Traditional rulers in Kogi State have commended the Independent National Electoral Commission, security agencies and other stakeholders for the peaceful and credible conduct of the governorship election, which held in the state last Saturday.
They congratulated the Governor-elect, Usman Ododo and affirmed the traditional institutions’ commitment to continued collaboration with the Kogi State Government to enhance the unity and development achieved under the current administration.
The monarchs spoke when they paid a congratulatory visit to the Governor of Kogi State, His Excellency Yahaya Bello, CON, at his GRA residence, in Okene, on Tuesday.
The Atta Igala and serving President of the Kogi State Traditional Council of Chiefs, His Royal Majesty, Mathew Alaji Opaluwa Ogwuche-Akpa, said the purpose of their visit was to celebrate with the Governor, his administration, and the Governor-elect, Usman Ododo, for the peaceful and successful governorship polls held on November 11, 2023.
Represented by Obaro of Kabba, Oba Solomon Dele Owoniyi, the monarch recalled their peace accord meeting with relevant stakeholders before the election, where they were advised to be cautious of information on social media, and where they were assured that the government and security agencies had implemented mechanisms for a peaceful election.
On the election in Okunland, Oba Solomon stressed that the people were united in acknowledging and rewarding the governor for the positive impact of his administration.
He expressed the confidence that if they had to do this again, the people of Okunland would not only deliver the entire Okunland but would also widen the margin of lead.
Oba Solomon appealed to Governor Bello to continue in his efforts at strengthening the bond among the people of Kogi State, advocating for a united identity as Kogites rather than being identified based on ethnic divisions.
He commended the achievements of the current administration in fostering peace and unity over the past seven and a half years.
Governor Bello, accompanied by Governor-elect Ahmed Usman Ododo, expressed gratitude to the traditional rulers for their prayers and the pivotal roles they played in ensuring the peaceful conduct of the November 11 election.
He commended His Royal Majesty, Williams Keke, the Aguma of Bassa, and His Royal Highness Bukar-Khalid, the Ohiogba of Mozum, for their contributions to the peaceful election and the overwhelming victory for the APC in Bassa land.
The governor emphasised the need for collaboration among senatorial districts for the overall interest of the state, emphasising that politics ends after elections, while development and good governance would continue.
He stressed the importance of every part of the state feeling the impact of governance, regardless of political affiliations.
On Sunday, the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, declared Ahmed Usman Ododo winner of the November 11 governorship election, having polled the highest number of lawful votes of 446,237 to defeat other candidates.
Ododo and GYB flanked by the monarchs