Kogi Gov: Audu’s Supporters Push For Son As Replacement

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There were strong indications on
Wednesday that the campaign organisation of the late Kogi State governorship
candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Alhaji Abubakar Audu, was preparing
a ground for the emergence of the deceased’s son, Mohammed, as a replacement
for his father.

Audu died on Sunday, a few hours
after the Independent National Electoral Commission declared the November 21
governorship poll in the state inconclusive.
The deceased had polled 240,867
votes in the election while the Peoples Democratic Party’s candidate and
incumbent state Governor, Capt. Idris Wada (retd.), scored 199,514 votes,
leaving a gap of 41,353 votes between the two leading candidates in the
election.

INEC had declared the election
inconclusive on the grounds that cancelled votes or registered voters in the 91
polling units, where the exercise did not take place were 49,953, a figure
higher than Audu’s lead of 41,353 votes.
A leader of the APC in the state,
who confided in The Punch, said the dominant view in the organisation was that
Mohammed should join the race.
It was gathered that a few members
of the group had also suggested that Audu’s running mate in last Saturday’s
election, Mr. James Faleke, should contest the primary.
It was gathered that members of
the group, which dominates the APC in the state, met on Tuesday night following
the party’s declaration that another primary would be held to produce a
replacement for the late governorship candidate.
The commission had on Tuesday
written the APC, directing it to submit a replacement for the late Audu while
the party said it would hold a fresh primary to produce a replacement for the
deceased APC standard bearer.
The APC leader, who confided in
The Punch, said the late Audu’s political structure was still intact despite
his death.
He stated that nobody could win
the state governorship primary of the APC without the backing of Audu’s
supporters.
The source said, “Abubakar Audu’s
supporters, including his campaign structure, are rooting for either Audu’s
son, Mohammed, or James Faleke for them not to lose out entirely. They are
narrowing it to either Faleke or Mohammed because the APC machinery believes
that the election has been won. But the party elders and leaders, who worked
for him, will be more comfortable with Mohammed.
The spokesperson for the APC in
Kogi State, Abdulmalik Suleiman, said, “We are mourning. This is the time for
sober reflection and we are praying for our late leader and icon. At the
appropriate time, the public will know because APC has a way of solving its
issues and problems.”
One of our correspondents,
however, learnt that despite the state of mourning in the party in the state,
no fewer than four aspirants have started jostling to emerge as a replacement
for Audu in the supplementary election on December 5.
These aspirants, it was learnt,
included Faleke, who was Audu’s running mate in last Saturday’s poll; Yahaya
Bello; a former PDP governorship aspirant, Jubrin Echocho, and Salihu Atawodi.

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