The young and vibrant businessman, politician, and sports lover, Yahaya Bello was born to Alhaji Bello Ipemida Ochi and Hajia Hawa Bello Oziohu on June 18, 1975.
He is the incumbent Governor of Kogi State and a member of the All Progressive Party (APC).
Born as the last of six children after the Civil War, Governor Yahaya Bello is the youngest democratically elected governor in Nigeria.
Bello, in 1984, started his formal education at the Local Government Education Authority (LGEA) Primary School, Agassa, Okene Local Government Area, Kogi State where he was made the Head Boy in class six due to his excellent performance.
He obtained his Junior Secondary School Certificate from Agassa Community Secondary School, Anyava, Aghassa-Okenne, and in 1994 he received his Senior Secondary Certificate from Government Secondary School, Suleja, Niger State.
In 1995, Bello was admitted into Kaduna State Polytechnic, Zaria and further obtained a degree in Accounting from Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria in 1999.
Bello took part in the mandatory one-year National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) scheme in 2001 and served with the Revenue Mobilization Allocation and Fiscal Policy (RMAFC)
In a bid to expand his knowledge, the erudite student pursued a Master's degree at Ahmadu Bello University and in 2002 obtained a Master of Business Administration (MBA). In 2004, Bello became a chartered fellow of the Association of National Accountants of Nigeria (ANAN).
The Ahmadu Bello University-trained accountant started working in 2001 when he was posted to Revenue Mobilization Allocation and Fiscal Policy (RMAFC) in his service year. With his display of hard work and diligence while serving, he was retained after his service and officially appointed as Revenue Officer II.
His commitment and skillfulness in no time landed him the position of Senior accountant before he was transferred to Benue State to head the Makurdi branch of the Commission.
Before his resignation from the commission to pursue a career in the private sector, Bello climbed up the ladder and became the Assistant Chief Accountant.
After his resignation, the business-minded Yahaya Bello ventured into the Stock Trading business by investing his resources in banking, real estate development, oil and gas among others. Luckily, he made great returns on his investment just before the Stock Market business crashed.
In September 2007, Yahaya Bello registered FairPlus International Limited, a leading company located in Abuja that offers road transport services. He is the founder of the brand which was said to have started with an 18-seater bus procured through a bank loan.
In a bid to improve the deteriorating state of Nigerian politics, the businessman in 2015 formed a strong network named Kogi State Youth Arise Group. The group is made up of willing young men and women interested in the progress of the country. This group in 2015 stood strongly behind President Mohammadu Buhari in the 2015 Presidential election and achieved its goal when President Buhari emerged winner in the election.
Yahaya Bello was sworn-in as the Governor of Kogi State in 2016 under the APC after the death of Prince Abubakar Audu, the Governor-elect of Kogi State.
Although the election was initially declared inconclusive, with Governor Bello satisfying the requirement of the law and garnering the highest number of votes, he was declared the winner and became the youngest governor in the history of Nigeria.
Governor Bello was re-elected for a second term on November 16, 2019, defeating PDP’s Musa Wada.
The governor is said to have done exploits in the state including the construction of the Omi Rice Mill and the Army Forward Operation Centre.
The incumbent Governor of Kogi State in a programme on Arise TV on October 25, 2021, stated that he would be sworn in as the President of the country, taking over from Buhari by May 29, 2023.
He also hinted at his interest in the seat of the President on Thursday, January 20, 2022, during a meeting with APC legislators in Bauchi State.
Surprisingly, he had received the support of many including politicians and religious groups. The presidential aspirant opened his campaign office in Abuja on Tuesday, January 11, 2022.
If Governor Yahaya Bello emerges as President in 2023, he would be the youngest President in the history of Nigeria.
The thriving politician is married to Amina Oyiza, Rashida, and Hafiza Bello and is blessed with six kids.
Apart from being a business guru, Governor Yahaya Bello is interested in the welfare of the less privileged which is why he funds three orphanages alongside sponsoring the education of hundreds of undergraduates from Kogi State.
The multi-talented young Governor has an estimated net worth of around $5.6 million
Governor Yahaya Bello even with his numerous good deeds is one of the politicians entangled in various political controversies.
In September 2020, Governor Bello was one of the politicians placed on the United States Visa ban for degrading Nigeria's democracy after the 2019 Kogi State gubernatorial election.
The Governor was also accused of spending over 90 million nairas on a COVID-19 tracking software that costs just N300,000 for a year in March 2020.
Governor Bello, in April 2020, stated that he received an Honorary Professorship in Human Resources Management and Peace Building from St Thomas-a-Becket University. Reports however has it that the institution does not have any course in Human Resources or Peace Building.
Compiled by Deborah Oyewole.
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