#KogiDecides: Yahaya Bello is declared winner of Kogi State governorship election

Meet Kogi’s Yahaya Bello, the first product of Nigeria’s 6-3-3-4 system to be governor

Yahaya Bello on Saturday won the governorship election of Kogi state after the formality of a supplementary election.

Bello had inherited the 240,861 votes polled by Abubakar Audu in the November 21 poll, which was declared inconclusive by INEC shortly before Audu died. Idris Wada of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the incumbent, came second with 199,514 votes.

A supplementary election then took place in 91 polling units in 19 local government areas on Saturday and Bello polled an additional 6885 to Wada’s 5363. Final score: APC 247,742, PDP 204,877.

The constitutional crisis is yet to be resolved — there are a couple of cases going to court. Audu’s running mate, James Faleke, believes he should be declared the inheritor of Audu’s votes having run on a joint ticket with him.

Wada also wants to be declared governor-elect, maintaining that Audu had died with his votes.

Bello is, therefore, Kogi’s governor-elect, pending the legal battles. But how much do you really know about the 40-year-old graduate of accounting?

He was class prefect at 2

Bello was born on June 18, 1975 in Agassa, Okene LGA, to Bello Ipemida Ochi and Hawa Bello Oziohu. The last of six siblings did his primary education at the LGEA Primary School, Agassa, and was made the class prefect from class two all the way to class six when he was appointed head boy.

He wrote his SSCE in 1994

In 1989, he was enrolled at Agassa Community Secondary School, but changed school five times. He finally settled in at Government Secondary School, Suleja, Niger state, and sat for his junior secondary school certificate examination there. He also did his senior secondary school certificate examination (SSCE) in 1994 at the school.

6-3-3-4 finally produces a governor

Bello is the first product of the 6-3-3-4 education system to be elected governor. The system — introduced in 1989 by the military government of Gen. Ibrahim Babangida — restructured the schooling period from six years in primary, three in junior secondary, three in senior secondary and four in the university.

He is a 1999 graduate

He enrolled for ‘A’ level exams at the Kaduna State Polytechnic in 1995 and got admission into the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) Zaria in 1996 to study accounting. He graduated in 1999 — the year Nigeria returned to democracy. He also got a Masters in business administration from ABU in 2004. He became a chartered fellow of the Association of National Accountant of Nigeria (ANAN) at Jos (2002) in 2004.

He did his NYSC in 2001

Bello was posted to the Revenue Mobilization Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) in 2002 for his national service — and was retained. He was appointed as revenue officer and was promoted to accountant within a short period. He left as assistant chief accountant. He was heavily involved in stock trading, and his portfolio investments cut across the oil and gas, finance, transportation and agro-related sectors. He is also into real estate.

He is a Buhari supporter

While Audu worked for Rabiu Musa Kwakwanso in the presidential primary of APC in 2014, Bello gave his own delegates to Muhammadu Buhari, who eventually won the ticket. Bello lost to Audu in the governorship primary, but fortune would later smile on him with the death of the candidate.

And finally, he loves boxing!

His hobbies include reading, travelling, driving and football. And, interestingly, boxing. It is not too clear though if he only likes watching boxing — or if he likes boxing. Whichever way, his hands are now packed with political punches.