By Friday Idachaba, Lokoja
GOVERNOR Yahaya Bello of Kogi has assured the electorate that the November 11, Governorship Election in the state would be peaceful, orderly and without rancour.
Bello disclosed this while addressing a mammoth crowd of All Progressives Congress (APC) members and supporters who thronged the Okene campaign ground, Agassa Junction on Saturday in Okene.
An apparently elated Bello told the overwhelming crowd of supporters that the Ahmed Usman Ododo/Joel Oyibo Salifu ticket was the best thing that could happen to the state as they were most qualified and experienced to deliver good governance.
The governor who expressed undiluted appreciation of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s political sagacity and achievements, pledged total loyalty to the President and assured him that the state, under his watch, would continue to stand on his (Tinubu’s) mandate.
Elated Bello who bursted into a chorus, “On Your Mandate We Shall Stand” commended the president for providing the the pedestal saying, that Nigerians were benefitting from his years of struggle and fight for enthronement of democracy.
On security and peaceful conduct of the upcoming election, Bello said he was in charge and would ensure nothing goes wrong.
“From Kogi East to Kogi West to Kogi Central. Today, I am in charge. I am assuring you, Mr. President; I am assuring you, our National Chairman, Your Excellency, Umar Ganduje, that in APC, in Kogi State, there will be no violence.
“I therefore urge all the security agencies to please sit down, do your job professionally and ensure that all the bad eggs are removed from our system.
“I crave the indulgence of all the citizens of Kogi State to please come and let us unite. Let us unite under the leadership of Ododo. Let us unite under the leadership of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu for the goodies and dividends of democracy”, Bello said.
Speaking earlier, Prince Shaibu Abubakar Audu, Minister of Steel Development and Director-General, Ododo Joint Campaign Council, premised Ododo’s “imminent victory” on the tripod of wide acceptance, legacy consolidation and massive job opportunities.
He revealed that part of Ododo’s mission was to revolutionize Agriculture in Kogi State saying there would be a boost in agricultural practices with massive crop production across the three Senatorial Districts of the State.
“There are also going to be massive job opportunities for the people of Kogi State and the people of Kogi Central. Also, from the Federal level, the Federal Government is interested in the revitalization of Ajaokuta Steel Plant.
The President has given an instruction for us to declare Ajaokuta an industrial park. The President is also interested in ensuring that the Free Trade Zone scheme across Nigeria is reviewed, so that we can consider declaring Ajaokuta a free trade zone.
“Once those things are done, massive job opportunities will be created in Ajaokuta, where up to 500,000 direct and indirect jobs will be created.
“For us to do that, the President has said that we cannot afford to outsource or to hand over a critically important state as Kogi State to a hostile opposition party. This state will remain resoundingly APC”, the Minister said.
Also speaking, Hajia Barr Halima Alfa, an APC stalwart commended Governor Bello, for bringing a new dimension to the strategy of political dynamism in Kogi State saying that though a prophet was never acknowledged at home, Bello was well appreciated I. Kogi Central.
“I have been coming to Okene for rallies since 1999 but I have never seen this type of crowd come out in Okene like today. Which means this prophet is appreciated in his hometown.
“And this prophet has brought another prophet that is also being cherished in his hometown. Kogi Central is no doubt APC. History will no doubt be made come November 11, as the district will produce the highest vote for the APC,” she enthused.
The APC Governorship Candidate, Alhaji Ahmed Usman Ododo, pledged to build on the achievements of governor Bello ranging from security, education, health care, infrastructure, human capital development, and above all, the elimination of violence, crimes, and communal crises.
Ododo described his candidacy as a mandate for the development of Kogi State saying, “As such, we are coming to build on the legacies of His Excellency, Yahaya Bello, under the New Hope agenda of Mr President.
“I want to assure you that we will continue to run a peaceful campaign. We will continue to run an issue-based campaign, because His Excellency, our leader, has done a lot for us here in Kogi State.
“So much that we should be able to use to convince and campaign to our people why APC should be the only adopted political party as far as Kogi State is concerned”, he said.
Other personalities who spoke at the rally include the state APC chairman, Abdullahi Bello (Dollar); Pharm. Jamiu Asuku, Chief of Staff to Governor Bello; Mohammed Ibrahim Idris, sone of former governor of the state, Alhaji Ibrahim Idris.
Highlights of the rally was massive defection of members of the SDP, PDP and other political parties in the state to the ruling APC.