The deputy governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress in the recently concluded governorship election in Kogi State, James Faleke, has said he would not present himself for swearing-in with Yahaya Bello, the governorship candidate who was drafted in after the death of Abubakar Audu.
Mr. Faleke is billed to be sworn in on January 27, 2016, alongside Mr. Bello.
Mr. Faleke made his position known on Monday at Kabba at a meeting of APC stakeholders from Kogi West senatorial district.
He said his stance is in furtherance of his earlier letter to the national leadership of the party not to work with Mr. Bello, the governor-elect.
The politician, who was reacting to a resolution reached at the meeting that he should pursue the legal option to a logical conclusion, said the Audu/Faleke ticket remained intact and unchanged.
“I will not disappoint Prince Abubakar Audu. I, James Abiodun Faleke will not be there for the swearing in if we don’t finish the case before the January 27, 2016.
“Nobody consulted me before making me a deputy to Bello. Bello too did not consult me. I have made my position known to the party leadership on this. I am not ready to betray and disappoint Prince Abubakar Audu,” he said.
The tenure of the present administration ends on January 27, 2016 .
He also exonerated President Mohammadu Buahri from the crisis, saying Mr. Buhari he knew ‘cannot be a party to injustice and outright violation of the rule of law.’
Mr. Faleke warned the leadership of the APC against setting the party on a path of destruction through impunity and injustice, saying that they should learn from what happened to the Peoples Democratic Party.
He warned members and supporters of the party against fighting or castigating anybody, saying those behind the plot were only working to actualize God’s plan and the ultimate liberation of the state from the flaws of poverty and underdevelopment .
“I am a marathoner, no matter how bumpy and rough the road is, we shall get there, “ he said.
According to him, the constitutional crisis created by the sudden death of Mr. Audu, when finally resolved, will enrich the country’s democracy .
However, speaking on a television program monitored in Abuja, Director in charge of Voter Education, Publicity, Civil Society and Gender Liaison, Oluwole Osaze-Uzzi, said the commission decided to err on the side of the law.
According to him, the guidelines were clear on situations that could warrant the declaration of an election as “inconclusive.”
He said despite the fact that only about 13, 227 voters out of 49, 000 registered voters participated in the supplementary election, “INEC had a constitutional duty to conduct that election within certain parameters or framework.
“If INEC was satisfied that even one vote could make a difference, then we had no option than to conduct the suplimentary election”
He added that at no time did Faleke withdraw from the race, saying it would have amounted to a legal absurdity for the APC to have made Faleke its governorship candidate and then making him nominate a new running-mate. Such a development, he said, would have thrown up fresh legal challenges.
“We got a letter from Faleke saying he is the governor-elect. At no time did he withdraw. APC never withdrew his name either. In any case, we never relate with individuals. We only deal with candidates through their parties.
“Even so, his withdrawal would have been correct if it was within the time for withdrawal, which is 45 days before the election, and if his party had forwarded his withdrawal letter to the commission. When he was nominated as deputy governorship candidate, it was his party that forwarded his resume, affidavit and other details to INEC and not Faleke himself,” he explained.