Ahead of the January 27, 2015 swearing-in of a new governor and deputy governor for Kogi State, a group in support of the running mate to late Prince Abubakar Audu, Hon. James Abiodun Faleke, has warned that if he was not declared the Governor-Elect of the state by January 10, 2016, it would ground activities in the state.
It would be recalled that Faleke, who is currently the member representing Ikeja Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives, had vowed not to make himself available for swearing-in as deputy governor to Governor-elect Yahaya Bello, insisting that he was supposed to have been declared winner of the November 21 governorship election in Kogi, following the demise of the All Progressives Congress candidate, Prince Audu.
Giving the ultimatum in a communique released after its End-of-the-Year meeting in Kabba, Kogi West yesterday, the group, known as the Faleke Solidarity Movement, FSM, described the declaration of Bello by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, as Governor-Elect as a travesty of justice.
The group insisted that Faleke was the right person to replace the late Audu since they both contested on the same ticket.
The communique read: “It is unfortunate that INEC took the path of illegality by declaring Yahaya Bello as the Governor-Elect of the state. Faleke was on the same ticket with the late Prince Abubakar Audu and they had won the election before Audu’s death.
“As a group, we cannot be intimidated by the threat of the leadership of the All Progressives Congress who have shown its bias against the emergence of Faleke. A party that promises change shouldn’t be seen to be defiling the constitution with impunity.
“We give INEC till January 10, 2016 to declare Faleke as Governor-Elect or we will mobilize our members across the state to occupy Lokoja until the needful is done. INEC should be prevailed upon not to plunge this nation into unimaginable crisis”.
In a counter-response, a political group sympathetic to the governor-elect, Bello Support Organization, has assured the people of Kogi State that the government of Yahaya Bello will improve their welfare.
The organization, therefore, called on youths and women in the state to resist being used by politicians to disrupt the peace of the state, assuring that the APC remains a united front for the advancement of people’s possibility.
“We are aware of efforts at reconciling aggrieved parties in the governorship poll in the state. These efforts must be given a chance to succeed instead of overheating the polity. The Deputy Governor-Elect is a gentleman who will not want to throw the state into crisis. We hereby call on his supporters to ensure APC remains one indivisible entity in Kogi State”, the BSO said.