The Governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress in the November 11 poll in Kogi State, Usman Ododo, on Friday, paid a courtesy visit to Tunde Ayeni, a business mogul from the state, as part of his ongoing consultations with key stakeholders in the state.
The APC candidate and his entourage were warmly received by Ayeni, who described himself as a detribalised Kogite whose only interest was the greatness of the state.
Ayeni prayed for Ododo’s success and urged him to go about his campaign peacefully, adding that when he wins, he should focus on development.
Earlier, the candidate said his loyalty to Governor Yahaya Bello was because of his undisputed love for Kogi State.
He said he had seen his boss, Governor Bello, forgo personal comfort just to ensure Kogi is great and had seen him skip sleep endlessly “just to see Kogi is safe”, noting that the many wins of the state, economically, which had been echoed by respected institutions like the World Bank, were proofs of the turnaround the state had witnessed in the past few years.
“I have learnt from the best. I am still learning from him. I have seen my boss, Alhaji Yahaya Bello forgo personal comfort just to ensure Kogi is great. I have seen him skip sleep to ensure the state is safe. I have seen him create a conducive environmental for industrialisation to thrive. I have seen his commitment to the progress and prosperity of our dear state. I cannot afford to fail his confidence and trust in me.
“I have come to see you today because you are one of the reasons Nigerians respect Kogi State. Your experience and expertise will guide us to do well.
“We have a blueprint and development plan. I will continue to ensure we implement the plan to the benefit of Kogites. I want to assure you that we will make you proud of our achievements,” he said.
Ayeni said, “Let me commend you for saying the election won’t be a do or die affair. No election is worth the blood of any Kogite. I will hold you to your words.
“Go about your campaign peacefully and win the trust of the people. When you win, make sure you focus on development. What we are interested in is the development of our dear state.”
In his remarks, the former Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs and also the runner up in the APC Governorship primary, Deedat Ozigi, thanked Ayeni for his contributions to the development of Kogi State and Nigeria.
Also, the Kogi State Commissioner for Information and Communications, Kingsley Fanwo, described Ayeni as a “detribalised giant whose wealth of experience would help shape the Ododo Administration from January 2024. He thanked the Finance and Power guru for aligning with the “only trusted agenda to develop Kogi State”.
“You are a great Nigerian who doesn’t believe in division. We will continue to respect you as our leader and one of Kogi’s best exports to the world,” he said, calling on him to support the party’s candidate.
“Some people are born humble, some learn humility while some are humbled by circumstances. Alhaji Usman Ododo is born humble and he will listen to eminent Kogites in leading the state,” Fanwo said.
Other members of the entourage are Hon. Bashir Mohammed Gegu and Prince Bashir Abubakar Audu, son of the late strongman of Kogi politics, Prince Abubakar Audu.