education qualifications in Suleja, Niger State and Zaria, Kaduna State respectively.
His Excellency who is today a Chartered Accountant of many years’ standing and a distinguished Fellow of the Association of National Accountants of Nigeria (ANAN) bagged an outstanding Bachelors Degree in Accounting and an MBA in Business Administration from the prestigious Ahmadu Bello University in staccato fashion. He was mobilised along with his mates into the National Youth Service Corps for the mandatory 1-year National Youth Service Corps and posted to the Revenue Mobilization Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC).
During his service year, and determined to be an entrepreneur rather than a civil servant he launched the Fairplus Group which quickly blossomed into a thriving conglomerate over the next couple of years. However, at the end of his service year, the young Yahaya Bello had so distinguished himself at work that he was retained by the RMAFC and rewarded with full employment into the Commission. This shifted his full-time self-employment dreams for a while.
Alhaji Yahaya Bello refused to rest on his laurels, studied hard and became a Chartered Fellow of the Association of National Accountants of Nigeria (ANAN) in 2004 while continuing to excel at work. He earned rapid promotions through Revenue Officer, Revenue Officer II, Accountant and then Head of Department at his employer’s Zonal Office in Makurdi, Benue State.
Yahaya Bello’s serious work ethics and dedication catapulted him through the ranks at a relatively young age into the commanding heights of a Civil Service career. Before long he was promoted Assistant Chief Accountant of the Revenue Mobilization Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) of Nigeria.
Yahaya Bello, who had become a consistent and skillful investor in Nigerian securities in addition to the successes of his Fairplus Group rode the stock boom of the early 2000s and grew his nest egg into substantial wealth. He distinguished himself as a good judge of market and business trends and reinvested his money in real estate, transportation and other profitable sectors. In what must be a case study for serious investors, he grew a diversified portfolio which helped him to avoid the worse of the global economic meltdown of 2007-2008.
The economic meltdown was a turning point which reminded Yahaya Bello of his passion for private business and enterprise. Ever restless for fresh opportunities, he took the bold step of voluntary resignation from the Civil Service, and became a full-time entrepreneur. As the MD/CEO of a burgeoning conglomerate, he made numerous successful investments in the years following, considerably enlarging his net worth.
His Excellency, Governor Yahaya Bello is the chairman and founder of the Kogi Youths Arise Group, the political action group with which he prosecuted his campaign for Office in 2015. At first it was to mobilize young persons in Kogi State for increased roles in leadership and governance but it soon morphed into a tsunami of political action which helped him get elected as the youngest state Governor in Nigeria in 2015.
The group’s twin tenets of ‘not too young to run’ and a ‘New Direction Agenda’ encapsulates the Governor’s passion for youth to get involved in politics and to try out fresh, if controversial ideas, in Office.
Upon Inauguration, His Excellency’s New Direction Blueprint was a groundbreaking document which purposely utilizes a select number of the Sustainable Development Goals to attack multidimensional poverty in his state using the UN/Oxford Multidimensional Poverty Indices.
In 2017, less than 2 years into his first term, Kogi State was invited by the United Nation to the 72nd UN General Assembly as one of only 4 success stories in the SDGs in Nigeria. One is not surprised. His Administration’s New Direction Blueprint and its faithful implementation is arguably the first time a Nigerian subnational Government will be making such utility of the new global development frameworks.
The results turned out better than expected. Commenting on Governor Bello’s stewardship during his State visit to Kogi on December 29, 2022 an impressed, and obviously excited President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR had this to say: ‘I am glad that we have an impressive array of legacy projects through your own state government as proof of our stewardship of Kogi. The APC Administration has indelible footprints in Kogi.’
The President further assured the throng of wellwishers that he considered Bello and his New Direction Administration in Kogi State as one of the APC Government’s success stories: ‘We are proud of him and I encourage the people of Kogi State to continue to support him and his team as they are working hard to ensure peace, security and development in the state.’
Governor Yahaya Bello is a committed party man and a matchless political operative who has delivered for the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in every assignment handed to him by the National Executive Council (NEC). His Excellency played prominent roles in the APC’s electoral successes in several States. His Excellency is the Treasurer, Progressive Governors’ Forum.
His Excellency, Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State was appointed Chairman of the Youth, Women and Persons Living With Disabilities (PLWDs) Mobilisation and Sensitisation Committee for the APC Membership Registration and Revalidation Exercise, 2021. As all and every Nigerian can attest, Governor Yahaya Bello helped to attract millions of young to older people across the nation to the APC through a colourful and creative drive during the exercise.
Reporting to the President after the exercise, the then national leadership of the APC singled out Governor Bello and his team for special Commendation, noting that their work was indeed a positive turning point for the party: ‘(The) Youth, Women and People Living with Disabilities’ Sensitization and Mobilization Committee contributed tremendously to the success recorded in the nationwide membership registration/re-validation exercise’.
Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State also participated in the APC Primaries for 2023 Presidential Elections and helped to galvanize youthful interest in the political season like never before. Upon the emergence of His Excellency, Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu (now President-elect) as the APC flagbearer at those primaries, Governor Bello demonstrated his sportsmanship and loyalty to Party supremacy immediately by collapsing his campaign into the winners.
Later appointed the National Youth Coordinator and Chairman of the National Youth Mobilisation Directorate in the APC’s Presidential Campaign Council for the elections, His Excellency went on to discharge his duties with characteristic excellence and despatch. It is on record that the youth component of the APC has never been as physically involved in the Party’s electioneering as they became in 2023. Pundits believe that the credit should go to the President-elect’s personality and his formidable political machinery, of which Yahaya Bello was a leading light.
For his sterling successes in leadership and governance, Governor Yahaya Bello is the recipient of many awards from prestigious institutions, both within Nigeria and internationally. It is however a measure of His Excellency’s values that one of the most cherished is the first ever Inspector-General of Police Award for Excellence In Security Governance. It was an award bestowed exclusively on him by Nigeria’s then top cop for his Administration’s successes in turning Kogi State from the most insecure state in Nigeria outside of the North East pre-2015, into the safest state in the country within two years of taking Office, according to data from the National Bureau for Statistics (NBS) and other rating agencies.
His Excellency, Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State is a leading performer in the Vision 2030 of the United Nations via the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). He has exceeded the 35% Affirmative Action for Gender Equity and Youth Inclusiveness. He is also a grand advocate of persons with special needs and makes sure to include members of the community in government.
No wonder he is the recipient of the Most Gender Sensitive Governor Award from the National Council of Women Societies (NCWS) which also invested him as the He-For-She Ambassador of Nigerian Women 2021. UN Women and AU ECOSOC have also issued him Commendations for his exemplary leadership in gender equity, as have frontline female leaders on the African continent such as Her Excellency, Jewel Cianeh Taylor, Vice President of the Republic of Liberia.
His Excellency’s appeal as a cross-cutting politician is well documented and he has forged friendships with other leaders across party lines. His enduring friendship with his brother Governor in Rivers State, who is the de facto National leader of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), made him one of the few opposition figures to be conferred with the highest honours in the State, to wit, the Grand Service Star of Rivers State (GSSRS) in 2022.
Alhaji Yahaya Bello is a philanthropist who, long before he ventured into politics, was already deploying his personal funds to run three orphanage homes while sponsoring scores of undergraduate and postgraduate students in various higher institutions within and outside Nigeria. He is still neck-deep into philanthropy to this day.
Yahaya Adoza Bello is a devout Muslim who is happily married with children. His hobbies include reading and travelling, although he has fully sacrificed the latter in order to sit at home and focus on the job of governing his state and people. In the 7-plus years that he has led Kogi State, he has only travelled out of the country twice – both time on assignment with or for President Muhammadu Buhari.
It goes without saying that in Nigeria’s leadership space today, Yahaya Bello is the undisputed front-runner in security, affirmative action, youth inclusivity, unity and diversity. He is a bridge-builder who has stepped in to restore peace and unity to the nation when crisis loomed large. For example, during the face-off between Northern and Southern parts of Nigeria caused by the Shasha Market crises and subsequent blockade of food shipments to the South, Governor Yahaya Bello brokered a peace deal which not only caused trade to resume normally but also stopped planned reprisal attacks against southerners in the north.
Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State is popularly known in the media as ‘The White Lion’ and ‘The Stormy Petrel’ of Nigeria’s current political dispensation. The former salutes his strength of character and untainted reputation while the latter references his penchant to confront and ride out storms, unafraid – especially when they threaten the welfare of the people.
To his teeming supporters across Nigeria, His Excellency, Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State is, by the grace of Almighty God, a man for today and for tomorrow.
Part II: ABSTRACT
This formal citation provides a comprehensive account of the illustrious career and noteworthy achievements of His Excellency Yahaya Adoza Bello, the esteemed Governor of Kogi State in Nigeria. Governor Bello’s remarkable journey is outlined, showcasing his entrepreneurial acumen, commitment to addressing underdevelopment and corruption, and his subsequent entry into the political arena. The article meticulously details his early life and education, including his completion of primary education in Kogi State, followed by secondary and tertiary education in Niger State and Kaduna State respectively.
Governor Bello’s academic accomplishments as a Chartered Accountant and Fellow of the Association of National Accountants of Nigeria (ANAN) are highlighted, underscoring his attainment of a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting and an MBA in Business Administration from the esteemed Ahmadu Bello University. His dedication and work ethic are evidenced during his National Youth Service Corps assignment at the Revenue Mobilization Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC), where his exceptional performance led to his retention and subsequent employment by the commission.
The citation showcases Governor Bello’s meteoric rise in the civil service, marked by rapid promotions and significant contributions to the Revenue Mobilization Allocation and Fiscal Commission. During this time, he also demonstrated his investment prowess, capitalizing on market trends and expanding his financial portfolio in diverse sectors such as real estate and transportation.
The article delves into Governor Bello’s entry into politics, driven by his deep-rooted desire to combat underdevelopment and champion the cause of the ordinary citizens. His involvement in the All Progressives Congress (APC) and his pivotal role in mobilizing and galvanizing youth for increased participation in politics are highlighted. The citation further acknowledges his appointment as Chairman of the Youth, Women and Persons Living With Disabilities (PLWDs) Mobilization and Sensitization Committee for the APC Membership Registration and Revalidation Exercise in 2021, which significantly contributed to the party’s nationwide success.
Governor Bello’s transformative leadership and governance are explored, with a specific focus on his groundbreaking New Direction Blueprint. This blueprint, which utilizes select Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), demonstrates Governor Bello’s innovative approach to tackling multidimensional poverty within Kogi State. The citation highlights the recognition received from the United Nations for Kogi State’s exemplary implementation of the SDGs, underscoring the administration’s commitment to global development frameworks.
Furthermore, Governor Bello’s commitment to gender equity, youth inclusiveness, and the welfare of persons with special needs is emphasized. His initiatives and achievements in these areas have earned him prestigious awards, both nationally and internationally. Notably, the citation acknowledges the Most Gender Sensitive Governor Award from the National Council of Women Societies (NCWS) and his appointment as He-For-She Ambassador of Nigerian Women 2021. Governor Bello’s leadership in promoting gender equity has garnered commendations from UN Women, AU ECOSOC, and esteemed female leaders on the African continent.
The citation recognizes Governor Bello’s commendable efforts in fostering unity and building bridges across party lines. His enduring friendship with a fellow governor from an opposing party, which resulted in the conferral of the Grand Service Star of Rivers State (GSSRS), exemplifies his commitment to national unity and cooperation.
Governor Bello’s philanthropic endeavors are also highlighted, including his pre-political involvement in running orphanage homes and sponsoring numerous students in higher education. His dedication to public service is further exemplified by his limited international travel, prioritizing governance and the well-being of his constituents.
In conclusion, this citation encapsulates the exceptional achievements and unwavering dedication of His Excellency Yahaya Adoza Bello, the 4th Executive Governor of Kogi State, Nigeria. His transformative leadership, innovative governance, and commitment to the welfare of the people have earned him accolades and recognition both nationally and internationally. Governor Bello’s remarkable journey, from a young entrepreneur to a visionary politician, serves as an inspiration to aspiring leaders and underscores the potential for positive change through dedicated public service. With his relentless pursuit of progress and development, Governor Bello continues to shape the trajectory of Kogi State and contribute to the advancement of Nigeria as a whole.
Part III: REFERENCE
BELLO, Yahaya Adoza. “Citation of His Excellency Yahaya Bello, the 4th Executive Governor of Kogi State of Nigeria.” Kogipedia Compendium of Governance In Kogi State, vol. 7, no. 1, 2023 (www.kogipedia.net).