The people of Kogi East Senatorial District, who trooped out in their thousands in Anyigba on Saturday to demonstrate their solid support for the All Progressives Congress’ governorship candidate, Usman Ododo, have promised to strengthen the unity of the state by delivering massively for the APC in the November 11 governorship election in the state.
The Igala indigenes, especially the critical stakeholders of the Social Democratic Party, Peoples Democratic Party, African Democratic Congress, who defected publicly to the ruling APC at the Kogi East Senatorial District Rally, as well as other illustrious Igala sons and daughters, said the crowd witnessed on Saturday was an unprecedented one of in the history of electioneering in Kogi East.
They promised to deliver massively for the APC in the election to pave the way for the continuity of what they described as the detribalised and purposeful leadership of Governor Yahaya Bello, which had brought unity and sincere development to all parts of the state, noting that there was nothing like ethnic agenda in the dictionary of patriotic citizens.
In his remarks, the Director General, Kogi APC Governorship Campaign Council, and Minister of Steel Development, Shaibu Abubakar Audu, said the only agenda for the APC was the Kogi Agenda, adding that the party’s candidate was coming to build and consolidate on the laudable legacies of Governor Yahaya Bello.
“The only agenda for the APC is the Kogi Agenda. The Party has the interest of the whole State. Alhaji Ahmed Usman Ododo has a vision for the development of the entire State. He will build and consolidate on the legacies of Gov Yahaya Bello.
“We are proud today that Kogi is the most secured State in North Central Nigeria. The APC will provide massive jobs for our teeming youths through agricultural revolution. The APC is working on expanding the capacity to be able to produce several agricultural produce, particularly in Kogi East.
“I urge you to support the APC and Alhaji Ododo. President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, who appointed me as Minister of Steel Development, is interested in the vision and success of Kogi State through the development of Ajaokuta Steel.
“This will enable the provision of massive jobs for the entire youths of our dear State. He has asked that we do not hand over the State to a hustler government or to an opposition government. The President is concerned about the State and has said we cannot afford to handover a strategic State to the opposition,” he stated.
The Chairman of APC in Kogi State, Abdullahi Bello, expressed satisfaction with the massive turnout and enthusiasm displayed by the people of Kogi East and urged them to sustain the tempo to pave the way for landslide victory in the governorship election.
Also, the lawmaker representing Kogi East in the National Assembly, Senator Jibrin Echocho, called on the people of Kogi East who had yet to come into the APC fold, to embrace the party, pointing out that elections are won on party structures.
“Let me appeal to our people to be passionate with the APC. Our candidate is marketable. Elections are won based on Party structures. The people of Kogi East voted APC in the general election. We cannot afford to do otherwise in the forthcoming election.
“Governor Bello has laid a solid foundation in infrastructure, human capital development across the State. His achievements have done the major part of the election. Let’s all join hands in ensuring collective victory for the APC,” Echocho said.
Addressing the people, the Deputy Governor of Kogi State, Edward Onoja, urged the people of Kogi East to vote on the strength of continuity and cautioned against sentiments, saying that elections are about political parties and not tribe, religion or region.
In his speech, Governor Yahaya Bello cautioned the people against ethnicity, stressing that tribal politics had no place in this time and age.
“Ethnic politics is selfish interest. Igala agenda is about job creation, development, prosperity. Don’t be deceived. The APC will win landslide. Victory will be ours at the election. Alhaji Usman Ahmed Ododo is a refined gentleman with cognate experience in public service and in politics.
“On assumption of office, we met a state divided along ethnic and other fault lines. We have been able to cement all those fault lines. Today, issues of ethnicity have been buried. Fairness, equity, justice have replaced mediocrity, ethnicity.
“We have raised youths and women across board. We have built and distributed projects, infrastructure and empowerment across board. So much has been achieved in the State and we cannot afford to go back to our dark days,” the Governor said.
Addressing the unprecedented crowd, the APC Governorship Candidate, Ododo, said his aspiration was about the people, progress and unity of the State.
“Let me appeal to the people of Kogi East. Let’s build a united and stronger Kogi State which we all can be proud of. Let this election be about our people, development, unity and prosperity. It is my fervent appeal that I’m ready to be a servant leader with no barrier,” he said.
The APC Governorship Candidate thanked Governor Bello for his outstanding achievements and promised to build on the legacies.
While telling Igala people that it would be counter-productive to play ethnic and minority politics, he specifically thanked President Tinubu for his outstanding leadership and commitment to the growth and development of Kogi State and Nigeria at large.
Highlights of the rally was the official welcoming of decampees from the PDP, SDP and other political parties to the APC.