Elders from Kogi East where the highest number of contenders for the November 11 governorship election in the state hails from on Monday unveiled candidate of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), Alhaji Muritala Yakubu Ajaka, as their consensus candidate.
Ajaka was unveiled at an event in Abuja, well-attended by candidates of various political parties from the Igala-speaking axis who stepped down for him to slug it out with Governor Yahaya Bello’s anointed candidate, Ahmed Ododo of the All Progressives Congress (APC), who is from the Ebira ethnic extraction of the state.
Unveiling the consensus candidate, an elder statesman and chairman of the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) from Kogi State, Arc. Gabriel Aduku, who led a committee to ensure the emergence of Ajaka, appealed to other contestants and their supporters to work for his victory.
Aduku said, “We want to use this medium to call on all other candidates to please, rally round Alhaji Murtala Yakubu Ajaka for the sake of the entire Kogi State to ensure our victory at the poll.
“We plead with the candidates to collapse their structures to close ranks with the other candidates and work together to achieve the desired aim to rescue Kogi State.”
In his acceptance speech, Ajaka said, “We have a duty to come together as a people to rescue our state from the precipice. We must be brave despite intimidation and state-sponsored violence and all manners of unconstitutional devices to cow us.”
Those who stepped down for the emergence of Ajaka as consensus candidate for Kogi East were: Arc Isah Dauda (APM), Onaji Sunday Frank (APP), Dr Elukpo Julius (ADP) and Dr Abdullahi Bayawo (PRP).
By Saawua Terzungwe (Abuja) & Tijani Labaran (Lokoja)