Clearly the last has not been heard over the lingering political impasse in Kogi, as leaders and stakeholdersof the All Progressives Congress (APC) from the Kogi East and Kogi West senatorial districts on Saturday reiterated their support for the Audu/Faleke tag team.
The party leaders from Kogi East after a crucial meeting at Ayangba rejected the decision of the national working committee of the party to nominate Alhaji Yahaya Bello as a replacement for the late Prince Abubakar Audu, saying that they would not shift ground on the issue.
The zonal Vice Chairman of the APC, Prof. Isah Daniel who briefed the media at the end of the meeting insisted that the Audu/Faleke ticket won the Nov. 21 governorship election with or without the result of the supplementary election.
“Over 6,000 votes scored during supplementary election is not enough to deny Audu/Faleke ticket the mandate freely given to them before the election was declared inconclusive. Alhaji Yahaya Bello, the scorer of over 6,000 votes can only be a supplementary governor; all stakeholders and party loyalists from the nine local government areas in Igala Kingdom have resolved to stand on Audu/Faleke,” he said.
He explained that the district contributed immensely to the victory recorded by the APC during the last general elections and the governorship election and would not fold their arms and allow their efforts to be rendered in vain.
Daniel chided the national leadership of the party for choosing to mishandle the issue of replacement for Audu, saying that they should have allowed the law to take its natural course instead of “imposing a stranger.”
Also traders under the aegis of the National Association of Market Women and Men of Nigeria, Kabba/Bunu Local Government also staged a peaceful protest to express support for the Audu/Faleke ticket.
At a rally held in Kabba on Saturday, the Iyalaoja of Kabba, Mrs. Felicia Aiyeromi and Babaloja of Kabba,, Mr. Stephen Oladipupo said they had an understanding with Faleke before the election which made them to vote APC during the election. They called on the leadership of the party to replace Audu with Faleke in the interest of justice, and fairness.
In Lokoja at a meeting hosted by the leader of the APC in Kogi West senatorial district, Hon. Buba Jibril, stakeholders and leaders rejected the nomination of Bello as a replacement for Audu and pledged their support for Faleke’s decision to seek a legal redress.
The leaders in a communique issued at the end of the meeting reiterated their loyalty and support for the Faleke/Audu ticket and rejected the choice of Alhaji Bello by the national secretariat of the party.
The communique signed by Hon. Dare Olatunde resolved that Faleke should continue with his legal case against the party over the nomination of Bello.
However, the stakeholders also canvassed peaceful negotiation which they should go on side by side with the case in court.