In a poignant display of gratitude and camaraderie, Governor-elect Usman Ododo of Kogi State kneeled before the incumbent Governor Yahaya Bello as he presented his certificate of return on Friday, November 17, 2023. The act took place at a brief ceremony in Lokoja, the state capital, where Ododo and his deputy-in-waiting, Comr. Joel Oyibo Salifu, received their certificates of return from the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
The unique gesture drew reactions from the assembled crowd, comprised of supporters, family members, and well-wishers, who responded with enthusiastic singing in celebration of the governor-elect.
Expressing profound gratitude for the support he received, Alhaji Ododo pledged to lead Kogi State with a commitment to justice, unity, and progress. He emphasized his dedication to sustaining the youth and women’s empowerment programs initiated by the present administration.
Notably, Ododo had been anointed by Governor Bello as the candidate for the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in the controversial Kogi State gubernatorial election held on November 11. Prior to his victory, Ododo served in Bello’s administration as the Auditor-General of Local Government in the North-Central state.
In the hotly contested election, Ododo secured a decisive win with 446,237 votes, surpassing his closest rival, Murtala Ajaka of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), who garnered 259,052 votes. Dino Melaye, the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), trailed behind in third place with 46,362 votes. The symbolic act of kneeling during the certificate presentation highlighted the unity and solidarity within the APC ranks in Kogi State.