Story By Friday Idachaba, Lokoja.
KOGI State Governor-Elect, Ahmed Usman Ododo and his Deputy, Mr Joel Salifu Oyibo were on Friday presented with Certificates of Return by the Independent National Electoral Commission(INEC) following their emergence as winners of the November 11 governorship election.
The Certificates were presented by the INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Dr Hale Gabriel Longpet at the Commission’s headquarters in Lokoja amidst tumultuous crowd and heavy security.
Ododo of the All Progressives Congress (APC) had won the November 11, Off-Cycle governorship polls in Kogi State with 446,237 votes to defeat his closest rival, Muritala Yakubu Ajaka of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), who polled 259,052 votes.
Senator Dino Melaye, candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) came a distant third position with 46,362 votes.
Ododo who addressed newsmen shortly after receiving the certificate, assured people of the state that he would keep his campaign promise of building on the “sterling” achievements of Governor Yahaya Bello.
The Governor-elect expressed appreciation to the people of the State for their overwhelming support and votes at the polls and pledged to justify the confidence reposed in him adding that he would at the same time, preserve the unity of the peoples of the state.
Among other promises, Ododo declared, “My administration will be committed to sustaining the youth and women empowerment programmes of the present administration.
“My resolve to provide employment for our teeming youths and ensure that education occupies the front burner of our administration remains unchanged.
“My victory at last Saturday’s election is a victory for all. We will run an all-inclusive administration, where everyone, irrespective of tribe, religion and political affiliation, will be carried along.”
The incumbent governor, Yahaya Bello who personally witnessed the presentation of the Certificates of Return urged the people of the State to join hands with the in-coming governor to build a greater Kogi State.
”The election has come and gone and a winner has emerged. I call on the people of the State to work towards the unity and togetherness our administration has achieved,” he said.
The INEC REC, Hale Gabriel Longpet while presenting the Certificate, said the presentation was part of the Commission’s mandate.
Longpet said Ododo was being presented the certificate having met the constitutional requirements. (Ends)