Governor Yahaya Bello today clocked 45, and messages of felicitations as well as those of condolence trickled in as he had yesterday lost his cousin and Personal Assistant to death yesterday.
In a long birthday speech confirmed to be written by the Governor and being circulated, he reflected on life, love, loss, laughter and leadership.
Summarizing the speech into bullets, Bello stated that;
– his birthday mood was that of joy and gratitude, even though he lost his brother and Personal Assistant.
– God has been compassionate and merciful to him, but for whom he would have no story worth telling.
– his wives and children make his houses into a home for him, for which he was grateful.
– his beautiful family makes his life more memorable, strengthens and stabilizes him through every storm.
– he shares same birthday with one of his daughters, Na’ima Nene Bello.
– Kogi people employed him, set high standard for him, knocked him into shape, and supported him when he needed them most – his reelection.
– his New Direction team weathered the storm with him from the beginning.
– he got help from his cabinet and other arms of government, and they are slowly turning negatives to positives in the state.
– he came into the office as the youngest governor in the country, and people expected magic overnight success from him.
– every fight he got into was for governance, and he came prepared for the fights.
– he did not achieve the expected overnight success, and people must calm down for he did not promise them magic.
– leadership is a marathon, not a sprint, and legacy is not a medal you award yourself.
– he succeeded in turning Kogi from a crime hub to the second most peaceful state in the country by giving the security agencies the tools they needed.
– his government overhauled the civil service, but they are not where they want to be yet.
– his point is to show the progress he made across sectors. – his administration is not about how high it has climbed, but by the depths it climbed out from.
– his perspective of the world changed, and he is no longer as free as he was before joining politics.
– he was worried about the abuse and exploitation of the Girl-Child, and would make sure to treat rapists as criminals.
– he lost important people to death, the recent being his mother and his Personal Assistant, and the pain of each loss continue to melt and mold him.
– he is still struggling to come to terms with the reality of his Personal Assistant’s death.
– the media feasted on his disagreement with the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC)
– he desires the cooperation and fidelity of the NCDC and other federal agencies.
– he is writing a book to help youths seeking leadership positions.
– his book shall be on the following leadership principles
* ‘Not Too Young To Run’ will become ‘Much Too Old To Run’ faster than you think, so if you must get somewhere soon, stop loitering and start running.
* Give life your best shot always and stop dealing with a slack hand.
* ‘Busy-ness’, that is, to be busy doing nothing, is the worst enemy of business and the most formidable foe of achievement.
* Avoid the rocking chair life of constant motion and zero progress.
* When actors or actions have no strategic objectives they will always fall short of greatness. How can you catch what you are not chasing?
* Always aim for an ultimate prize every time you aim and make every prize you aim for as ultimate as you can possibly make it.
* Always want more, always strive for more and stop begging for rights and privileges which are already yours by citizenship or humanity.
* This Country belongs to all of us so stop waiting to be invited to a banquet paid for with your money.
* Take a seat at the table, in fact, show your mettle and sit at the head of the table.
* Start ignoring narratives which preach the myth of invincible supremacy – be it of the white man over the black, one tribe over another or of the older generations over the younger. They thicken your chains of non-performance or under-performance through passivity.
* There is no circumstance that cannot be changed if you get your mind free, your thinking straight and you actions right so go ahead and emancipate yourself from mental slavery. Bob Marley (the original Marleyan) says so.
* Never settle. Your youth is for making mistakes until you get it right.
– at 45, he is just getting started.