- James Faleke, Kogi state House of Representatives member has fired back at party leaders opposing him
- Faleke is up for a ministerial position but there were ruckus as two party leaders kicked against it
- The party leaders against the nomination have also warned Senator Bola Tinubu to stay away from North-Central politics
The crisis in the Kogi state chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has worsened, on Tuesday, January 3, as the deputy governorship candidate of the party in the last governorship election in the state, James Faleke and some party leaders traded words over the move to fill the vacant ministerial slot of the state.
According to Faleke, the opposition against his purported nomination was coming from “empty vessels.”
He noted that it was strange that the people were campaigning against a nomination that was yet to be made by the president, who had the prerogative of appointing a minister.
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The House of Representatives member, however, said the controversial nomination was unknown to him.
Faleke, in a telephone interview in Lokoja, said those ganging up against him were working for a particular interest, saying their anger against him amounted to nothing.
He said: “My purported nomination as a minister is even unknown to me, but it is a fact that the choice of a minister from any state rest with the president. I will ignore the duo who spoke against my purported nomination.
“One of them has been known to be unstable human being in the politics of the state. He even sold a church building in the far north which proceeds he brought home and built a hotel. Any human who sold a religious building to build hotel needs no verification as an unstable person.
“Without my contribution, APC would not have won Kogi in the last election. The western senatorial district won the election for APC. My principal in the election, late Abubakar Audu, contested three times before then and lost; it was my contribution that changed the tide.
“In the history of the state, it was the first time that Kogi West would be won by opposition. We won six out of the seven local government areas of the state. We only lost by 300 votes in Mopa; the local government of the former acting governor, Clarence Olafemi, even against stiff opposition.”
Faleke noted that it was wrong for the people to have spoken against a national leader of the party, Senator Bola Tinubu, saying he had always worked for the development and the victory of the APC.
“Tinubu is a national leader who also has followers in the North. He has nothing to benefit him in Kogi for them to view it as trying to infiltrate the state or northern politics.
“He supported Fayemi in Ekiti, Aregbesola in Osun, Amosun in Ogun, even in Edo too, he has never for one day gone to those states to lord himself over them. So, if he supported me in Kogi, what is wrong about that? The way the issue ended in Kogi, it is to Kogi’s loss, not Tinubu’s. When the time is right and God says those who will help Kogi in terms of good governance will be, it will happen. But for those leaders, they are better to be ignored.”
Two leaders of the party, Suleiman Ejibunu and Chief Richard Asaje, who are staunch supporters of the state governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello, had, on Monday, asked President Muhammadu Buhari not to nominate or appoint Faleke as minister from the state, as such move will bring serious crisis to the party in the state.
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The people, who are from the same Kogi West senatorial district with Faleke, claimed that the former deputy governorship candidate was being considered by the president to fill the vacant position of Kogi State ministerial slot.
The people said: “If at all Faleke and his godfather deserve anything, not the ministerial slot of Kogi State; to avoid serious crisis in the Kogi APC, as such move may lead to exit of every prominent, loyal and committed members of the party while aggravating the fractionalisation of the party along many divides.
“We are also unequivocally resolute to stop Tinubu expansion into Kogi State or any state in the North Central; we are determined to push out all his consults from Kogi come 2018/2019. It is a task that must be done through all legal/political means. They have failed and they will continue to fail.”
Meanwhile, the minister of science and technology, Dr Ogbonnaya Onu, says the APC has dismantled every machinery used by the PDP in rigging elections across the country.
The minister states that those instruments used by the PDP in writing results are no longer in their control.
Watch a discussion on the APC crisis below: