Gov. Yahaya Bella of Kogi on Tuesday said his victory at the Supreme Court was a “big honour’’ to democracy in Nigeria.
In a statement shortly after the court affirmed him as elected governor of Kogi, he said the judgment would remain a watershed in the annals of electoral jurisprudence and constitutional law in the country.
“It is a long walk to victory which will reshape the nation’s constitution.
“I am humbled and magnanimous in victory; it is a long walk to victory.
“The victory belongs to all Kogi people who believe in transforming Kogi State from a potentially great state to a really great state,’’ the governor said.
In the statement signed his Chief Press Secretary, Kingsley Fanwo, Mr. Bello advised his supporters to guide against wild jubilation but to use the occasion for sober reflections.
He said he would pursue his cardinal goals of improving education, healthcare, infrastructural development as well as raising the capacity of the citizens to reinvigorate the state’s economy.
Mr. Bello commended the judiciary for “rising to the occasion by standing firm with what is true and just”.
In its reaction, the state chapter of the Association of Local Governments of Nigeria (ALGON), in a statement in Lokoja, described the judgment as a victory for the rule of law.
The chairman of the group in the state, Taufiq Isa, commended the justices of the Supreme Court for the judgment, saying it had finally settled the contention over the governorship position.
“We are calling on stakeholders in the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state to come together and join hands with the administration of Gov. Yahaya Bello in the interest of the development of Kogi,” he said.
Contacted on the judgment, Jacob Edi, Media Officer to former Gov. Idris Wada, said his principal had no comment on it.
According to him, Mr. Wada was yet to get the details of the Supreme Court decision and will want to tarry a while before making any pronouncement.
NAN reports that the atmosphere of Lokoja before and after the judgment remained peaceful as residents went about their normal activities.
Security personnel had prior to the judgment been deployed to strategic locations in the city to forestall any possible breakdown of law and order.
Heavily armed anti-riot policemen moved about in patrol vans while security was beefed up in and around the Government House and other important public facilities.
The police had on Friday banned all public processions, celebration and unauthorised gatherings in the state as part of measures to prevent lawlessness in anticipation of the Supreme Court judgment. (NAN)