Former Deputy Governorship candidate of All Progressives Congress (APC) in the 2015 gubernatorial election in Kogi state, Rt. Hon. James Faleke, has thrown his weight behind unabating calls for power rotation in the state.
In a statement issued in Lagos on Sunday, Faleke noted that for a heterogeneous state such as Kogi State, giving all parts of the state a sense of belonging is key to peaceful coexistence among the several ethnic groups in the state.
He stated that his position is not premised on any sense of entitlement but on the ideals of equity and fairness which late Abubakar Audu preached before his untimely death.
Faleke disclosed that the victory recorded by APC in 2015, especially in Kogi West, was the avowed commitment of Late Prince Abubakar Audu to ensure power shifts to other parts of the state.
“APC cannot afford to be in opposition in Kogi State and all hands must be on deck to make sure to convincingly win in the November 22, 2023 Governorship.
“I wish to add my voice to the various opinions being expressed by many on the vexed issue of which part of Kogi State should produce the next Governor, it has become imperative for me to let Kogites know my stand irrespective of my decision not to participate in the primaries for reasons I stated earlier.
“For equity, justice and fairness, it is only reasonable to lend my voice to the call by many that our great party, the All Progressives Congress should ensure the candidate for the Governorship election emerged democratically from Kogi West.
“For more than 16 years, our brothers from the Eastern Senatorial District held sway in Lugard House through Late Prince Abubakar Audu, Alhaji Ibrahim Idris and Captain Idris Wada respectively.
Kogi Central by the end of the tenure of Alhaji Yahaya Adoza Bello would have been in the saddle for 8 years, uninterrupted.
“While not discounting the right of those concerned to contest for any office, I believe that the time has come to be just and fair to all.
“The clamour for power shift pre-2015 by Kogi West and Kogi Central was to correct the marginalization of the two Districts in the Governorship seat.
“There are several states in Nigeria where Governorship positions are rotated amongst the three senatorial districts with attendant peace, unity and progress, why must we be different?
“We must eschew things that could continually engender bitterness, distrust and disunity amongst us especially when deciding on who should be the Chief Executive of this great State.
What should be of importance is our collective quest and preparedness to engender a united Kogi State for socio-political and economic prosperity,” he said.
Faleke said the realization of a long-term dream of a state that is secure and prosperous with its diverse demography peacefully coexisting should be paramount in the minds of all patriots.
“This can only happen if we collectively decide on fairness, equity and justice. The weird equation of 16:8:0 must be corrected and the right time to start is now with the coming election.
“As a party, we must go into the November 2023 elections with a common sense of purpose devoid of insensitive and unbridled ambition.”
He called on Governor Yahaya Bello to use the party’s primary election to etch his name in gold.
“I hereby appeal to my brother, His Excellency Yahaya Bello to recall the circumstances of his ascension to power and do all within his sense of reasoning as the leader of the party in the state in ensuring he doesn’t toy with this rare opportunity to be on the positive side of history. Just as the Progressive Governors of our party made history before the APC National Convention and those names will remain written in Gold in Nigeria.
“Posterity is the judge of all humans and may it judge us all positively.”