|Late Abubakar Audu|
Leaders of the All Progressives Congress from Kogi East Senatorial District have adopted the late Abubakar Audu’s son, Mohammed, as the district’s sole candidate for fresh governorship primaries in the state. Audu had died on Sunday, a day after Saturday’s governorship election, which was declared inconclusive by the Returning Officer of the election, Prof. Emmanuel Kucha.
The Zonal Chairman, APC in Kogi East Senatorial District, Isah Daniel, informed journalists of the decision of leaders of the senatorial district in Lokoja on Thursday. Daniel, who read the communique of a meeting by the leadership of the Kogi East APC, explained that the decision to support Muhammed was taken after due consultation with the party executives, delegates and stakeholders from the eastern part of the state.
He added that the decision was taken as compensation for Audu and to sustain the prevailing peace, unity and progress of APC in the state. He said, “After due consideration by the eastern stakeholders, delegates and members of the party, we resolved that Mohammed Abubakar Audu be considered under special waiver following the circumstances that gave room for the fresh primaries.”
Audu’s death had left the Independent Electoral Commission in a dilemma with lawyers disagreeing over the right course of action as both the electoral act and the Constitution did not provide for such a situation. The results of the election had shown that he scored a total of 240,867 votes and won majority votes in 16 local government areas, while the incumbent governor and candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Capt. Idris Wada, got 199,514 votes and majority votes in five local government areas.
INEC had on Tuesday decided to allow the APC replace Audu and to hold supplementary election in 91 polling units were elections were cancelled on December 6.
The PDP has, however, condemned the decision accusing INEC of bias. It said the right thing to do was for INEC to declare its candidate, Wada, as winners arguing that Audu’s death meant that the APC had crashed out of the election.
The spokesperson to the late Audu, Mr. Abdulmalik Suliaman, told PUNCH in a phone interview that the endorsement of Audu’s son a development that would move the party forward. He said, “Mohammed presently is preoccupied with receiving visitors who are coming to pay condolence as the third day prayer was held on Wednesday.
“Mohammed is looking forward to the seventh day prayer, which is coming up on Sunday. But then Mohammed is more than qualified to lead the state. I believe the whole APC family will be happy about the decision of Kogi East Senatorial APC leaders. “He is more than qualified. He has what it takes to lead tthe state. I believe the entire APC leadership and Kogi people will be happy at such decision coming from the eastern flank.”