Governor Yahaya Bello became governor of Kogi state in extraordinary circumstances in January 2016. He became only the second governor to be elected having not been on the ballot during the main election (the other was Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers in 2007). Abubakar Audu, who was the APC candidate in the election, died before the polls could be completed, and Bello was picked by his party to replace him.
He became governor at 41 years old, making him the youngest governor presently, and one of the youngest to have ever won that office in any state in Nigeria.
As governor, his wife delivered twin boys in March 2016, just three months after he was sworn in. So in a way, he keeps setting these kinds of interesting records.
On Sunday, he set another record when he sacked all members of his cabinet and then reversed himself in less than 30 minutes. It has to count as one of the fastest flip-flops in Nigeria’s governance history.
Bello arrived in Lokoja, the Kogi capital, from Abuja – where he spends a lot of his time – on Sunday. Upon his arrival, he held a met with officials at the Glass House, Lokoja, after which he sacked his 15 commissioners and the 21 local government administrators.
He also directed that all affected officials should submit the keys of their official vehicles to the Secretary to State Government (SSG), Mrs. Folashade Arike.
Then in less than half an hour, he reversed himself and directed all officials to maintain status quo. The governor demanded better performance and better relationship between the appointees and the masses.
Why did he sack them?
For now, the main reason for the confused reversal is not publicly known. The Director General Media and Publicity to the governor, Kingsley Fanwo, only told journalists that the governor sacked the appointees and then he “reversed himself on the directive on dissolution.”
There are speculations that he took the decision due to the leak of details on arms being imported by the Kogi government, which prompted a senate investigation.
It is believed that the governor’s decision to reverse himself followed an intervention by his chief of staff, Edward Onoja, who advised the governor to rescind himself for political reasons concerning the 2019 elections.