Audu’s Death: Why APC may not win in Kogi State

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Audu’s Death: Why APC may not win in Kogi State

Audu’s Death: Why APC may not win in Kogi State
November 23
13:42 2015

Olaoluwa Ayodele
Following the unexpected death of Prince Abubakar Audu , the APC gubernatorial candidate in the inconclusive Saturday 21 November elections in Kogi State, INEC has announced that there will be a re-run of the election in the state, though it is yet to give a specific date. Audu died on Sunday 22, November of a yet to be disclosed ailment.
Since his death there has been a controversy over who becomes the new APC gubernatorial candidate. Most are saying Abiodun Faleke should replace Prince Audu since he was Audu’s running mate. If the late Audu had been declared winner of the November 21 election, then Faleke would have automatically become the governor, but will the party hierarchy in the state be comfortable with this arrangement?
Since Kogi state was created in 1991, there has been no Yoruba/Okun-speaking governor in Kogi State. Apart from Clarence Olafemi who was the acting governor of Kogi State in Feburary 2008 till March 2008 when the election of Ibrahim Idris was anulled.
There are three main ethnic groups in Kogi State: Igala, Ebira, Okun. The Igala are the majority, constituting more than 50 per cent of Kogi State’s population while the Okun are the minority.
Faleke unfortunately happens to be an Okun man from Ekinrin Adde, Ijumu Local Government. The Igala, that make up the majority in the state have sworn never to let an Okun man rule them.
Most of the votes APC got during the inconclusive gubernatorial election was based on Prince Audu’s popularity and his achievements while in office. His socio-economic contribution to the state is a reference, including as many attest to, his generosity.
The late Prince Audu established the Kogi State University during his tenure as the first civilian governor of the state (1999-2003). Unfortunately, Abiodun Faleke does not have that popularity.The big question is: who will vote in James Faleke against all this odds?

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