The youngest governor in Nigeria, Yahaya Adoza Bello, has been the governor of Kogi State since 2016. As a member of the All Progressive Congress, Bello has served as the governor for 6-years.
Bello got quick attention from Nigerians over his term due to his relative youth compared to other politicians in Nigeria and also because of his controversial statements and questionable expenses.
Yahaya Adoza Bello: Early Life
Yahaya Adoza Bello was born on June 18, 1975, to Alhaji Bello Ipemida Ochi and Hajia Hawa Bello Oziohu in Agassa, Okene Local Government Area of Kogi State. Bello is the youngest of six children and his family resides in Kogi State.
Yahaya Adoza Bello: Education
Bello began his primary education in 1984 at LGEA Primary School in Agassa, Okene LGA. He then studied further at Community Secondary School at Anyava, Agassa-Okene. He attended several other schools before graduating from Suleja-Niger State’s Government Secondary School.
After completing his A-level study at Kaduna State Polytechnic in Zaria in 1995, Bello was accepted to Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) Zaria in 1996 to pursue a profession as an accountant. In 1999, he earned a degree in accounting.
Bello graduated from ABU, Zaria with a master’s degree in business administration in 2004. Moreover, he holds a chartered fellow credential from the Association of National Accountants of Nigeria (ANAN).
Yahaya Adezo Bello: Political Career
The electoral career of Bello began with a defeat to Abubakar Audu in the APC gubernatorial primary in 2015. Audu went on to win the election. But, unfortunately, Audu died on the day of the election. Thus, Bello was chosen as the party’s nominee in his place.
He was appointed as governor the following year. Four years later, he was elected in his own right despite several claims of violence and fraud.
After being selected by the APC party to succeed the late Abubakar Audu, Bello was declared the winner of the 2015 Kogi gubernatorial election.
Bello won a second term on November 16, 2019, defeating the PDP candidate Musa Wada by more than 200,000 votes. Bello is Nigeria’s youngest governor and the only one who was born after the civil war.
Victory Obasi declared in 2020 that she will fund Bello’s run in the 2023 presidential elections. Bello formally announced his intention to compete for the presidency in Nigeria in the 2023 election in April 2022.
Bello Ambassador Network, a sociopolitical organization supported Bello. Almost 2 million Nigerians registered with the group. The presidential election of 2023 in Nigeria will be on February 25, 2023.
Yahaya Adezo Bello: Awards And Recognitions
After being a part of Nigerian politics, Bello has been able to provide various job opportunities to several young Nigerians. Besides being a politician, Bello is a philanthropist who contributes a significant amount of his wealth to various charity organizations in Nigeria.
Governor Bello has received several awards and recognitions, let’s see which honors Bello has received for his works.
- National Council of Women Societies’ Gender Equality Award.
- Nigerian Union of Journalists Role Model Award.
- Revenue Mobilization Award of World Bank Fiscal Transparency.
- Distinguished Hero of Women Inclusion Award from the National Association of Women Entrepreneurs.
- Security Personality of the Year from the Institute of Security and Strategic studies.
- River State’s Grand Service Star.
- Novel Accountability Index Award from the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria.
Yahaya Adezo Bello: Controversies
During the Independent National Electoral Commission’s (INEC) Continuous Voter Registration campaign in 2017, Bello was charged with a scam in registration. He was accused of duplicate registration in the election. But he denied being involved in such a crime.
The United States Department of State charged Yahaya Bello with undermining democracy and instigating violence during his state’s 2019 gubernatorial election. However, Bello and a few other people had their Visas suspended.
When the world fought against the COVID-19 pandemic, Governor Bello denied the existence of a coronavirus. Bello was alleged to have kept the number of Covid cases in the state inflated by refusing to provide tests.
He also disregarded the importance of COVID vaccination. He also neglected to wear a face mask at public events. Governor Bello reportedly turned down an N1. 1 billion support grant from the World Bank in 2020 because he felt COVID-19 just glorified malaria.
According to reports, Governor Bello allegedly wasted more than N260 million in security votes days after taking office. Soon after assuming office as governor in 2016, the socio-political groups in Kogi in Action and Egalitarian Mission for Africa accused Bello and his administration of corruption.
Financial statements showed that the Kogi state government has purchased COVID-19 risk assessment software in 2020 for more than N90 million, which only costs 300,000 per year, despite the lack of anti-covid measures under the Bello administration.
The governor has additionally been charged with misusing the funds allotted for COVID mitigation efforts.
Yahaya Adezo Bello: Personal Life
The Kogi state governor, Yahaya Bello has three wives and several children from them. Amina Oyiza, Rasheedat, and Hafiza are the three women to whom Bello is married. Among his wives, Hajiya Rasheedat is considered the first lady.
Yahya Adezo Bello: Net Worth
Yahaya Adezo Bello, the 47-year-old governor in Nigeria is supposed to have an estimated net worth of more than $5 million. The major source of his earning is from being a politician and a businessman. He is considered one of the richest governors in Nigeria.