Newly re-elected governor of Kogi State Yahaya Bello has declared his readiness to meet his opponents in the November 16 governorship election in court if they chose to toe the path of litigation to challenge his victory.
He told State House correspondents yesterday in Abuja after he was presented to President Muhammadu Buhari by the national chairman of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, that by winning the election in all the three senatorial districts of the state, he had decapitated the monster of ethnicity, which he described as the bane of the state prior to his emergence.
His main opponents in the election were the candidates of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Musa Wada and Social Democratic Party (SDP), Natasha Akpoti.
The governor, however, called on those who contested against him across political parties to join hands with his administration to make the state more prosperous.
He said: Just a few hours ago, I received my certificate of return from the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Lokoja. That is the conclusion of the November 16 gubernatorial election that was held, that I won with landslide.
“I told you sometimes back that the issues of winning the election were not in question but the margin with which I will defeat my opponents, and that they will have no reason whatsoever to go to the tribunal. However, going to the tribunal is their right and if they so wish, we will meet in court.
“But I want to use this opportunity to call on all those that contested the elections with me, starting from the primaries of our party to the main election, all other political parties, to please join me, we are all citizens of Kogi State, in this next level so that we can collectively do more for the state.
“I inherited a state that was largely divided along ethnic lines, but in this election, I was able to put that behind us, that ethnicity is not the way, that it is a monster that has held the country down and tore the some states apart. By the special grace of God, today in Kogi State, ethnicity has been buried finally because in this particular election, I won overwhelmingly in all three senatorial districts in the state.
“We have a lot of task ahead of us, the journey has just begun, I need the cooperation and understanding of all citizens and residents of Kogi so that we can do more for the people,” Bello said.
In his remarks, Oahiomhole said that Bello’s re-election meant many things to political analysts and lovers of democracy in view of the fact that the people of Kogi moved from sentiments to dealing with their leaders for who they are rather than where they came from.
“I think that for analysts and keen observers of Nigeria’s politics, particularly the geo-political politics, you will agree that the victory of Yahaya Bello in Kogi State represents many things for those who truly believe that Nigerian politics should move away from sentiments, to dealing with people for who they are rather than where they come from.
“For us in the APC, we are very proud and we have presented him to the president. The president was very proud, of course, he was happy to see his certificate of return and he has encouraged us to recognise that the reward for hard work as they say is more work. And I am sure that Governor Yahaya Bello having passed through the learning curve is going to approach the second term with all the vigour,” Oshiomhole said.
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