Bello’s Victory And Task Of Governance In Kogi | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Bello’s Victory And Task Of Governance In Kogi

Posted: Sep 22, 2016 at 3:15 am   /   by   /   comments (0)


Augustine Adah




 At last respite came the way of Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State on Tuesday, when the seven-man panel headed by Justice Sylvester Ngwata, in a unanimous judgment delivered in Abuja, dismissed the claim by James Faleke that he was the rightful candidate for the position.

Faleke further argued that Audu had won the election and there was no need for the supplementary election. He argued further that as the joint holder of Audu’s ticket, he should be declared the winner of the election.  The court also dismissed the petitions by Idris Wada candidate of  the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Labour Party and ADC and promised to give reason for the decision on September 30.  

But the governor who spoke through his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Kingsley Fanwo after the judgment described his victory at the Supreme Court as a “big honour to democracy”.

“The landmark judgment of the Supreme Court today, which affirmed my election, is a watershed in the annals of electoral jurisprudence and constitutional law in the country. It was a long walk to victory which will reshape our constitution of the nation.

“I remained humble and magnanimous in victory and I therefore called on those who contested with me to join me in building a greater Kogi State.

“The victory belongs to all Kogi people who believe in transforming Kogi State from a potentially great State to a really great State. Am committed to serving the people and making the State the centre of excellence and the cynosure of all eyes”, he said.

Also, Rt. Hon. Umar Imam, Speaker, Kogi State House of Assembly, has described the victory as a confirmation of God’s acceptance of Bello as governor of the state. He urged Idris Wada, former governor of the state and candidate of People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and Hon. James Faleke to support the administration in its effort to move the state forward.

 He said, “I therefore, enjoin His Excellency, Capt. Idris Ichalla Wada, the former Governor of Kogi State and Honourable  James Abiodun Faleke, the former Deputy Governorship candidate of our great Party to join hands with His Excellency, Governor Yahaya Bello, for the good governance of the State.” He stated that though the challenges facing the new administration in the state appear enormous, they are not insurmountable.   

Faleke in a statement by his spokesman, Duro Meseko, said that he had no regrets challenging the decision of the Independent National Election Commission, INEC, which upheld the election of Bello as the state governor.

Faleke was the running mate of the late Abubakar Audu, the All Progressives Congress, APC, candidate in the November 21, 2015 in Kogi State.

He stated, “We have heard the judgment handed down by the Supreme Court jurists upholding Yahaya Bello as governor. We shall wait for the full text of the judgment to know why they came to that conclusion.

“But let it be stated here that we have no regrets challenging the declaration of our election as inconclusive by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). What we did was to defend the votes cast for Audu/Faleke by the over 240,000 electorates on November 21, 2015.

“The people voted for us as candidates not the APC because they believe in the kind of leadership we offered to provide for them during our campaigns. It would therefore amount to crass betrayal of the trust of the electorate not to have defended their votes till the end.”

Similarly, Prince Dayo Adeyeye, PDP National Publicity Secretary, in a statement on Tuesday, said that though the party did not agree with the judgment of the Supreme Court, it has no choice but to respect it.  

“The Supreme Court is the final arbiter on legal issues in Nigeria and as such we are obligated to accept and abide by this decision.

“Like the Late revered Justice of the Supreme Court – Justice Chukwudifu Akunne Oputa – once said, the Supreme Court is not final because it is infallible. It is infallible because it is final. As such we are bound to respect this decision.

“We call on our teeming members and supporters in Kogi State to accept this judgment with equanimity. We urge them to be law abiding in all their activities.

 The party further disclosed that it will soon begin planning programmes and creating an awareness campaign to ensure that the administration of Alhaji Yahaya Bello, “which is known for frittering away the scarce resources of the Kogi people, will not stay a day longer than the period stipulated for its tenure by the Constitution”.

Now that Governor Bello has put all litigations against his election behind, the coast is now clear for him to settle down and face governance. Observers and politicians in the state are worried that the past seven months in the life of the administration has been uneventful in terms delivering on dividends of democracy. They urged the administration to concentrate the remaining period in bringing development to the state.

Mr. Goodman Akwu, governorship candidate of All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) in the last governorship election in Kogi State urged Bello top as a matter of urgency set a machinery for reconciliation with some leaders of the party in the state and those that challenge his victory at the tribunal and courts.

He said, “My advice for the governor after his court victory is for him to begin a process of reconciliation with party elders and those that challenged his victory at tribunal and courts.”  Akwu who lamented at the pitiable condition of civil servants in the state urged the governor to take the welfare of civil servants as a priority.

“As I speak with you, about 70 percent of civil servants in the state have not collected salaries for the past seven months.” Akwu suggested that the civil servant verification exercise embarked by the government be overhauled with the view of correcting some anomalies that characterised the exercise since it started.

 Akwu who was the former state secretary of All Progressives Congress (APC) insisted that an all inclusive government would guarantee peace and progress in the state and urged the governor to bring on board those who can help him translate his ideals into reality in the state.