By Balogun Kamilu Lekan
Alhaji Yahaya Bello Adoza was born on June 18, 1975 in Okene, Kogi State to the family of Alhaji Bello Ipemida Ochi and Hajia Hawa Bello Oziohu.
He is the last child of his parent’s six children.
Yahaya is currently the Executive Governor of Kogi State and the youngest democratically elected governor in Nigeria, having assumed office at age 40.
Yahaya replaced the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, late Audu Abubakar who died of a heart attack shortly after he was declared winner of the 2015 Gubernatorial election.
Yahaya began his education at LGEA Primary School, Okene LGA, in 1984.
Before proceeding to Agassa Community Secondary School, Agassa-Okene, and later to Government Secondary School, Suleja-Niger State, where he completed his secondary school education,
In 1996, he secured admission into Ahmadu Bello University(ABU) Zaria where he bagged a bachelor’s degree in Accountancy
Moving further, Yahaya Bello obtained an MBA from the same university in business in 2004.
In 2001, Yahaya Bello completed his one-year National Youth Service with the Revenue Mobilization Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC).
He was retained and offered employment as a Revenue Officer II before getting promoted to an Accountant.
Yahaya was later transferred to head the Makurdi Zonal Office Account Department.
He has worked in numerous office areas and advanced to the post of Assistant Chief Accountant.
Alhaji Yahaya Bello eventually learned the technique of stock trading and experienced financial success just before the stock market crash.
His stock holdings span the transportation, finance, oil and gas, and agro-related industries. He then increased and enlarged his real estate holdings, doing so across several states in the Union.
Yahaya excelled as a businessman. He is the MD of FairPlus International Ltd.
Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi state has reportedly divorced his third wife, Hafiza. The reason for the divorce is still unknown at the moment.
Yahaya is married to three women Amina Oyiza, Rasheedat, and Hafiza.
He reportedly divorced his third wife, Hafiza.
The most well-known and frequently referred to as the first lady is Hajiya Rasheedat.
Yahaya earned his wealth from being a businessman and a politician.
He is reportedly worth an estimated $5.6 million, making him one of the richest governors in Nigeria.
Yahaya’s net worth is. He is one of the richest governors in Nigeria.
Through its various businesses, Yahaya has been able to facilitate and provide job opportunities for a number of unemployed graduates and young people.
Governor Yahaya Bello is a philanthropist who funds various orphanages in Kogi state.
He is also known to grant scholarships to indigenous students in his state.
He is also a chartered fellow of the Association of National Accountants of Nigeria(ANAN).
Governor Yahaya is also a recipient of different awards and recognitions, which include but are not limited to:
- Sun Governor of the Year (Daily Sun)
- Gender Equality Award (National Council of Women Societies)
- NUJ role model award (Nigerian Union of Journalists)
- Icon of security award (Association of People in Diaspora)
- Security personality of the year (The Institute of Security and Strategic Studies)
- Distinguished Hero of Women Inclusion Award (National Association of Women Entrepreneurs)
- ICAN’s Novel Accountability Index Award (The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria)[
Over his career as a governor, Yahaya has not escaped tales of controversies surrounding him. Some of these includes:
Multiple voters registration
In 2017, Yahaya was accused of multiple registrations during the Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) exercise conducted by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). An electoral fraud
He, however, denied any involvement in such an act. In his words, “I travelled on May 19 to Dubai for a brief break and I saw the press release and I was taken aback that I did double registration on the 23rd. Probably it is my ghost that has done the double registration.”
US visa ban
Yahaya Bello was accused by the United States Department of State of undermining democracy and inciting violence during the 2019 gubernatorial election in his state.
Governor Yahaya and some other individuals were, however, placed on a visa ban.
Yahaya protested his ban through a letter he wrote to the US Ambassador to Nigeria, describing the allegations against him as “atrocious misinformation.”
It should be recalled that Governor Yahaya chanted a ‘ta-ta-ta-ta‘ sound that mimicked gunfire in sound at a campaign.
Anti-COVID-19 vaccination sentiment
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Governor Yahaya denied the existence of the virus.
“Whether medical experts and scientists, believe it or not, COVID-19 is out to shorten the lifestyle of the people, it is a disease propagated by force for Nigerians to accept. He said in a statement
Bello was reported to have influenced the numbers of COVID cases in the state, keeping them artificially low by failing to conduct tests.
He also failed to acknowledge the relevance of the COVID vaccine. He also, however, failed to use the face mask at public events during the period.
In 2020, Governor Yahaya also reportedly rejected N1.1bn support fund from the World Bank because of his belief that COVID-19 is “glorified malaria”.
Security Votes and office renovation
In a report, Governor Bello was alleged to have squandered over N260 million ‘security vote’ days after assuming office.
The source claims that Bello gave his approval for the multi-instalment use of security funds totalling N260 million.
In addition, Bello gave the go-ahead for the refurbishment and outfitting of the Governor’s office at the Government House, costing more than 148 million Naira.
Another source claimed that the governor also awarded a 1.4 billion naira contract to one Major Global Construction Company for the “Remodelling and Rehabilitation of Government House Structures”.
In 2020, the managing director of Maj Global Construction Company, Michel Abboud however, claimed that the Bello administration had not paid the remaining $726 million despite the project’s completion.
Allocation of Budget
Bello and his government were accused of corruption shortly after taking office as governor in 2016 by the socio-political organizations Kogi in Action and Egalitarian Mission for Africa.
According to the groups, the Bello administration engaged in “fictitious withdrawals and evidence of contract inflation” in 2016, and they allegedly provided the EFCC with information about this.
COVID-19 tracking software
Despite the lack of anti-COVID measures under the Bello administration, financial records indicated that the state government had purchased COVID-19 risk assessment software for a year in March 2020 for more than N90 million’
According to a report by Premium Times, the Kogi State government spent nearly 90 million on a COVID tracking program that only cost ?300,000 for a year.
COVID mitigation funds
The governor has also been accused of not utilizing the money allocated for COVID mitigation programs judiciously.
A further investigation by the Premium Times revealed that more than 2.6 billion naira had been set aside for COVID mitigation projects relating to agriculture, but had not been used for its purpose as farmers claimed they’d not benefited from it.
The Anti-Corruption Network, a Kogi-based organization that had previously accused Bello of corruption, then produced a new report in February 2021, accusing the governor of laundering billions of naira in public money. The group subsequently petitioned the EFCC against the governor.
The group later accused the EFCC of not making any progress with their investigation.
Bailout Salary Account
Following a motion from the EFCC, the Lagos Division of the Federal High Court froze a Sterling Bank fixed account for the “Kogi State Salary Bailout” on August 31, 2021.
In its affidavit, the commission claimed to have “reliable and direct intelligence” that the account was allegedly fraudulently topped up with $20 billion from a state government loan account on July 25, 2019, and that the money was not utilized to pay public servant salaries.
Honorary Professorship Scandal
In 2021, Kogi State Commissioner for Information, Kingsley Fanwo, made a post about Yahaya bagging an honorary professorship award from St Thomas-a-Becket University, UK.
Sahara Reporters, in an investigative report, informed the public that the university neither awards recognized UK degrees nor has any courses in humanitarian services, human resources management, and/or peacebuilding while stating that the governor’s award is questionable.
The information in this article was curated from online sources. NewsWireNGR or its editorial team cannot independently verify all details.
Always visit NewsWireNGR for the latest Naija news and updated Naija breaking news.
Send Us A Press Statement/News Tips on 9ja Happenings: [email protected].
Advertise With Us: [email protected]