The official explained that although the former governor remains a towering figure in the ruling APC, some of his actions while in office, are said to have irked some forces close to the Presidency and they are unwilling to let him go scot-free.
Among the issues, which Vanguard learnt, might come back to haunt Yahaya Bello, is his high profile campaign to become the president of Nigeria while the current president, Bola Tinubu, was the clear frontrunner to succeed President Muhammadu Buhari.
“Do not forget that Yahaya Bello mobilised heavily to become the president of Nigeria despite knowing that President Bola Ahmed Tinubu had been endorsed by the APC and he only gave up the ambition after being rounded defeated by Tinubu at the Eagles Square.
“Although, the former Kogi State Governor has since aligned with Mr. President and earned his support during the governorship election in Kogi State, which was won by the APC’s Ahmed Usman Ododo now the Executive Governor of Kogi State, there are feelings that those who were uncomfortable with the stance of the former Governor against the zoning arrangement in the APC and the fact that he might still habour a presidential ambition come 2027 have not taken their eyes off the former Governor of Kogi State.
“Don’t also forget that the same governor denied the existence of Covid-19 and acted against all the measures adopted by the federal government in conjunction with the international community to stave off the deadly disease, a development that seriously embarrassed the government and people of Nigeria, but there was nothing the party could do at the time.
“Now, those who lost out from the many economic and financial benefits that might have accrued to the state are still unhappy with the same former governor, who feels he did something extraordinary to save his state and people,” the top official explained.
“As if these were not enough, there were posters last week at the APC Secretariat indicating that the former governor wanted to replace the APC National Chairman, who was just elected some months back. These are some of the issues, which have riled some powerful elements and ex-governor Bello needs to be very careful with his actions,” the top APC official warned
Vanguard also gathered that the last governorship election in Kogi State, which Bello still had an upper hand by installing his successor, came with huge collateral damage and cracks that reinforced deep animosity within the rank of the APC and tribal fault lines in the state.
It was gathered that the former governor has earned fewer friends in the aftermath of the election in which some leading APC leaders actively supported the opposition candidate in the state in a bid to vent their disapproval of Bello.
According to reliable sources, many of those behind the plot to deny the APC victory in the election are still uncomfortable with Bello and would not want to see him emerge as a power broker within the party anymore.
It was not clear whether any of these issues had any relationship with the sudden amendment of charges by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission to include the former governor to answer charges over the alleged laundering of N80 billion fund belonging to the Kogi State Government.
It could not be established whether Bello was initially removed from the charge by EFCC because of his immunity as a governor or whether there are other factors behind his inclusion in the amended charge, even though he was the not the governor at the time the EFCC said the offence was committed in 2015.