KOGI POLL: Confusion Continues, Faleke Replies APC Leaders

*Faleke insists he’s now the governor-elect as APC picks Bello * Governor Wada begs court: give me the victory Top leaders in Kogi S...

*Faleke insists he’s now the governor-elect as APC picks Bello
* Governor Wada begs court: give me the victory
Top leaders in Kogi State chapter of APC say they remain firm in their support for James Abiodun Faleke, the late Prince Abubakar Audu’s running mate in the November 21 governorship election.
There was confusion over the party’s stand on the matter as Yahaya Bello was picked to fly its flag for the Saturday re-run supplementary poll. 

Faleke is battling for recognition as his principal’s replacement and governor-elect. To make good his word, Faleke has told INEC pointblank that he would not be Bello’s running mate.

Addressing hundreds of party supporters in the late Audu’s home in Lokoja, the APC leaders, led by former Minister of Police Affairs, Humphrey Abah, denounced members of APC’s National Working Committee (NWC), over what they described as their attempt to bring in a candidate through the back door.

They called on the national leadership of the party to name Faleke the Kogi APC candidate and the eldest son of the late Audu, Mohammed, his deputy.

They said that any attempt to pick a candidate who was not part of the party’s victory is unacceptable.

Faleke and Mohammed Audu were surrounded on the podium by party leaders, including former Acting Governor and APC Board of Trustees member, Chief Clarence Olafemi, the state deputy chairman of the party, Shaibu Osune, Hon. Enah Oseni, Alhaji Jibrin Isah (Echocho), Daniel Isa (Prof.), Alhaji Ibrahim Atodo and Mrs Folashade Joseph, chairperson, Women Mobilisation, Audu/Faleke campaign team. They said they would move to Abuja to push their stand.
Amid shouts of “we no go gree, we no go gree, Kogi INEC we no go gree”, Yahaya Bello anti-party, we no want Judas, we no go gree”, Abah called on Kogi people to reject Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, the APC national chairman and his choice, Yahaya Bello.
His words: “From here, we are accompanying our leaders to Abuja. When people choose their leaders, a clique of others cannot now decide to impose anybody on them. Kogi is not a lawless state. Kogi has leaders.

"You cannot choose for us who will lead us; you cannot bring someone through the back door.

“The man they want to bring, he worked for the PDP. We were in Ajaokuta on campaign; was he there? We were in Anyingba; did he come? The vice president came to Okene; was he there? We were in Ajaka, twice, was he there? Did he win in his unit? Did he win in his ward?

"Did he win in his local government? Do you know what killed PDP? Dictatorship, impunity and corruption. If the National Working Committee of the APC led by Chief John Oyegun, decides … from Yahaya Bello, he is on his own.

“We stand by President Buhari’s anti-corruption. We reject PDP sickness. We stand on the President’s mantra that he will not allow corruption, he will not allow wuruwuru. We stand on the mandate of our late father, Prince Abubakar Audu. We are all his children. He has children and we are all his political children.”

Echocho said: “The happiness we have today is that our leader will continue to live with us. Our leader fought to liberate Kogi and we are assuring him that we will continue to fight for our liberation.

"Mohammed and Faleke are properly grounded to liberate Kogi State and nobody can steal our mandate."

In his reaction, Faleke said Audu’s demise has created a huge vacuum that will be difficult to fill, saying the the circumstances that brought about the present logjam in the state is very unfortunate.

He said: “As if waiting for the demise of this great and illustrious son of this land, the reactionaries pounced in on the situation and made fruitless attempts at truncating the process that ordinarily should have led to a smooth transition of power from the visionless handlers of our state to a new path of rescuing the state.

“As part of their devilish agenda, they tried unsuccessfully to push for the suspension of the declaration of our party as winner of the election which to all intent and purpose is adjudged to be free, fair and best election held in recent times in our state.”

Quoting from portions of the 1999 Constitution, Faleke said: “As it stands today, I remain the only person holding on to those votes cast for our party and no other person, going back to the primary election conducted on the 28th of August 2015, whose life span expired immediately Prince Abubakar Audu emerged the candidate and the party requested him to nominate a deputy in accordance to the constitutional provisions in Section 187.

“Our late leader duly exercised this (Section 187) right by nominating my humble self and the party therefore handed over to us the INEC nomination form as its flag bearers. The party primary process therefore remains an ad hoc tool mainly for the purpose of producing a candidate for the party.

Without me as a deputy governorship candidate, Prince Abubakar Audu would not have been qualified to run for the election.”

He continued: “Did Alhaji Yahaya Bello participate fully in all the stages of the election? The answer is capital no. While his participation in the pary primaries is not in doubt, he did not participate in campaigns, meetings, neither did he mobilise voters to vote for our party. Instead, we have it on record that he lost not only his polling unit, but his ward. This presupposes that he worked against our party at the elections. For emphasis, the results from his polling unit is APC 88- PDP 119, his ward result is APC 1,146 to PDP 2,058.

“Whereever we went for campaigns in villages and towns, all the promises we jointly made to our people are known by me as a close companion and confidant of our late leader and I wish to assure all Kogites that those promises will be fulfilled and therefore urge our people to remain peaceful and law abiding and that no matter how long it takes, the mandate will be defended, sustained and maintained.

“Mohammed Audu, the first son of Prince Abubakar Audu, and myself are on the same page on this matter and are both resolved to do right by the law.”

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