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As the National Working Committee (NWC) of the All Progressives Congress (APC) meets today to take a final decision on who it shall field to replace the late Alhaji Abubakar Audu who died before the conclusion of the Kogi State governorship election, his running mate, Hon. James Abiodun Faleke, has rejected his nomination as the probable running mate to the party’s purported choice to replace Audu, Alhaji Yahaya Bello, for the supplementary election slated for Saturday.
Faleke, the running to the late Prince Abubakar Audu, the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate in the inconclusive November 21 governorship poll has rejected the offer to be running mate to Alhaji Yahaya Bello, the party’s new candidate for the supplementary election scheduled for December 5.
Faleke, in a new letter to the APC Chairman, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, entitled ‘My Purported Nomi-nation As Deputy Governor’, rejected his ‘purported and illegal nomination’ to Bello, saying “I remain the Governor-elect of Kogi state on the platform of our great party.” His new letter came to light on Sunday, just some irate youths chased away a former National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, Dr Ahmadu Ali, and Sen. Nicholas Ugbane from the eighth-day Fridau prayers for Prince Abubakar Audu. While Ali was asked to go back at the main entrance of the house, Ugbane who managed to gain entrance, was chased out by the youths.
He escaped death by whiskers as stone throwing and stick wielding youths pursued him into a ditch, but his driver was able to maneuver and sped away The Chairman, Kogi State Council of Ullamahs, Sheikh Salman Adam, at the event, at Ogbonicha in Ofu Local Government area, advised Muslims to live a life of piety and cultivate the spirit of generousity. Faleke, in his letter, said he remained fully committed to his joint ticket with Audu, which he noted received the blessings of the party leadership, including Chief Odigie-Oyegun.
He noted that the APC had the highest number of votes of 240,867 against PDP’s 199,514 in the governorship poll, leaving a difference of 41,353, adding that with the death of Audu, he remains the governor-elect on the platform of the party. Said he: “Please take this letter as conformation to dissociate myself from this 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.
“I wish to put on record that I was neither consulted nor informed 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 PDP thereby causing our party to lose his polling unit with 88 votes as against his ally party the PDP’s 116, repeating same feat at the ward level with APC scoring 1,146 to PDP’s 2,058 votes.” Faleke concluded his two page letter by saying,
“Please take note that I am not interested in surrendering the mandate which the people of Kogi State bestowed on the Audu/Faleke joint ticket at the November 21 polls as I REMAIN THE GOVERNOR-ELECT “Sir, 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.”
Meanwhile, Sheikh Salman Adam, at Audu’s eighth-day prayer advised Muslims to live a life of piety and cultivate the spirit of generousity, saying this was necessary to prepare a place for themselves in paradise. Adam, who was assisted by over 100 other clerics, called on Nigerians to shun acquisition of wealth and corruption, stressing that what Allah had provided in paradise were far better than earthly riches. He urged Muslims to emulate the life of service to God and humanity that the late Audu lived, saying that death could come at anytime.
He described the death of Audu, the candidate of All Progressive Congress in the Nov. 21 governorship election in Kogi, as a big loss to the Igala nation and the whole country,. The Deputy Governor of Kogi State, Mr Yomi Awoniyi, in his brief remarks, said that it was difficult to quantify the death of Audu, describing it as a big blow to the government and people of the state. He said that the people would continue to remember the late Audu for his giant strides and landmark projects he established during his two tenures as the first civilian governor of the state.