***Edward Onoja, 6 other APC aspirants withdraw from the race
The die is cast in Kogi for the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), as the cat has finally been let out of the bag over whose head Bello thinks the cap fits to succeed him.
Speculation has been rife over who Bello may have in mind however, those who speculated that the former Auditor general of the State will succeed him based on his body language were right after all.
It all started when on the eve of the governorship primary election of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state, 7 aspirants withdrew from the race.
Kogi State Deputy Governor, Edward Onoja; Chief of Staff to Governor Yahaya Bello, Pharm. Mohammed Abdulkareem Asuku and a former Commissioner for Finance, Asiru Idris withdrew from the race to yield the ground for the emergence of Bello’s anointed candidate.
Other aspirants like Yakubu Yusuf Okala, David Adebanji Jimoh and Momoh Jubril also withdrew from the governorship race.
The 7 aspirants announced their withdrawal during a critical stakeholders meeting hosted by the state governor, Yahaya Bello, at the State headquarters of the APC in Lokoja on Thursday where the Governor unveiled his preferred candidate.
It is now confirmed that Governor Bello has picked the immediate past Auditor-General of the State, Alh. Ahmed Usman Ododo, as his preferred successor.
It would be recalled that the National Update exclusively reported that the Governor at an event boasted that his successor would not come from outside the system.
Bello who will be completing his second tenure on the 27th of January 2024 had his kernel broken for him by the gods when providence smiled on him after Former Governor Abubakar Audu died at the verge of victory in 2015, and Bello, who came second in the APC primary, was drafted to inherit Audu’s votes.
At a meeting in Lokoja recently he said the Governor that will replace him will “Come from among us, the system produced me, the system produced all of you in the executive because nobody will say that he bought the form by himself.
”So also the system produced those that are serving today at various positions. The system will also produce the next governor.”
So let nobody decieve you, let nobody think he can come from outside and jump inside this our ship. Na lie.
”Where were they when we were trying to build this ship? They tried to destroy it, and they are still moving around, some in Abuja, some are not even in the country at all, and they are eying the position here. We are waiting for them
Meanwhile, Onoja and Asuku announced their withdrawal from the governorship race via their respective verified Facebook pages shortly after the meeting in Lokoja.
The deputy governor, Onoja, whom many had believed will naturally succeed Governor Bello before now, posted a cryptic message on Facebook, which reads: “To God be the glory for life and divine health. My appreciation to my leader, HE Alhaji Yahaya Bello and all my supporters for your love and prayers. Let love, patience and perseverance lead. I am forever grateful.”
For his part, the governor’s Chief of Staff, Asuku, who was also seen as a frontrunner because of his closeness to the governor, posted: “Alhamdulillah! Alhamdulillah !! Alhamdulillah !!! All praises and adoration are due to the most high God the greater of the entire universe and the sustainer of same who have safeguard my life and that of my immediate family and well wishers to witness this moment in my life. I sincerely appreciate His Excellency, my benefactor, for all that Allah have been using him to do in my life. As such, I hereby submit myself publicly to the decision taken today and I will forever live to remain loyal and dedicated to the decision of my party as I enjoin all my well wishers to work with us for our great party APC to become victorious in the November 11th General Election.”
APC governorship primary election is scheduled to hold across the state on Friday, April 14, 2023.