As the governorship election of Kogi State approaches, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has cleared 13 aspirants who indicated interest to fly the party’s flag.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had earlier announced plans for the upcoming Bayelsa and Kogi governorship elections. The elections will hold simultaneously in the two states on November 16.
The aspirants were last week screened by a Screening Committee headed by the Governor of Taraba State, Darius Ishaku, at the PDP presidential campaign office in Maitama, popularly called the Legacy House.
According to the list, the aspirants cleared in Kogi State include Wada Idris, Dino Melaye, Erico Ameh, Aminu Suleiman, Grace Adejoh, Abubakar Ibrahim, Kabiru Haruna, Musa Wada, Saliu Atawodi (retd), Mohammed Adah, Victor Adoji, Baye Averehi, and Emmanuel Omebije.
The national leadership of the PDP had fixed a N20 million fee for aspirants intending to contest the governorship elections in Kogi and Bayelsa states.
The N20 million is apart from the mandatory Expression of Interest fee of N1 million for every aspirant.
The party was thus able to rake in about N273 million from the sale of forms to the 13 aspirants from Kogi State alone.
Here are the profiles of the aspirants.
Idris Ichala Wada is the immediate past governor of Kogi State. In the last 2015 election, as the then incumbent governor under the PDP, he was defeated by the late Abubakar Audu of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
The 69-year-old retired pilot was elected as the 3rd Governor of Kogi State in 2011.
He comes from Dekina Local government of the eastern part of the state.
If elected, Mr. Wada, a major contender will complete just one term as governor of Kogi State.
Dino Melaye is a controversial politician and senator.
He is a member of the 9th National Assembly, representing Kogi West in the Senate.
Before this, he was a member of the House of Representatives who represented Kabba/Bunu/Ijumu Federal Constituency.
He is also seen as one of the major contenders for the race.
Joseph Ameh Erico is also one of the frontline aspirants for the PDP ticket in Kogi State.
He is a security expert who formed a private security firm, Real Strikers Security Services.
He comes from Olamaboro local government of the state.
Iya Grace Adejoh is the only female aspirant under the platform of the PDP.
She is from Ayingba, Dekina local government area of Kogi State.
In 2007 she contested for the House of Assembly primaries under the PDP.
In 2012, she served as Executive Assistant to the then Nigerian High Commissioner to Singapore.
Abubakar Ibrahim is the son of a former governor of the state, Ibrahim Idris.
His father was first elected governor in 2003 and served for two terms.
He is from Idah, the western part of Kogi State.
Musa Wada is a younger brother to Idris Wada, the immediate past governor of the state who is also contesting for the PDP ticket.
The duo, under the PDP platform, are from Dekina Local Government Area.
A retired air marshal, he is also a former Chairman, Presidential Implementation Committee on Maritime Safety and Security (PICOMSS).
He is currently facing trial for alleged N600 million fraud by the EFCC.
He was born on the July 4, 1952 in Idah Local Government Area of Kogi State
Victor Alewo Adoji was a banker who served as brand management executive with Zenith Bank.
He contested for the Kogi East Senatorial District in the upper legislative chamber of the National Assembly under the platform of the African Democratic Congress (ADC) during the 2019 general elections.
He is from Ofu Local Government Area of Kogi State.
Mr Omebije is a former two-term member of the Kogi State House of Assembly who served as Deputy Speaker.
He is from Dekina Local Government Area of Kogi State.
Mohammed Adah Shuaibu, popularly known as ‘Tettes’ is a business strategist and entrepreneur.
He is Igala by tribe, from Dekina Local Government Area of Kogi State.
Bayo Adobayin Averehi is a kinsman of the incumbent governor, Yahaya Bello.
He is also from Okene Local Government Area.
His tribe is Ebira, the second largest ethnic group in the state, after Igala.
Kabir Haruna, popularly known as Saraha is an estate developer based in the Federal Capital Territory.
He is the CEO of Saraha Estate Developers based in Abuja.
He is from the Igala speaking part of Kogi State.
Aminu Suleiman is a 44-year-old quantity surveyor.
He is from the eastern part of the state which is mostly dominated by the Igala tribe.