Tuesday, 1 December 2015

Kogi Election: I Can't Be Deputy Gov - Faleke Rejects APC's Decision

The All Progressives Congress was plunged into more crisis yesterday, November 30, as James Faleke, who was the running mate to the late Prince Abubakar Audu rejected the deputy governorship slot ahead of Saturday’s supplementary election.
The party after consultations chose Alhaji Yahaya Bello to replace Audu, who died on Sunday, November 22, after the Kogi state governorship election was declared inconclusive by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

Speaking to journalist after hours of meeting with Chief John Odigie-Oyegun-led APC National Working Committee (NWC), Faleke said he could not accept the offer to be Bello’s running mate because he was already governor-elect, Daily Trust reports.

He explained that a governor-elect cannot yet become another deputy governorship candidate.

According to Faleke, the party leaders called the meeting to brief them on the submission of Alhaji Yahaya Bello’s name to the electoral commision as the party’s governorship candidate instead of giving room for an interactive session on how to solve the political problem.

He said: “We discovered that the meeting that we were invited for was just a mere briefing rather than it being where we could have deliberated and solve the quagmire we find ourselves in. We were only briefed about the position of the party.

“The party told us that we have nominated Alhaji Yahaya Bello. Of course, we made it clear as the political family of Prince Abubakar Audu. We told them that it is not acceptable. We will not go with it. I personally observed that my name has been submitted to the INEC as deputy governorship candidate to pair with Alhaji Bello. I told the national chairman in clear words that ‘Mr. Chairman I have submitted a letter this morning (yesterday) distancing myself from that decision that on no ground will I want to be associated with the decision of the party to pair me with Alhaji Bello because I am already governor elect.

“I also told him, ‘Mr. Chairman for us as a family, Kogi state political family, we are not taking part in that election.’ My name cannot be submitted because I was not even consulted in the first instance.”

Faleke added that Bello was not a part of all their campaigns, saying he had written to both the party and INEC about his stand and would subsequently approach the court to challenge INEC on his own over the declaration of the governorship election as inconclusive.

He said he also challenge the supplementary election, it they went ahead to hold it on December 5

“Since the party will not go to court, we have taken it upon ourselves as our right to defend ourselves in court. We will challenge the decision,” he said.

Faleke had earlier picked Mohammed Audu, son of the late Audu as his deputy in coming poll.

Yesterday, there was chaos at the APC headquarters in Abuja, following speculation that Bello might be named the party’s governorship candidate for the forthcoming Kogi state supplementary polls.