A Northern group under the aegis of The Northern Patriots & Progressives Alliance, NPPA has called on the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC to withdraw the Certificate of Return issued to Yahaya Bello and return Hon James Faleke as the duly elected governor of Kogi State.
The group argued that, the spirit behind nominating a running mate before conduct of an election should be considered and the running mate to the deceased candidate be declared winner.
NPPA in a press release signed by its Publicity Secretary, Dr. Gabriel Adams in Kaduna, feared that though, suits filed by aggrieved interests remains the only legitimate option towards amicable resolution of the disputes because parties involved (the INEC, APC, WADA & FALEKE) all acted based on respective established laws, outcome of the litigations may create another lacuna.
According to the group, “while we all await judicial proclamations and without prejudice to the ongoing judicial process on the Kogi matter, but for the benefit of clarity, we like to draw the attentions of those saying the constitution of Nigerian did not envisage the Kogi scenario to the spirit behind nominating a running mate before conduct of an election.
“Thus, if the experience of the last governorship election in Kogi State was truly unanticipated by the constitution as presented in certain quarters, nomination to the position of vice or deputy as the case maybe would have taken the form of appointment after elections are concluded.
“But since the electoral law provided for a presidential or governorship candidate to produce a running mate to be eligible to contest such election, it becomes a case which must be given serious consideration.
“As a group that firmly believes and is committed to the principle of democracy and the rules of law, we hasten to use this medium to urge INEC to be courageous and magnanimous enough to withdraw the Certificate of Return earlier issued Yahaya Bello and return Hon James Faleke as the duly elected governor of Kogi State.
“This is in order to avert unwarranted and prolonged litigation likely to create another political lacuna, which is similar to the case of former Governor Ibrahim Idris whom, rather than a tenure of a total of eight years spent over nine years in office at the expense of tax payers in Kogi State.
“Accordingly, the spirit behind nomination of a running mate before and not after conduct of an election as highlighted above must necessarily be considered to amicably resolve this matter.
“After all, electoral votes are usually in favour of the party and not the candidate as was the case involving former Governor Amaechi and Omehia in River State judgment of the Supreme Court of Nigeria.
“For the records, the Northern Patriots and Progressives Alliance is a group dedicated to the ideals of democracy, cultural revival, sustainable peace, security, the administration of social justice across northern Nigeria also known as Arewa.
“In conclusion, this group likes to call on all stakeholders particularly the aggrieved to eschew personal interests or primordial sentiments on matters that concern the citizens and the development of our society.
“We must therefore at all times develop a discerning mind to help vulnerable amongst us understand beyond official definition of every political action. This is the only way to guarantee meaningful democracy and aspirations for a worthy future. It’s all about the common sense as Distinguished Senator Ben Murray Bruce would always say,” the group stated.


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