Running mate to the late Prince Abubakar Audu in the November 21 governorship election in the state, Mr James Faleke, has disassociated himself from All Progressive Congress (APC) picking Alhaji Yahaya Bello as replacement for the late Audu.
Faleke’s decision is coming on the heels of the picking of Bello by the party to replace the late Audu as the APC gubernatorial candidate in the state.
Audu, the party’s governorship candidate in Kogi, died November 22,2015, a day after the election he was generally posed to win.
It was learnt that the party decided to pick Bello from Kogi Central as the party’s governorship candidate to substitute the late Prince Abubakar Audu because he came second in the party’s primaries behind Audu and that he is also familiar with Kogi politics compared to Faleke.
It was gathered that a letter, signed by the National Chairman of APC, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, on the choice of Bello was submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Friday.
The choice not queue behind Faleke by the party it was also learnt was because most of his political life was spent in Lagos and that it would be wrong to field someone who is new to the political climate and culture of Kogi as its candidate.
It was further argued by the party that for it to get the votes they got in the inconclusive election, it put forward Bello’s name to INEC.
The checks revealed took the Bello option to also ensure that power shift in the state and that since the Ebiras were said to be behind Audu, it would be very easy liaise and get a working relation between Kogi East and Central Senatorial Districts.
It was also gathered that the APC leaders felt there was no way Mohammed Audu could be fielded as a compromise candidate since he was not a candidate in the primaries.
Faleke has said that he would not be part of the party’s decision picking Bello as APC candidate to replace Audu, instead he has threatened to challenge the action of his party in the law court.
However, there were insinuations last night that Faleke is under pressure to rescind his decision making himself the candidate of APC and to also jettison the idea of going to court as it would not yield any good fruit.
Faleke had written a letter to APC National Chairman Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, dissociating himself from the supplementary poll, which he insisted was unnecessary since the November 21 governorship election produced the candidates of the APC as clear winners.
The letter reads, “Information at my disposal from the National Secretary of our party, the All Progressives Congress and my telephone conversation with your good self, confirmed to me that the party had issued INEC form and submitted my name as running mate to Alhaji Yahaya Bello in the forthcoming unusual and strange supplementary election scheduled for 5th December, 2015, covering 91 polling units in Kogi State to elect a “supplementary governor”.
It continued, “Mr. Chairman, you may recall that an election was conducted on the 21st November 2015, in which I was running mate to the late Prince Abubakar Audu: I therefore remain fully committed to that joint ticket which received the blessings of the party leadership, including your good self, evident from your attendance at the campaign rallies to ensure total victory for your great party through which the people of Kogi State massively and overwhelmingly voted for us. 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 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.”