Why James Faleke will not be the first minority governor of Kogi state

A rift seems to be brewing within the ranks of the All Progressive Congress (APC) party  in Kogi state. Following the death of Abubakar Audu, APC’s candidate in the gubernatorial elections, the APC have struggled to agree on a candidate to replace him. Audu’s running mate, James Faleke, thought he would be the obvious choice, while Audu’s campaign team and residents of Kogi state have suggested Audu’s son, Mohammed Audu, as a candidate to replace his father. This is also amidst Lotanna Igwe’s disturbing accusations against the Audu family, where she accuses Mohammed of being within earshot while his younger brother Mustapha and his friends repeatedly gang raped her. APC Kogi state chapter also announced Yahaya Bello, who came second to Abubakar Audu in the primaries, as its new governorship candidate.

The APC held a meeting yesterday that continued and ended today, to try to find a common candidate, and they have- Yahaya Bello. Faleke was chosen as his deputy, a post he rejected. He further told the APC that he would seek “a redress in the court of law.”

James Faleke alongside many Nigerians assumed he would fulfill the APC nomination as he was Audu’s running mate. In a letter to the party, Faleke cited section 197 (2) (b) of 1999 constitution to corroborate his claims. He also wrote two letters last week to the APC national chairman, John Oyegun, asking that the APC not choose another candidate, due to the fact that he and Audu were on a “joint ticket”. In the letter Faleke claimed Yahaya Bello could not represent APC in the polls because he “works for the PDP”.  Meanwhile Yahaya Bello claims legibility because he was second to Audu in the primaries. However, Audu’s son has distanced himself from the gubernatorial spot, with reports that Faleke had asked hm to be his running mate.

Many were jubilant last week at the possibility of Faleke’s announcement as the first minority governor of Kogi state. It is critical that the APC find a common ground, because providing a divided front would surely give the main opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) the ammunition to make up numbers in the inconclusive governorship election.

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