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OKUN GROUP INSISTS ON AUDU/FALEKE MANDATE

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Prominent leaders of Okun extraction in Kogi West senatorial district of Kogi State, under the auspices of Okun Development Association (ODA), have insisted on the Audu/Faleke ticket and nothing else.

The ODA is the largest non-political umbrella body of leaders from the west senatorial district where late Alhaji Abubakar Audu’s running mate, Hon. James Faleke, hails from.

In a statement rejecting the position taken in a meeting purportedly convened by the former Speaker of the House of Assembly, Chief Clarence Olafemi, with National Assembly member representing Kogi West in the Senate, Senator Dino Melaye and Kogi West All Progressives Congress (APC), Chairman, Chief Sam Asagun at Lokoja, Kogi State capital on the situation after the election debacle, the ODA chairman, Chief Akere Owoniyi, described the communiqué released at the end of the meeting as “standing logic on its head.”

At the meeting, some leaders from the West, particularly Senator Melaye, were said to have advanced the party supremacy idea in resolving the quagmire that trailed Audu’s sudden death – suggesting that the people should support Alhaji Yahya Bello who the APC National Working Committee (NWC) picked as Audu’s replacement.

But describing the Lokoja debate as a “sad reflection of the traits of self-styled leaders and elders in Okunland, Owoniyi said real leaders of the people from the district had earlier held a different meeting where far-reaching decisions were taken on the subject matter.

“The genuine stakeholders of Kogi West in a meeting held on December 8, 2015 in Kabba; the political headquarters of Kogi West, made their position clear on the Kogi election imbroglio. All those present unanimously expressed their unpreparedness to accept the position of the national leadership of the APC on this issue and assured Hon. Faleke of their unalloyed support in the quest to actualise the mandate the Audu/Faleke ticket was given by the people of Kogi State,” Owoniyi said.

According to him, “The phantom meeting at Lokoja, if it actually held, is believed to be nothing but a gathering of mercantilists and opportunists.

“The amusing request by these supposed elders to be allowed to produce and present a replacement for the deputy governor position reasonably rejected by Hon. James Faleke is a pointer to the real purpose of the meeting and the intention and interests of its conveners.”

Then on the issue of party supremacy being advocated, he said it is astonishing that Senator Melaye, who was part of those that ignored party directives in the national assembly leadership saga is now an apostle of party supremacy.

Owoniyi maintained that “the hijacked mandate of the Audu/Faleke ticket is beyond any individual and all hands must be on deck to retrieve same from the usurpers and their sponsors through the instrumentality of the law,” stressing that “we are resolute in our support for Faleke in his quest to actualise his mandate through the court.

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