By Abu Sidiq
Ahmed Usman-Ododo, a young visionary, envisions a brighter future for Kogi State. Emerging as a rising star in Nigerian politics, he carries the mantle of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as their chosen candidate for the upcoming 2023 gubernatorial election. With unwavering determination, Usman-Ododo aspires to usher in an era of prosperity and optimism that will rejuvenate the state.
Born in Okene, Kogi State, Usman-Ododo’s roots run deep in the region he seeks to serve. He holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting as well as membership and fellow of various professional bodies including Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN), Nigeria Institute of Management (NIM), Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria, among others. This educational and professional foundation equipped him with the analytical skills and financial acumen that would later prove invaluable in his public service career. Following graduation, Usman-Ododo worked in the power sector for more than a decade, before embarking on a path of public service. His initial role as an accountant provided practical insights into financial stewardship. His dedication and competence led to his appointment as the Auditor-General of Local Governments in Kogi State. In this capacity, he assumed various senior positions, overseeing the responsible management of local government finances in the state where his stewardship helped plug wastes and leakages.
Usman-Ododo’s affiliation with the Ebira ethnic group, Kogi State’s second-largest demographic, has further amplified his influence. Fluent in both English and Ebira, he has garnered respect and recognition throughout the state. His commitment to the people is unwavering, as demonstrated through his tireless efforts in various public offices. Usman-Ododo’s gubernatorial campaign is underpinned by a promise of innovation and vitality for Kogi State. His platform advocates for youth empowerment, economic growth, and effective governance. Building upon the foundation laid by Governor Yahaya Bello, Usman-Ododo aims to create job opportunities, elevate the standard of education, and ensure accessible healthcare for all Kogites.
Central to Usman-Ododo’s philosophy is the pivotal role of young individuals in shaping the state’s destiny. He firmly believes that the vigor and ingenuity of the youth can propel Kogi State to new heights. As an advocate for their inclusion in governance, he pledges to amplify their voices within the corridors of power. Transparency and accountability are hallmarks of Usman-Ododo’s governance ideals. He envisions a government that serves as a beacon of integrity, answerable to its citizens. His staunch stance against wastage underscores his commitment to channeling public resources towards enhancing the overall well-being of the populace.
If elected, Usman-Ododo will etch his name as one of the youngest governors in Kogi State’s history, following the steps of his mentor, Governor Bello and whose legacy he will consolidate. His journey, though youthful, is fortified by a rich tapestry of experiences across the private and public sectors. This seasoned leader is poised to serve the people of Kogi State with dedication and distinction. Usman-Ododo’s candidacy epitomizes the dawn of a new era for Kogi State. Infused with youthful energy and guided by a clear vision, he embodies the transformational leadership that the state deserves. With an unwavering commitment to progress, Usman-Ododo is positioned to propel Kogi State confidently into the 21st century.
Kogi State is undergoing a rapid metamorphosis, transitioning from an agrarian economy to an increasingly urbanized landscape. The burgeoning political involvement of the Ebira ethnic group further underscores this shift. Usman-Ododo adeptly taps into these changing dynamics, positioning himself to leverage this evolution in his favor during the 2023 election. Usman-Ododo’s candidacy, while met with skepticism in some quarters, is celebrated by others as the fresh face Kogi State yearns for. His campaign pillars, including job creation, security, education enhancement, healthcare access, and youth empowerment, embody his commitment to holistic development.
The 2023 governorship race in Kogi State promises fierce competition. Usman-Ododo’s contenders include Senator Dino Melaye of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and the emerging Murtala Ajaka of the Social Democratic Party (SDP). However, Usman-Ododo’s message of hope and transformation resonates deeply with the people of Kogi State, positioning him for victory in the scheduled November 11, 2023 election.
In conclusion, Usman-Ododo’s journey embodies a steadfast commitment to progress, youth empowerment, and transparent governance. As a beacon of hope, he symbolizes the aspirations of a new generation eager to lead Kogi State into an era of prosperity and inclusivity. With a compelling vision and unwavering determination, he stands poised to script a transformative chapter in the state’s history.
Abu Sidiq, a former media aide to the President of the Senate writes from Abuja.