Yahaya Bello

OP-UNEDITED | Governor Without Deputy: The Making – By Shomoye Abiodun

By Shomoye Abiodun

Nigerians might be having challenges to easily get the needed dividends of democracy, also easy access to NASS budget might been proofing too difficult but something will never elude my fellow Nigerians on daily or weekly basis and this is the soap opera generously made available regularly by different sector of the country. Recently released was the “governor without deputy episode” that was staged played in the north central area of the country, co-directed by INEC and APC leadership, assuming the lead roles are JA Faleke and Yahaya Bello. As it is known, the conventional reaction by movie lovers after seeing a movie is to gather as much friends as possible to analyze the roles played by all the characters involved in making the movie a successful one and vice versa. On this note, see me as a movie lover and “governor without deputy” as the movie under consideration.

The unfortunate death of Abubakar Audu could be seen as the factor that led to the eventual production of the democratic hilarious but disheartening movie tagged “governor without deputy” which was released from the house of political drama APC. If we can recall, late Audu/Faleke were APC flag bearer for the Kogi state gubernatorial election held on November 21, 2015 before Audu’s death in the early hour of November 22, 2015. It was officially reported that the duo were in the early result and had a significant lead in the gubernatorial contest before the unfortunate demise of Audu. To some populace, the early lead was enough to have declared Audu/Faleke victorious but the returning officer founds their tune not body-shaking enough to dance to. The returning officers went ahead to declare the election inconclusive and ordered a fresh election in the affected 91 polling units across the state. So many dimensions has been introduced to query the decision of returning officer but the most logical one remains the simple arithmetic which majority felt professor Emmanuel founds too difficult to comprehend, they argue thus;

            “Remaining Voters in the Affected units = 49,000

Number of people with PVC = 25,000

Vote margin between APC and PDP = 41,000”

To them, if all the affected polling unit decides to cast their votes for the PDP, APC will still be leading with 16,000 votes and saw no reason why the INEC official would have taken such anti-logic decision to conduct a fresh election when the predicted and glaring outcome to be would not make any difference. To some extent, I will dance to their tune. Prof was to economical with reasoning to some certain extent and I believe prof also would have regretted his decision as the eventual fresh election gave out only 10,000 votes after consuming much resources. Prof Emmanuel Kucha played a major role in the soap opera and must not be excluded but can we really put all blame on prof? Is he not acting in accordance to INEC rules?

After the official announcement of Audu’s death, the expected began, the battle for the vacant juicy position, who will take the glory? The answers became more interesting as different approach with rule of law as their standing point surfaced. Without wasting much time, Faleke linked up with the Audu’s first son but this time the flag bearing order has changed from Audu/Faleke to Faleke/Audu (hilarious though). Within someone’s (Yahaya Bello) heart, popular Korede Bello’s hit song (Godwin) was on repeat as the bell of who to takes over was swinging to his aside as well. As a seasoned politician, a financially buoyant one again, I predicted Faleke was not just sitting and expecting easy ride to the government house, consultations would have been initiated, SANS and lawyers would have been contacted, to proof me right, couples of hours after the burial of late Audu, JA Faleke came out to request for the mandate. One section of the constitution that gave Hon Faleke such outrageously bold move is the section 181(1) of the constitution which says:

“if a person duly elected as Governor dies before taking oath of allegiance and oath of office or is unable for any reason whatsoever to be sworn in, the person elected with him as deputy governor shall be sworn in as governor and he shall nominate a new deputy governor with approval of simple majority of the house of assembly of the state”

But to some who are also involved in this very logical and sensitive battle, the anti-logic decision by the returning officer has negated this as Audu/Faleke was not officially declared as the winner before the demise of Pa Audu. To my barrister friends who are also co-viewer of the soap opera, is the section still useful in Faleke’s favor?

As it is known, separating emotional, moral perspective from this debacle will be too difficult to handle and as such, response from the emotionally generous people have been constructed in question form. As a 20years old writer, my depth of experience on issue might not be dip enough to provide generally acceptable response to the questions, therefore there is need to share them with my co-viewer:

Will Pa Audu have died if he had not gone through the electioneering stress?

Are people considering the family left behind by Pa Audu?

Should his efforts be seen as charity to Bello Favor?

Was Bello loyal to the party stand during the electioneering process?

Did Bello canvass votes for the Audu/Faleke?

Is it now possible to reap where you did not sow?

As a response to the above questions, those tagged as being “Emotionally Callous” responded with some salient questions as well:

Is Faleke familiar with kogi state’s political structure?

Did he participate in the party’s primary election?

What about the ethnic related shenanigans?

Some sees the former as being too morally inclined and others sees the latter as being too principle inclined while the neutrals are left flummoxed. As the battle continues, the party had to make decision within a short period of time as stipulated by INEC. Eventually, the party’s decision favored the latter on the basis that Faleke did not legally participate in the party’s primary election and if chosen might subject the party to defeat if challenged by the second runner up.

All these factor summing up from anti-logic decision of the returning officer to Faleke’s assumed judicial favor, to the “morally inclined” people’s perspective with no exemption of the “principle inclined” people’s perspective and finally to the presume biased decision of the party leader led to the production of the soap opera tagged “Governor without a deputy” that was witnessed in Kogi state on January 27, 2016.

From the not totally objective perspective of mine, I see this as another display of immature internal reconciliation process from the change inclined ruling political party and such should not be harbor in a democratic setting. It is a shambolic display and it should be unanimously condemn by the real lovers of democracy. Thanks.


Shomoye Abiodun can be contacted on Twitter via @95icon



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