The candidate of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) for the November 11, 2023 governorship election in Kogi State, Muritala Ajaka says he won’t be in the race if Governor Yahaya Bello and the ruling All Progressives Congress gave the party’s ticket to a candidate from Kogi West Senatorial District.
With party primaries concluded, Ajaka is in the race for the November 11 governorship poll alongside APC’s Usman Ododo and Dino Melaye of the People Democratic Party (PDP), amongst others.
While Ajaka is from Kogi East Senatorial District, Ododo is from Kogi Central and Melaye from Kogi West.
Ajaka was a member of the APC National Working Committee (NWC) before the party’s governorship primary in April 2023. He, however, dumped APC when he was unable to get the ruling party’s ticket as Ododo, an ally of the incumbent governor and ex-Auditor General of Local Government in the state emerged the APC candidate.
Ajaka subsequently joined the SDP and got the party’s governorship ticket.
On the argument by the Okun people in the Kogi West that it is their turn to produce the next governor of the state, Ajaka said, “In all fairness, if Yahaya Bello is sincere with the people of Kogi State. If he had given it to somebody from the West, of course, we will tell our people to wait. We would have flowed along that line.
“Even when the East were doing this governorship back to back, it has never been the same local government.
“If Yahaya Bello had given it to somebody from the West, of course, it is natural for us to align with that person but for you to give the ticket to somebody from the same ward with you? That can’t stand.”
Ajaka said he threw his hat in the ring because the ruling APC did not give its ticket to a candidate from Kogi West.
“If the APC had given the ticket to somebody from the West. Of course, the rest of us would have talk to our people in the East for it to go round,” he said.
The SDP candidate said those in the Western side of the state do not have the numbers to win an election, urging them to align with the people of the East to fight the “common enemy”.
Ajaka also said he had reported cases of violence and attacks against his person and his supporters to security agencies.