From Olatunji Elisha, Lokoja
Okebukun-Bunu, a major town in Kabba-Bunu LGA was agog on Saturday as prominent politicians stormed the ancient town to formally welcome a former Chairman of Kabba-Bunu local government council, Hon. Nathaniel Ojo Taiwo and his teeming supporters into the ruling All Progressive Party (APC).
Held at the expansive field of the All Saints Primary School, Okebukun, the colourful ceremony was witnessed by the Speaker, Rt. Hon. Prince Kolawole Matthew; D.G Campaign manager to the governor, Senator Smart Adeyemi; Commissioner of Finance, Hon. Asiwaju Idris; Commissioner of Agriculture, Hon.Toba; State’s Security Adviser, Commander Jerry Omodara and a host of other dignitaries
Speaking on the occasion, the Speaker of State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Matthew Kolawole, urged residents of the state, especially from the western district, to vote for the incumbent governor in the forthcoming election in November.
According to him, the governor deserves a second term from the people of Okun land as he has not abandoned the people but rather sited the Omi rice mill and other infrastructural projects in the zone. He called on the people to rally round Governor Bello for his re-election back to Lugard House in K 16.
While welcoming the decampees into the APC, Senator Adeyemi said Governor Yahaya Bello is a kinsman to the Okun nation while the Igalas are cousins to the Okuns. He told the gathering that there is no division in Kogi state as the three major tribes are one under the umbrella of the APC and the current administration in the state.
On the entrance of Hon. Nathaniel into the ruling party, the DG who likens the former lawmaker to an elephant that has come to join the party encouraged him to be committed as this holds great recompense from the direction-driven governor.
Senator Smart who handed the APC membership cards to both Hon. Nathaniel and his wife, Mrs. Toyin Taiwo said the APC as a party should be supported in the coming election because Governor Yahaya Bello has been good to the Okun people. He disclosed that the governor has brought job opportunities to Okun land through the Omi Rice Mill Company located in Yagba land and also considering Okun people for key positions in his government like the SSG, Commissioners of Agriculture and Finance and other important positions.
The former senator assured that the opposition would not get up to 25% of the total votes in the polls as Governor Bello has outperformed all previous administrations in the state combined, apart from late Prince Abubakar Audu who laid the foundation for the state following its creation in 1991.
He appraised Governor Bello for the bravery with which he is striving to rebuild Kogi State after the financial torture it had suffered in the past under previous administrations, noting that building the political and economic structures to making a state great like Governor Bello is doing was bound to receive the kind of reaction it is eliciting in some quarters.
He recalled the existence of a cabal codenamed; ‘stakeholders’ who were living large on the state commonwealth as they were being serviced with various sums in millions monthly by the previous governments despite such class of people being already wealthy.
The DG also commended the Governor for his pragmatic leadership style and commitment to ensuring equity, unity and justice in resource redistribution across Kogi State. “We are grateful to have Governor Bello as the number one citizen of the state at this point in time. We are more united and collectively are working for the progress of the state. We no longer look at one another with suspicion. Tribe, ethnicity, religion are all secondary in today’s Kogi State. Thank you Alhaji Yahaya Bello,” he said.
The climax of the occasion was the setting ablaze of the umbrella by the Speaker, Rt. Hon. Matthew Kolawole, which depicts the end of PDP activities in the state.