Governor Yahaya Bello has said that elections in Kogi State have gone beyond ethnic sentiment, stressing that the All Progressives Congress (APC) won the November 11 poll because it presented a popular candidate and did not base its electioneering campaign on tribe.
Bello said this at an APC stakeholder meeting held at the Government House in Lokoja on Saturday.
He said: “Kogi must develop as one united state; under no illusion must any tribe think it could vote for itself and become governor without the support of other tribes.
“The Nov. 11 governorship election has shown that unity is the watchword. In 2019, I won without an ethnic agenda. I cautioned against tribal sentiment and asked that we desist from it before the election. I was optimistic that the APC would win the Nov. 11 governorship election. I wanted it to be a sweet victory, the reason I cautioned against sentiments.”
Bello lauded President Bola Tinubu for his support for the victory of the APC in the Nov. 11 off-cycle election.
“This is because our party, the APC and its candidate, Alhaji Usman Ododo, won the election clean and clear. It was pertinent to review and evaluate the election, which APC won overwhelmingly, for people to learn from the mistakes and avoid the pitfalls of the past in future exercises.
“The journey was full of ups and downs in the last seven years. But we thank God for the resounding victory. With all the obstacles before, during and after the election, the APC came out stronger. The time for everybody to carry his cross has come. Everybody will bear his father’s name because there is still a future,” he said.
Bello said that transparency would remain his watchword as he tried to ensure that the people enjoyed the dividends of democracy.
The governor expressed regret that people allowed emotions and personal and parochial interests to cloud their sense of reasoning during the election.
He said that the good governance by his administration in the areas of road construction, health care, and infrastructure development was enough for APC to win overwhelmingly.
Bello described the Igala nation as good people who were not tribalistic or racist but unfortunately, the majority were misled by poor representation.
To the people of Kogi West, he assured them that payback time would soon come and called on leaders to educate their people to be selfless.