Usman Ododo, the newly elected governor of Kogi State, has announced the appointment of several key officials to his administration. The appointments, which were made public on Monday, cover vital roles such as Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Chief of Staff (COS), Chief Press Secretary (CPS), Director General of Protocol, and various commissioners.
According to Daily Post, among the appointees is Dr. Folashade Arike Ayoade, who will continue to serve as the SSG, a position she held under the previous governor, Yahaya Bello. Ayoade, who hails from the Kogi West Senatorial district, is a seasoned administrator and academic with a PhD in political science. She is expected to bring her wealth of experience and expertise to the smooth running of the state government.
Another notable appointee is Ali Bello, a nephew of Yahaya Bello, who will serve as the COS. Bello, who is a businessman and politician, has a close relationship with Yakubu Adabenege, the Auditor General of Local Government. Adabenege, who was also reappointed by Ododo, was instrumental in the victory of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the 2023 governorship election. Bello’s appointment is seen as a sign of continuity and loyalty within the ruling party.
The governor also appointed Alhaji Suleman Ibrahim as the Director General of Protocol, a role that entails overseeing the official ceremonies and diplomatic relations of the state. Ibrahim, who is a former aide to Yahaya Bello, is known for his professionalism and etiquette.
The new CPS is Oladele John Nihi, a former youth leader and activist. Nihi, who was the Chairman of the National Youth Council of Nigeria (NYCN), Kogi State chapter, is a vocal supporter of Ododo and his policies. He is expected to use his communication skills and media savvy to promote the government’s image and agenda.
The governor also named several commissioner-designates, some of whom are returning to their former portfolios. They include Kingsley Fanwo (information), Ashiwaju Idris Ashiru (finance), Engineer Bashir Gegu (solid minerals), Wemi Jones (education), and Barrister Salami Ozigi Deedat (local government and chieftaincy affairs).
The governor said the appointments were made after due consultations and considerations, and urged the appointees to discharge their duties with diligence and integrity. He also thanked the people of Kogi State for their support and cooperation, and promised to deliver on his campaign promises.