Kogi West, Central Leaders Meet, Consider Alternate Party to Achieve Power Shift 

By Ralph Omololu Agbana

Feelers of an impending crack in the rank of ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in Kogi State have emerged ahead of the governorship election. At the root of the development is who succeeds the outgoing chief executive, Yahaya Bello.

Agitators for power shift to Kogi West have, however, revealed plans to seek alternative platform to actualise their agenda should the party leadership fail to meet their demand.

Although Governor Bello is yet to endorse his successor, there are fears in Kogi West Senatorial District that he might support a candidate from his Kogi Central home base for another eight years. The anxiety is heightened by the manner delegates were picked for the primary and the huge number of officials of his government that purchased nomination forms from the central senatorial district.

Consequently, advocates of rotation of power to Kogi West, drawn from the three senatorial districts of the state, are not letting issues lie low.

It was gathered that a combination of key stakeholders of APC and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) from the west and central senatorial districts are working on alternative parties to contain the governor should, he eventually settle for an Ebira successor. This is as no PDP member has indicated interest in the governorship from the Kogi Central.

Former Chairman of Ijumu Council, Fehinti Dada, who is one of the major actors in the coalition, confirmed the development to The Guardian.

But an inside source said leaders from Kogi West had scheduled a meeting in Abuja to take a position on the gubernatorial poll.

The fulcrum of the gathering, according to him, is to ensure that the district produces the next governor of the state.

Part of the game plan, the source added, was to seek alternatives to the APC and PDP, if either of the two leading parties is unwilling to concede the ticket.

“As I speak to you, they are considering the options of Social Democratic Party or Labour Party. The combination of politicians involved counted on the fact that Kogi West had a 50-50 chance with Kogi Central to produce the governorship in 2015 when James Faleke was denied his joint ticket with the late Prince Abubakar Audu.

“After eight years of Yahaya Bello, it is only right that the governorship moves to Kogi West. Anything short of it will be an injustice,” he said.

“I can tell you that as we speak, a combination of key politicians from Kogi West and Central, who believe the governorship should go to West, are planning to sponsor a candidate in another party. These people have met in Lagos and Abuja. Meanwhile, as this is happening, key Kogi West leaders, including top politicians, successful businessmen and retired top government functionaries, will be meeting in Abuja this weekend to take a position and make a pronouncement. If you look at it, the PDP is not fielding any candidate for the governorship from the Central because they are of the opinion that the governorship should move to West,” he said.

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