National Chairman of All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, has warned that the party would have to replace the deputy governorship candidate in the controversial Kogi State election, Hon James Faleke, if he didn’t attend the swearing-in ceremony.
Reacting to Faleke’s threat that he won’t take oath with governor-elect, Alhaji Yahaya Bello, as his deputy, Odigie-Oyegun, however, told journalists in Abuja yesterday that plans are on ground to reconcile all the aggrieved parties.
“On the Faleke issue, it is a rather straightforward issue. Let me put it this way, we have replaced a governorship candidate, if the need arises again and subject to what the law says, we could also get a deputy governorship candidate, but we will cross those bridges as they arise. They have not arisen yet.
“Let me, however, add that consultations and efforts to bring everybody back on board are still going on as I speak. All what we are saying is if all these fail. We are doing everything as a party because of the consciousness of the pain that late Prince Abubakar Audu’s political family are going through.
“We are doing everything we can to bend to accommodate his political family in the developing situation in Kogi State. If we are able to strike a deal, many of what we are talking about may be irrelevant,” he assured.
The APC boss equally explained the reason the party settled for Yahaya instead of Faleke, stressing: “The situation that INEC, APC and the whole nation was confronted with was not known to law. The laws that exist say that you must have participated in the process and the only way you could select somebody who has partuicipated was to go back to the primaries.
“Unfortunately and most unfortunately since the winner of that primary passed away, the natural thing was to pick the number two person. Faleke, the deputy, did not participate in the primary processes. Again, the elections were not concluded, which would have made the deputy an indisputable natural successor.
However, reacting in a telephone call from Daily Sun, Faleke said he would rather wait to get official information from the party leader, stressing: “I am just hearing it from you and I have not heard from the party chairman, but I don’t think the party will do that. I would rather wait until I hear from the party before I react to it.”