Senator Jibrin Isah of Kogi East Senatorial District has thrown his weight behind the presidential ambition of Kogi State Governor Yahaya Bello, urging the people to rally round him.
The Senator, fondly called Echocho by admirers, made the declaration at the Government House in Lokoja, during the All Progressives Congress (APC) stakeholders’ meeting held to deliberate on the ongoing registration/revalidation exercise.
Senator Isah also said the chapter should support the deputy governor, Edward Onoja as the successor to Bello.
The Senator, who spoke on behalf of the Senators from the state, said they had observed the governor’s achievements and style of governance, and concluded that he deserves the presidential seat.
Isah apologised on behalf of Senator Smart Adeyemi of the West District and his Central counterpart, Senator Oseni, who could not attend the meeting because they were held back by the traffic snarl along Lokoja-Abuja Highway.
He urged Kogi APC to field Onoja as the next governorship candidate, saying: “Onoja has paid his dues. One good turn deserves another.”
However, many APC chieftains from the West and Central districts flayed Isah for his remarks, saying that he has derailed from the main reason for the meeting.
Those who spoke after the meeting expressed disappointment that the deliberation, which should have centred on galvanising support for the APC registration, was taking an ethnic dimension.
“I don’t think it is right to be discussing this kind of issue now. The East has governed the state for 16 years with the central just carrying out their second term, while the West has not even taken a single shot,” said a chieftain.
He added: “Suffice to say that the Senator’s statement is a distraction to the main issue of galvanising the state supports for the governor’s presidential ambition. It is quite disappointing that someone of such standing, or anybody for that matter, could be harbouring such thoughts.”