By James Ibechi
Though many people in Kogi State prefer that the inconclusive governorship election in the state is cancelled and re-conducted, because they say they do not like James Falake to be the state governor, a small group of other people wants him to start preparing for the main job of running the state, because there will be no cancellation of the proceeds of last Saturday’s election despite the death of Prince Abubakar Audu, the APC’s candidate for the election.
Falake, Yoruba man, is the deputy governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC). He is believed to be Bola Tinubu’s pick for Prince Audu.
Audu, who was on the threshold of a landmark victory, which would have brought him back to the Lugard House, for another tenure, suddenly took ill few hours after the election was declared inconclusive, in circumstances, which has left many quite flustered.
With the development, lawyers and other legal minds gave different interpretation to what some analysts see a likely constitutional crisis, with many of them saying that nothing short of outright cancellation of the entire exercise, would satisfy the spirit and letters of the Nigerian constitution, given that there was no clear provision to take care of such a strange development.
But both the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the Federal Government, are in agreement that the election into the areas where results were cancelled should go on as planned since there is no confusion on the matter.
On the advice of Abubakar Malami, the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, who submitted that there was no lacuna, as many contended, INEC has fixed the supplementary election for December 5.
In a statement signed by INEC Secretary, Mrs. Augusta C. Ogakwu, in Abuja on Tuesday, the commission gave the APC the nod to substitute Audu’s name with another candidate for the complementary election.
A source close to the APC, told us that there was no plan to deny Faleke the chance to step into the shoes of deceased, despite the controversy surrounding the incident, believed to have distabilised the political equation of the state, especially with the allegation that he was murdered.
“All you hear is mere rumour. The APC family is intact. There is no way Faleke would be displaced. Those they accuse of killing the Prince, you saw the role they played at his burial. Was he stoned, did anybody heckle at him. That tells you that it was a mere fabrication. All we are looking for is who would change things in Kogi. The change we have is such that one could step into the shoes of the other because the music is in the heart of everyone. So, go to the bank with it, Faleke, would not only be the candidate, but the governor. Doing otherwise is to destabilise the party and nobody is interested in destabilising the party,” the source said.
Though ex-governor Audu polled 240,827 votes to beat incumbent Idris Wada of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), who scored 199,514 votes, INEC declared the process inconclusive as the number of voided votes were more than the margin of victory.