By NBF News

IN an exercise where the number of withdrawals outnumbered the participants, Speaker of the Kogi State House of Assembly, Clarence Olafemi, Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Alhaji Musa Ahmadu, and Commissioner for Agriculture, Chief Abiodun Ojo, yesterday emerged as the consensus governorship candidates of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for their respective federal constituencies in Kogi State.

They emerged from the shadow primaries organised by the Kogi-West PDP Forum.

But the other aspirants, including former Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Chief Bayo Ojo, from the same zone, have described the exercise as a waste of time.

Olafemi and Ahmadu were returned unopposed in Yagba and Lokoja/Kotonkarfe federal constituencies while Ojo (commissioner) defeated his only opponent, Col. Bello Fadile (rtd) by 69 to 31 votes in Kabba/Bunu/Ijumu Federal Constituency.

Earlier, Alhaji Abdsulrazaq Isa Kutepa, a prominent gubernatorial hopeful from Lokoja/Kotonkarfe Constituency, had written to the forum chaired by Gen. David Jemibewon with Senator Tunde Ogbeha as secretary, of his intention to withdraw from the process.

In the letter sent to media houses, Kutepa cited 'timelessness' and the fact that similar arrangements in other parts of the state were unsuccessful for his action.

He pointed to the adoptions of Air Vice Marshal Saliu Atawodi and Deputy Governor Philip Salawu as consensus candidates of Kogi-East and Central Senatorial Districts, which were rejected by other aspirants from those areas.

As a proof that he was looking beyond the shadow primaries, Kutepa said he was busy touring the central zone at the time of the primaries in Lokoja.

Another aspirant, who opted out of the primaries in Kabba/Bunu/Ijumu Constituency, former Deputy Chief of Staff (Presidency), Olusola Akanmode, condemned the process.

He said: 'The process, starting from the federal constituencies will be expensive and it will be time consuming just as you know that the time is not there to sort those things out and is rather belated. We would have opted for a shadow primary at the senatorial district level, which would be once and for all, from which only one candidate would emerge. But this one that they are saying three people will emerge; they have not even told the aspirants what will happen after these three have emerged'.