In a statement released on Sunday, November 17, 2019, Wada conceded defeat to Bello and said that it was time to move on.
“Every General knows when its time to move on. He knows when to call off the battle and prepare for the next war. Above all, he knows when he has given the best and it did not yield the expected results. Perhaps, God, who rules in the affairs of men decided otherwise.
“Ever since I decided to run for the governorship seat of Kogi State, the entire exercise has been trailed by controversies. My character has been maligned and I have been blackmailed and betrayed by many, including some people very close to me. In some other instances, I was humiliated. But I did not despair or faint. I took it all in my strides, believing that it is the nature of politics in this part of the world.
“To prove the genuineness of my ambition I appealed to men and women of goodwill. I spoke on the need for everyone, not only members of my political party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to give me a chance. And there is no doubt that we had a good team and one of the best campaigns, spreading to every part of the state.
“However, reports from the field in yesterday’s election has left me very sad. It turned out that I have become the sole reason for a bitter ethnic war. Fathers turned against their children, brothers against sisters and cousins against uncles.
“This is not to say that there were no genuine voters in yesterday’s election. Many of our supporters turned out in droves, eager to effect the change we promised and represent. May God bless and reward them all for the tremendous sacrifice and unprecedented commitment to our cause.
“Yet, we cannot afford to close our eyes to the reality that stares us in the face. The bitter truth, from reports from the field, indicates that our goal may have been abridged midstream. And even though close confidants and acquaintances believe that it is still early to give up, I am old and experienced enough to know when I have been overpowered by a strongman.
“Yes, we may have been bitter rivals and ran very bitter campaigns. I was particularly hopeful that the election would go my way. But I’m not naive as not to know when I’m losing as well as when I have been defeated. Now that the ovation is still loud and the euphoria of the election is still high is the best time to drop the towel.
“Having considered all options available to me and irrespective of what actions elders and our party may take in the immediate future, I have come to a conclusion that Governor Yahaya Bello is the winner of yesterday’s election, no matter how contrived. As in all contest, a winner has emerged, even the outcome may not be pleasing to us.
“I hereby congratulate my brother and friend, Governor Yahaya Bello, the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC). I wish him a fruitful second term in office and pray that some of wrongs and issues which came up during the campaigns would be effectively tackled this time around.
“It is likewise my advice that Governor Bello should be magnanimous in victory. He should take steps to heal the wounds and take steps to reconcile the state across party lines. Kogi belongs to us all and he must allow all, irrespective of ethnic, religious or other social diversities to coexist in harmony, tolerance and mutual exchange of ideas. We must make Kogi work for all.
“To all leaders and members of our party, supporters and other well-wishers, I thank you for believing in our project and standing till the end. My fervent prayer is that God shall not abandon you at the point of need. Rest assured that I remain eternally grateful for what you have done for me.
“Above all, let no one consider my stand as an act of cowardice. The late philosopher and music maestro, Bob Marley rightly stated that: “It’s he who fights and runs away that lives to fight another day”. Former President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan further counselled that no election is worth the life another human being. For me, this chapter is closed. Tomorrow comes with the morning. There are many victories ahead,”
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