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Crisis in Kogi deepens as Yahaya Bello searches for Onoja’s replacement

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The crisis in Kogi government house continues to gather momentum as the governor, Yahaya Bello, l has since fallen apart with his closest political associate, Edward Onoja, while Bello is looking for Onoja replacement.

Bello, who is not happy with the crisis that is alleged to be brewing among the Igala people in Kogi East, is looking for an influential figure that will replace Onoja as the key person that will play the role of unifying the Igala nation.

Insider sources in state house disclosed that Onoja, the Deputy Governor and former Chief of Staff has been reduced to nothing while all his influence taking away.

To prove the crisis, none of the persons nominated by Onoja for appointment in Bello’s second term was considered, insider source said.

Onoja had put forward the name of Mrs. Rosemary Osikoya, former Commissioner for Environment and Natural Resources and later redeployed to the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology.

A selection Bello turned down and opted for Mr. Gabriel Olofu who comes from Olamaboro.

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Insider sources say Bello did not allow Onoja select members of his commissioners and aides but rather allowed members of All Progressives Congress (APC) at local government areas to select who makes his list.

“For the first time in the life of the APC administration in the state, stakeholders are being consulted for inputs in cabinet formation,” the source added.

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The crisis has seen Onoja seeking approval from the Chief of Staff before he can be allowed to see the Governor, unlike when he decided who sees governor while he held the Chief of Staff position.

Another insider source, said Onoja’s influence decline became obvious when Bello refused his proposal to organize the recent inauguration at the Confluence Stadium, saying that will lead to waste of resources and opted for a low key ceremony at the Lugard House, an action that surprised many, seen Bello going against Onoja wish.

Bello is said to be angry for the role Onoja played in creating disagreement between him and Mr. Simon Achuba, his former deputy governor, leading to Achuba impeachment and disgrace out of office.

The governor, who attributed his failure during the first tenure to the role Onoja played, has since decided to be in charge of his government while relegating his former political ally to the background.

Angry with Onoja, Bello removed Mr. Gabriel Ottah, his Director of Protocol. Before his appointment, Ottah was a senior lecturer in the Department of Mass Communication at the Kogi State University Ayingba.

Onoja whose emergence as deputy governor was to succeed Bello has since had his ambition thwarted.

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While Bello has continued to look for Onoja replacement, Mr. James Faleke, running mate to late Abubakar Audu, who rejected the position of Deputy Governor in Bello’s first term, has been ticked to replace Onoja and succeed Bello.

When contacted, Bello and Onoja denied any rifts while Mr. Onogwu Mohammed, Bello Chief Press Secretary said, those painting the narrative are enemies of the state.


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