A peace meeting is ongoing at the National secretariat of the All Progressives Congress secretariat in Abuja trying to resolve who emerges the party’s candidate in next Saturday’s rerun of the Kogi state governorship polls.
The Independent Electoral Commission, INEC, had orderd a rerun following the inconclusive November 21 elections between the incumbent governor, Captain Idris Wada of the Peoples’ Democratic Party, PDP, and APC candidate, Prince Abubakar Audu who passed on shortly after the announcement of the results of the election which the INEC had declared inconclusive.
INEC had declared election inconclusive as the APC leading candidate could not garner enough votes to exceed invalidated votes in 91 polling units in the state as at the end of polls last November 21.
Following Audu’s death, the INEC had given the APC the opportunity of replacing the dead candidate in accordance with Section 33 of the 2011 Electoral Act.
Three contending candidates had since emerged including the deceased son, Mohammed Audu, the running mate to the deceased, James Faleke and the runners up in the APC’s primaries, Yahaya Bello.
However, there is commotion in the APC national secretariat as at the time of filing this report as the party’s national chairman, John Odigie Oyegun and some members of the National Working Committee including the Kaduna state governor, Mallam El-Rufai are putting heads together to beat INEC’s deadline of 12 midnight today to present a replacement for late Prince Abubakar Audu.
Supporters of the three contending aspirants from Kogi state had stormed the party’s national secretariat as early as 7.00am t drum support for their kinsmen to emerge the fresh candidate for the December 5 rerun elections.
Security men at the secretariat are said to be having a tough time controlling the crowd as the supporters of the three aspirants were almost clashing. The Okun people are drumming support for their son, Faleke, who had last week written a letter through his lawyer, Chief Wole Olanipekun, SAN, to INEC urging the electoral body to declare him winner of the last November 21 polls. Also the Igbiras are supporting their kinsman, Yahaya Bello for him to emerge replacement for the late Prince Audu.
A third group rooting for Mohammed, the late Prince Audu’s son, is said to have canvassed a compromise between it and Faleke’s supporters. According to our correspondent at the venue of the peace meeting, the group is rooting for Mohammed to emerge Faleke’s running mate in the event that the party eventually settles for the latter as the party’s choice to replace the deceased aspirant.
As at the time of this report the party leaders are yet to reach a compromise hours to INEC’s deadline.
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