Dino Melaye, senator representing Kogi West Senatorial District, has swelled the population of those aspiring to displace incumbent Yahaya Bello of the All Progressives Congress, APC, who is seeking a second term as Governor of Kogi State.
The outspoken Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, senator, who retained his seat in the upper chamber of the National Assembly, by defeating ex-Senator Smart Adeyemi of the APC in the last general elections, threw his hat into the ring, Saturday, when he confirmed to party stalwarts that he was joining the Kogi governorship race.
Melaye revealed his gubernatorial ambition at a party meeting in Aiyetoro Gbede, his homestead in Kabba Local Government area of Kogi State.
He, thereafter, took to his twitter handle and declared: “Kogites!! Here am I, send me.”
Watchers of political development in the state believe Melaye’s entry into the race will ruffle some feathers and sent jitters to the incumbent governor who is unpopular among the people, especially workers who his administration is owing a backlog of 39 months salaries.
But he will have to scale a major hurdle in Abubakar Idris, son of Alhaji Ibrahim Idris, a former governor of Kogi State, who is also eyeing the PDP ticket, among other top contenders.
Until things fell apart between them due to certain irreconcilable differences, Melaye, a former APC senator, and Governor Bello used to be close pals. Indeed, he was the compere-in-chief at Yahaya Bello’s inauguration as governor in 2015.
Their honeymoon didn’t last long as things fell irredeemably apart between the duo shortly after, has refused to hold ever since. At the peak of their animosity, Melaye crossed to PDP.
Though Bello may not be an easy nut for Melaye to crack, the senator’s teeming supporters believe he has all he takes to sweep his former ally out of the Government House in Lokoja, the state capital.
They hinge their optimism on the soaring popularity of the senator among the people, especially youths, which they thought was part of the reason he swept back to the senate with relative ease during the last general elections.
Barring any unforeseen circumstances, the Kogi State gubernatorial poll will hold on Saturday, November 16, 2019.