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, Bayelsa Polls: PDP Urges Members To Protect Votes

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has advised its members and supporters, especially in Kogi and Bayelsa, to use lawful means to protect their votes in the forthcoming governorship elections.

This is contained in a statement signed by the PDP National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh, in Abuja.

Metuh said that the call became necessary following the “continuous violation of electoral rules and intimidation of opposition”.

Metuh said this was a fallout to an alleged open manipulation of Saturday’s Borno Central Senatorial by-election.

He said that the by-election fell short of ” all acceptable standards and was characterised by high-level manipulations”.

He added that a party, during the by-election, used compromised electoral officers and security forces to muscle votes.

“This barefaced rape on our democracy is completely unacceptable and must not be allowed to continue in the country.

“The national leadership of the PDP charges all our supporters across the country, especially in Kogi and Bayelsa states, to be on the alert ahead of the Nov. 21 and Dec. 5 governorship elections.

“They should use every lawful means as citizens of Nigeria to protect their votes and ensure that no one, no matter the force or manipulation, is allowed to subvert the will of the people.

Metuh said as a party that nurtured and sustained the country’s democracy for 16 years, the PDP during the period strengthened the safety net of ‘one man, one vote’.

“We insist that the sanctity of the ballot box and the overall electoral process must be upheld at all levels and at all times.”

He said while PDP rejected the processes of the Borno by-election, the party would not “by any means allow a replay of such manipulations in Kogi and Bayelsa states.”

 

 

(NAN)

Lagos Gov: This Is My Second And Last Attempt – Jimi Agbaje

Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in the governorship elections for Lagos State, Jimi Agbaje, has expressed satisfaction with the results announced on Sunday, in which the All Progressives Congress candidate, Akinwunmi Ambode, was declared winner.

He, however, stressed that if there were issues with the process, his party would seek redress through the appropriate channel.

Mr Ambode polled 811,994 votes to defeat Mr. Agbaje, who scored 659,788 votes.

The Returning Officer of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Prof. Isaac Folorunso Adewole, said Mr. Ambode of the APC, having satisfied the requirement of the law, securing at least 25 per cent of votes in all local governments and scoring the highest number of valid votes cast, is declared winner.

In his reaction to the outcome, Mr. Agbaje said: “We ran a race. There will be winners and there will be losers. As good sportsman, we accept it as true leaders. That is the only way to go.

“Having accepted it, if we do feel cheated and that there are substantial issues to be raise, then we will follow due process. That is how it should be. But definitely, violence, abuse and all will not be an issue”.

The PDP flag bearer, who was speaking with Channels Television in Lagos, also said that he would not run for the governorship of the state again having failed in his two attempts to secure the peoples’ mandate.

“I have tried once. This is the second one and the last one. I am not going to run again. For me, there are many ways to be of service to your people. I have been of service in different ways. I am happy with what I have done for my people. Being a governor is one way I can contribute.

“I will find other ways to be of service to my people”, he said.

Borders Shut Ahead Of Governorship Election

The nation’s land borders will be closed from 12 midnight on Thursday till Sunday. The order for the closure was given by the federal government on Wednesday.

The closure is to ensure a successful conduct of the April 11 governorship and state House of Assembly elections. Saturday’s elections are the last batch of the 2015 general elections.

Read More: Vanguard