The governor-elect of Kogi State, Alhaji Yahaya Bello, has said he would not join issues with Hon. James Faleke, the running-mate of late Abubakar Audu, over the state governorship election crisis.
Mr. Faleke on Monday while reacting to the declaration of Mr. Bello as winner of the governorship election in the state, said he would not make himself available for swearing-in as deputy governor.
The running mate of late Prince Audu vowed not to be deputy to Bello, who he accused of working against the party during the election campaign just as he has indicated readiness to challenge in court, the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC’s decision to declare the Kogi governorship election inconclusive.
Reacting to Faleke’s decision not to take oath of office as deputy governor, Mr. Bello, in a statement issued on Tuesday in Abuja by his media assistant, Suleiman Abdulmalik, said dialogue remained the best solution to party issues, adding he had absolute confidence in the leadership of the party to end the disagreement.
He described Mr. Faleke as a brother, saying the political crisis happening in the state is a family affair.
“I will continue to appeal to him and others to join hands with me in moving Kogi State forward.
“In politics we agree and disagree but dialogue remains the only solution to issues, but what happens in my state is an act of God”, the governor-elect said.
Mr. Bello also claimed that the ongoing reconciliation in the state had settled the political dispute as most of late Audu’s supporters were now in his camp.
“Those who matter in Audu’s camp are already working for me even before the supplementary election, and that reconciliation efforts greatly helped in defeating the PDP”, he said
He also advised Mr. Faleke to accept the outcome of the election as the will of God.
“All hands must be on deck and we must rally round the governor-elect, Alhaji Yahaya Bello. No winner, no vanquished; we must continue as one united family that we are.
“Hon James Abiodun Faleke and other aggrieved party members should accept the new development as the wish of God. We plead with them to cooperate with Bello to develop the state in line with the vision of our late icon, Prince Abubakar Audu.
“The governor-elect is a humble man who will not discriminate against anyone within the party. All Kogites should pray for and work towards peace, stability and progress of the state.
“We are using this opportunity to emphasise the need for the people to support their leaders for the benefit of all”, he said.