The Independent National Electoral Commission has presented certificates of return to the Governor-Elect of Kogi State, Usman Ododo and his running mate in the election, Joel Salifu.
The certificates of return were presented at the INEC headquarters in Lokoja, the state capital on Friday, amid jubilation by a mammoth crowd of supporters.
Ododo of the All Progressives Congress had won the November 11 off-season governorship election in Kogi State with a wide margin, having polled 446,237 votes to defeat Murtala Ajaka of the Social Democratic Party, who came second with 259,052 votes. Dino Melaye, candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, scored 46,362 votes.
Speaking shortly after receiving his certificate, the Governor-Elect assured the people that he would make good his campaign promise to build on the sterling achievements of Governor Yahaya Bello, while preserving the unity of the state.
He expressed appreciation to the people of the State for the overwhelming support he enjoyed at the polls, describing it as a consolidation on the strength and unity of the Kogi State.
While promising to justify the confidence reposed in him, Ododo said, “My administration will be committed to sustaining the youth and women empowerment programs of the present administration. My resolve to provide employment for our teeming youths and ensure that education occupies the front burner of our administration remains unchanged.
“My victory at last Saturday’s election is a victory for all. We will run an all inclusive administration, where everyone, irrespective of tribe, religion and political affiliation, will be carried along.”
The presentation of the certificates of return was witnessed by Governor Yahaya Bello, who urged the people of the State to join hands with Ododo in building a greater Kogi State.
”The election has come and gone and a winner has emerged. I call on the people of the State to work towards the unity and togetherness our administration has achieved,” he said.
Presenting the Certificate, the Kogi State Resident Electoral Commissioner, INEC, Gabriel Longpet, said the presentation was part of the Commission’s mandate.
He said Usman Ododo was being presented the certificate, having met the constitutional requirements.