Usman Okai Austin, the House of Representatives candidate for Dekina/Bassa in the 2023 elections, has strongly criticized the Kogi State government for defending the state’s former governor, Yahaya Bello, amidst allegations of fund diversion. He has also urged Bello to cease evading the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and address the accusations.
In response to statements attributed to the State Commissioner of Information, Kingsley Fanwo, Okai expressed his disapproval of the government’s intervention on behalf of Bello, highlighting that Bello is now an ordinary citizen whose immunity has expired.
Okai emphasized the need for Bello, whom he referred to as the “White Lion,” to demonstrate courage and face the accusations against him instead of evading accountability. He critiqued Bello’s alleged reluctance to confront his adversaries, suggesting that it undermines his previous image of strength and leadership.
Furthermore, Okai raised concerns about Bello’s occupation of the presidential lodge in Lugard House, noting its intended purpose for presidential visits and questioning Bello’s continued presence there.
He urged Bello to address the grievances of the people of Kogi State, including workers, teachers, pensioners, and local government employees, emphasizing that avoiding scrutiny and resorting to blackmail would not absolve him of accountability.
Okai concluded by calling on Bello to embody the qualities of a true leader, rather than relying on electoral manipulation and alleged financial improprieties. He suggested that Bello should engage with his community and address concerns directly, rather than isolating himself in Abuja.