- All may not be well between Governor Yahaya Bello and his deputy, Chief Edward Onoja
- Before now, Bello and Onoja have taken large strides together, going from young voices in the struggle to frontline political leaders
- Now, Bello has reportedly rejected an Onoja-sponsored appointment list, and allegedly effectively began side-lining the deputy governor
A report by ThisDay indicates that all is not well between Kogi state governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello and his deputy, Chief Edward Onoja.
According to the report, there is a silent war between Governor Bello and Onoja over appointments.
Sources quoted in the report revealed that Bello rejected the names Onoja recommended for key positions.
The governor had unceremoniously cleared his cabinet, with insiders saying the cleanout is the duo to the hostility between the duo.
Yahaya Bello, Edward Onoja display their certificates of return after they won the Kogi governorship election late last year. Photo credit: Kogi State Govt
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Bello from the minority Ebira tribe and Onoja from the majority Igala tribe have been friends for long, but it is looking like politics is about to rubbish their friendship.
Before now, Bello and Onoja have taken large strides together, going from young voices in the struggle to frontline helmsmen.
So close was Onoja to Bello that his predecessor, Simon Achuba coming was selected as deputy governor after his (Onoja's) recommendation.
Barely a month after his re-election, Bello conducted the cabinet cleanout, rejected the Onoja-sponsored appointment list, and allegedly effectively began side-lining Onoja.
Onoja recently shared a photo on social media suggesting there is no rift between himself and Governor Bello.
The photo shows Onoja reading a newspaper with the headline 'No one can separate Governor and I.' The deputy governor followed up with a caption saying: 'Absolutely!'
A public affairs analyst, Mohammed Ahmed Yabagi, recently wrote about Bello and Onoja.
His words: “To be loyal is to be devoted and faithful. It could also be to a nation, a philosophy, a country or a group. Chief Onoja symbolizes what it means to have someone, even though of different faith and tongue, to rely on and relax and expect set goals to be achieved.
“Not surprising they are Siamese twins. Law and political science define loyalty as the fidelity to either one’s nation of birth or one’s declared home nation by oath which is by the way. That may be the academically agreed definition, but loyalty is deeper than that and the two subjects of this piece put it to the right context.
“There is no denying the belief the two have in one another which has brought about a recent to-and-fro of a now-familiar wording within Kogi political circle that as Siamese Twin, they are inseparable no matter what anyone does.”
Meanwhile, as the reported misunderstanding between Bello and Onoja gains traction, all is not well within the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Recently, elders of the Kogi chapter of the party called for the immediate expulsion of the former governor of the state, Alhaji Ibrahim Idris (Ibro) and his son, Abubakar Ibrahim Idris, a governorship aspirant under the platform for the PDP in the 2019 governorship election.
In a statement signed on their behalf by one Alhaji Ibrahim Dansofo on Thursday, January 23, the party elders said they took the stance due to the duo's engagement in anti-party activities in recent times.
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