The National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, APC, John Odigie-Oyegun has explained that the party decided to pick Yahaya Bello, the current governor-elect to replace late Abubakar Audu in order to avoid “legal pitfalls”.
Speaking during a reconciliatory meeting with all relevant APC groups from Kogi east district on Thursday in Abuja, Mr. Odigie-Oyegun said the party took the decision knowing that some persons might feel offended but quickly added that the decision was taken in the best interest “of a group that was on the doorstep of victory”.
“So in the circumstance, we did what we interpreted legally as the best way out of the jam we were in, always having our eyes on the Peoples Democratic Party and what they may likely bring up in court,” he said.
“INEC asked us to replace the late Prince Abubakar Audu, good! Which one can we defend better if they go to court. That was the basis of our decision. But of course it created understandable anguish.
Kogi east is where the late Audu came from and they had produced governors in the state in every democratic dispensation since the state was created.
Many party stalwarts in the area had wanted the party to be led by the son of the late Mr. Audu, Mohammed, to replace his father as a form of compensation.
“So what we are trying to do is to say we know you are badly bruised, we hope tempers are cooling down. We hope we can now talk about the next steps that will restore some semblance of normalcy all over Kogi state.
“In politics everybody works for his own inheritance. It is not passed on from father to child. Of course the father can help the child no question about that. The child can benefit from the father’s influence, personality and the rest. But he has to earn it. Politics is not an inheritance,” the APC chairman told the group.
The delegation to the meeting was led by the Kogi state APC Chairman, Haddy Amefuo, as well as some Kogi East political leaders.
The APC chairman assured the late Audu political family that they would play important roles in the political arrangements in Kogi state.
PREMIUM TIMES gathered that a meeting between the APC leadership and “core” members of the late Audu political family would hold soon.
We also learnt that those expected to attend that meeting are Daniel Isah, Director General, Abubakar Audu Campaign Organisation and zonal Vice Chairman of the APC; Mohammed Audu, son of the late candidate; former Minister, Humphrey Abbah; amongst others.
Kogi state APC Chairman, Haddy Amefuo in a short remark after the meeting said the leaders from the zone has decided to stand by the decision of the party’s leadership and close ranks.