Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello, has said he has made a lot of sacrifices to unite the people of Kogi State irrespective of religious and ethnic divides since assumption of office.
He noted that if the state was not united, no meaningful development could be achieved.
The governor disclosed this while receiving some aggrieved APC and PDP members led by former chairman Of Dekina Local Government and governorship aspirant for Kogi 2019 Guber polls, Mohammed Ali.
Kogi State is made up of three major ethnic groups; Igala, Ebira and Okun. The Igala is known to be the largest group.
The governor who is seeking a second term is from Okene, the Ebira speaking part of the state, which is the second majority after the Igala.
While receiving the group, the governor noted that nepotism, ethnicity, religious segregation were responsible for the underdevelopment in the state.
He said he had been able to address the challenges under his administration to regain mutual trust and equal opportunities for all irrespective of existing differences.
The governor expressed confidence in members of the group. He said there were supporters who were not in government or enjoyed party patronage in the last three years, but were paying their bills themselves.
He said there were people who wanted to add value to the system and assured them of equal opportunity and level playing field.
Governor Bello charged every citizen of Kogi State to join hands not to only ensure his victory on November 16 but to work on how they can move the state forward.
Speaking on behalf of the group, Mr Ali said he nursed the ambition of going into the governorship race but decided to withdraw following wide consultations within and outside the state.
He said he held a meeting with his group to discuss the way forward and they realised that among all aspirants and eventual candidates for all parties in the state, Mr Bello stood a better chance of emerging governor on November 16.
He appealed to the electorate to give the governor a second chance to consolidate on what he has achieved in the last three years.
Mr. Ali said he and all members of his group within the state had decided to work for the victory of the governor without any reservation because Kogi State needs a leader who is detribalised and courageous to dare old order of nepotism, ethnicity and favouritism.
In their separate remarks, Jacob Edi, a former Special Adviser on Media and Strategy to the immediate past Governor Idris Wada, said he was convinced on the governor’s stand in uniting the people of the state, bridging ethnic and religious gaps that have existed in the past and modest achievements of his administration.
He noted that they were sure he would do more if given a second term.
Present at the meeting were Chairman Of Ijumu Local Government Area, Remi Odutola; Eleojo Aba, former commissioner of finance; Ademu Sani, Joe Mesele, Umar Banatus, Former Chairman Of Okehi Local Government Area, Hassan Yusuf; Dan Otubeje; Rahim Abdulkadir; Ernest Balagbogbo; and Suleiman Okene-Slender.
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