By; ADAMA JOHN, Lokoja
The duo of Kogi State Governor-Elect and his Deputy, Alhaji Usman Ododo Ahmed and Mr Joel Salifu Oyibo respectfully were presented with Certificates of Return by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), having emerged as winners of the November 11 governorship election.
The ceremony was performed by the Resident Electoral Commissioner Dr. Hale Gabriel Longpet on Friday, amidst tight security and hilariously cheered by crowd at the commission’s headquarters in Lokoja.
Ododo of the All Progressives Congress (APC) was declared winner of the off-circle governorship election of November 11 by the Electoral body, having polled 446,237 votes to defeat his runner up, Muritala Yakubu Ajaka of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), who polled 259,052 votes.
Coming from the distant third position is Senator Dino Melaye of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) with 46,362 votes.
Addressing the gathering in the hall shortly, Ododo assured people of the state that he would keep his campaign promise of building on the “sterling” achievements of Governor Yahaya Bello.
He expressed appreciation to the people of the state for their overwhelming support and votes at the polls and pledged to justify the confidence reposed on him and preserve the unity of the peoples of the state.
“My administration will be committed to sustaining the youth and women empowerment programmes of the present administration.
“My resolve to provide employment for our teeming youths and ensure that education occupies the front burner of our administration remains unchanged.
“My victory at last Saturday’s election is a victory for all. We will run an all-inclusive administration, where everyone, irrespective of tribe, religion and political affiliation, will be carried along,” he said.
The incumbent governor, Yahaya Bello who personally witnessed the presentation of the certificates of return, urged the people of the state to join hands with the in-coming governor to build a greater Kogi State.
He said of his administration that every beginning has an end, ”The election has come and gone and a winner has emerged. I call on the people of the state to work towards the unity and togetherness our administration has achieved,” he said.
The INEC REC, Hale Gabriel Longpet while presenting the certificate, said the presentation was part of the commission’s mandate describing the election as rancour free and devoid of political bickering in the state.
Longpet said Ododo was being presented the certificate, having met the constitutional requirements.