#KogiGovRace: How Yagba Union Got it Wrong – Stanley Ajileye

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Our attention has been drawn to a statement by a group called ‘Yagba Union’ published in Vanguard newspaper of Thursday, September 29, 2015, to the effect that the choice of Hon, James Abiodun Faleke as running mate to Prince Abubakar Audu is aimed at shutting Yagba Federal Constituency out of the ‘political equation’ of the state in the next dispensation.
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The statement states in part that: “During the run-up to the 2015 general elections, everyone knew it was the turn of Yagba to produce Kogi West Senator” adding that, ‘Between 1999 and 2007, Senator Tunde Ogbeha from Lokoja/Koto was in the Senate. Senator Smart Adeyemi from Kabba/Bunu/Ijumu took over from 2007 to 2015. As the third federal constituency in the tripod, Yagba should have produced the senator during the last senatorial poll, but Prince Abubakar Audu deprive Yagba Federal Constituency of the opportunity to have a senator by hijacking the process”

The statement continued that, Prince Abubakar Audu used ‘the oil subsidy trial’ to stop Honourable Samuel Bamidele Aro and that Prince Babatunde Irukera was coerced to step down from the governorship primary of the party.

The statement queried where Faleke was when Yagba people were toiling to build APC in Kogi State?

Our reaction would have been to ignore the malicious statement as being borne out of ignorance, but we consider it expedient to disabuse the minds of the good people of Yagba land, which the group seeks to poison against their party, APC.

a) We can not, but state clearly here that there is no iota of truth in the insinuations that Hon Faleke’s choice was aimed at shutting out any group at all. Hon James Abiodun Faleke was nominate by Prince Audu based on his desire at fostering greater unity within the fold of the party. After the primary, Prince Audu felt the party will be divided if he chooses any of the aspirants who contested or stepped down as running mate. He therefore reached out for a neutral person to run with him. It is pertinent to also note that, Prince Audu also presented Hon Faleke to all leaders of the party in Kogi West and he was accepted by all and they all have been working hand in hand with him as evident in the the official tour of Okun land by Hon Faleke and other leaders and contestants from Okun land. It might interest people that those who addresed themselves as ‘Yagba Union’, appear not to be in touch with happening in there home base, since they were not aware that prominent leaders of our people in Yagba, like His Excellency, Rt. Hon. Clarence Olafemi, Hon Abdulganiyu Salaudeen, a.k.a Erukutu Yagba and several others led Faleke’s tour of Okunland and all the Obas in Okun land all converged to welcome him with open arms and gave him Royal blessings. It is therefore evident that the group that called itself Yagba Union, does not in any way represent the good people of Yagba Federal Constituency, but was rather sponsored by detractors who are already apprehensive of the imminent collapse of the structure of underdevelopment which they have foisted on Kogi State for over twelve years now.

b) To say that APC did not follow the existing rotation order as regard the senatorial slot for Kogi West is very unfair. This is because, APC has never occupied the senatorial seat before now. It will be unfair for anyone or group to force a ‘PDP arrangement’ on APC, when the party that allegedly formulated the policy refused to uphold it.

Besides, it is amazing that Yagba Union did not consider the fact that, In 1989, Chief Sunday Awoniyi from Yagba was the Senator representing the area while Chief Sam Akande, his brother was the Deputy Governor in this state, yet, the Ijumu people or BIK Federal constituency did not protest.

Ironically also, Yagba Federal Constituency is the only constituency in Okun land that has had the privilege of producing an Acting Governor. Yagba, between 2007 and 2011 produced the Speaker of the State Assembly and His Excellency, Arch. Yomi Awoniyi the present Deputy Governor is from the Yagba Federal Constituency. As a matter of fact, since the first republic, major political offices that have been zoned to Okun land were mostly monopolised by Yagba, and the rest of Okun communities have cooperated with them in the spirit of OKUN brotherhood.

If Yagba Union is crying wolf over the first time ever, the Deputy Governorship slot to Okun land is going out of Yagba, it will then amount to a penchant for domination, which in itself will erode the justification for our collective cry against the I gala domination of the rest of us.

However, we wish to stay clearly that APC is not known to have marginalised any group in any of the states it has govern. Kogi State can not be an exception.

c) That Prince Abubakar Audu deprived Yagba people the opportunity of having a Senator by hijacking the process is an unfortunate reasoning. We prefer not to comment on this, as it is now a subject of litigation.

d) It is equally unthinkable that any one will say that Prince Abubakar Audu used the oil subsidy trial to stop Hon. Bamidele Aro from contesting the APC Senatorial ticket when it is a well known fact that Audu is not EFCC. Neither is he in any position to influence the Federal Agency.

e) That APC coerced Prince Babatunde Irukera to step down from the
governorship primary of the party is a lie from the pit of hell. The party has no such power and such a reasoning sounds too unintellectual. For the avoidance of doubt, one may ask why do we still see many aspirants in the race till the end. The truth is that those that stepped down, did so on their own, based on their believe on the need to put party interest above their personal interest.

f) That Hon James Abiodun Faleke was no where to be found when Yagba people were toiling to build APC in Kogi State? This is laughable and based on the lack of understanding of the historical development of APC in the state. Truly, Hon Faleke is an active player in Lagos politics, he remains one of thex pillars of APC not not only in Kogi State but in all APC states, South West Nigeria. Hon. Faleke, more than anybody else residing in this state, has been a passionate financier of APCbñnvx and he was one of the architects of the arrangements that led to the merger of the defunct ACN and ANPP in Kogi state over four years ago.

Signed:
STANLEY AJILEYE
For: Audu/Faleke Media Group