Governor Yahaya Bello, on Saturday, hurled insults at the rank and file of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Kogi State.
Mr Bello said the hundreds who gathered and were listening to his address at the Lugard House in Lokoja were substantially bereft of intelligence compared to his mastery.
“You all combined together are not 10% of what I am made up of. Shame on you all,” he said during a lengthy and strong-worded address conveyed in his Ebira native language. “As governor of Kogi State, if I’m not well informed, I’m a failure. I have proved to you all that I outsmarted all of you.”
The election, as declared by the electoral commission, largely turned out in his favour, with his chosen successor installed, amid allegations of compromising the integrity of various electoral processes.
Mr Bello said that his camp had internal saboteurs who worked closely with opposition parties to upturn his laid down political plan in view of his fast-approaching exit from office.
“They call themselves leaders but mislead the people. You all are idiots because I’m smarter than all of you,” he added. “Those who benefitted the most from my government are the enemies within, causing problems. I provided everything for them.”
Mr Bello’s administration is widely criticised for being corrupt, with members of his immediate family subject to several high financial crime investigations, including a criminal probe that led to the arrest and arraignment of his wife, Rashida Bello, before a federal court in Abuja. The scandal revolved around a N3 billion money laundering and misappropriation scheme involving his nephew, Ali Bello.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) accused Mr Bello of orchestrating a scheme to divert state funds to the tune of billions into his personal business ventures, both within Nigeria and internationally.
Economically, Kogi State faced exacerbated challenges under Mr Bello’s leadership. A mid-2023 analysis by public finance firm Dataphyte revealed that over 61% of the state’s residents were living in multidimensional poverty.
This represented a significant surge from the approximately 30% recorded in 2019, underscoring a troubling doubling of the population grappling with precarious living conditions throughout his tenure.