The All Progressives Congress (APC) stakeholders in Kogi State at the weekend urged President Muhammadu Buhari to save the state by withdrawing support for the second term ambition of Governor Yahaya Bello.
The stakeholders, under the auspices of Kogi Emancipation Movement (KEM), urged the President not to release “any form of budget support” to Yahaya “between now and November when the governorship election will take place.”
They warned that the party would lose the election if it fielded Bello, because “the governor had nothing on which to anchor his second term quest.”
The group in a statement signed by its Convener, Apostle Eniola Williams, said it was “strange that Buhari and other leaders of the party at both national and state level have continued to show public support for, and even endorsement of Governor Yahaya Bello.”
According to it, Bello’s “only visible achievement is the obsolete street lights; even the revenue house that was commissioned by His Eminence, Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Saad Abubakar, the contractor is yet to be paid.”
The group claimed that “Contrary to a claim that Kogi State civil servants were being owed “only a few months salaries, the truth is that Governor Yahaya Bello does not pay workers their salaries by imposing a three-year lingering screening without end. And when he deigns to do that, he pays them in fractions and trickles. Consequently, he is owing 75 percent of state and local government genuine workers more than 40 months salaries.”
According to Williams, many Kogi civil servants “have died chasing their hard earned pay, while those who survived up to this moment are stuck between poor or little pay, or late and badly fictionalized pay.
“We therefore warn that APC will be thoroughly defeated if it fields Governor Yahaya Bello for the November 16, 2019 governorship poll in the state.
“He has done or said nothing to earn his party’s offer of right of first refusal.
“We feel strongly that the governor will not win the poll if he is fielded, but even if he could, he still should not run because of his dismal performance in his first term.”
The group cautioned President Buhari and the party hierarchy not to be deceived by Governor Bello’s assurances that he had the “tactics” to win, “such as he…deployed during the last presidential and legislative polls.”
It emphasized that “any attempt to field the incumbent governor will result in humiliating defeat for the APC as was the case in Adamawa and Bauchi States earlier in the year. “
The group urged the President, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, APC Chairman Adams Oshiomole, National Leader of the party, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, “stalwarts from the state like Hajiya Salamatu Baiwa, Barrister Babatunde Irukera, Folasade Joseph” … to ensure that “a governor so unpopular…is not allowed to belittle the flag of the party by becoming its standard-bearer. “
The statement added: “The millions of people from Kogi are hopeless and helpless and their fate is in the hands of these people and what they do to save the state and repair their own reputation. History and judgment await all in the future for actions or inactions.”