The former Chairman, of Okehi Local Council, Kogi State, and Director General of Leke Abejide/Idris Omede Governorship campaign council of the African Democratic Congress (ADC), Hon Adagu Suberu has described the composition of the ADC leadership in Kogi State as a coalition of former stalwarts of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) extractions who came together for actualization of power shift to Kogi West in the November 11 governorship election in the state. He also described the ADC candidate Leke Abejide’s anticipated victory, as a repeat of the “tsunami” of the February National Assembly elections in Kogi Central Senatorial District.

Subaru, who made the declaration during the campaign rallies held in Okehi and Adavi councils on Saturday, said that while he, like Abejide, was a strong backer of the APC in the state, Abejide’s running mate, Dr Idris Omede, was the Commissioner for Health under the Idris Wada government of the PDP. He also noted that the Chairman of the ADC governorship campaign council, Chief Shola Ojo, and Chief Hassan Salau, former Secretary to the State Government (SSG) and former Special Adviser to the governor respectively, were of the PDP extraction. He said what united the coalition was their commitment to the actualization of the power shift to Kogi West Senatorial District in January 2024, in the spirit of equity fairness, and justice.

He vowed that the people of Okehi/Adavi federal Constituency would repeat the “tsunami” that gave the opposition PDP the edge over APC in Okehi/Adavi federal Constituency and Kogi Central Senatorial District at the February 23 national assembly polls. This time, he revealed that the the beneficiary governorship candidate will be no other than Abejide.

The results of the February elections, he noted were a sign of the rejection of the ruling party in the area. He said the people had revolted against the ruling party as a repayment of its anti-people policies, including the payment of percentage salaries to local government workers and primary school teachers, and what he alleged was a total cripple of the local government system by the Bello regime.

He said Ebira people are not greedy people, hence the determination to ensure that Kogi West Senatorial District produces the next governor of Kogi State after the two terms of Governor Yahaya Bello.

He revealed that the same Okehi/Adavi people who turned the table against the ruling party in February are very much on the ground, adding that in November, they resolved to vote en masse for the ADC candidate.

He described Abejide as a successful merchant who before he ventured into politics had carved a niche for himself in the business world, an honest and reliable leader who can be trusted. He said Abejide’s achievements recorded in Yagba federal Constituency from his first term in the House of Representatives, his reelection in the February elections despite running on the platform of a less-known party platform, and his contributions to the law-making process in the Green Chamber where he is chairman, House Committee on Customs and Excise, are unrivaled.

“Ebira people are not greedy. Okun people and Ebira people, have something in common. When it comes to power shift, I am aware that our leaders from West and Central sat together to reason that having access to power by each zone will bring even development. We do not have reason to carry daggers, to carry knives, to carry guns to kill people. Power transition through peaceful rotation is achievable. That is what you see in other states, where they have a peaceful transition. In Kwara State, they have it”, said.

He further said” The Igala were in power for 19 years but in 2015, by God’s design, power transited to us in Ebiraland and to Yahaya Bello. In 2019, he said he wanted a second term, and he got it. In 2023, equity demands that power go to our brothers in Kogi West. But when you go and pick another Ebira candidate, this is where I departed as an APC stalwart. Okun will produce the next governor of Kogi State. Okun lokan, Leke Abejide lokan”.

State ADC Chairman, John Adaji called on the public to ignore reports in the national dailies stating that the state ADC chairman had dumped the party and the structure of the party collapsed into APC, describing the report as “fake news”

“I stand here before you live and direct, that I am the authentic chairman of ADC in Kogi State. There can’t be two captains in one ship, and here I am with you and with our governorship candidate, Elder Leke Abejide. I also assure you that the ADC structure is intact. The man who claimed to be chairman and said he has decamped to the APC has been expelled from the ADC a long time ago”, he said, “The impostor, one Temitope Ogga who is behind the fake news, had been suspended by the executives of ADC at his Ogga/Omi/Odo-Ara ward in Yagba West LGA for anti-party activities and embezzlement of the fund, his suspension was ratified at the local government level and forwarded to the State Working Committee, which did same and forwarded to the National Working Committee which ratified the decisions of the party from the ward to local government and state levels. He was subsequently expelled from the party in October, last year”, he said.

Abejide promised to revisit the civil service screening exercise embarked upon by the Yahaya Bello administration if elected. This he said is intending to reabsorb workers wrongly dismissed from the service, complimented with full benefits of their salary arrears. He also promised to ensure autonomy for Local governments while assuring that the era of percentage salary and state government tampering with Local Government allocations, will become a thing of the past.

“We will ensure the local government system in Kogi State is fully functional as a third-tier government with full control of its allocations. We will ensure the payment of percentage salary is a thing of the past. We will put an end to the ungodly payment of between 17-25 percent of salaries as many Kogi State civil servants have fallen Ill or died out of frustration. While schools in five LGAs are already beneficiaries of free WAEC fees which I started six years ago, the gesture will be extended to public schools of other LGAs across the state”, he said.

If elected, he said his administration would focus on massive job creation, civil service reforms, rural development, agriculture, security, and public infrastructure including the Lokoja Greater Waterworks, among others.

Amidst fanfare, thousands of supporters from across the five local councils in Kogi Central Senatorial District trooped out to receive the Abejide/Omede campaign train at both rallies.

Other speakers at the rallies held in Adavi and Obangede included the chairman of the campaign council, Chief Shola Ojo, Secretary of the Council, Chief Dare Olatunde, erstwhile PDP chairman in the state, Mallam Hassan Salau, spokesman of the ADC campaign council in Kogi Central, Adams Obansa, among others.

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