Group rejects supplementary polls, wants James Faleke declared Kogi Governor-elect

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A group, under the agies of Kogi Equity Front (KEF), has rejected moves by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to conduct a supplementary election following its declaration of the November 21 governorship election as inconclusive.

The group however, demanded that the electoral body declares the late Abubakar Audu’s running mate, Honorable James Faleke as the governor elect, insisting the later was a joint contender in the governorship election.

In a statement signed by its Director General, Stanley Ajileye, the group extolled their late former governor pricnce Abubakar Audu and commiserated with the Igala people and the state in general.

According to Ajileye, INEC must not hold supplementary election, no rescheduled primary, declare APC as winner of the election and forthwith declare James Faleke as governor elect.

Among it demands, Kogi Equity Front asked for the immediate announcement of the winner if last Saturday’s election, citing the section 179 of 1999 constitution which states, “A candidate for an election to the office of Governor of a state shall be deemed to have been duly elected where, there being two or more candidates; (a) he has the highest of votes cast at the election; and (b) he has not less than one-quarter of all votes cast in each of at least two-thirds of all the local government areas in the State”.

It also stressed that declaration of Audu’s running mate, Faleke as the eligible heir of the victory he jointly earned with Late Prince Audu with reference to section 181(1) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended)] the Supreme Court held, in effect, that states “if a person duly elected as Governor dies before taking and subscribing the Oath of
Allegiance and oath of office, or is unable for any reason whatsoever to be sworn in, the person elected with him as Deputy governor shall be sworn in as Governor and he shall nominate a new Deputy-Governor who shall be appointed by the Governor with the approval of a simple majority of the house of Assembly of the State”.

“The sudden death of our energetic prince, our agent of development and the architect of Kogi Transformation, Abubakar Audu, is unfortunate. Prince Audu died at a time we need him most. May heaven console his family, especially, his wives, children and the good people of I gala land of Kogi State.

“We wish to also use this medium to console our brother and uncle, Hon James Faleke, who has become so knitted with Audu in the past months, sharing views and drawing new templates on how to move the state out of woods. I pray for him, fortitude to bear with reality of Audu’s sudden departure and extra grace to carry on with the pending responsibilities

“We an confirm today that the problems we are confronted with now is not unconnected with moves by few elements within the fold of national executives of APC in Abuja to attempt the stopping of the hand of God over this state.. Some of them are already working in tandem with INEC to frustrate power shift in Kogi. Many of them are already making desperate moves at blackmailing Asiwaju Ahmed Tinubu, that he is plotting a graph for power shift in Kogi State.

Aside lambasting insinuations that Tinubu was responsible for Audu’s death, the group faulted the failure of INEC to announced the APC as winner of the Saturday’s polls, picking holes in its decision to declare the election inconclusive.

It alleged sabotage within the APC’s elite body in somewhat plot to stall the potential shift of power to Kogi West bearing in mind that Faleke was legally in pole position to take over the governorship mantle.

“An official letter of protest has been sent by party stakeholders in Kogi state, to protest the inconclusive status hanged on Saturday’s election, after discovery that the figure quoted by INEC in respect of registered voters in those units that were affected by INEC cancellation was over blown.

“It was discovered that only only 25,000 pvc was issued by INEC in respect of those units. Besides, over 7000 of the cards are still unclaimed in INEC custody. How Prof Emmanuel Kucha arrived at his 49000 figure remains suspect.

“The letter was to be signed by the national exco of the party for onward transmission to INEC headquarters. However as I write, they refused to sign let alone forwarding the letter to INEC. They claimed the president is not around and that they must wait for him. Yet the letter must get to INEC not later than 72 hours from Sunday . By tomorrow, the period of grace will expire.

“Those official behind this are believed to be those who are bent on seeing to it that power does not shift.
This is against the spirit of equity. They are already plotting for the cancellation of last Saturday’s election for a fresh one and we must say ‘NO’.

The group, however, urged President Mohammad Buhari to speak to the conscience of INEC and some selected leaders of APC in Abuja, not to provoke the peace loving people of Kogi State.

KEF queried attempts by INEC to shortchange or manipulate us through its unconstitutional supplementary election the plan to slate December 5, threatening plans to resist with every constitutional means.

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