Between Bello's Ododo and Wike's Fubara - :: Kogi Reports ::

2024-04-29 20:37:34

Kogi News - Latest News from Kogi State

Former Kogi Governor Yayaha Bello is a genius. While other governors were searching for successors, Bello didn't take any chances. He selected the incumbent Ahmed Ododo as he must have known that the average political acolyte, oozing subservience from all orifices, might acquire some superciliousness or a sense of shame once enthroned.

When that metamorphosis is triggered, and the stooge starts weaning himself, the growing self-awareness and returning introspection will evoke emotions with its appearance of virtue, jeopardising and ostracising the godfather. Bello found a staunch follower, and with the latter masquerading as a protege on the throne, almost all fears of a spontaneous or induced recovery of personal autonomy are eliminated.

On his part, former Rivers Governor Nyesom picked Sim Fubara, a seemingly taciturn man who could be overburdened without blinking while maintaining absolute secrecy. A man with whom a certain shared fate would be the consequence if a total political divorce accompanied by all-out treachery ever happened. A quiet and tireless but inflexibly self-effacing mule yoked to the shepherd by the weight of their mutual secrets.

Fubara is a dutiful young man with uncritical loyalty and the restraint required for political celibacy. However, it appears Wike never bothered to test Fubara's elastic limits for humiliation under gubernatorial temperature and pressure. Had Wike, now Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Minister, looked for an uncompromising henchman stooge, he might have avoided trouble. Evidently, Fubara is not Ododo.

Though Ododo's mechanics have not been thoroughly tested, he has shown a metallic obduracy. Because of Bello's dramatic non-success to secure a federal appointment despite his restlessness on the eve of the election, Ododo has not had any room for a malfunction. The failure of Bello to clinch a face-saving and perhaps self-preservative political job in Abuja has left Kogi babysitting his man.

With Bello perpetually pulsating in the presidential lodge in Lokoja, watching Ododo with bleary eyes for signs of waywardness or malfunction, the governor is denied any form of discretion, and his plight is pitiable of course. To heap blame on him for creating "Office of the Former Governor" in the Government House is to underestimate his suffocating predicament.

With Bello next door and Ododo exposed to the direct impacts of his whims and caprices, Ododo can not be morally culpable for his inactions. Imagine Wike, idle and irritable, bleeding political relevance, living every day in the Government House in Port Harcourt, running an "Office of the Former Governor" from the Governor's Office. Unthinkable. Fubara might have resigned.

Ododo will find more rest if he allows his immediate predecessor to do all the talking so that nobody is deceived by his occasional tough talk. Unlike Ododo, who has told the public to disregard him on official matters because Bello has the final say, Fubara has made known his independence in words and deeds. Wike might have even scored Fubara high for his ability to take humiliation.

But Wike forgot to test Fubara's capacity to switch loyalty to revulsion to heal his wounded conscience with the balm of truth and populism. When Fubara said enough was enough, and his master attempted to push him into oblivion through impeachment, he decided to fight back. Now, he has left Wike restless, holding media chats to convince everyone that loyalty, even if it amounted to a conspiracy to perpetrate state capture, was a virtue.

Bello knew the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission was after him. In 2023, they charged his wife, nephew and aides for a money laundering scheme. In 2022, EFCC discovered how Bello gave state funds to a Bureau De Change agent to convert to dollars (about $900,000) used for advance payments for his children's education.

When the detectives at the anti-corruption agency traced the illicit journey of the stolen funds to an American school in Abuja, the management explained that they had deducted all the amount Bello's children would need as fees till graduation. There was a surplus of a whopping $760,000, which they then begged the EFCC to come and collect.

Bello, like Wike, is innocent of all allegations until found guilty by a competent court of law. But Ododo has done a few spectacular things to establish Bello's innocence. Once he assumed office, Ododo said he was a professional accountant in the mould of President Bola Tinubu; he declared no money was missing from the Kogi treasury in the last 8 years. That was a blanket exoneration of not just Bello but other persons also accused of stealing.

The EFCC eventually traced the elusive Bello to a house on Benghazi Street in the nation's capital. Bello should have avoided Benghazi, a symbol of resistance against demi-gods. Though he is not Muammar Gaddafi, he should have drawn the parallel and regarded Benghazi as a bad omen. With Bello surrounded, Ododo ran to the location with security agents who shoved EFCC operatives and whisked Bello away.

With that singular act of death-defying daredevilry, Ododo has surpassed previous local limits of political puppetry. Being ready to confront federal law enforcement, braving a brazen transgression of all boundaries of civility and morality, and breaching the presidential security precinct to enact audacious self-help is the stuff of inanimate courage.

While Ododo was rescuing Bello, Fubara was continuing his self-rediscovery and preparing for an imminent political circumcision. While Ododo was fabricating garlands of integrity for Bello, Fubara was dismantling his master's structures of infamy and telling the world that Wike lacked integrity. Wike might forgive Fubara for his disloyalty, but he might not forgive him for the integrity comment.

Fubara's declaration feels like a negative political paternity DNA test, reducing a loquacious patriarch to an impotent impostor in his castle. Wike must be filled with regrets as Fubara has tasted personal autonomy and mended fences with the people. Yet, Ododo, who needs a transcendental transmutation, is still what he is, and until the improbable happens, Bello is the genius and Nigeria, the butt of jokes.

2024-04-29 News