- Kogi State Governor Yahaya Bello has assured that the upcoming governorship election will be peaceful despite concerns of violence
- Bello denied any blood relation to the APC governorship candidate and emphasized the importance of competence over ethnic sentiments in appointments
Despite fears of violence, Kogi State Governor Yahaya Bello has assured the people of Kogi and Nigerians in general that the governorship election scheduled for November 11, 2023, will be the most peaceful ever held in the state.
The governor has also stated that he has no blood relation to the APC governorship candidate in the state, Alhaji Usman Ododo, as the opposition has claimed.
According to him, Ododo was elected as the APC’s governorship candidate on merit in a hotly contested, free and fair election.
Bello delivered a speech in Abuja at the third Governor Yahaya Bello (GYB) Seminar for Nigeria’s Political and Crime Correspondents/Editors.
In response to allegations and counter-allegations about the destruction of campaign offices in the state, the governor stated that the APC candidate remained the most popular and loved and thus would not engage in any act jeopardising the election.
Ododo has endeared himself to the people of Kogi. How can you be the most popular candidate, positioned to win and still instigate violence?
Ododo and I may come from the same place but we do not share any blood relationship whatsoever. Do your findings. He is a very compassionate, hardworking and competent fellow and those qualities spoke for him at the primaries, he said.
Bello explained that part of his administration’s focus was eliminating ethnic sentiments that had set the state backwards before his emergence.
Ethnic sentiments set Kogi back for 19 years and we must break away from that for competence.
My administration has changed the narrative of ethnicity and has been appointing and working with competent people as against choosing people from tribes in the state.
We raise people from different backgrounds, irrespective of their senatorial zones, he said.
Kogi State Commissioner for Information, Kingsley Fanwo, said no blood would be shed because of an election.
Fanwo said that security remained key to the state and, therefore, the government would not be distracted from the path of peace.