It’s a game of thrones on Kogi. Has Inec stirred the hornet’s nest by declaring the Kogi governorship elections inconclusive?

 

The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, meanwhile yesterday affirmed that the APC has until tomorrow to substitute the late Audu.

 

The commission had earlier refuted claims that it gave a deadline to the party to forward the name of its new candidate.

 

However, Deputy Director in charge of Publicity at the commission, Nick Dazang told Vanguard, last night, that the party has till December 1, to submit the name of its candidate.

He then directed further enquiries to the party.

The All Progressives Congress, APC, was last night tethering towards a major crisis over the strong positions of major stakeholders on resolving the problems arising from the death of its candidate in the Kogi State governorship election, Prince Abubakar Audu.

 

The crisis in the party, it was learnt, was also quietly seeping into the presidency with senior presidency officials taking different positions on the issue.

At the centre of the crisis was the decision of the party to present Alhaji Yahaya Bello who came second in the APC governorship primaries as the new candidate of the party. The party had also pencilled James Faleke, who was Audu’s running mate in the inconclusive election, as also running mate to Bello.

The vanguard even reports that security around Bello has been raised with military, police and Department of State Service operatives giving him all round security.

Under the plans, Mohammed Audu, son of the late candidate was also being proposed as Secretary to the State Government to pacify the camp of the late Audu.

However, the plans were seriously being undermined, last night, with reports that Faleke was set to go to court with three Senior Advocates of Nigeria, including one from Kogi State enlisted to push his case at a Federal High Court today.

In a letter to the party’s national chairman, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, Faleke flatly rejected his nomination as running mate to Bello, who he accused of betraying the party in its time of need.

He has again written to the national chairman of the party, John Oyegun, insisting he is the governor-elect and should so be declared.

In a second letter to Mr. Oyegun,  Faleke, again highlighted the danger of acceding to INEC’s directive of selecting a fresh candidate.

 

Mr. Faleke said INEC and all parties to the election had already reached a point of no return. He said holding a supplementary primary to produce a candidate for a supplementary election in 91 polling units can only produce a supplementary governor for Kogi state.

 

Mr. Faleke said the total number of outstanding votes in the remaining 91 polling units are not more than 25, 000 and that even if all the registered voters vote for the new candidate, it would mean the new governor would be a governor of 91 polling units only.

Following the demise of my principal after the announcement of results from the polling units, wards, local government areas and the state, our party had the highest number of votes of 240,867 against PDP’s 199,514 thus creating a difference of 41,353 votes between the two leading parties. On the strength of this, I hereby state clearly that I remain the Governor-elect of Kogi State on the platform of our great party.

 

Please take this letter as confirmation to disassociate myself from this unusual and strange supplementary nomination of my humble self as running mate to Alhaji Yahaya Bello. This also serves as a notice of rejection of the purported illegal nomination of myself as running mate to Alhaji Yahaya Bello.

“Please take note that I am not interested in surrendering the mandate of the people of Kogi State bestowed on the Audu/Faleke joint ticket at the Nov 21 polls as I remain the Governor-elect.”

 

“Sir, I believe in the leadership of our great party to resolve this in the shortest possible time, failure upon which I shall be forced to seek redress in the Court of law.”

 

In the same vein, APC youths from Kogi East continued their protest against Bello, yesterday.

 

Some of the youths attacked dignitaries at the 8th day prayer for the late Prince Audu at Ogbonicha on Sunday.

 

Senator Ahmadu Ali, a former National Chairman of the People’s Democratic Party and Senator Nicholas Ugbane who represented the Kogi East Senatorial Zone between 2003 and 2011 were among the victims of the attack. Their vehicles were allegedly vandalized by the rampaging youths who were heard chanting songs in support of Mohammed Audu, son of the late Prince Abubakar Audu.

 

The youths threatened to disrupt the December 5 supplementary poll unless Mohammed Audu is fielded by the All Progressives Congress as replacement for his father.

 

On the other hand, Some students and youth groups in Kogi State have asked the All Progressives Congress (APC) to resolve the Kogi State governorship election impasse in favour of Mr James Faleke.

 

They have threatened to force the invalidation of All Progressives Congress votes in the exercise by persuading Mr Faleke, running mate to the late Abubakar Audu to resign, if he is schemed out.

 

Their demand is that since the majority votes were cast for the two men, in the absence of Audu, Faleke should be allowed continue as the party’s candidate.

 

Spokesman of the students union bodies, Michael Obanibi, disclosed this while addressing journalists in Lokoja.

 

He said that students and youths in the state were not happy with the present political situation in the state.

The PDP meanwhile is of the position that APC has crashed out of the last elections in Kogi with the death of Abubakar Audu and Idris Wada is governor elect.

 

 

 

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