From Segun Ojo , Lokoja
The emergence of Hon James Abiodun Faleke as the running mate of late Prince Abubakar Audu, the then Gubernatorial candidate of the All Progressives Congress in November 21, 2015 Governorship Election was not without hitches as the party stakeholders then were not happy to receive the news of his nominations as the running mate to late Audu because he was not known in the political landscape of the state hence it took the intervention of Prince Abubakar Audu himself to pacify those concern to bear with him, before his nomination received some sorts of support from the party members.
It was as a result of that mixed feelings that made Senator Dino Melaye to work against his emergence as a substantive Governor when Late Abubakar Audu died a day after the election even when the party was already coasting to victory – a situation that triggered the anti-party and unending bitterness against Governor Yahaya Bello’s administration by James Abiodun Faleke which he has transferred to all members of the new direction team.
Though it was not the fault of Governor Yahaya Bello that Hon Faleke could not become the Governor of Kogi State then having a joint ticket with the candidate of the party who emerged through primary election of the party, but it was a constitutional lacuna that debarred him from assuming the status of his boss since the election was still underway then, instead of the Lagos based lawmaker to let go, he harboured and is still harbouring grudges against the administration which is what led him to be sponsoring opposition parties in the state just to distract the governing party.
It is an open secret that after the Supreme Court delivered the landmark judgement in 2017, declaring Yahaya Bello as the duly elected Governor of the state, Faleke went on rampage to be sponsoring opposition parties, he first started with APDA and later ADC which he still maintains till today.
It is to be noted that though himself and Audu’s eldest son, Muhammad are no longer together but some members of Audu political family are still loyal to him and believe in his guidance politically with the hope that he will contest the APC governorship Primary this week but he declined on the ground that he could not abandon national interest for personal interest. If so, the question begging for answer is : do we now ask if the interests of his people are not worthwhile?
However, because of his political misfortune of the 2015, he was said to have vowed not to have anything to do with Governor Yahaya Bello and his people politically which is why since 2019, he has been sponsoring ADC, using Leke Abejide in Yagba Federal Constituency as most of the money he spent and opportunities available for Leke are being provided by Faleke to prove a point.
This can be attested to with the invitation of Leke Abejide, an ADC member to attend APC Kogi West meeting held at the PCC headquarters in Abuja in December and also when Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu was in Lokoja for the presidential campaign rally. What else can we say? No wonder the ADC state chairman, Mr Kingsley Ogga, has set up a disciplinary committee to look into the anti party activities of Faleke boy, Leke Abejide who was accused of deliberately abandoning his party and running after another party which is a grievous political offence.
That is why he has continued to show his bitterness at the slightest opportunity, especially his role as the Secretary of the PCC, he made sure that members of the Kogi State Government were not considered for appointments in various committees of the Presidential Campaign Committee untill Governor Yahaya Bello protested before the amendment was made, even to all the candidates of the party across the state Faleke never released the election funds to them directly instead he gave it to his ADC members who in turn used the funds to work against APC candidates especially in Kogi West.
It is on records that the votes APC got for Tinubu/Shettima in the state were without James Faleke’s input because by his arrangements, he wanted the state to fail in order to rubbish the governor that he has no capacity to deliver.
It was also alleged that he was behind the black market announcement of the ADC candidate as the winner of KBI Federal Constituency despite that the election was declared inconclusive. He used the Director General of the PCC, Governor Solomon Lalong who used his links to prevail on the Kogi State INEC Rec who hailed from Plateau State. Though the case is already before the competent court of judirition for adjudication.
If truly Hon James Faleke loves his people as he claimed, he would have returned to Kogi to be part of the political developments of the state instead of standing afar to cause disaffection in the state.
There is no doubt that posterity will first judge him for abandoning the people to their fate and then for all his roles against Governor Yahaya Bello who made strenuous effort to reposition the state for the betterment of all.
Some political analysts once described the actions of Faleke as someone who is selfish and doesn’t want any other politicians from Kogi state to be as close to Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu aside him, that is why he is making frantic efforts to be sponsoring opposition parties in the state, a situation where Kogi will be seen in bad light.
With all these facts stated above, Faleke cannot deny the facts that he is not the one behind the ADC as a party in Kogi state, though he will soon know weather the party can win Governorship Election or not.
How Faleke Fails his party and kinsmen Smart Adeyemi to introduce Leke Abejide of ADC to Tinubu as the chosen one of Kogi West.