GOVERNOR Yahaya Bello is facing a stiff challenge as he seeks the ticket of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for the forthcoming Kogi State governorship elections are Retired Major General Patrick Akpa has joined the gubernatorial race.
In November, Kogians will go to the polls and Governor Bello is looking for a second term but to do that he must first secure the nomination of his party the APC. Over the last four years, Governor Bello has governed Kogi State but he has come under fierce attack as he owes about 36 months’ salary arrears, does not live in the state and has not built any infrastructural facilities like roads, dams, schools or housing estates.
As a result, several APC groups have been pressurising the party’s headquarters to drop the governor and look for an alternative candidate if they do not want to lose the elections to the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). As opposition to Governor Bello grows, General Akpa, a retired army general from Kogi East said he is in the race following calls from his people to deliver them from bad leadership being perpetuated by the present administration.
He added that the leaders of Kogi State young professional and other cultural bodies called on him to offer himself as an APC candidate. General Akpa, has a successful as an army commander and upon his retirement from military service underwent further studies in the UK, where he was trained on mortgage and property development, which he is currently practicing in Abuja.
General Akpa is a member and alumni of National Institute of Strategic Studies, Jos and also of the Nigeria Institute of Quantity Surveyors. He was a member of the APC Campaign Council in Kogi State and was in the state’s reconciliation committee after the governorship primaries of the APC.
Pastor John Desmond of the Kogi State Young Professionals said: “Akpa is the leader the people of Kogi state need. Akpa is a detribalised person, a man that has helped many young people to grow their profession.
“During his days in the military, he helped a lot of our people into the military service and he has assisted orphans, built hospitals and schools and given many scholarships to students of Kogi State. In fact, if Kogi people want to enjoy better governance, the emergence of General Akpa is an opportunity for us to taste a better government again.”
Last week, the PDP initiated its campaign, with controversial Senator Dino Melaye, the lawmaker representing Kogi West Senatorial District throwing his hat into the ring. Neither of the two parties have published a clear timetable for their primaries yet.