Re-elected Governor of Kogi State, Yahaya Bello, has expressed his readiness and that of his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), to meet any of his opponents in court over the result of the November 16 Kogi governorship election.
The governor stated this when he fielded questions from State House Correspondents after he paid a visit to President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, on Thursday.
The Returning Officer of the election, Prof. Ibrahim Garba, had on Monday declared Yahaya Bello as winner of the election after polling 406,222 votes.
Bello defeated 24 other contestants, including Mr Musa Wada of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) who polled 189,704 votes.
He opined that the presentation of Certificate of Return to him by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had proved that he won the election as expected.
“Just few hours ago, I received my certificate of return from the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), in Lokoja. That is the conclusion of the November 16 gubernatorial election that was held, that I won with landslide.
“I told you sometimes back that the issues of winning the election was not in question but the margin with which I will defeat my opponent, and that he will have no reason whatsoever to go to the tribunal. However, going to the tribunal is their right and if they so wish, we will meet in court.
“But I want to use this opportunity to call on all those that contested the elections with me starting from the primaries of our party to the main election, all other political parties to please join me, we are all citizens of Kogi State, in this next level so that we can together do more for Kogi State,” he said.
The Governor, who said he inherited a state facing the challenge of ethnicity, noted that he had been able to solve the problem and pledged to do more for the state.
Her said: “I inherited a state that was largely divided along ethnic lines but this particular election, I was able to put that behind us, that ethnicity is not the way, that it is a monster that has held the country down and that tore the states apart sometimes.
“By the special grace of God, today in Kogi State, ethnicity has been buried finally.
“Because, in this particular election, I won overwhelmingly in all three senatorial districts of Kogi State.
“We have a lot of tasks ahead of us, the journey has just begun, I need the cooperation and understanding of every citizen and resident of Kogi State to join hands with me so that we can do more for Kogi State.”
The National Chairman of the APC, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, who accompanied the governor to the State House, assured the people of Kogi that the governor would work hard to transform the state.
He said: “I think that for analysts and keen observers for Nigeria’s politics particularly the geo-political politics, you will agree that the victory of Yahaya Bello in Kogi State represents many things for those who truly believe that Nigerian politics should move away from sentiments, to dealing with people for who they are rather than where the come from.
“So, for us in the APC, we are very proud and we presented him to the president. The president was very proud, of course he congratulated, he was happy to see his certificate and he has encouraged us to recognise that the reward for hard work as they say is more work.
“And I am sure that Governor Yahaya Bello, having passed through the learning curve, is going to approach the second term with all the vigour with eye for posterity and legacy marks in the development of Kogi State.
“We, as a party, appreciate the people of Kogi State for standing by the party and voting for Yahaya Bello’.