By Kingsley Fanwo
One of the most intriguing proverbs of the Okun Yoruba people of Kogi State is that of the fact in killing the tsetse fly on the scrotum. The fly can’t be killed with a dispatched anger and it must not remain there too for long.
The All Progressives Congress in Kogi State may need the this tested wisdom to wriggle out of its present wall-end debacle that is threatening the cohesion of the party in the state before the opposition parties take advantage of the political weathering going on in the party.
The Fight of Two Elephants
It is no more news that the leadership of the APC is sharply divided on the Kogi debacle. The crisis is fast turning into a contest between the North and the South West hegemonies.
While the Sulternate Caucus are strongly rooting for the Governor-Elect, Alh. Yahaya Adoza Bello; a number of South West governors are believed to be supporting the Faleke option. The Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu political foot soldiers see Kogi as a strategic state that must be in the kitty of the Jagaban.
In as much as Tinubu deserves the glory of the political amalgamation that gave birth to APC, the presidency is silently weary of the power hunt by the Tinubu political family.
They are of the view that it couldn’t be for nothing that the Jagaban was attempting to hijack the machinery of the National Assembly, using the party hierarchy to achieve his political dream before the rebellion in the two chambers.
On his part, the Jagaban group, with a sunset-assured loss of Kwara State where Saraki holds sway, is desperate to take Kogi State, a dream that is fast turning into a mirage.
A close confidant of the late Prince Abubakar Audu told Sunday Vanguard on condition of anonymity that the late politician was being positioned by Tinubu to rally the North Central governors behind him ahead of 2019. The source said Tinubu was looking at the Buhari Presidency repudiating in 2019.
In his words: “The death of my friend, Prince Abubakar Audu has created a lot of controversies. The South West power bloc was looking up to the late Audu to lead the assault against Buhari in 2019. But his death has thrown spanners into the scheming.
“Tinubu doesn’t see Buhari ruling the nation beyond 2019. He was already shopping for a Vice Presidential running mate from the North East or North Central. Yahaya Bello is seeing as a governor who will tilt towards the president and that is why Faleke is being pushed all the way.
“It is unfortunate that APC is dancing naked in the market square over this issue. The Kogi conundrum is a warning that the party may collapse if they didn’t apply the breaks. Don’t let anyone deceive you, Faleke has no chance in this fight.
“However, I will strongly suggest that the party breaks the ice by brokering a high-level truce between the big men behind the scene. Trying to reconcile Bello and Faleke is a waste of time”.
Kogi Issue Like the Harmattan Fire
Vanguard believes that the crisis rocking Kogi State is fast spreading like the harmattan fire. Party cohesion is being shaken, loyalties are being tested and if not well managed, the situation may signal the beginning of an end to the unity of the party.
Sunday Vanguard has it on good authority that the National Chairman of the party, Chief John Odigie Oyegun is having a cold war with the Jagaban over the stance of the National Working Committee of the party.
On its part, the NWC argued that its decision was rooted in the point of law concerning the logjam created by the death of Audu. Tinubu was believed to be instrumental to the emergence of Oyegun as National Chairman of the party.
Also, the National Working Committee of the party is believed to be divided along the lines of loyalty to the two power blocs in the Kogi scenario.
Some members of the National Working Committee who are loyal to Tinubu are said to be going through pressure to rock the boat and divide the Committee.
The decision of Faleke to make real his threat of challenging Bello at the tribunal may have also thrown the entire reconciliatory process into disarray as the National Working Committee was said to be planning to wield the big stick on Faleke over what they termed “gross insubordination and indiscipline” on his part.
However, a member of the National Working Committee who does not want his name in print told our reporters that, with Faleke’s political experience, he wouldn’t take such action if he wasn’t assured of protection from some powerful quarters.
Can Yahaya Bello Survive the Struggle?
The Governor-Elect, Alh. Yahaya Adoza Bello is believed to be a proverbial cat with nine lives.
Ever since his entrance into the governorship race in Kogi State, he has not left anyone in doubt as to his steely character and ability to manage tension.
The manner in which the Agassa-born politician approached the earlier Federal High Court suit aimed at stopping the supplementary poll suggested he was ready for the long and draining legal battle ahead.
Though analysts and bench pundits are of the opinion that Bello stands a high chance of winning at the tribunal, nothing could be said to be granted in the Nigerian judicial system, especially if the statement of some leaders in the party is anything to ho by.
The thinking in the state is said to be the possibility of a rerun between Bello, Wada and others. In that case, Kogites are already saying seven months is enough for Bello to win the hearts of the people.
Coincidentally, the Governor-Elect and his political spin-doctors are planning to ensure the Governor-Elect starts strongly and endear himself to the people of the state.
The Many Battles of Faleke
When the son a disabled man decides to walk with the aid of a stick, he will draw words to his innocent father.
There is no doubt that the Kogi war has put the national leader of the party, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu on the spotlight. He is regarded as the political godfather of Hon. James Abiodun Faleke.
Firstly, the decision of Faleke to wage a legal battle on Bello and his party has not been popular among the Kogi West and Kogi Central political leaders who see the present political scenario as a “total shift of power” from Kogi East. Kogi East has been producing the state governors from inception.
Leaders of Kogi West and Kogi Central are of the opinion that it will be political suicidal for Faleke to allow the present advantage evaporate over “petty power play”.
Aside the avalanche of bombardments from the home front, the enemies in Lagos are also pulling the Ekirin Adde-born politician over his continued membership of the House of Representatives. They claim that it is illegal and immoral to represent two constituencies at a time.
To the Lagos forces, whether Faleke is Deputy Governor-Elect or Governor-Elect as he is fighting to be recognized, his membership of the National Assembly should have ceased.
But with Faleke still attending House proceedings, only the law and its administrators can resolve the aggravating confusion in Kogi.