There are indications that Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State may be facing two fresh troubles after crossing the hurdle of the All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship screening Committee in the state led by Senator Hope Uzodima. National Daily learned that the Committee had screened Governor Bello and could not stop him from the contesting the APC primary election for the party’s governorship ticket but the governor faces two critical issue of alleged forgery in addition to the issue of double voter registration with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). The two issues were identified to be threatening the withholding of Bello’s clearance certificate over alleged falsification of date of birth certificate and the purported INEC double registration.
There were obvious indications that governor Bello’s opponents, comprising other aspirants and some party leaders in the APC, have continued to fight assiduously to stop Bello from second term in office. It was said that the opponents wrote the authorities of the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Kaduna State, to confirm the age Governor Bello declared in his date of birth. They had written to ABU to verify the actual date of birth on his Entry form into the university.
They were said to have found that none of Governor Bello’s university mate at ABU is less than 52 years while Bello was said to be claiming 44 years of age.
It was further gathered that the INEC double registration allegation is still hovering around the governor.
It was recalled that the governor was in 2017 alleged to be involved in INEC double registration scandal which made the commission sack three staff who handled the double registration.
The commission was said to have scolded Governor Bello when the purported secret deal leaked but later exonerated him. While Governor Bello was said to be exonerated INEC did not recall the three staff fired over the double registration scandal. Stakeholders have argued that if Governor Bello was innocent of the alleged crime, the INEC staff ought not to be punished to the extent of losing their jobs.
The fear of law suits builds up strongly in the APC. There are pressures on the party leadership to withhold the governor’s clearance certificate till these issues are clarified or he gets out of the race.
Governor Bello has also been fighting back to overwhelm his opponents. Governor Bello was said to have firm control of the State APC in Kogi which is the key structure to get the APC governorship ticket for the November 16 election.