With just few hours to the Supreme Court judgment on the Kogi State governorship election, a chieftain of All Progressives Congress APC in the state, Mallam Suleiman Abdulmalik, has a word for a member of the House of Representatives, James Abiodun Faleke.
He predicted that the judgement would mark the final political burial rites of Faleke, unless he embraced the yet-to-be constituted reconciliation committee for all the aggrieved members of APC.
According to him after the Supreme Court judgement, Faleke’s political future will be in jeopardy in the state unless he reintegrate himself with the people because he lacks tangible structures in the Kogi West and the entire state.
Abdulmalik in a statement issued in Lokoja on Sunday, said the Supreme Court will only affirm the judgements of the Election petition tribunal and the Court of Appeal which ruled in favour of Governor Yahaya Bello.
According to him, the Electoral Act is all about the wishes of the people and the Supreme Court cannot go against the people.
While arguing that there is lacuna in Faleke’s demand since the Electoral Act did not envisage what happened in Kogi State, where the main candidate died before the conclusion of the election, Abdulmalik said Faleke was clearly aware of this, “but has chosen to blame everyone including his own party APC, Judiciary and the Presidency for the fate that has befallen him.”
He said, “Where was he when others participated in the primary? Governor Bello didn’t just become governor, he worked for it and became the first runner up in the race that had 28 contestants. This is where the main issue lied.
“I am not a lawyer but the point was that Bello participated in the primary election (nomination) and also the main election (through the supplementary), thereby satisfying the requirements of the Electoral Act. So the Supreme Court won’t do otherwise but to affirm the wishes of the people.
”Faleke’s group should leave the judiciary, the Presidency and the APC alone and accept responsibility for its actions. From the judgement of the Tribunal and Appellate Court it is clear that his case lack merit.
“It is noteworthy that this is not the first time we are having this type of situation in our party politics in the country and court ruling regarding the importance of primary elections in the Electoral Act in ensuring internal democracy.
”The first landmark judgment came from the Supreme Court when it ruled against the impunity of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in 2007 and ordered that Rotimi Amaechi be installed as Governor of Rivers State instead of Celestine Omehia who didn’t participated in the primary. So Kogi State case is settled.”
“Faleke would soon be gone, it would be difficult for him to compete with the major gladiators from his area having spent long time in Lagos State politics. He has to contend with the likes of boastful Senator Smart Adeyemi who represented Kogi West for eight years in the Senate, the controversial Senator Dino Melaye who is currently representing Kogi West, even though he is not that popular in Okunland where he came far distant third but won massively in Lokoja/Koto on the strength of President Muhammadu Buhari”, Abdulmalik emphasised.
He said another politician Faleke has to contend with is Samuel Bamidele Aro who commanded large followership in Kogi West.
Abdulmalik stressed the need for all to come together and join hands with the governor to move the state forward.
“The political doors of Governor Yahaya Bello is wide open for all party members across the state”, he stated.