Bello Snubs Oyegun, Ocholi, Picks Own Deputy

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Baring any change, Kogi State Governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello is set to defy the National leadership of the All Progressives Congress and nominate Hon. Simeon Achuba as his deputy Governor.

It would be recalled that following James Faleke’s withdrawal before the supplementary Kogi governorship election, the office of Deputy Governor became vacant.

The November 21, 2015 governorship election was held in the state with Prince Abubakar Audu and James Faleke on the APC Ballot. But while counting was on-going, Prince Audu died, thus, requiring for a replacement as suggested by the Attorney General and Minister for Justice, a suggestion the national leadership of the APC carried out to the later.

On 27th of January, 2016, Alhaji Yahaya Bello was sworn-in as Governor without a Deputy, thus creating a vacuum and constitutional crisis.

Several interest groups had shown interest in becoming the deputy governor. The West Senatorial District where James Faleke hails from had insisted in having the office retained in the zone.

Justina Abanida, David Atte, Sam Aro and other top notch politicians from the area had shown interest.

But in the wisdom and preference of Alhaji Bello, he seem to have preferred Simon Achuba, who was alleged to have only joined the party, three weeks to the governorship election.

Achuba who hail from Ibaji Local Government Area, has majority opposition from his Ibaji Local Government Area, even as the APC National and his area would have preferred Alex Akoje, considered a party man, level headed and controllable.

But largely said to have been supported by Edward Onoja, Chief of Staff to the Governor, the Governor defied all appeal and pressure and settled for Achuba. This is the second time the Governor would defy appeal. It would be recalled that at the palace of the Ohinoyi of Ebiraland, the Governor was alleged to have paid deaf ears to the selection of Martins Makoju, a retired Permanent Secretary, nominated by Ebira people to serve as Chief of Staff in preference for Edward Onoja, his school mate and bosom friend of several years.

As at time of going to the press, there is protest from Ibaji, Ofu and Idah Local Government Area to the National APC Secretariat on the choice of Achuba. But strong indication points to the preference to Achuba by the state governor.

The choice of Deputy Governor, which would be forwarded to the State House of Assembly soon, would likely scale through, but would no doubt add to the several grievances held against the governor by his kinsmen and party men since his assumption of office.

According to some party men, the style of the governor has certainly pushed and retired those considered seasoned and experienced in politics and administration to the background, in preference for a younger generation of leaders, considered not matured and inexperience in a complex state like Kogi.

For now, like a graveyard, peace, the people in Kogi are watching, on God, the Tribunal for the next few months, with the APC worst hit and fractionalised by the several unsettled issues while those in the PDP, though still devastated by their loss, are waiting and praying for an intervention.

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