27 Aspirants In Race To Replace Audu As Supporters Push For Son As Replacement
There are indications that no fewer than 27 aspirants are gearing up to fill the vacuum created by the death of the All Progressives Congress governorship candidate in November 21 polls in Kogi State, Prince Abubakar Audu and clinch the party’s ticket in the re-arranged primaries to be conducted by the APC.
It will be recalled that the Independent National Elector*l Commission (INEC) has asked the APC to replace its late candidate for the supplementary election scheduled for December 5.
Audu died on Sunday, a few hours after the Independent National Elector*l Commission declared the November 21 governorship poll in the state inconclusive.
The deceased had polled 240,867 votes in the election while the Peoples Democratic Party’s candidate and incumbent state Governor, Capt. Idris Wada (retd.), scored 199,514 votes, leaving a gap of 41,353 votes between the two leading candidates in the election.
INEC had declared the election inconclusive on the grounds that cancelled votes or registered voters in the 91 polling units, where the exercise did not take place were 49,953, a figure higher than Audu’s lead of 41,353 votes.
Some of the aspirants on from the three senatorial districts are: Alhaji Yahaya Bello, Senator Abatemi Usman, Alhaji Sanusi Abubakar (Gamji), Adinoyi Onukaba-Ojo and Sadiq Adaba (Kogi Central); Suleiman Baba Ali, Otunba Suleiman Lanre, Dr Yakeen Abdullahi, Rotimi Obadofin, Olusola Olumoroti and Clarence Obafemi (Kogi West) and Sani Shu’aibu, Air Vice Marshal Atawodi Saliu, Hadiza Ibrahim, Abdullahi Suleiman, Yakubu Mohammed, Senator Yahaya Ugbane, James Ocholi (SAN), Abutu Ejeh, Hussain Idris, Sunday Edibo, Dr. Tim Nda Diche, Aliyu Jiya, Alex Kadiri and Usman Mainyanga (Kogi East).
In a similar vein, the campaign organisation of the late Kogi State governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Alhaji Abubakar Audu, are rooting for the emergence of the deceased’s son, Mohammed, as a replacement for his father.
According to reports, the APC hawks in the late Audu’s campaign organisation want Mohammed Audu to join the race.
A source within the camp said “Abubakar Audu’s supporters, including his campaign structure, are rooting for either Audu’s son, Mohammed, or James Faleke for them not to lose out entirely. They are narrowing it to either Faleke or Mohammed because the APC machinery believes that the election has been won. But the party elders and leaders, who worked for him, will be more comfortable with Mohammed.
The spokesperson for the APC in Kogi State, Abdulmalik Suleiman, said, “We are mourning. This is the time for sober reflection and we are praying for our late leader and icon. At the appropriate time, the public will know because APC has a way of solving its issues and problems.”
According to him, nobody could win the state governorship primary of the APC without the backing of Audu’s supporters.