Thursday, January 5, 2017 8:30 am
By Jamiu Yisa
The Kogi State All Progressives Congress (APC) has lashed out at those behind the report purportedly credited to the state wing of the party which disparaged Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
The masterminds were described as fifth columnists in the party, who lacked the locus standi to speak for it but out to cause disharmony among members.
In the report, the leadership of the party reportedly vowed to clip the wings of APC chieftain Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and the running mate to the late Prince Abubakar Audu in the November 21 governorship election in the Confluence State, James Faleke.
Alhaji Suleman Ejibunuq and Chief Richard Asaje, who signed the purported report, said the party would frustrate Tinubu’s support for Faleke as replacement for the former Minister of Labour & Productivity, James Ocholi, who died in a road crash.
But the party in a statement by all members of its State Executive Council led by the Chairman, Alhaji Haddy A. Ametuo, said that APC members have no reason to disparage Asiwaju Tinubu and that President Muhammadu Buhari will be supported to pick anybody, including Faleke, into the Federal Executive Council (FEC).
Other signatories are: Shaibu Osune (Deputy Chairman); Adejoh Abdusalam (Secretary); Isah Daniel (vice Chairman, East); Gbenga Asagun (Vice Chairman, West); Ibrahim A Ahovi (Vice Chairman, Central); Isah Abubakar (Organising Secretary); Ghali Inda Usman (Publicity Secretary); Joseph Molemodile (Legal Adviser) and Abubakar Adamu (Welfare Officer).
Others are: Sekpe Daniel (Financial Secretary); Ismaila Ade Yahaya (Deputy Deputy Treasurer); Abdulkadir Yahaya (Deputy Treasurer); Yusuf Okara (Asdsistant Welfare Officer); Bozi Attai (Assistant Financial Secretary); Muhammed S. Lawal (Assistant Organising Secretary); Zakari Adamu (Assistant Youth Leader); Makinde Oyebode (Zonal Youth Leader, West); Nuhu Akwu (Zonal Youth Leader, East) and Jone One (Zonal Women Leader, East) among others.
Their statement reads: “Our attention has been drawn to a publication in the punch newspaper of the 3rd of January, 2017, page 18 by some self-styled APC leaders of the western senatorial district of Kogi State threatening to cause crisis in the party if the president nominates Hon. James Abiodun Faleke as the replacement for the late Barrister James Ocholi as the minister representing Kogi State in the Federal cabinet.
“From our records at all levels in the state, these self-styled leaders – Alhaji Suleman Ejibunuq and Chief Richard Asaje are ghost members of our great party. They, therefore have no ‘locus standi’ to speak for the party at any level.
“Chief Richard Asaje worked for Accord candidates in the state and National Assemblies elections, President Jonathan in the presidential election and the PDP’s Capt. Idris Wada in the governorship election.
“This same Asaje sold his church building only to use the proceeds to build a hotel in Obajana. This man does not have the moral credibility to be taken seriously.
“President Muhammadu Buhari has the constitutional power to choose whosoever he deem fit as his cabinet member without consulting anyone or group and if he so decides to choose Hon. Faleke as his minister nominee, we strongly support his choice. Hon. James Faleke has been a strong financier and pillar of our party in the state since inception.
“We the entire members of the state exco respect the power of the president to freely choose whoever he wants to serve in his cabinet, Hon. Faleke inclusive.
“We also respect the national leadership of Asinaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu whose support and influence traverses the national structures of the party.
“We the undersigned members of Kogi State exco of APC strongly condemn the purported publication by these ‘ghost members of APC’”.