The Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello has debunked rumours that he and the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate in the forthcoming November 11 governorship election in the state, Usman Ododo are cousins.
The Governor on Friday explained that the two of them may be from the same place but they don’t share any blood relationship.
He also accused the opposition of being behind rumours of the relationship between himself and Ododo.
Speaking during the third edition of the ‘Governor Yahaya Bello Seminar for Political and Crime Correspondents/Editors’ in Abuja, with the theme, ‘Fight against insecurity: Achieving results in a challenging environment: The Kogi example,’ Governor Yahaya added that Ododo emerged from a keenly contested but free and fair primary election of the APC.
Bello said, “Ododo has endeared himself to the people of Kogi. How can you be the most popular candidate, positioned to win, and still instigate violence?
“Ododo and I may come from the same place but we do not share any blood relationship whatsoever. Do your findings. He is a very compassionate, hardworking and competent fellow, and those qualities spoke for him at the primaries.”
The Kogi Governor also denied allegations that his party was responsible for the destruction of campaign offices of the Kogi Central Senatorial candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2023 National Assembly election, Natasha Akpoti-Uduaghan.
He added that the APC candidate remains popular among the people and he is the candidate to beat in the forthcoming elections.
On ethnic sentiments in choosing leaders in Kogi State, Gov Bello said such sentiments have made the state backward and it is time to break free and allow competent people do the job.
“Ethnic sentiments set Kogi back for 19 years and we must break away from that for competence. My administration has changed the narrative of ethnicity and has been appointing and working with competent people as against choosing people from tribes in the state.
“We raise people from different backgrounds, irrespective of their senatorial zones,” Bello submitted.