Okun political leaders, on Wednesday, unanimously agreed to work with the All Progressives Congress and promised to deliver en masse for Usman Ododo, the governorship candidate of the party.
The leaders gave the assurances during a meeting convened by the Obaro of Kabba, Oba Solomon Owoniyi, which drew all the traditional, political and opinion molders from the five Local Government Areas of the Okun speaking part of Kogi State. The royal father had convened the meeting to appeal for a peaceful poll.
But the stakeholders told the royal father that they had unanimously agreed to support the APC as they were not prepared to play ethnic politics when Kogi needed to be at the centre.
The various speakers concluded that they could not be in opposition to the APC-led administration of president Bola Tinubu at the centre.
The various political leaders and opinion molders resolved to return to their various Local Government Areas to work for the victory of APC in the forthcoming November 11, 2023 governorship election.
“With the love the administration of Governor Yahaya Bello has shown to the Okun nation in the location of projects, infrastructure and in appointment, we have every reason to go in the direction of Governor Bello, President Tinubu and the APC,” Erick Fiki, a prominent stakeholder in Okunland, said.
Taofiq Isah, chairman of Ijumu Local Government Area, said it was a collective agreement to deliver Okunland to the APC and its governorship candidate because of the many good things that Governor Bello had done for the Okun people.
“The people of Ijumu have resolved to stay with the APC. We have never had it this good since the creation of the state. We have resolved to vote for the APC in the forthcoming governorship election,” he said.
On his part, Philip Orebiyi described Yagba as the home of the APC, insisting that the outcome of the November 11 Governorship election would reflect the people’s reward for the love Governor Bello has for Okun nation.
“Let me assure you that in Yagba, we will reward the APC with the love Gov. Bello has shown to us in the upgrade of infrastructure, traditional institutions and appointments. The outcome of the Governorship election will reflect a landslide victory for the APC,” he assured.
In his address at the meeting, Kingsley Fanwo, Commissioner for Information and Communication and spokesperson for the APC Governorship Campaign, described Governor Bello as a lover of Okun nation.
“Beginning with the Ejiba Ricemill, one of the biggest projects of this administration; the construction of Kabba township roads, the landmark project of the GYB Model Science Secondary School in Kabba Bunu and the recent establishment of the Kogi State University, Kabba, the administration has proven without mincing words that Okun is dear to its heart,” he said.
“The governor understands that education is our industry. Over time, we have had to use our taxes and resources to develop other universities where our children go to seek education.
“The message of Governor Bello to this meeting is for us to build and develop a partnership that will enable us to remember Kwara State and old Kabba province.
“This partnership, according to Governor Bello, will enable us to record another history regarding the Governorship of the State in the future. Let us work therefore in building enduring legacies that will work with this meeting.
“Governor Bello has urged us to strive towards unity amongst the people of Okun and Ebiras that dates back. He has promised that in or out of office, he will continue to add his voice in ensuring that the Okun nation is rewarded abundantly.”
Fanwo described Governor Bello as a highly detribalised Kogite who believes in fairness and justice, assuring that the Okun nation would remain a priority under Usman Ododo when elected.
He urged the leaders of Okun nation to ensure that the November 11 Governorship election reflects an overwhelming result for the APC.
In her remarks at the meeting, Folashade Ayoade, Secretary to the State Government, described the meeting convened by the Obaro of Kabba as one in the right direction.
In his welcome message, Oba Solomon Owoniyi said the meeting became necessary for the leaders to set an agenda and direction for traditional institutions and for Okun people so as to ensure a peaceful election.
The royal father also thanked the governor for all he has done for Okunland.
Highlights of the meeting was the setting up of a technical committee that would collate the views of Okun people with regard to their expectations for the incoming administration and chart the direction for Okun people in the forthcoming election.