A former Minister of Works and Housing and chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Senator Adeseye Ogunlewe, has advised the All Progressives Congress, APC, to put its house in order in Kogi State.
The former Minister, who was reacting to the disagreement between the deputy governor-elect, Hon. James Faleke and the APC, on the choice of Governor-elect Yahaya Bello, as replacement for the party’s late candidate in the November 21 governorship election in the state, Prince Abubakar Audu, said if the party fails to be reasonable and refuses to do the right thing, the PDP might end up reclaiming the state.
According to Mr. Ogunlewe, Mr. Bello should resign for Faleke, who he said is the legitimate governor-elect, to take over, saying he has the capacity and audacity to claim the victory of the APC in the just concluded governorship poll in the state.
“If they go to the tribunal, (Yahaya) Bello has no place because he didn’t have a deputy governor. If (Abiodun) Faleke insisted that he was not his deputy governor, and he had sworn an affidavit to that effect, that election is nullified”, he told Sunday PUNCH in an interview.
Sen. Ogunlewe, however, said it is left for Faleke, who is currently the member representing Ikeja Federal Constituency, to prove that he and the late Audu had already won the governorship election before it was declared inconclusive by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.
“Do any form of calculation, they (Audu and Faleke) won the election. And it is probable the tribunal will listen to him”.
On the scenarios that may play out in the tribunal, where Faleke and the PDP candidate in that election, Capt. Idris Wada have separately submitted their petitions challenging INEC’s declaration of Mr. Bello as governor-elect, the ex-Works Minister argued that if Faleke loses and Bello loses, it’s the PDP that will gain because all the votes would have been wasted.
“Thus, it is the APC now that must be reasonable and do what is right”, Ogunlewe said. “Bello should just resign and let Faleke be sworn in. If they don’t do so, the two of them will lose”.
He added that “Faleke is the legitimate governor-elect. But some interests will not allow him to emerge because he is from the minority. It’s a minority issue that is playing out. Faleke is from a minority in Kogi State. But he has the capacity and the conviction and audacity to claim that victory. And I can assure you he will claim it. But they can give Bello a soft landing. He should just resign”.