Bello is a political engineer in his own right with unique policies. For instance, his government deployed tax consultants to watch citizens buying bread and confectioneries and collect levies on each item purchased. When there was an uproar, his government issued a signed confirmation and justification of this strange tax collection.
His Commissioner for Information and Communication, Kingsley Fanwo, who is also an evangelist, issued an official statement on November 13, 2020 titled: “The facts about the bakery levies.” In it, the state government declared: “Let us place on record that the levies are not new (they are to) protect our economy from the activities of bakers outside the State who bring their bread to the State without paying any form of levy.” Later, the Bello administration made a U-turn. But rather than apologise, it attempted to put a lie on the levy.
Despite the existence of signed documents between the state government and the tax consultants, their authorisation to collect the bread levies, and the signed confirmation by the Ministry of Information, Chief Edward Onoja, Governor Bello’s deputy, made a flat denial.
He said “For the records, neither the governor nor the State Executive Council has imagined or proposed such a devilish tax regime, how much less imposing same on any food or essential commodity, not to mention bread which is a table staple and the basic lifeline of many a household.”
Bello had been cross with his former deputy, Simon Achuba, and sought ways to punish him. One of them was to make that office completely redundant and a refusal to pay the deputy governor’s salaries.
At a point, there was a decision to remove Mr. Achuba. But the problem was that he could only be impeached by the State Assembly. To actualise this, the Assembly in accordance with the constitution, accused the deputy governor of gross misconduct and set up an Investigative Panel of Inquiry. But the panel found Mr. Achuba innocent of all charges.
That should have ended the impeachment moves, but not in Kogi State that is used to impunity; Mr. Achuba was impeached.
Mr. Justice John Olorunfemi of the Kogi High Court IV while setting aside the illegal impeachment, described the action of the Assembly as “a constitutional coup, hatched and executed in a democracy.”
As part of his unique contributions to governance, Bello whose 2019 re-election was greatly aided by reliance on gunfire and violence, declared that the COVID-19 pandemic was a farce. He refused to allow the nationwide lockdown to be implemented in the state. When the state medical personnel insisted on being provided with Personal Protective Equipment, PPE, armed thugs invaded the hospitals sacking doctors and nurses.
Unfortunately, the State Chief Judge, Nasiru Ajanah, who illegally swore in a new deputy governor to replace Achuba, died of COVID-19 on June 28, 2020.
When I heard that Bello intends to export his unique governance style to the rest of the country by running for the Presidency in 2023, I chuckled.
The fact that a snail has a horn, should not give it the illusion that it is fit to contest in a head-butt competition amongst animals with horns.
– Owei Lakemfa email@example.com