Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State, yesterday, in Abuja, clarified that the gubernatorial candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC in the November 11 election in the state, Ahmed Ododo, was not a blood relation of his, as widely speculated.
Rather, Ododo, who resigned his appointment from the Kogi State civil service before contesting the April 14, primary election of the party, according to Bello, won the election overwhelmingly during the party’s primary election.
He made the clarification at the third Annual GYB Seminar for Nigeria’s Political and Crime Correspondents/Editors at the Transcorp Hilton, Abuja.
While expressing optimism that Odo do would emerge the next governor of the state at the end of the election , he assured that the process would be free and credible.
“Let me state here today that I have no blood relationship with Ododo, he might have come from the same place I came from but I have no blood relationship with him.
“Unfortunately for 19 years ethnic sentiment has kept us where we were but the narrative changed the moment I came on board.
” I will boldly say that since I came into government there has been nothing like ethnic sentiment.
“We raise people from different backgrounds irrespective of senatorial zones, ethnic or religious affiliations.
“Ododo won his election overwhelmingly during the primary election. He is a very compassionate person who endeared himself to the Kogi people.
“Besides, he is a popular candidate. How can he instigate insecurity in an election where he is most positioned to win? .
“Election of November 11 will be free, fair, peaceful and credible. I have supervised many elections. This will be the most peaceful. We will continue to learn in terms of performance”, he stated.
Earlier in his welcome remark, the Kogi State Commissioner for Information, Kingsley Fanwo, assured that the election would be violence free.
He said ” There might be a lot of report out there on the elections of November 11,2023. What I can assure you is that the election is going to be very free, fair and peacefully
“There won’t be violence at all as the state govt is determined to ensure that no blood is spilled because somebody wants to assume a position of power.
“For us as a government , security is important. We have achieve a lot in the past seven and half years and we are confident that nothing will be able to distract from the path of greatness the state has set”.
Fanwo explained that the GYB seminar which started three years ago was aimed at building capacity of Nigerian journalists to be able to deliver on their jobs.
He said “Looking back today, we are happy and satisfied to have achieved that dream. We have also achieved on telling our story and the world can testify to the fact that without Kogi nothing will be discussed in Nigeria today.
“This is the last that time Governor Yahaha Bello will be attending as the Chief Executive of the state, as he will be as he will be bowing out in January 2024 . By the grace of God, he will be handing over to another person who will be organising this seminar from 2024”.