Ahead of the November 11 Governorship Election in Kogi state, a former Commissioner for Information and chieftain of the ruling All Progressives Congress APC in Kogi state, Dr Tom Ohikere has pledged to ensure the victory of the party’s standard bearer, Alhaji Ododo Ahmed Usman.
Dr Ohikere, an ally of Senator Smart Adeyemi, one of the governorship aspirants in the last gubernatorial primaries in the state, made the declaration shortly after a meeting on Thursday night in Abuja with a delegation led by Ododo, the Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Barr. Momodu Salami Ozigi Deedat and the Commissioner for Solid Minerals, Engr. Bashir Gegu.
Promising to bring back Senator Adeyemi to the fold, Dr Ohikere said APC cannot afford to lose Kogi state.
While acknowledging that for the first time, the state has witnessed tangible and rapid multi-sectoral development, he said the establishment of two universities and several model schools by Gov. Yahaya Bello within seven years has now made the state a fountain of knowledge.
Citing other developmental milestones of the Bello administration, Dr Ohikere noted that Ododo, as Auditor General for Local Governments, was one of the brains behind the evolution of a 32-year development plan for the state expressing great optimism about the prospects of a greater and even development of the state by an Ododo-led administration.
He said; “In every political development across the globe, politicians come together with varied interests and in the scramble, you expect crisis of interests and in Kogi state we have had politicians come into the APC with varied interests or tendencies. For example, in the last APC Governorship Primary Election in Kogi, I believed that the ticket should go to Kogi West especially Senator Smart Adeyemi but leadership is an act of God and He gave it to Kogi Central. Who am I to fight the cause of God? The person who got it is my own younger brother. Will I now fight myself? So, I have decided to play by the will of God.
“I cannot play anti-party and in realization of the fact that I was part of the five key people who established APC in Kogi, I cannot play anti-party and my brother Ododo is the candidate of the party. I cannot work against him. So, my party must win the next election in Kogi state.
“I have keenly followed political developments in the state and Ododo has been talking about real issues, rather than sentiments. This is one of the reasons why I have come on board – to set agenda – because we shall be discussing developmental issues”.
Asked if Senator Adeyemi was on the same page with him, Dr Ohikere said the party at all levels has been going through a process of reconciliation and realignments after the general election and that Senator Adeyemi as a party man would definitely not work against his own party.
“We are going through reconciliations and realignments. I am very sure that, because I am here, Senator Smart Adeyemi believes in me and I am going to speak with him”, he stated.
On his part, Ododo sued for peace among the various contestants and their followers, saying Kogi is best known as the “Confluence of peace”.
While he expressed commitment to the “Renewed Hope” blueprint of President Bola Tinubu, Ododo promised to ensure equity in the distribution of state resources if elected as governor.