‘I will floor Smart Adeyemi on Valentine’s Day in Senate race’

By John Akubo, Lokoja   |   25 January 2015   |   11:00 pm  

Aro

THE candidate of the Accord Party for Kogi West senatorial seat, Samuel Aro, believes he will be the next senator for the district owing to his “overwhelming endorsement by God and the people” for the February 14, 2015 poll.

  He said being a member of the House of Representatives, who has adequately represented Yagba West; his people had endorsed him for the Senate seat based on a gentleman’s agreement.

  The contest for Kogi West is going to be very keen, going by the new energy the Accord Party candidate has injected into his campaign for the coveted seat. 

  Incidentally, the zone also parades incumbent Senator Smart Adeyemi, who flies the PDP flag and Mr. Toyin Akanle, a former director of the State Security Services (SSS), on the platform of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) for the slot.

  On the war chest of his major opponent, Adeyemi, who is attempting to return to the Senate for a third time, Aro asked rhetorically, “So what you want to tell me is that Smart Adeyemi is a mini-god? Is he more qualified than I am? 

  “We are all equal before my father in Heaven and on that day, God will decide,” he told The Guardian in Lokoja.

  Aro sounded very confident of winning the election based on his belief that God is behind him.

  “I want to tell you that when you go into election, there two things you need to do: You must have the support of the Almighty God to declare you for the seat you are aspiring for; and secondly, you must have the support and the blessing of the people that you want to govern or represent,” he said.

  “I am so sure and confident that ‎I have the support of God and the blessing and support of the people of Kogi West senatorial district of Kogi.”

  On his reason for joining the Accord Party, Aro said he represents a group of people whose interest needed to be protected. 

  He said he found out that the interest of the group was not‎ taken care of by the PDP and the All Progressives Congress (APC), his last port of call, before joining the Accord Party.

  The senatorial hopeful said his foray into politics was not for selfish reason, but the collective interest of his people.

  Aro had contested to fly the flag of the APC for the position, but he was allegedly unjustly disqualified “because of a power play between him and Mr. Dino Melaye versus Prince Abubakar Audu, former governor and APC leader in Kogi State.

  The APC Screening Committee for the seven scrutinised aspirants for the three Senate slots had disqualified Aro.

  The committee, chaired by Mr. Davidson Oputteh, said it disqualified him based on self-disclosed indictment by the EFCC on a matter that was pending in court. 

  Though Aro appealed the disqualification, the panel upheld the screening committee’s ruling.

  The multi-millionaire oil magnate later led over 5,000 supporters from the APC to the Accord Party.

  The party executives, at a affirmation ceremony, received Aro along with an aspirant for the Yagba Federal constituency, Mr. Salaudeen Ganiyu.

  He blamed lack of transparency and rule of law in the APC leadership for leaving the party for Accord.

  According to Aro: “We are not happy with what happened at the APC primaries; whatever we are doing today is as a result of injustice. 

  “In a situation where you’re deprived of your right; in a situation where people think you’re a fool, then you tell them you’re not a fool, and I cannot belong to that party.” 

  He said his records while representing Yagba Federal Constituency would favour him at the poll on Valentine’s Day.

  “My track record in representing the good people of my constituency is there,” he said. 

  “Kogi West people have been suffering for the past eight years. We were with APC when there was a structure, meaningful programmes, but there was a change in direction of the party leaders. 

  “One man will come and tell us he’s the owner of the party. Tell him he’s not my leader; let him go and be the leader to his people in Ogbonicha; he is not my leader; the party belongs to the people; no one owns the party.”

  On possible splitting of votes, as another person is contesting the senatorial district on the SDP platform, Aro said, “we will handle ourselves; we know how to do it.” 

  “I can assure you that we are brothers; there is mutual mistrust between us and I want to tell you that you will come to Yagba to celebrate with us on February 14th,” he said.

  On Senator Adeyemi reportedly enjoying the blessing of the ‎Presidency, he said, “God owns the Presidency and I just told you that I have the blessing and support of God. 

  “And who decides the people that will be in the Presidency? God and the people! I just mentioned to you that I have both behind me.

  “My opinion and assessment based on my campaign is that people really need change. I have seen that people on the street, at least 60 to 65 per cent of the people have made up their minds; so, I want to tell you, people are yearning for change.” 

  Aro indicated that the Accord Party would spring surprises in the senatorial election for the district.   

  On the strength of party, he queried: “Who told you Accord Party does not have structure in Kogi West? 

  “What makes a political party are the people who do the voting on the Election Day. February 14th will tell whether the party has followers in the district or not,” he said.

  On the national level, he said if Accord Party had presented a presidential candidate, he would stand by him. 

  But in a situation where the party has not fielded a presidential candidate, he did not think he would contribute to the collapse of the Nigerian system “that has been spearheaded by the PDP.”



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