Wednesday, March 29, 2017 3:56 am
Richard Elesho/ Lokoja
The member representing Ikeja Federal Constituency, Lagos in the House of Representatives, Hon. Abiodun James Faleke has reiterated his loyalty to national leader of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Sen. Bola Ahmed Tinubu and declared that he owe no apologies to anyone for being a strong supporter of the former Lagos State Governor.. Faleke declared this recently during an interactive session with journalists.
Th e lawmaker, who doubled as running mate to late Abubakar Audu in the last Kogi governorship election, was reacting to the accusation that many people see him as an appendage of Tinubu and that he is disconnected from political events in his home state of Kogi. “I don’t know what they mean by appendage. I am a loyalist of Tinubu. He earned my loyalty a long time ago and I have no apologies to make to anyone for that. Yes, it is true that I started and built my political career in Lagos, courtesy of the former Governor’s statesmanship.”
Faleke said he did not originally set out to play politics in Lagos. He recalled that his first assignment in the state was as a youth corps member. He noted that in the course of the national assignment and thereafter God used the former Governor to impart positively on his life. He described the APC national leader is a “detribalized Nigerian who did not care about where you come from but treats every one on merit.”
“I was a Local Government Chairman, not just any Local Government, but Ikeja, the state capital and Senator Tinubu’s Local Government. I was also the chairman of all the chairmen and now a member of the House of Representatives. If anyone thinks that I need to abuse Senator Tinubu or turn against him in the name of politics before I can be Governor…you have missed it.”
Faleke argued that those who said Tinubu brought him on the APC governorship ticket to do his bidding, were ignorant of the finer qualities of Tinubu. He said Tinubu’s political influence had helped in winning governorship elections in Lagos, Ogun, Ekiti, Osun and more recently in Ondo States without making inordinate demands on the process. “What Kogi State missed in the futility of our effort, to be govern the State, is the quality of advise that could have been available to our government through Senator Tinubu.”
Faleke agreed that although he had been more politically active in Lagos, he has always been in touch with the grassroots in Kogi State. He said in 2011 when the late Audu was flag bearer of the then Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN he (Faleke) went home and directed his supporters to vote for him and that enabled the late politician to win his Local Government then. He further said that his popularity and association with the electorates in Kogi West was partly responsible for the success of the APC in the area during the last governorship election.
He eulogized the late Audu describing him as a man who put his energy into whatever he did. “If Audu want to fight you, he would fight with everything he had. Conversely, if he loved you, he will also do so with all his energy.” He said the late politician remained strong throughout the campaigns and described his death as “an act of God.”