The death of the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate in Kogi State’s governorship election, Prince Abubakar Audu continues to put the party in distress as Audu’s running mate in the November 21 election, James Abiodun Faleke, has refused to pair with Alhaji Yahaya Bello, who has been named the party’s candidate for the supplementary election on Saturday.
The APC looked set to win the election but the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declared it inconclusive, following the inability of some registered voters to vote in 91 units, hence the organisation of a supplementary election.
In a letter to APC National Chairman Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, Faleke dissociated 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. He said he should be declared governor-elect instead.
“Please take this letter as confirmation to dissociate myself from the unusual and strange supplementary nomination of my humble self as running mate to Alhaji Yahaya Bello, this also serves as a notice of rejection of the purported and illegal nomination of myself as running mate to Alhaji Yahaya Bello,” Faleke wrote in the letter to Odigie-Oyegun.
He said it would amount to a betrayal of trust and injustice on the part of the party to pick Bello who, according to him, joined forces with the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) against the APC during the election.
Besides, Faleke faulted the APC for not consulting him before his name was forwarded as running mate to Bello.
“I wish to put it on record that I was neither consulted by anybody before my name was submitted as running mate to a man who has since the conduct of primaries, abandoned the party, took the party to court, worked for the PDP, thereby causing our party to lose his polling unit 80 votes to his ally party PDPs 116, repeating same feat at the Ward level with APC scoring 1,146 to PDP’s 2,058.
“While it is true that the said Alhaji Yahaya Bello participated in our party primaries, its trite that party primaries are conducted to produce a candidate and once a candidate is produced, the congress, being an ad-hoc tool for that purpose, should automatically extinguish.
“It is clear from this injustice, that our party is on the path of rewarding disloyalty and discourage loyalty through this act of impunity for which we all fought the PDP.
“It may also interest you Mr. Chairman Sir, that the said Yahaya Bello, since the conduct of the primaries, had been aloof from party activities as it is on record that he did not attend a single meeting or campaign rally of the party.
“Mr. Chairman Sir, I am sure that it is neither in your interest, nor that of the party in particular and the public in general to lord an illegality on the people of Kogi State.
“Please, take note that I am not interested in surrendering the mandate the people of Kogi State bestowed on the Audu/Faleke joint ticket at the November 21 poll as I remain the governor-elect.
“I believe in the leadership of our great party to resolve this in the shortest possible time, failure upon which I shall be forced to seek redress in the court of law.”