. Thank him for sterling achievements, making them proud
In what they described as a celebration of “eight years of unprecedented strides”, indigenes and residents of Okene in Kogi State, on Sunday, trooped out in their thousands to welcome the immediate past Governor of the state, Yahaya Bello, back home after two impactful tenures.
They treated the White Lion, as he is fondly called, to a heroic homecoming ceremony at the ancient town, Okene, where Bello hails from.
With loud cheers, pomp and pageantry, the jubilant residents heaped praises on the immediate past governor over his sterling performance in office, with different clans performing with their masquerades amid the thick crowd that thronged the streets.
Before former Governor Bello arrived Okene, a crowd of residents of Lokoja, the state capital, had assembled on the highway linking the former governor’s country home to bid him farewell after successfully handing over to his successor, Governor Usman Ododo.
They lined up at the roadside and expressed gratitude to Bello, saying he had successfully transformed Kogi beyond their expectations in his two terms in office.
Some of the citizens who spoke after Bello’s convoy pulled over to acknowledge their greetings, said the former governor had left an indelible mark of achievements in the Confluence State.
When Bello’s convoy arrived at the entrance of Okene town, enthusiastic and proud indigenes/residents were seen waving at their kinsman in excitement.
As the convoy journeyed deeper into the heart of Okene, the town erupted in jubilation as the former governor’s kinsmen who adorned in ceremonial attire, accompanied by drums and trumpets, danced along the streets, saying Bello had elevated Okene and Kogi State to an enviable height.
The former governor visited his maternal ancestral home, where special prayers were offered in honour of the memory of his departed mother, seeking divine blessings for him as he returned home.
Also, Bello stormed the palace of the Ohinoyi of Ebiraland, along with the new Governor of the state, Usman Ododo, where he was given a rousing welcome. The mammoth crowd seen at the palace was unprecedented.
The traditional ruler, HRM, Alhaji Ahmed Tijani, hailed former governor Bello’s transformative impact on Kogi state’s infrastructure and economy and congratulated Governor Ododo on his inauguration.
Meanwhile, former Governor Bello expressed his profound gratitude to the people of his hometown and Kogi State in general for the overwhelming reception accorded him.
While addressing his admirers, he urged citizens of the state to support the administration of Governor Usman Ododo for the continued development and transformation of the state.
“I am filled with joy over this overwhelming show of gratitude, happiness and love. It further attests to the impacts our government has made in the lives of Kogites. I humbly return all thanks and praises to the Almighty God. He alone is the Doer of everything we can lay claim to have done in office as a government. Without His enablement we would have been both helpless. To God be the Glory!
“Now, we can live with a clear conscience, confident that we did our best for Kogites within the time and resources available to us.
“I have successfully handed over to Governor Ahmed Usman Ododo. Ododo will need our support to succeed in the overall interest of the state. Once more, I want to thank you for this honour,” the former governor stated.