BY BOLUWAJI OBAHOPO, LOKOJA
The prospects of the All Progressives Congress, APC in Kogi State may have been further clouded by the faceoff between Governor Yahaya Bello and his deputy, Elder Simon Achuba.
The faceoff came to national recognition after Achuba addressed a press conference last weekend where he opened up on the predicaments he has faced under the Bello administration.
Given past political issues between the governor and the mainstream of his party, APC with civil servants and the mainstream of the state, there are now suggestions that the government may have overreached himself in his deployment of state resources against his deputy.
Achuba had at a press conference last weekend alleged that his security details were taken away on the order of the governor’s ADC and that utilities to his quarters cut off.
Vanguard gathered that the deputy governor has not stepped into his office since August last year with electricity and water supply to his official residence disconnected around November last year. Allowances to the governor were reportedly discontinued last April.
The administrator of Ibaji Local Government Area(who was believed to have been sustaining the deputy governor) was changed five months ago apparently to further isolate the deputy governor.
Achuba had been accused of having secretly visited Senate President Bukola Saraki who doubles as the Director General, Atiku Presidential Campaign organization at the latter’s official residence in Abuja last November.
The chasm was further exposed last November when Governor Bello travelled out of the country as he handed over to the Speaker, Kolawole Matthew. The development created uproar from some stakeholders but within 24 hours, a circular granting the deputy governor a two-month holiday was circulated.
Though the leave request expired by January 21, the deputy governor has yet to resume office.
Those who have hinted that Achuba will defect to PDP by December during the PDP presidential campaign to the state were, however, disappointed as the deputy governor stood by his resolve to battle it out in spite of all alleged ill-treatment melted to him by the APC led government.
The director-general, media and publicity to the governor, Mr. Kingsley Fanwo asked on why the governor cut off his deputy from office said yesterday:
“He didn’t cut him off from the affairs of the state. He remains the deputy governor of the state and as long as he remains in office, he takes part in the affairs of the state.”