Trouble for Kogi National Assembly Members, Aspirants, as Gov. Bello Shops for Replacement

– proposed list of anointed candidates makes round

– party denies imposition of candidates 

But for Senator Jibrin Isah Echocho representing the Eastern Senatorial district of Kogi State, there is currently trouble for the rest of the National Assembly members from the state as the Governor Yahaya Bello led cabal has commenced shopping for their replacement ahead of the 2023 general elections.

An insider source in the Kogi State Chapter of the All Progressives Congress told that a meeting has been held where the favored aspirants have been proposed to fly the party’s flag in the elections.

It was learnt that the meeting was on the instruction of the Governor who had expressed dissatisfaction in the current APC National Assembly members, but Echocho was on the safety net of the Deputy Governor, Edward Onoja, hence his exemption.

On the list gotten by, the affected lawmakers are Senator Yakubu Oseni (Central), and Senator Smart Adeyemi (West). They are to be replaced by the State Commissioner for Works, Engr. Abubakar Ohere, and the Minister of State, FCT, Hajia Ramat Tijani respectively.

It was on the heels of the meeting that Ohere has since indicated declaring his intention and resigning his appointment as Commissioner.

Also affected on the list are House of Representatives members across the constituencies of the state.

Baring any last minute change, names of aspirants like Abdulwasiu Isah (Adavi/Okehi), Tijani Ahmed Ozigis (Okene/Ogori-Magongo), the Speaker, Kogi State House of Assembly, Matthew Kolawole (Kabba-Bunu/Ijumu) and Sunday Karimi (Yagba/Mopa-Muro).

The list ran through to the supposedly anointed candidates for the state assemblies.

For Oseni who was already nursing gubernatorial ambition if he retains his seat for second term, the news is not novel to him, as the Governor had informed him weeks before to step down. But upon meeting Bello the second time to tell him how his supporters’ intentions to resist, Bello reportedly told him to go ahead with his (Oseni’s) plans. 

“He rushed from the office today to go and see the Governor. Whether he steps down or not, he may still run for Governor next year Insha Allah, ” one of his Aides confirmed. 

However, the Chairman of the party, Abdullahi Bello has put out a statement denying the imposition of candidates on stakeholders.

Bello in a press statement last Thursday, said that while the ruling APC encourages consensus candidacy, the party does not impose.

“The All progressive Congress is a political party anchored on progressivism philosophy, it is a party with a hallmark of internal democracy, a party of equal opportunity, the playing field is level for all; the rules will be applied equally, no one will be favoured nor will anyone be disadvantaged, the party has no preferred candidate for any office what so ever.

“It is the tradition of our party to encourage consensus candidate among the aspirants themselves where practicable, this is to minimize misgivings, but the party will never impose any candidate for any elective office(s),” he said.

Meanwhile, with the update on the electoral law, one of the unfavoured aspirants who demanded not to be named in this report, said that the anointing of candidates would be difficult for the Governor, stating that there would be stiff resistance unlike the last elections.

“The strategy is to push their anointed candidates as general consensus, but not everyone will sign a consensus document which will turn out to be a problem for the party,” he said.

On consensus candidate, the Electoral law, section 84 (9-11) states that “a political party that adopts a consensus candidate shall secure the written consent of all cleared aspirants for the position, indicating their voluntary withdrawal from the race and their endorsement of the consensus candidate.
“(10) Where a political party is unable to secure the written consent of all cleared aspirants for the purpose of a consensus candidate, it shall revert to the choice of direct or indirect primaries for the nomination of candidates for the aforesaid elective positions.

“(11) A special convention or nomination congress shall be held to ratify the choice of consensus candidates at designated centres at the National, State, Senatorial, Federal and State Constituencies, as the case may be.”

The aspirant pointed that while Oseni may swallow the humble pie, people like Dalhatu Sheriff (Central) and Smart Adeyemi (West) might not go down easily.

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