‘No religious or monetary factor in Kogi guber poll’



CHIEFTAIN of the All Progressive Congress (APC) and leading aspirant in the November 21 governorship poll in Kogi State, James Ocholi has ruled out the possibility of religious and monetary consideration determining the outcome of the exercise.

Speaking to reporters after submitting his N5.5 million worth declaration of interest and nomination forms at the National Secretariat of the party in Abuja, he said there is a possibility that Governor Idris Wada and his Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) sponsored some of his rivals.

He said poor leadership by successive administrations was responsible for the high poverty level in the state as he promised to transform Kogi State within a short period of time if elected into office.

Ocholi, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) also maintained that proponents of power shift among APC governorship aspirants must be doing the bidding of Governor Wada led administration.

According to him, “I have heard the issue of some aspirants being sponsored to pick forms but I have not had the privilege of confirming the details though I cannot speculate on that.

But it is a possibility because in this game, all manner of people are involved and all manner of ideas and persons – both those who are propelled by good reasons and those who are propelled by money reasons.

So I cannot rule it out.” On religion playing a determinant role at the poll, he said, “The much I know is that Kogi East does not play religiosity. That is the much I know.

There was a time that three of our Senators were all Christians, even the House of Representatives were all Christians and large percent of the House of Assembly were all Christians.

In Kogi East where I come from, I am married in a Moslem family but I am a Christian. When it is time for fasting I provide all the needs for my father-in-law and all my wife’s younger brothers are Muslims. “When they come to my house there is a mosque close to my house with liberty they go to pray there.

When it is Sallah time we celebrate the Sallah. When it is Christmas or Easter time we celebrate together. We have always lived harmoniously.

So religion doesn’t play a role on who becomes the next governor in the area I come from. But I cannot speak for other segment of the state. “But in order to ensure balance, that is why whenever you have a Moslem governor, there is a Christian deputy.

But in this election, what would determine who wins is that after traversing the length and breath of the state, the people have sworn that they would not the repeat mistake of making a wrong choice.

Money also would play a determinant role. “I respect the fact every indigene of the state, even an individual who had lived in Kogi for so long, deserve to vie for any position in state and if I have the privilege, I’ll ensure that the best hands get to provide leadership for the state.”

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