The Kogi State Governorship candidate of the African Democratic Congress, Dele Bello-Williams, has vowed not to step down for anyone ahead of the state’s November governorship election.
The clarification came on the heels of the rumours being peddled in some quarters within the state that Bello-Williams had stepped down for Leke Abejide, who is also contesting in a separate faction of the same party platform – ADC.
In a telephone interview with our correspondent in Lokoja on Tuesday, he said no one has held any negotiations with him and “nobody can force me to step down for another candidate at this material time. Even if any negotiations were to be held.”
Dele Bello-Williams said, “I bought my form and contested a legitimate primary election, other candidates bought their forms, and so, I don’t see any reason I should go and negotiate with somebody else and thereby betray the trust of my supporters across the state. I have never thought of that.
“I’m in the race to win. I’m not ready to step down for anybody.”
He added, “I have my grassroots base and supporters, I didn’t come on my own to contest. My people called on me to aspire for the position in order to salvage the state. Some people specialise in peddling rumours because of their greed. They have no interest in helping the masses. I am fully committed to improving the lives of the masses in Kogi State.”
“I am a man of principles, with a very strong belief in God’s will. God gives power to whomever He chooses, irrespective of the arrogance of so-called powerful men. I have my priorities clear, let the rumour peddlers continue in their folly. They have probably resorted to this tactic of rumour-mongering because they are jittery, confused or unsure of themselves and their candidates. They have inadvertently admitted that I am the most credible candidate in this race,”
He challenged any person or group with proof that he had stepped down for another candidate to come forward. He pledged to carry his supporters and people of the state along throughout the campaign and promised full transparency with any decisions that emanate from his camp.
He asked his supporters to disregard “the malicious stories about stepping down secretly and to remain focused on the task ahead.”
Bello-Williams also added that Kogi state needs a governor that understands evidence-based decision-making, that will have transformative impacts on citizens’ lives in the long term. He reiterated that credible leadership is not all about money, noting that the integrity, experience and commitment to lead counts for a lot, declaring that he has a global brand and reputation for leading people and projects successfully.
“I am the man for the job of Kogi State governor for this season. I have not stepped down’’, he stressed.