Kogi election: PDP candidate Wada, no walkover for APC ― Oshiomhole
We won’t take anything for granted ― Bello
The National Chairman of the All Progressive Congress (APC), Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, has said that there is no talk of the ruling party walking over the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the November 16 gubernatorial election in Kogi State.
Addressing State House correspondents after presenting to President Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja at the weekend, the candidate of the APC and incumbent governor, Yahaya Bello, he affirmed that it would be unhelpful to talk about the ruling party walking over Engr. Musa Wada, who emerged the candidate of the PDP.
But he was confident that the APC would defeat the PDP candidate due to the achievements of Governor Bello.
“We have also seen the candidate nominated by the PDP, we want to make sure when we go to the field of play, Kogi people, the people will have no problems voting for our candidate in Kogi State as their preferred candidate,” Oshiomhole said.
When asked whether with the PDP candidate, the election would be a walkover for the APC, the party boss said: “We don’t want to talk about walk over. These use of words are unhelpful. We are in a democracy, we believe we will defeat him, we are not going to walk over him, we will contest with him and we will defeat him clearly and squarely.”
Also speaking, Governor Bello said he had been preparing for the gubernatorial election even before the last general election, saying that he would not take anything for granted.
He said: “As regards the level of preparedness, I am not just preparing now, I have been ready for this election even before the last general election that produced Mr. President, the National Assembly and the state houses of assembly. So, we are well prepared for the election.
“As for victory, I think by the grace of God it is assured. Like the chairman has said, we are not going to take anything for granted. Whether the candidate of the opposition party is strong or not, we will approach the election with all seriousness and ensure that it is conducted freely and fairly and we will become victorious by the grace of God. On November 17th we will be announced the winner.”
On the allegation by the PDP that he sent gunmen to disrupt the opposition party’s primaries in Lokoja, Bello maintained rather than accuse him, the PDP should look inwards.
He explained: “If you monitor all their activity of the PDP in Kogi State, at the ones I know of right from the award congresses to the local government congresses, to the state congresses, it has always been marred or characterized with violence, guns, maiming of each other and all kinds of attacks.
“So, the outcome of that of the last primaries they conducted shouldn’t take anyone by surprise.
“We have a larger number of delegates in Kogi State. We started our exercise early enough and finished early enough in peace. I am not a member of PDP, I wouldn’t go in there and conduct it for them.
“So, it is their character, it is their stock in trade and that is what they are known for and so should rather look inward rather than pointing accusing fingers outside.
“You see, when you have cancer and you don’t treat it but rather you are treating malaria, you will never get rid of cancer. So, that the problem the PDP has, they have cancer and should treat cancer and shouldn’t look outside.”
Also speaking on whether his sour relationship with Labour leaders would not affect his chances, he said, “well, it is not a battle we are going into, we are going into a contest. One, I know is going to be free and fair and I am going to win that election by the grace of God.
“The APC under the leadership of the national chairman, we are going to campaign vigorously well and we shall become victorious.
“The people who have decided to become rebellious to bring down the institution of higher learning at a certain point in time have today seen the benefits of telling them to please give peace a chance.
“They have given peace a chance and you can see the last strike, Kogi State didn’t go on strike. We have a very stable educational system in Kogi State.
“As per all the labour leaders in Kogi State, we are moving on harmoniously. You can confirm from the various chapters. If not because they are not politicians, labour leaders would have taken the forefront to campaign for my re-election.”