By Kingsley Fanwo
Less than 24 after the remains of Prince Abubakar Audu was committed to mother earth, the leadership of the opposition All Progressives Congress may have settled for James Faleke as the candidate for the remaining supplementary election or a rerun, Vanguard can reliably inform.
There were meetings at Lokoja and Abuja by the leaders of the party on Tuesday, ostensibly to find a way round the circle of confusion engulfing the death of its governorship candidate in last Saturday’s governorship election that had been declared inconclusive.
It is yet to be known if Audu died before the commencement of collation in Lokoja or after the election was declared inconclusive.
It was rumoured that the former governor died after hearing about the inconclusiveness of the process due to the cancellation of close to 50,000 votes.
Meanwhile, a family source told Vanguard that Audu died in the early hours of Sunday. The concealment of the news of his death was said to have been informed by political exigencies.
The source said: “Prince died before daybreak on Sunday. But some people told us to conceal the news so as not to play into the hands of political opponents. The death was shrouded in secrecy because we got to know that Audu’s death was not natural”.
A group, Kogi United Forum has however called on the police to investigate a certain political leader from the South West over Audu’s death.
The APC has since discovered they have no luxury of mourning for two long with the cobwebs of legality weaving around the Kogi governorship. The past 24 hours has led to the appearance of many knives on the day of the elephant’s death. Many legal experts have been shedding light on the way out of the constitutional logjam.
On its part, the leadership of the All Progressives Congress have been holding clandestine meetings at both Lokoja and Abuja.
A source told Vanguard that President Muhammadu Buhari has instructed the National Working Committee of the APC to ensure the law, and not individuals, is satisfied by its decisions on the Kogi matter.
It is believed that the group loyal to Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu may have resolved to project Hon. Abiodun Faleke to take over the candidature of the late Prince Audu. The State Executive Committee of the party was said to have resolved to push the Faleke option through.
However, another group within the party which initially resisted the choice of Faleke as running mate, is bent on fielding someone from among the aspirants who contested the party’s governorship primaries in August.
Efforts at reaching the Chairman of APC in Kogi, Alh. Haddi Ametuo proved abortive as he failed to pick calls made to his phone.
He was said to be attending meetings related to the governorship election in Kogi.
A source who is a member of the State Working Committee of APC told Vanguard on condition of anonymity that the party is under tremendous pressure to go with Faleke.
“It is true. We are under pressure to ensure Faleke becomes the next governor of the state. But some of our leaders are insisting that Yahaya Bello is the right candidate to step in. Nothing has been decided yet but the thinking now among the State Executive Committee is to support Faleke”.
The Presidency’s Angle
The source also told Vanguard that the body language on the corridors of the Villa doesn’t favour a Faleke candidature.
Many chieftains of the party at the Villa are said to be rooting for Alh. Yahaya Bello