Power Struggle: Gov. Ododo & Yahaya Bello At War Over Sacking Of Loyalist

by Ohepo Ohepo

A rift develops between Kogi Governor Ododo and President Yahaya Bello on the sacrifice of 1200 rice bags and loyalists.

After Hassan Atawodi, the chairman of the transition committee for the Ofu local government area, was fired, Kogi State Governor Usman Ododo is now headed on a collision course with his predecessor, Yahaya Bello, SaharaReporters has learned.

On January 9, 2024, Atawodi was personally chosen by the outgoing governor, Bello, to serve as the chairman of the Ofu local government transition committee.

In the meantime, it’s thought that the current governor’s seizure of Atawodi served as a test run in what has been called a “silent crisis” between the two leaders.

Political observers surmised that the removal of the Ofu Transition Chairman was related to the purported misappropriation of palliative rice that was supposed to be given to impoverished people, even if the true cause for the dismissal may not have been heard.

Sources claim that the governor accused the chairman of diverting 1,200 bags of grains that the deputy governor had taken but intended to blame on him.

SaharaReporters was informed by insiders that Atawodi’s problems began after he allegedly disregarded the deputy governor’s (of the same Ofu local government area, Joel Salifu Oyibo) orders.

It was said that the deputy governor instructed him (the chairman) to distribute the palliative rice intended for the impoverished residents of Ofu to party supporters rather than the intended recipients.

The caretaker chairman, Mr. Atawodi, is said to have opposed the idea of sharing the rice among party stakeholders, with the lion’s share planned to go to the All Progressives Congress (APC) former vice zonal chairman, Hon. Alfa Muhammed, and the deputy governor himself. He perceived it as callous in light of the current economic hardship, high rate of inflation, and high cost of living.

“Ignoring the agreement, Atawodi told Mr. Joel Oyibo, the deputy governor, that the people are going through a difficult time and that it would be foolish to give 1,200 bags of rice to stakeholders when, in reality, there was not even enough food to give to poor families.

“This got the deputy governor infuriated and consequencetly threatened to deal with the caretaker chairman Hon. Atawodi for daring him.”

The source went on to say, “Atawodi was then prohibited from entering the location where the rice was served. Rather, the deputy governor nominated Musa Muhammad Lawal, also known as Solar, a loyalist of Alfa, and gave him command.”

A video of Musa Lawal gathering the 1,200 bags of food intended for the Ofu council was provided to SaharaReporters on the palliative care sharing.

As per the source, Hon. Alfa and Joel Oyibo (the deputy governor) allegedly ordered him to sell the rice he collected to a business mogul in Lokoja, the state capital.

In response to the events, Kogi State Governor Ododo signed an order on Monday to remove Hon. Hassan Atawodi from his position as the Transition Chairman of the Ofu Local Government Area effective immediately.

On the other hand, Musa Muhammed Lawal, well known as Solar, has been appointed as the new Transition Chairman of the Ofu Local Government Area, effective immediately, by Governor Ododo.

The Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Mrs. Folashade Ayoade, ordered Atawodi to turn over government property to the new TC chairman and announced Lawal’s appointment as effective immediately in a statement released on Monday.

The insider, however, disclosed that while Hon. Alfa, a previous ally of Governor Bello, has shifted allegiance to Governor Ododo as Bello no longer views him favorably, Hon. Atawodi, a former Bello supporter, is viewed as a threat to the new governor.

“There was a kind of little dispute from the day one of the flag off palliative rice,” a another insider said to SaharaReporters. The deputy governor convened a meeting in his home on the day of the flag-off of palliative rice. He invited the transition chairman from Ofu and arranged a meeting.

“First of all, they charged him with being extravagant. They claimed that the stakeholders weren’t included. They kept summoning him here and there for meetings after the flag-off palliative, when he was meant to go and hunt for trucks to bring the rice for the Ofu to the council secretariat. After that, he left for the meeting, and by the time he returned, it was already late. The next day, he was meant to receive permission to deliver the rice to the Secretariat; sadly, they refused to grant him permission.

“They now stated that the collecting of the palliative rice will be the sole responsibility of the party chairman, the local government secretary, and one other individual. Thus, they refused to provide him the permission.

“He informed him that he was on his way when he called the state’s deputy governor, who is a member of the same council, to explain what was happening. He did not return to that. The deputy governor did not respond at all at that time. When he contacted the member of the House of Assembly who represents the local government at the state assembly, no one answered, and the day went by.

“On the third day afterward, they declared him free and informed him that the only people designated to receive the rice were the party chairman, the DLG, and the council secretary. Fortunately, I was asked to stay at the venue to keep an eye on things while the rice was being loaded because I was one of the houses that was dissolved. Additionally, they were assisted in gathering the rice by the local government’s DLG, the secretary, the party chairman, and an outside organization known as Danjuma.

“On that day, they arrived in four little Diana vehicles, each of which was laden with 110 bags, totaling 440 bags. Then, 760 of the 1,200 bags that were allotted to the local administration of Ofu were put onto large trucks. All was documented on film and in photos, but they were never informed. Following the entire process, the truck was packed in the same location and covered with tarps once the rice was loaded.

“I recorded and videotaped it as well. I now went over to the party chairman, Mr. Shagari, and asked him whether it meant that the trucks would not be moving to the Secretariat. He declined, stating that the car was being moved to the deputy governor’s residence.

“He stated that since darkness had fallen, they were unable to transport the rice to the council headquarters. that it will be moved to the Secretariat the next day, and as of right now, the rice has not reached the council secretariat. But in an unexpected turn of events, the Caretaker Chairman was fired this afternoon for allegedly stealing the rice.”


You may also like

Are you sure want to unlock this post?
Unlock left : 0
Are you sure want to cancel subscription?
Update Required Flash plugin
Verified by MonsterInsights