By Abubakar S. H
Ahead of the 2023 Governorship elections, the stakeholders and community leaders from Lokoja /Kogi (Kotonkarfe) local government areas have declared support for the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress, (APC), in kogi State, Alhaji Ahmed Usman Ododo, saying he has been adopted as their sole candidate.
The community leaders and political stakeholders who converged at the Abuja residence of the former commissioner of Health, Alhaji Suleman Baba Ali, in a well-attended political meeting organised by them to assure Ahmed Usman Ododo and Gov. Yahaya Bello, of their unflinching support, said they have rejected any opposition parties, especially the unpopular party called SDP, because of the impeccable qualities and capacity of the present Governor, Yahaya Bello, and untainted record of the APC governorship standard bearer to deliver on their mandate.
Addressing the large gathering at the meeting, Alhaji Suleiman Baba Ali, who is the chief host, said the Forum is a body that cut across all professional bodies and pressure groups, said the over 22 autonomous communities in Lokoja and Kogi LGAs, had no alternative to the APC, adding that opposition parties had never worked for them even when some of their members ran for elections on their platforms.
He appreciated Gov. Yahaya Bello for running an all-inclusive policy through the appointments made recently by giving Lokoja-Kogi the Speakership of the state House of Assembly and also ceded key prominent positions the federal constituency.
“You have shown us that you value our federal constituency through your appointments in government and the campaign council.
“Ododo is the only governorship candidate Lokoja-Kogi people know. We want to assure you that we are with you. We will campaign for you and ensure your victory,” he added.
Lending his voice, the Commissioner for Solid Minerals and natural resources, Hon. Bashir Gegu while expressing confidence that the election will be a walkover for Ododo through their unalloyed support, said the people were eagerly looking forward to the development and infrastructure Ododo’s administration will deliver to the state.
In their separate speeches, Speaker of the Assembly, Rt. Hon. Yusuf Aliyu Umar and Hon. Ebaiya Tijjani said they could vouch for Ododo’s competence and capacity to deliver the much anticipated good governance when he wins.
They further noted that the lokoja people believe in progress, and the only political party that represents progress in kogi State is APC and pledged that all their votes in the ten wards in lokoja will be harnessed for the APC’s victory.
Rt. Hon. Aliyu Umar Yusuf who further stated that Lokoja town is made up of businessmen, professionals and traders who are with the present administration are also willing to partner with the next government to move the state to loftier heights Ododo had promised, maintained that the governorship hopeful possesses the qualities and characteristics that will transform the State.
“Our people are majorly traders, fishermen and we want to move with you and partner with your administration to move the state economy as you promised.
“We have our foot soldiers here and they are ready to do the job. This gathering was organised to make a categorical statement. We have the intrinsic knowledge of what you can do because you have the qualities to deliver,” he said.
The party chairman in koton-karfe who also spoke at the meeting, said they are all gathered here to inform the APC administration of Gov. Yahaya Bello and its Governorship candidate, Ododo of their unwavering support, commitment and dedication to the project, adding that Ododo’s victory had already been won and sealed by the overwhelming support from members of the public.
On his part, the local government chairman, Hon. Mohammed Danasabe Mohammed promised that his people were ready to march the governorship candidate to the Lugard House on January 27th 2024, with their huge voting strength.
He noted that Lokoja with ten wards and many polling units, accounts for at least a quarter of the total voting population in the local government area, promising that “We shall swim and excel with you. We shall deliver you and show you total love and solidarity.”
The representative of the women, Mrs Ajuji assured Ododo that all the women from the wards were campaigning for his election.
She noted that they’d been meeting with cross sections of women in the state to sensitize them on the need to collect their voter’s cards and vote for the APC.
Also speaking were the member representing Lokoja-Kogi Federal Constituency in the National Assembly, Hon. Danladi Suleiman Aguye, who said the election of the APC candidate should be considered as a done deal in the state.
He noted that the APC has no rival in the area, he disclosed that the myriad of good works the APC administration had brought to the constituency would be an added advantage that would convince the electorate to vote for continuity.
“Your choice to support our drive for governorship mandate in Enugu State is one that shows that your choice transcends personal interests.
Other dignitaries at the meeting included women leaders, youth leaders and other Dignitaries