James Faleke, running mate to the late Abubakar Audu in the 2015 governorship election in Kogi state, has advised his supporters against participating in the All Progressives Congress (APC) congresses in Kogi state.
Faleke alleged that Yahaya Bello, governor of the state, had hijacked the processes by handing over the ward congresses to local government area (LGA) administrators to compile names from wards to LGA.
He also said the state government had employed the services of thugs to harass those not in support of Bello.
Faleke spoke in a statement which Duro Meseko, spokesman of the Audu/Faleke political organisation, issued on his behalf.
“We have on good authority that thugs are being armed to attack any of our members considered not to be GYB member in all the venues of the congresses,” the statement read.
“We learnt on good authority that very harmful weapons would be deployed at the various venues to keep us away from participating so it is better for us not to put ourselves in harm’s way.
“In view of the above therefore, the Audu/Faleke Political Organization hereby direct our members across the three Senatorial Districts in the State not to risk their valuable lives to participate in any of the congresses beginning from this week’s Ward Congresses. We urge our members to stay at home.”
Faleke said Bello, “who was imposed on the APC”, has failed to build unity within the party since he assumed office.
He also accused the governor of frustrating the efforts of the national leadership of the APC to reconcile all aggrieved members of the party.
“It was expected that the young Governor would have taken no winner no looser position in building a united political family, but he refused to use that management tactics. We have come to an unimpeachable conclusion that the Governor does not want unity within the party,” the statement added.
“It is the same story with the state executive committee of the party. The governor came into office and wasted no time in floating a parallel Exco in the State, setting up confusion here and there.
“As a result of the crisis within the Party, the National Leadership took some steps to restore sanity back to the APC family in the state by setting up the first Reconciliation Committee led by chief Tony Momoh. The governor frustrated the whole process. The outcome of the Panel did not see the light of the day.
“Not satisfied, the National Working Committee of the Party set up another high-powered panel headed by Gen Idris Garba Rtd. We equally attended the Committee’s sessions on way forward for our party. Alas, again, nothing came out of the Committee no thanks to the uncooperative attitude of the Governor.
“Now that the Party,s Congresses are here, the Governor true to type has hijacked the whole processes, handing over the Ward Congresses to his LGA Administrators to compile names from wards to LGA.
“Since he appointed those Administrators, the Governor has been using them to function virtually as alternate party Excos, while refusing to fund the authentic APC Exco at all levels.
“The Audu/Faleke organization has been the body funding the party and the Excos at all levels till date. Little surprise why original Kogi APC members are more united with Audu/Faleke group till date.”