Nov Poll: Forum of Former Kogi House of Assembly Members declares support for APC, Ododo

. Calls on INEC to take constitutional action against candidates fanning ethnic division, stoking violence

The Forum of Former Members of the Kogi State House of Assembly has unanimously declared its support for the governorship candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress, Usman Ododo, ahead of the November 11 election in the state.

The Forum, which comprises the entire past lawmakers in the state from 1999, across political parties, also resolved to go back to their different communities to ensure resounding victory for the APC candidate.

The lawmakers, who said their decision to support Ododo followed a painstaking assessment of all the candidates on the field and the need to save the state from being dragged back to the old days of ethnocentric politics and violence, spoke at a press conference in Lokoja on Thursday.

The Chairman, Forum of Former Members of the Kogi State House of Assembly, Alhassan Salisu Adakeke, who addressed the press, with other members in attendance, pointed out that Kogi was too central to Nigeria to be left in the hands of candidates “who are out to disunite the state” and truncate the widely acknowledged achievements of the current administration.

While calling on the Independent National Electoral Commission to “immediately activate relevant sections of the Electoral Law against candidates fanning ethnic division and stoking atomic politics,” the former Assembly members said, “Kogi State has remained very peaceful since the advent of the GYB (Governor Yahaya Bello) administration and cannot afford to lose it now to desperate politicians dropping names after disrespecting the same names. Their only hope is violence.

“We hereby unanimously declare the support of former legislators to the candidacy of the Governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Ahmed Usman Ododo. Our members are resolved to work hard throughout the state to deliver him resoundingly on November 11, 2023. We have no doubt that we will celebrate our victory and the future of our dear state will be guaranteed.

“It is our desire that the revolution currently ongoing in education, health, agriculture, youth and women empowerment as well as infrastructure will continue when we elect the man who understands the development wand of the current administration. We are for consolidation. We are for continuity. We are for Ododo. We are for a united and prosperous Kogi State.”

On how they arrived at the choice of Ododo and subsequently threw their weights behind him, the former legislators explained that they took their time to examine the candidates in the contest and took their decision after series of meetings, consultations and engagements with their members across the state.

“On the forthcoming Governorship poll in the state, our forum has resolved to support the candidate of the All Progressives Congress for the fact that he is a product of a system that has put Kogi on the map of development. Among the candidates jostling for the number one seat, he is the most qualified, the most experienced, the most prepared and the best man for the job. Apart from his message of consolidation and continuity, Hon. Ahmed Usman Ododo possesses character traits of a great leader. He is accessible, humble, brilliant and devoid of the negative drama that have dotted the histories of his competitors,” they stated.

According to them, the incumbent administration of Governor Yahaya Bello has built ensuring legacies of development, unity and progress in the state through his equitable distribution of landmark projects and poverty-reduction policies “that have distinguished him as the best Governor to have ever led Kogi.”

“We cannot afford to elect a mediocre into Lugard House,” they stressed.

The lawmakers stated, “As former lawmakers, we are proud of the symbiotic relationship between the two Assemblies that worked with Governor Yahaya Bello. A good number of Laws were passed that have helped to provoke development in our dear state. The Local Government Audit Law was excellently implemented by the former Auditor General for Local Government and now the candidate of the APC, Hon. Ahmed Usman Ododo. For those of us who understand statecraft, we saw how the implementation was able to improve transparency and accountability in that tier of government. Ahmed Usman Ododo is greatly equipped to press the pedals of development forward when he succeeds our hugely successful Governor.

“The difference between us and the usurpers, who caved in to the naira power of ethnic jingoists is that we cut across the state. This is one of the gains of the Yahaya Bello Administration. We no longer pander to the flames of ethnicity, but to the bunch of unity that we have become as a people and as a state.

“Apart from the capacity, competence, capability, brilliance and readiness of Ahmed Usman Ododo for the task ahead, it is also pertinent to note that the Ajaokuta Steel resurgence is at the centre of the economic recovery plan of the Tinubu Presidency.

“Our state supported the election of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu and will continue to support him to succeed. We cannot afford to elect a mediocre into Lugard House who will be opposed to the economic plan that will make Nigeria a true giant of Africa.”

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