The 2019 Kogi State Gubernatorial Elections have come and gone.We thank the Almighty God and our good people for the reelection of Governor Yahaya Bello for a second term in office, with me as his Deputy.
Throughout the campaigns His Excellency premised his request for a second term on the promise to do more and as his loyal follower I echo that resolve. However, the 2nd term starts after Inauguration on the 27th of January, 2020. Till then, our determination and duty is to finish this 1st term as strongly and as successfully as possible.
My point is that as of today, neither His Excellency nor myself have any other desire other than completing our existing mandate with excellence and then improving on our performance in the one to come. In fact, the serious business of providing good governance to the people of Kogi State has since commenced.
I do not have anything against destiny but God-given destiny is an honour which no man takes upon himself. In fact, destiny is a shy spirit which likes to hide itself. It has a way of meeting a man while he is engaged in his dutiful routine of today while doing everything to evade those who go running around looking for it.
One of my favourite Bible characters is David. The story of how he became King of Israel when nobody, including his father, gave him a chance is a classic tale of destiny finding and uplifting somebody while totally writing off others.
David was away in the fields doing his normal job of tending sheep when destiny came in the form of Prophet Samuel to anoint a king from among the sons of Jesse, his father. After they did everything to push the prophet to anoint another person, he discovered the family had a last son whom they did not even believe had any glory in his future. Prophet Samuel directed them to fetch David and immediately he arrived the Holy Spirit identified him for the job and the rest is history.
The point I am trying to make here is that I, Edward DAVID son of Onoja, am not in agreement with those who have started seeing 2023 visions and making provocative permutations for me. 2023 is a river, when we get to it God will show us how to cross it. For now, allow me to settle down and do the current job my boss has assigned to me. Even tomorrow, can any of us tell what will happen? As a Believer I have learnt never to be ahead of the one who owns the future. It’s the fastest way to truncating one’s Destiny. Henceforth, I will walk out anyone who visits me and so much as mentions plans for a 2023 no mortal has control over. Not even the next moment can you guarantee.
I pray the souls of those who passed on before, during and after the Elections Rest In Peace. I equally thank God for sparing the life of my wife and many others from the bullets of hired mercenaries from Benue & Nassarawa States.
Let me use this medium to send a reply to those who have started peddling rumours of an imaginary rift between me and my boss. These victims of a febrile imagination are pathetic. If they don’t say His Excellency is angry with Edward, they will say Edward has fallen out with H.E, or both. Dem swear for some people? How do they come up with such barefaced lies?
I consider it the worst form of disrespect and a most unruly evil for me to ever be at loggerheads with my boss. Yes, His Excellency calls me his Siamese Twin brother and yes, he grants me grand access to his person and counsel, but till I die I will consider these to be privileges to be nurtured, and never rights to be demanded.
For the record, there is only one Governor in the whole of Kogi State and that is none other than His Excellency, Governor Yahaya Bello.The rest of us in the New Direction Administration are co-labourers he has engaged to join him in this great work. As his helpers, we are expected to work hard and conform to the norms of teamwork.
The laws of the land clearly indicate that in governing the state none of us can ever become the Governor’s equal in authority, much less confront him in disagreement. Any unruliness or deviation is to be handled with alacrity, while anyone whose assignment is concluded is let go.
So, let it be clear to those who are carrying rumours of a quarrel between my boss and me which they have been praying for, that their devilish desires will perish with themselves. As God Almighty lives, they will never live to see any division between His Excellency and me. I know my place and I am professionally inclined to observe my bounds per time.
My boss, my Governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello, has my undiluted love and respect forever. As for his own love for me, I have discovered that the more my stewardship increases in faithfulness to him, the more his love for me increases. In that case, the magic formula for me is simple – to increase my loyalty, competence and capacity more and more.
Fortunately, both His Excellency and myself are Godly politicians who fear God. After the unprecedented victories we have enjoyed from the Almighty, what do we have to quarrel about? We have broken records. Who else has seen the startling margins we have recorded in Kogi State before?
We started our electoral dominance from the Lokoja/Koto federal constituency by-election in August 2018 in which APC polled 26,860 to the paltry 14,845 votes received by our closest rival, the PDP.
The next test of our acceptance came in the 2019 General Elections and by God’s grace, we came forth in flying colours. We effortlessly delivered President Buhari who bested Atiku Abubakar of the PDP with over 80,000 votes in Kogi State alone.
After that we executed a decisive takeover of the national and state legislative apparatus of Kogi State with a historic win. 2 out of 3 Senators, 7 out of 9 House of Representatives members and 25 out of 25 House of Assembly members swelled the ranks of the APC after that elections.
We proceeded to the Elections Tribunal and made a clean sweep of the 3 Senatorial seats in the state as Senator Smart Adeyemi dislodged former Senator Dino Melaye of the PDP who the courts agree got it initially by foul means.
With this grand chronicle of achievements under the leadership of His Excellency and our head tactician, all we have is gratitude. We have no room or reason or time to quarrel. I am even more loyal and humble in service to my boss now than ever before and my boss has become even more generous and magnanimous to me.
I also hear that some busybodies claim that I am not happy with my promotion to the exalted office of Deputy Governor of Kogi State. In their minds, I would have preferred to remain in my former office as the Chief of Staff to the Governor. I can only laugh in pity at how some unfortunates can drink medicine for an ailment I don’t have.
To whom it may concern, I am ecstatic to be His Excellency, Edward David Onoja, the Deputy Governor of Kogi State. Some people thought I was too small for the office.They lobbied my Oga to bring ‘more qualified individuals’, but God pass them. I am forever grateful to my boss for finding me worthy of elevation to the number 2 position in our state. How can I ever find it in me to nurse anger or resentment against such a destiny helper?
Yes, the position of Chief of Staff was sweet, it is always like that when you work with a people developer like Governor Yahaya Bello. Insiders can attest that I have never lobbied for any of the offices I have occupied under His Excellency. With leaders like Governor Yahaya Bello, every position filled is a masterclass in leadership selection but he must first find you worthy and trustworthy.
Still, as sweet as COS was, I cannot rate it with Deputy Governor. Those who don’t know the difference can consult the Constitution. Another thing is that my position today is the biggest commendation ever for my performance in my former office. If I did poorly, will my boss elevate me? Who promotes somebody who failed them to a higher office?
My relationship with His Excellency dates back to 2003 in the North Central City of Markurdi in Benue State. Neither of us suspected that 16 years later we will be saddled by the Almighty God Himself with the Herculean task of building a United Kogi State characterised by Peace, Progress and Prosperity.
Detractors who are trying to chop down this mighty iroko today by plucking off a few fruits and leaves here and there are wasting their lives. Our roots go down to the bedrock of divine favour and human labour. I am amazed myself at the lengths the Almighty God has gone to preserve us and the assignment He has given us.
My friendly warning to our would-be foes is to repent and desist. Without exception, every single hand which has risen against us on this journey have turned leprous and made the owners outcasts in society. One funny fellow once declared that ‘anybody fighting Bello is fighting God’. I believed him and have been properly guided since. Sadly, he did not believe himself and after getting himself into too many troubles in his vain attempts to fight us, he was finally and spectacularly disgraced from relevance and reckoning just this last weekend.
So, to all the tatafo and bad-belle people and rumour-mongers, we no send una. Make una free us, make we serve the Kogites wey vote us. But if una no gree by una own sef, una go gree by force when Baba God rise for us.
As for those who have begun to lobby for offices in the coming dispensation, just note that there is nothing wrong with that one but if your strategy is to bad mouth others with fabricated lies and all manner of falsehoods, do yourself a favor and evaluate yourself first. What did you better than others in the last 4 years, including your performance at the polls. Just to avoid heartbreak o.
“The lines are fallen unto us in pleasant places; yea, we have a goodly heritage.” Psalms 16:6.
Finally, let us remember that God has indeed blessed us as a state but it is in our hands to make or mar our Destiny. May God help us not to destroy it with our own mouths or hands.
ONOJA EDWARD DAVID (CIK)
Olimene Attah Igala.
Kogi’s Deputy Governor.