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Vice President Kashim Shettima has expressed the absolute confidence of the Tinubu administration in the new Governor of Kogi State, Alhaji Usman Ododo, to deliver the dividends of good governance to the people of the state.

He said the “change of baton from one progressive to another will not disrupt the dividends of good governance”, noting that “Kogi State remains bound by the ideals and promises of a unified council of leaders and the largest party in Africa,” the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Senator Shettima spoke on Saturday during the inauguration of Ododo and Salifu Joel Oyibo as the Executive Governor and Deputy Governor of Kogi State respectively at the Muhammadu Buhari Square in Lokoja, the state capital.

Delivering his speech titled, “Standing Together, Standing for the People,” the Vice President conveyed what he described as the heartfelt goodwill of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to the people of Kogi State, saying the President holds absolute confidence in Ododo as the new helmsman of the state.

He stated: “The President remains committed to collaborating to optimise the vast potentials of Kogi State and bring to fruition the aspirations of its illustrious people.

“This historic day is not an orphan; it is born from a collection of sacrifices and an inventory of commitments to serve the people. This historic day is the ultimate demonstration of faith in Alhaji Usman Ahmed Ododo, a man fit for the shoes he is about to step into”.

For the outgoing Governor, Yahaya Bello, VP Shettima who described him by his nicknames, “indefatigable White Lion, the people’s lion,” pointed out that the historic inauguration of Ododo as his successor “is an eloquent referendum on” Bello’s stewardship.

“We are not here by accident, for none of us would ever escape our destiny. It’s this fatalism in our service to humanity that inspires our humility to stay on track. We are here merely because we are chosen by the people to represent their ideals.

“While political parties embody ideologies, it is the people who uphold the value system that appeals to our humanity, and Kogi State is fortunate to have our trusted patriots safeguarding their interests,” he added.

The VP further observed that Ododo is stepping in as the next Governor of Kogi at a time it may seem difficult “to assume a leadership position in Nigeria, especially as Nigeria adjusts to geopolitical events that have exerted pressure on our economy and the inherited greed and grievances that have threatened our national security”.

He however implored the Governor not to despair, averring that while “it is precisely during these tumultuous times that a leader of note proves their resilience,” it is the same resilience that sets Nigerian leaders apart, as they navigate through challenges that shape the nation’s collective destiny.

Calling for collective efforts in governance and team work among members of the APC in the state, Vice President Shettima continued: “Today, as we celebrate a well-won victory, let us remember that nobody functions in isolation.

“A defining principle of sound leadership is the wisdom to acknowledge one’s roots and the collective effort that propels success. The power of collectivity is the backbone that makes the summit exhilarating, proving that it is never lonely at the top.

“As His Excellency, Governor Usman Ahmed Ododo assumes the weight of leadership today, we must appeal to the pillars of the party in Kogi State to work as a team. Our ability to manage this weight shapes our future and influences our image, and we must remain ambassadors of the party, wherever we are and in whatever we do.”

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