Yahaya Bello, Kogi State governor, has anointed Ahmed Ododo, the state auditor-general as his successor, ahead of today’s primary election of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
This was announced at the APC stakeholders meeting of the party held on Thursday in Lokoja.
Meanwhile, following the development, the Deputy governor, Edward Onoja, and the Chief of Staff to the governor, Mohammed Asuku, have withdrawn from the race.
The meeting was held at the party’s Secretariat and hosted by Bello, who unveiled his preferred candidate as the Auditor-General of the state,
Onoja and Asuku announced their withdrawal from the governorship race via their respective verified Facebook pages shortly after the meeting in Lokoja.
The deputy governor, Onoja, whom many had thought will naturally succeed Governor Bello before now, posted a cryptic message on Facebook.
He wrote: “To God be the glory for life and divine health. My appreciation to my leader, Alhaji Yahaya Bello, and all my supporters for your love and prayers.
“Let love, patience and perseverance lead. I am forever grateful.”
On his part, the governor’s Chief of Staff, Asuku, who was also seen as a frontrunner because of his closeness to the governor, posted: “Alhamdulillah! Alhamdulillah!! Alhamdulillah!!!
“All praises and adoration are due to the most high God the Creator of the entire universe and the sustainer of same who have safeguarded my life and that of my immediate family and well wishers to witness this moment in my life.
“I sincerely appreciate His Excellency, my benefactor, for all that Allah have been using him to do in my life.
“As such, I hereby submit myself publicly to the decision taken today and I will forever live to remain loyal and dedicated to the decision of my party as I enjoin all my well wishers to work with us for our great party APC to become victorious in the November 11 general election.”
In a similar development, other aspirants like Mr David Adebanji Jimoh; a former Commissioner for Finance, Asiwaju Ashiru Idris; Okala Yakubu, and Momoh Jubril have also withdrawn from the governorship race.
However, the chairman of the Primary Election Committee, Zamfara state Governor, Mohammed Matawale, said that all other aspirants who have not withdrawn from the race are free to participate in Friday’s primary to be held across the state.