APC Picks Yahaya Bello As Audu’s Replacement

After extensive consultations, the All Progressives Congress (APC) yesterday submitted the name of Yahaya Bello as the party’s new candidate for Kogi governorship supplementary poll.
Bello replaces Prince Abubakar Audu, who died last weekend after leading the poll with 41,000.
It was also learnt that the APC has retained Hon. James Abiodun Faleke as the party’s deputy governorship candidate.

Mohammed Audu, the son of the late governorship candidate, was dumped by the party because the party felt that fielding him might vitiate the entire governorship poll in the state.

But the people of Kogi West were mounting pressure on Faleke yesterday not to accept the nomination of Bello.

Although they asked Faleke to withdraw from the race, the deputy governorship candidate was yet to make up his mind on the next step at press time.

 

Investigation revealed that APC leaders, with the backing of some forces in the Presidency, opted for Bello because he came second in the party’s primaries behind Audu.

 

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.

 

A top source in APC said: “Our leaders met and after consultations reached a conclusion on the choice of Yahaya Bello from Kogi Central as the party’s governorship candidate to substitute the late Prince Abubakar Audu.

 

“The leaders arrived at the conclusion because Bello was second to Audu at the validly conducted governorship primaries of the party. Instead of running into crisis with fresh primaries, the party opted to dust up the result of the previous one which was witnessed by INEC.

 

“A letter, signed by the National Chairman of APC, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, on the choice of Bello has been submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Friday.”

 

Asked of other factors behind the choice of Bello, the top APC leader said: “Our leaders bought into the idea that Faleke is strange to the politics of the state, having had most of his political career in Lagos. They felt it is better for him to learn the ropes in the state before becoming a governor.

 

“They also argued that the choice of Bello will ensure power shift in the state and since the Ebiras were behind Audu, it won’t be difficult to foster understanding between Kogi East and Kogi Central Senatorial Districts.

 

“Do not forget that Kogi East had already produced the minister from the state.

 

“Another important factor is that some of the 91 polling units where elections were cancelled are in Kogi Central, and it will be easier to mobilize the electorate in the district to get the required votes to defeat the PDP candidate, Governor Idris Wada.

“There was also some conspiracy behind the refusal of the ticket for Faleke. Some presidency forces stamped their feet that he must not be allowed to step into Audu’s shoes because of internal power struggles in APC.

“I won’t give you names but the forced were more powerful than Oyegun and other NWC members.”

On the dumping of Mohammed Audu, the source said: “Our leaders were guided by Section 141 of the Electoral Act. If we choose him, the entire election will be voided.

“The section says: ‘An election tribunal or court shall not under any circumstance declare any person a winner at an election in which such a person has not fully participated in all the stages of such election.

“We love the Audus but we cannot take such a big risk. If Wada and PDP go to court, they will win against Mohammed Audu.”

As press time, there was pressure on Faleke by the people of Kogi West to opt out of the race.

A different source said: “There are many options open to Faleke but the people of Kogi West want him to withdraw from the race. If Yahaya Bello gets the ticket, he might be reduced to a dummy deputy governor.

“Unless Faleke can fight his cause in court and claim his mandate, he will be frustrated as a deputy governor. If he quits, the party will have justification for bringing Mohammed Audu and Kogi West will be politically alienated.”

 

Credit : Sahara Reporters

Kogi Election: APC Group Endorses Abubakar Audu’s Son

The All Progressives Congress (APC) critical stakeholders and delegates from Kogi East Senatorial District have resolved that the late political icon and APC candidate in the November 22 governorship election that was pronounced to be inconclusive, Mr Abubakar Audu, be substituted with his son Mohammed Audu in the event that the party goes for fresh primary.

This was contained in a communique read by Daniel Isah, the Kogi East Zonal Chairman at the party secretariat in Lokoja, Kogi State.

The decision by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to declare Kogi State governorship election inconclusive has continued to generate controversies within the party.

Supporters and members of the party have appeared divided on who should replace Abubakar Audu as the party’s governorship candidate.

Getting a candidate to fill the vacant seat was one of the major reasons the delegates from the eastern senatorial district held the closed door meeting which lasted for one hour.

While the closed door meeting was going on, some youths under the auspices of Kogi APC Concerned Youths took to the streets with placards, demanding that the son of the late Abubakar Audu should be the substitute governorship candidate.

They claimed the son has been working closely with his father and understands his plans.

Credit: ChannelsTV

APC Governors Mourn, Postpone Meeting In Honor Of Audu

The Progressives Governors’ Forum has postponed its November meeting scheduled to hold on Thursday at Makurdi, Benue State capital.

 

A statement signed by its chairman and governor of Imo State, Rochas Okorocha said the meeting has been postponed in honour of the late Prince Abubakar Audu.

 

“As a mark of respect to the former Governor of Kogi State and APC Governorship Candidate at the recently held Kogi gubernatorial elections; Prince Audu Abubakar, the Progressive Governors’ Forum has decided to postpone its November Monthly Meeting billed to take place on Thursday, November 26, 2015 in Makurdi, Benue State.

 
Okorocha disclosed that, “Prince Audu Abubakar was scheduled to brief the meeting about the Kogi elections of last Saturday, November 21.

 

“We commiserate with the family of Prince Audu Abubakar, the progressive people of Kogi State and Nigeria and all APC leaders at all levels.

 

“A new date for the postponed November 26, 2015 meeting of Progressive Governors will be communicated soon.”

 

Credit : Daily Post

Abubakar Audu Buried After Resurrection Rumour (PHOTOS)

Abubakar Audu has been buried and laid in grave as Imams offer prayers. Sands poured into grave amidst tears and sorrow.

The burial which was officially fixed for 2.00 P.M, was briefly interrupted with jubilation over rumoured resurrection of the deceased.

?The interesting twist was spurred by a prophet who sought to pray for Audu’s corpse and bring him back to life.

?The prayer man was successfully but forcefully taken in by the wish of the crowd and they have all joined in the prayers for the resurrection of Audu with Holy Ghost fire renting the air as well as shouts of Allahu Akbar .

?Dino Melaye and some family members came out through the back door to calm the angry crowd. While they are largely engaged in fervent prayers others are weeping loudly by the door.

However, people are departing from grave site but a lot of sympathisers are still weeping profusely.

 

 

How Abubakar Audu Died, Relative Reveals

There are indications the  candidate of the All Progressives Congress for Saturday’s governorship election in Kogi, Abubakar Audu, may not have died as a result of the news of the declaration of Saturday’s election as inconclusive.

This newspaper learnt that Mr. Audu’s health problem started on Saturday evening.

A relative said his problem started when he complained of stomach cramps on Saturday. “He suffered a stroke this morning,” the source said.

“Another one occurred this afternoon and that was fatal.” A close friend and close associate of the late politician had confirmed his passing. “Audu is gone,” the distraught associate, who requested not to be named, told our reporter on the telephone.

Though too shattered to provide details of the politician’s passing, he confirmed he was in the candidate’s company when he passed on.

The source said the former governor suddenly took ill and was being rushed to Abuja preparatory to being flown abroad when he passed on.

Mr. Audu’s son, Mustapha is not answering or returning calls and so were all the other close family members we tried to contact.

One of his media aides, Phillip Obin, also did not answer or return calls.

The Independent National Electoral Commission had declared the Saturday governorship election inconclusive, but Mr. Audu was in a pole position to be declared winner eventually.

Family members, friends, associates and sympathisers have thronged the residence of Abubakar Audu, in his hometown, Ogbonicha, in Ofu Local Government Area of Kogi State.

A family source told our correspondent that many people had gathered in his family home weeping over the sudden passing away of the APC governorship candidate.

“I am aware that right now so many people have gathered in his house and they are weeping seriously,” the source who would not want to be named, said.

“As a Muslim he would be buried at 10 am tomorrow morning.”

Credit: PremiumTimes

KogiDecides: Politics Aside Kogi State Deserves Good Governance – @Lanre_Olagunju

Nigerian politicians most times fail to realize that Nigerians aren’t as concerned about the party in government – be it the People’s Democratic Party or the All Progressives Congress – as much as they are concerned about good governance. Politicians, in many cases, are still mostly conceived to be liars and king of mischief. But in the real sense, good governance doesn’t lie. When a government works, everyone feels the impact. But when a government in power need to write a book, gather local and international Public Relations experts to list out its achievements, then definitely something is wrong.

For the sake of democracy, and more importantly honour for the PDP in Kogi State, I would suggest that the PDP put down a reputable candidate to duly represent her in the forth coming gubernatorial election scheduled for the 21st of November. That’s the first thing the PDP needs to do to at least up its game and strategy towards the next election. Kogi state is in dire need of resuscitation and Capt. Wada, the executive governor of Kogi State, has shown in the last four years that he is far from being up to the task. It will be very foolish of the PDP to agree to Wada’s re-election plans. I mean …what for!

The PDP is well known for relegating its best brains; Nigerians have also mastered the best response to such insensitive act. Just like the PDP suffered predictable defeat at the last general election, PDP in Kogi state will not even have a real chance to compete if Wada is presented for re-election. There is no better way to insult the collective intelligence of the good people of Kogi than to have the PDP approve of Wada’s re-election. The state should have its primaries and give other party members a chance. At least that will warm up the elections a bit, and give the APC a run for its money. If the PDP were to be a party given to critical and honest assessment, the party need not wait till the next elections to test and ascertain Capt. Idris Wada’s popularity. Wada practically has killed the PDP in Kogi and made a mess of  any iota of honour left for the Party.

Aside from PDP’s notoriety for massive rigging and election mal-practices, it’s very difficult to see how Idris Wada hopes to be re-elected.  The public booing Wada received during the inauguration of the new House of Assembly depicts the people’s disgust. The average citizens of Kogi daily lament on how Wada’s leadership has been depressing save for those who of course feed fat at the State’s expense.

In a democratic system, it’s almost impossible to separate smart political ideologies from good governance. The two most influential parties must get rid of all those who have previously governed the state. My disgust for Governor Idris Wada’s administration has nothing to do with his political party as much as it is with the fact that he has failed woefully in delivering the dividend of democracy to his people. Prince Abubakar Audu who has governed in two different occasions, Alhaji Ibrahim idris, Idris Wada – the present governor and others who have governed the state before should be dispensed if Kogi actually wants to experience change. Or are there no fresh and credible minds in Kogi anymore?

However, it’s quite clear that if the APC presents a statue at the next polls against Idris Wada, the statue stands a better chance. In its best interest, the APC shouldn’t give room for the “anointed man” politics. At this stage, this should be buried and forgotten without any hope of resurrection, so Kogi can stand a chance to be governed by the actual choice of the people. People of Kogi must vehemently say no to shabby party primaries.

Wada should consider it quite shameful that supporters of his party have made their intentions publicly known to abandon the party, just like it was done during the general elections, where PDP supporters largely voted for the APC. From all indications, it’s a new beginning in Kogi State, one can only hope that the electorates will exercise their voting right in getting rid of the PDP and other old cargos clamoring for the Luggard House. The collective desire for good governance and change in Kogi must be expressed in the enthusiasm and willingness of the citizens to follow through the elections, voting exercise and also in ensuring that their votes count.  Regardless of political affiliations, at the November 21st election, people of Kogi should look out for the party with a developmental ideology, accompanied with a disciplined and trustworthy personality who can bring such ideas into reality.

I am @Lanre_Olagunju on Twitter