By Abdullahi O. Haruna
Never seen duo so connected in creed and idiosyncracies like the confluence brothers called Yahaya Bello and Edward Onoja, they set the template of enviable friendship that leaves onlookers perplexed in fascinating solenoid – how two people birthed in two different geographical and religious entities found impenetrable love in each other is a study in friendship.
An Ebira Muslim man so consumed in the embrace of an Igala-Christian man! There is no better integration reference than Bello and Edward’s friendship, they represent the new Nigerian dream where ideas bind people and not the identity of their tongue or faith.
You need to see the duo speaks about themselves, one happened recently during the declaration of Governor Yahaya Bello at the Eagle Square, penultimate Saturday where Chief Edward mounted the rostrum and spoke in convincing words about his brother turned boss.
So electrifying and pulsating was the man’s speech that you begin to wonder if Bello’s heart was implanted in Edward’s heart. It was a magnetic outpour of inner mind in support of a brother’s ambition. It was a surrealistic moment witnessed by millions of the passion of a friend for the aspiration of another friend.
Similarly, so was the same undiluted expression of love for a friend during the inauguration ceremony of the two kogi brothers as governor and deputy in 2019 when Governor Yahaya Bello went almost emotional describing his friend and deputy as unrivalled figure of inimitable loyalty.
What would have made a Muslim man find such intimate refuge and friendship in the embrace of a Christian man of different tribe at a time religion and ethnicity define our body existence?
Writing from unconventional lane, I may be forced to say that loyalty and trust played a prominent role in the closely-knitted friendship of this duo. When a stranger manifests real love, he takes the place of a brother.
That Mr Onoja has remained a constant decimal in the aspirations of Yahya Bello is a pointer to my assertion that whoever sticks to the rod of consistency in character and loyalty is a friend for life.
When you have a friend who believes in your existence, you can go far in your earthly voyage. Edward believe in his friend, pushed him on to the impossibilities and today he is a governor transmuting to another pedestal no thanks to the belief of a friend. May you have friends like Onoja who chose friendship over primordial limits.
Today, let me celebrate the fascinating stroke of true friendship anchored on deep-rooted beneficial aspirations of two friends who broke the barriers of ethnicity and collapsed the wall of religious divide in friendship.
My fellow countrymen from North and South from East and West is this not a testimonial of the lines “though tongue and tribe may differ, in brotherhood we stand”. Kogi has given Nigeria a model to true nationhood.