In a dramatic twist, Kogi Deputy Governor Edward Onoja and seven other aspirants have withdrawn from Friday’s governorship primary election of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
This was after Governor Yahaya Bello unveiled the state’s Auditor-General, Ahmed Usman-Ododo, as his preferred candidate.
Seven other aspirants, including a former Commissioner for Finance, David Adebanji-Jimoh, Ashiru Idris and Okala Yakubu, also stepped down.
Others are Abdulkareem Asuku, Chief of Staff to Mr Bello and the state’s Accountant-General, Momoh Jibrin.
The eight aspirants reportedly withdrew from the race at a meeting held at the party’s secretariat in Lokoja on Thursday and presided over by Governor Bello.
Chairman of the primary election committee, Governor Mohammed Bello-Matawale of Zamfara confirmed the development after Thursday’s meeting.
“All other aspirants who have not withdrawn from the race are free to participate in Friday’s direct primary election to be held across the state.
“The gentlemanly agreement was reached and announced at a stakeholders meeting of the party held on Thursday in Lokoja,” he said.
Mr Matawalle said Mr Bello, who hosted the meeting, unveiled his anointed candidate in the person of Mr Usman-Ododo.
While announcing his withdrawal from the race, Mr Onoja thanked Mr Bello and all his supporters for their love and prayers.
He enjoined his supporters to allow love, patience and perseverance to lead at Friday’s primary election and at the November 11 governorship election in the state.