Guber election: Kogi women, youth declare support for APC, Ododo

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ODODO

BY TIMOTHY AGBOR

Ahead of weekend’s governorship election in Kogi State, women and youth from all parts of the state have declared support for the All Progressives Congress candidate, Usman Ahmed Ododo, saying being one of the architects of the current 32-year development plan for the state, he is a proper fit person to continue with the developmental trajectory of the incumbent, Governor Yahaya Bello.

The women and youth from all the local government areas in the state converged on the Muhammadu Buhari Square in Lokoja on Tuesday and pledged their total support and votes for Ododo during the poll on Saturday.

Adorned in their various branded attires and fez caps, the party supporters, while armed with bunches of brooms, kept chanting Ododo’s name as they stormed the arena in their numbers.

At the Women and Youth Rally organised by the APC Women Steering Committee and Kogi Governorship Campaign Council, all those who spoke reiterated their unflinching support for the ruling party, stressing that Ododo could be said to have won the election already because, “women and youths are those who decide election outcomes everywhere.”

In her submission, the Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development in the state, Hajia Fatima Kabir Buba, said Ododo is the project for Kogi women and youth, maintaining that the APC governorship candidate would be massively voted by all women and youths in the state who constitute the larger voting percentage.

She said, “We are given our reassurance that come Saturday, all the women and youth in Kogi State will file out in their numbers to vote for our own governor in waiting, Usman Ododo. Alhaji Ododo is our project. The women of Kogi won’t let APC down.”

Addressing the mammoth crowd, the wife of the state governor, Rashida Yahaya Bello, commended the party loyalists for the show of love for the APC and its candidate, promising that the party would not rest on its oars in transforming Kogi.

The First Lady urged the people of the state to come out en masse and exercise their franchise in favour of Ododo.

Meanwhile, the Inspector General of Police, Kayode Egbetokun, has assured the electorate of their safety, declaring that the force would guarantee a peaceful atmosphere.

The Inspector General of Police who was represented by the Kogi Commissioner of Police, Bethrand Onuoha, gave the assurance while speaking at the Governorship Election Stakeholders’ Meeting held in Lokoja, the state capital on Tuesday.

Egbetokun said voters have no cause to fear coming out in large numbers to cast their votes for the candidate of their choice as police have put in necessary machinery to provide security of lives and property before, during and after the election.

The police boss pleaded with the governorship candidates, political parties and their supporters to play the game by the rules as anyone found wanting would be made to face the full wrath of the law.

“We are not here to work in favour of any political party or candidate. Politicians should allow police to perform their constitutional duties.

“I feel bad to note that some political actors and gladiators don’t want to play the game by the rules and we will not hesitate to deal with those who have no respect for the rule of law

“Politicians should remember that life goes after elections hence the need for them to behave as responsible citizens and avoid hate speech that could ignite violence and intimidation.

“We are going to give INEC all the necessary support to conduct a free, fair and credible election” the Inspector General assured.

He also charged traditional rulers in the state to talk to their subjects to embrace peace in the interest of the state and the nation at large.

On his part, the National Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Mahmood Yakubu said that the commission was ready for the conduct of Saturday’s governorship election in Kogi.

Mahmood who was represented by the National Commissioner in-charge of Kogi, Kwara and Niger States, Professor Sani Mohammed Adam disclosed that all sensitive and non-sensitive materials were already on ground for the conduct of the election

He gave an assurance that the commission would not let Nigeria down “as President Tinubu had given us a mandate to conduct a free, fair and credible election.”

Representatives of candidates of political parties, party chairmen, civil society organisations and the media were present at the event.

IGP warms impostors

Also, the Nigeria Police Force has expressed deep concerns over recent reports concerning the activities of certain individuals who are operating as middlemen, acting as negotiators on behalf of persons involved in criminal activities currently in police custody.

According to a statement by the Force Public Relations Officer, Olumuyiwa Adejobi, on Tuesday, these individuals have been exploiting the names of high-ranking police officers, including that of the Inspector-General of Police, to intimidate and coerce others.

“The NPF strongly encourages all Nigerians to be vigilant and exercise discernment when approached by anyone using the names of senior police officers, as this practice not only undermines trust in the Nigeria Police Force but also poses a significant threat to the integrity of our justice system.

“Furthermore, the Force wishes to emphasize its unwavering commitment to the high standards and principles upon which the Nigeria Police Force is built. We firmly caution members of our own ranks who may consider colluding with these middlemen to compromise the standards of the Force to refrain from such actions immediately.

“It is essential to highlight that any officer found engaging in such activities will face severe consequences. The Nigeria Police Force maintains a strict zero-tolerance policy towards any actions that could tarnish our reputation or compromise the administration of justice.

“Finally, we reaffirm our commitment to upholding the highest standards of integrity and professionalism within the Nigeria Police Force. We urge all Nigerians to have faith in our justice system and to report any suspicious activities to the appropriate authorities, most especially using our already published contacts. Your cooperation and vigilance are essential in helping us maintain the integrity of our force and the justice system,” the statement read