FORMER deputy governorship
candidate of the All Progressives
Congress (APC) in Kogi State,
James Abiodun Faleke, has
given several reasons President
Muhammadu Buhari may lose
the 2019 election in the state.
Faleke, a former campaign
coordinator for Lagos State,
advised President Buhari not to
get carried away by the recent
boastful exclamation from Kogi
State Governor, Yahaya Bello.
Bello had during a visit to the
Presidential Villa, boasted that he
would ensure Kogi delivers more
votes for the president in 2019
than Katsina, his home state.
Faleke said the governor had no
such capacity in view of the level
of his unpopularity in the state.
Faleke wondered how a
governor who has notoriously
neglected the welfare of the
citizens of his state by owing
them several months of unpaid
salaries and pensions; a governor
who cannot even provide basic
infrastructure like water, road,
and hospitals; a governor who
through his ineptitude has
become the most unpopular
governor the state has produced,
can boast of being able to lead the
same citizenry who were daily
dying of hunger to vote en masse
for President Buhari.
In a statement he signed and
made available to newsmen on
Tuesday, Faleke said, “I refer to
a boastful statement creditedto Bello that Kogi State would
garner more votes for President
Buhari in 2019 than Katsina
State and I ask myself why is
the governor fooling himself
thinking he is fooling Nigerians.
“First, the governor has never
contested for any election and won
before. Not even councillorship
election. The governorship seat
he is occupying today, he didn’t
campaign for it. He was simply
gifted the seat, so how can such
a person stand to discuss election
issues?
“How can a governor who is
not registered as a voter in his
state mobilise vote for no less
a person than Mr. President?
How can a governor who has
been indicted by INEC for
fraudulently engaging himself
in double registration lead the
campaign train of Mr. President
across the state with such a moral
stain hanging on his neck?
“What does he know about
mobilisation of people for
elections? So when elections are
being discussed, he should be
told to keep quiet?
“My questions are how will
Kogi under Bello vote more than
Katsina the state of origin of Mr.
President? Is it because of his
zero performance, his wasteful
management of resources in
his state or is it because of the
rampant kidnapping in the
state, incessant killings of labour
leaders and dissenting voices as
compared with Katsina?
“The governor’s Chief of Staff,
Edward Onoja in a video gone
viral had told a labour leader
in the state that he was hitherto
gunning for the labour leader’s
head but that he was lucky to
be present with him in the same
church that day. Is that how to
attract voters to PMB’s Camp?
What achievement is Bello going
to use to campaign?”
“What would be his campaign
ground in Okunland where the
number of civil servants being
daily buried outnumber those
getting married? What about
several other Okun people who
died after being kidnapped on
their way to attend the Governor’s
endless staff verification exercise
in Lokoja?
“Another staff, Sunday Oke,
owed 16 months salaries died in
Kabba, Monday 8th of January
after being unable to pay for his
medicals what is he going to say
about his inability to asphalt or
grade a single road anywhere
in the area? A glaring example
was the recent campaign of the
governor across Okunland where
he could not talk about a single
road, hospital, schools etc.
“He had constructed and
commissioned in the area. Or will
he be proud to mount the podium
in Igala land to tell them about a
non – existent project in the area?
“A cursory look at INEC’s
data base shows that Katsina
and vote is cast, he will get zero
vote from Benue State.
“The law has come into being,
it has prohibited open-grazing
and every citizen must obey this
law. The law has also protected
cattle owners by prohibiting
cattle rustling and providing stiff
penalties. The cattle herders are
bent on disobeying these laws.
“The international community
has to come into it. We are going
to the Embassies, United Nations
and even the International
Criminal Court to ventilate our
grievances. We are taking bold
steps to inform the world that we
are law abiding citizens. We have
no capacity to fight the Fulani
herdsmen; knowing the type of
sophisticated weapons they have,
our rural people cannot fight
them. We want to win this war at
the battle front, we don’t have the
capacity to do that. We will win it
at the international level and at the
federal level.”
Ashiekaa noted that the position
of Benue State House of Assembly
on anti-Open Grazing Bill enacted
was very clear.
He dared the Federal
Government to explain what it
meant by “cattle colonies,” when,
the state government had enacted
laws prohibiting open grazing,
which was resisted by the Miyetti
Allah Cattle Breeders Association
with serious threats.
Ashiekaa said, “The Federal
Government has no right to enact
the law nullifying the law which
has been enacted by the Benue
state government. Under the
constitution, they don’t have the
right. As of now the Benue state
government has enacted laws
prohibiting open grazing. If you
bring the aspect of cattle colony
and it fits into our definition of
ranching, we will accept it. But
as of now there is no definition of
cattle colony.
“Miyetti Allah has come out
severally to say they will disobey
the law; they don’t recognise
the law, the law is against their
interest, so they will not obey it.
Have you ever heard of such a
thing in this country? The issue
is whether or not the Benue State
House of Assembly as a legislature
has a right to enact the law that it
did.”
FORMER deputy governorship
candidate of the All Progressives
Congress (APC) in Kogi State,
James Abiodun Faleke, has
given several reasons President
Muhammadu Buhari may lose
the 2019 election in the state.
Faleke, a former campaign
coordinator for Lagos State,
advised President Buhari not to
get carried away by the recent
boastful exclamation from Kogi
State Governor, Yahaya Bello.
Bello had during a visit to the
Presidential Villa, boasted that he
would ensure Kogi delivers more
votes for the president in 2019
than Katsina, his home state.
Faleke said the governor had no
such capacity in view of the level
of his unpopularity in the state.
Faleke wondered how a
governor who has notoriously
neglected the welfare of the
citizens of his state by owing
them several months of unpaid
salaries and pensions; a governor
who cannot even provide basic
infrastructure like water, road,
and hospitals; a governor who
through his ineptitude has
become the most unpopular
governor the state has produced,
can boast of being able to lead the
same citizenry who were daily
dying of hunger to vote en masse
for President Buhari.
In a statement he signed and
made available to newsmen on
Tuesday, Faleke said, “I refer to
a boastful statement credited
State during the 2015 general
elections had registered voters
figure of 2,827,943 while Kogi
had 1,350,883. So, how does
Bello want to perform the magic
of doubling Kogi’s votes to beat
Katsina? Discerning Nigerians
know better than take him
seriously. The governor likes to
play to the gallery by making
statements he knows are false.
I am sure great minds in the
Presidential Villa, APC leaders
across the nation know better.
“The question is will
President Buhari contest? If
yes, will he win Kogi under
Bello as Chief Campaigner?
“The answer is NO. This is
because he has killed the APC
in the state, demoralised and
dehumanised the citizenry with
his policies, thereby stripping
us of critical campaign issues in
the state. President Buhari can
only win if the governor is not
allowed to lead the campaign.
He will win because of his
record of performance in the
country. Certainly not because
of the performance of Bello.
“For instance, PMB would
not need to campaign in Lagos
and some other South-west
states before he wins. Ditto
States like Kebbi, Sokoto,
Jigawa and some other states in
the North. The performances of
these governors have provided
enough campaign materials for
Mr. President.”

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