- Reports coming out from Kogi suggests there is a crack in the relationship between the first two citizens of the state
- Governor Yahaya Bello is said to have sidelined his deputy, Chief Edward Onoja weeks after his second term officially commenced
- Things are said to be so bad between the duo that the deputy governor has to book an appointment to see his principal
A report by Daily Trust indicates that there is a feud between Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi state and his deputy, Chief Edward Onoja.
According to the report, Onoja has not been as visible in government as he was during Bello's first term, and his inputs are no longer sought before major policy decisions are taken.
Onoja was the chief of staff to Bello during the governor's first term and was said to have wielded so much influence in the government.
“Unlike before, even his list of commissioner designates and advisers were not considered in the recent appointments made by the governor,” a source quoted in the report said.
Specifically, Onoja was said to have submitted the name of Mrs Rosemary Osikoya, a former commissioner during Governor n Bello’s first term as well as other nominees which were reportedly turned down.
Mrs Osikoya hails from the same Olamaboro local government with Onoja, was dropped for one Gabriel Yunusa Olofu who also hails from the area.
Apart from the appointment issue, Onoja now has to book for an appointment to see Governor Bello, unlike when he decided who visited the governor while he was chief of staff.
Governor Bello also allegedly refused Onoja’s proposal to organise their inauguration at the Confluence Stadium, Lokoja, describing it as too expensive.
Many are said to be rejoicing over the new turn of events in the Kogi state government house.
During the first term, Onoja was alleged to have held down stakeholders from the Kogi East senatorial district, where he hails from, from having direct access to Governor Bello.
A leader of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state who spoke on condition of anonymity on the matter said: “No one from Kogi East could see the governor throughout the first term without Onoja’s directive and approval.”
He also alleged that even the governor’s kinsmen from Kogi Central were not spared the deputy governor’s excesses.
Governor Bello was said to have realized the futility of relying on his deputy after the governorship election in the state after winning just two local government areas in Kogi East.
He is said to have begun searching for a unifying leader who commands the followership of the zone, while also resolving to carry party stakeholders along.
Moreso, Governor Bello it is said has decided to take full charge of his administration this time around and decided on those who would form his cabinet all by himself.
The spokespersons to Governor Bello and Onoja, Onogwu Mohammed and Promise Emmanuel, both denied the claims of any rift between their principals when contacted.
Two weeks ago, another media report had indicated that all is not well between Bello and Onoja, suggesting that there is a silent war between the duo over appointments.
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