Deputy Governor-elect of Kogi State, Mr. James Faleke, has said he was not invited to Wednesday’s swearing-in ceremony and that he had no reason to attend the event.
He explained that this was because he was challenging the decision of the Independent National Electoral Commission to declare the November 21 governorship election inconclusive in court.
In an interview with Channels TV Faleke, who has also challenged the decision of the All Progressives Congress to choose Bello over him as replacement for the late Prince Abubakar Audu, described the choice of Bello as a coup against the people of Kogi.
The APC chieftain stressed that he would not accept the position of deputy governor of the state.
He said contrary to reports that the party was making efforts to reconcile aggrieved parties in the election, nobody had reached out to him.
Faleke, who was the late Abubakar’s running mate, also slammed the National Chairman of the party, Chief John Oyegun, for failing to do what he considered the right thing following Audu’s death.
“I am speaking before Nigerians and I am making it very clear that nobody reached out to me. Nobody from our party’s national secretariat or the state secretariat of our party ever reached out to me on this issue,” Faleke said
“The only time they every reached out to me was on December 31… when the chairman of our party announced the decision of the National Working Committee to all of us to say the NWC had adopted Alhaji Yahaya Bello as the governorship candidate for the December 5 election.”
Faleke said he and some other members had made it clear that they felt that the party should have called them earlier to discuss the issue.
“Thereafter, there was no consultation until today. I want to make it clear that the party chairman, Chief John Oyegun, that we saw as a father has decided to champion a cause that is anti-people. That is why we were not invited (for the inauguration),” he added.
He stressed that he would only settle the problem out of court only on the condition that Bello agrees to resign as governor.
He argued that his actions did not amount to anti-party activities, adding that the party could only be supreme when its activities are based on equity and justice.
“For me I see what has happened in the party as a civilian coup d’état. It is a civilian coup d’état because if such a situation happens in the military, those behind it will face the firing squad,” he said, adding that the best way forward was to head to the court.
He added that Bello rather than him should be accused of anti-party activities as all of his actions have been aimed at protecting the party and ensuring that the Peoples Democratic Party does not snatch victory from it.
He said, “It was Alhaji Yahaya Bello that worked against the party. He took the party to court before the election, took our late leader, Audu to court before the election and he lost his polling unit to PDP, lost his ward to PDP and lost his local government area to PDP.
And I made it clear that day (during the meeting) that if 50 per cent of us seated in that hall had lost our polling units, lost our wards and our local governments, there would have been nothing for us to celebrate.”
He said he had requested Oyegun to get the party to sue INEC to declare the results instead of declaring the November 21 election inconclusive, but the chairman declined, saying the party could not be seen to be taking its own government to court.