Kogi Governor Ododo Retains Yahaya Bello’s Loyalists, Nephew, Other Commissioners In First-Day Appointments


The Kogi State governor, Usman Ododo, has made some appointments on his first day in office, retaining his predecessor, Yahaya Bello’s loyalists, nephew and other commissioners.

Ododo, who was sworn in at the Muhammadu Buhari Mini Stadium, Lokoja, the Kogi State capital on Saturday, made his first appointments during his inaugural speech.

The governor nominated some commissioners and other top aides. Some of those appointed served in the immediate past government of Yahaya Bello.

They included former Secretary to the State Government (SGF), Folashade Ayoade Arike, Kingsley Fanwo, and Deedat Salami Ozigi, among others.

Ayoade, who was the SSG in the last eight years of the immediate past Governor, Yahaya Bello, is from the Kogi West Senatorial district.

The governor also announced the appointment of Ali Bello as the Chief of Staff.

SaharaReporters had reported that Bello is a nephew of the former governor, and he hails from the Kogi Central Senatorial District.

Until his appointment, Bello was with Yakubu Adabenege who is now the Auditor-General of Local Government.

Adabenege was appointed by the former governor two weeks ago.

Also, Suleman Ibrahim was announced as the Director-General, Protocol.

Oladele Nihi was announced as the Chief Press Secretary.

The governor also announced the appointment of some Commissioner-designates majority of whom were former commissioners under the former governor.

They are the former Commissioner for Information, Kingsley Fanwo; former Finance Commissioner, Idris Ashiru; former Commissioner for Solid Minerals; Bashir Gegu; former Commissioner for Education, Wemi Jones; and the former Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Salami Deedat.



It was learnt that Ododo took the oath of office at around 2:24 pm at in Lokoja on Saturday.

His inauguration came just minutes after Salifu Joel Oyibo, Kogi State’s deputy governor, took the oath of office.

Ododo is now the fifth Executive Governor of Kogi State, having been sworn in.

In November 2023, SaharaReporters had reported how the Independent National Electoral Commission’s returning officer, Prof. Johnson Urame, said he declared Ododo as the winner of the state governorship election after he scored 446,237 votes.

The governorship candidate of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), Alhaji Muritala Yakubu Ajaka, who came second in the exercise, had a total of 259,052 votes.

The candidate of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Senator Dino Melaye came third with a total 46,362 votes.

The election is currently being challenged before the Kogi State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal sitting in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja.

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