The All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship primary election in Kogi on Friday took a dramatic turn on Thursday as Deputy Governor Edward Onoja resigned as the state Auditor General, Ahmed Usman-Ododo.
Mr. Onoja was considered a leading contender for the APC ticket and many tipped him to win the primaries.
Seven other candidates, including former Commissioner for Finance, David Adebanji-Jimoh, Ashiru Idris and Okala Yakubu, resigned after being endorsed by Governor Yahaya Bello, Mr. Usman-Ododo.
These include Abdulkareem Asuku, Chief of Staff to Governor Bello and Momoh Jibrin, the Accountant General of the state.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) gathered that eight aspirants voluntarily withdrew from the race at a meeting held at the party secretariat in Lokojan on Thursday and chaired by Governor Bello.
The chairman of the first electoral commission, Zamfara Governor Mohammed Bello-Matawale, confirmed the development after a meeting on Thursday.
“All other candidates who have not dropped out of the race are free to participate in direct primary elections across the state on Friday.
“The agreement was reached by the gentlemen and announced at the meeting of the stakeholders of the party held in Lokoja on Thursday,” he said.
Mr. Matawalle said Governor Bello, who organized the meeting, presented his anointed candidate in the person of Mr. Usman-Ododo.
While announcing his retirement from the race, Onoja thanked his boss, Governor Bello and all his supporters for their love and prayers.
Mr. Onoja called on his supporters to lead the way with love, patience and perseverance in Friday’s primary election and the November 11 state governorship election.
The main opposition party in Kogi, the PDP, will also hold primaries on Friday.
PREMIUM TIMES reported that the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, on Thursday dismissed the suit to annul the lists of PDP representatives for the primaries.
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