Indications have emerged that the governor of Kogi state, Yahaya Bello has submitted the name of his Chief of Staff, Edward Onoja as his running mate ahead of the November 16 gubernatorial election in the state.
Bello who had been having running battles with his current deputy, Simon Achuba, according to sources have picked Onoja as his replacement. The name of Onoja has been submitted to the APC national secretariat for onward submission to the Independent National Electoral Commission ahead of the deadline for the submission of names of candidates.
The news of Onoja as Bello’s running mate may not have come as a surprise to many in the state. Rumours of Onoja replacing Achuba has been making the rounds Kogi state for quite sometime now. Bello, according to some sources, promised to handover to Onoja at the completion of his second tenure in office, and Onoja’s emergence as the deputy governor will make the purported transition seamless.
Photos of Onoja can be seen alongside that of Bello in several posters and billboards in many parts of the state.
Onoja, 44, hails From Emonyoku, Ogugu in Olamaboro local government area of the state. He served as the chief strategist of the Yahaya Bello Campaign organisation before he was appointed the chief of Staff to the governor in 2016. Onoja is reported to be one of the most powerful forces behind the Yahaya Bello Administration. His words according to some sources are the law in the state.