By Tunde Opalana
Two chieftains of the All Progressives Congress (APC) at the weekend said governments of the United States of America, United Kingdom and European Union were misled to believe that Governor Yahaya Bello and leaders of the party committed electoral offences to rig the November 16, 2019 governorship election in Kogi state.
The Daily Times recalled that the United States and UK placed visa and diplomatic restrictions on persons identified to have been involved in malpractices during the last Kogi governorship poll.
Senator Smart Adeyemi representing Kogi West senatorial district and Kogi state Commissioner for Information and Communication, Kingsley Fanwo said contrary to insinuations that Yahaya Bello won the last year’s governorship election in Kogi state through violence and other infractions, the governor actually won his second term slot in a free, fair and credible poll.
They both attributed Bello’s victory to unprecedented achievements recorded in his first term in office while speaking in Lokoja on Saturday at the retreat of the Senate Press Corps themed “Democracy and Development in a Federation: Roles of Media, States and Parliaments”.
Senator Adeyemi blamed a section of the media and most especially unethical social media influencers for reporting fake stories and uploading untrue pictures about the election.
According to the lawmaker, “these untrue stories about the election which pervaded both conventional and social media informed the judgment of the international community and consequently the travel ban placed on some Nigerians”.
He said the APC flag bearer was rewarded by the Kogi electorate with massive votes because of his performance in office.
Adeyemi said the governor was able to douse political tensions occasioned by ethnic, language and religious configuration of the state, reduced to barest level, crime rate and tolerate dissent opinions and criticism of his government.
He praised the governor for even distribution of developmental projects and infrastructure across the three senatorial districts.
Speaking earlier while delivering a paper titled ‘Kogi’s 29 years of statehood and Yahaya Bello’s new direction’, Fanwo said the governor had already won the heart of the average Kogi citizen through his many achievements.
Like Adeyemi, the commissioner said Bello has united the many ethnic groups in the state and concentrated on development without ethnic or religious biases.
He said, “the history of Kogi state has been that of division and bastardization caused by directionless politicians.
Campaign slogans have been structured along ethnic division and the state suffered for it. But Bello has looked at development without ethnocentric or religious views.
READ ALSO: U.S. bans election riggers in Nigeria over impunity in Kogi and Bayelsa elections
According to him, before Bello’s advent in power, the state recorded an average of 25 kidnap cases a month and Kogi became the headquarters for kidnappers but the governor has made Kogi a safe haven.
At the event held at the Banquet Hall of the Kogi state Government House were the President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, represented by the Chairman, Senate Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Senator Ajibola Basiru while the Kogi State Governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello was represented by his deputy, Chief Edward Onoja.
Read the Source post on Daily Times Nigeria.