Hon. James Faleke, the running mate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate in the Kogi State governorship election, late Prince Abubakar Audu, has denied knowledge of any peace moves brokered by the party leadership, insisting that he is going to pursue the governorship mandate he believes belongs to him in court.
His insistence came on the heels of the APC National Chairman, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun’s disclosure that overtures had been made to the member representing Ikeja Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives, to concede the governorship to Yahaya Bello, who was picked by the party after the demise of Audu.
But Faleke insisted that it will amount to a betrayal of his former boss to abandon the mandate by accepting to be a deputy to Bello, who he said never took part in the political campaigns even when the train berthed in his local government.
In response to the question as to what his next move will be if the matter is not resolved before the swearing in ceremony on January 27, 2016 of which he had already excused himself, Faleke said, “I will defend my rights under the Constitution of Nigeria”.
He added, “About the peace deal you are talking about, I do not know who the party has contacted. The party has not contacted me.
“I will still go ahead to pursue the matter at the tribunal. Yes the matter is in court. I have my right under the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to defend and I will defend it”.
When contacted, the APC national chair disputed Faleke’s claim that he was yet to be approached on a truce.
Mr. Odigie-Oyegun explained that efforts by the party leadership to get Faleke and other members of the Audu political family to see reason were rebuffed.
The party chairman said, “That (Faleke’s claim) is not true. Remember the day there was a meeting at the Secretariat? That was a peace effort. They were not ready to make any concessions.
“But the party will be glad to continue/re-engage as your question implies that the atmosphere for compromise may now exist that would be a most welcome development”.