Power Shift:Top Kogi West, Central Leaders Hold Marathon Meetings, Mull Alternative Parties.

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By Muhammad Ohunene Simbiyat

Clear signs of impending commotion in the rank of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in Kogi State emerged midweek over this year’s governorship election in the state, as agitators for power shift to Kogi West have other plans should their demand not met.

Although, Governor Yahaya Bello has yet to endorse his successor, there are fears in Kogi West Senatorial District that he might support a candidate from Kogi Central, his home base for additional eight years. These fears were heightened by the convoluted matter the state delegates were selected and the purchase of nomination and expression of intent forms for the APC primaries by top functionaries of Bello’s government, especially from the Central.

Hence, agitators for rotation of power to Kogi West drawn from across the three senatorial districts of the state are not letting matters lie low.

Consequently, it was gathered that a combination of key stakeholders of the APC and PDP from Kogi West and Central are working on alternative parties to should the governor eventually settle for an Ebira successor. This is as no PDP member has indicated interest in the governorship from the Central.

According to an inside source, this coming weekend, leaders from Kogi West zone have scheduled a meeting to take place in Abuja to take a position on the 2023 governorship election in Kogi State. The fulcrum of the meeting is to ensure that Kogi West produces the next governor. Part of the game plan, the source further revealed, was to seek alternatives to the APC and PDP, if either of the two leading parties are unwilling to concede its ticket to Kogi West.

“As I speak to you, they are considering the options of Social Democratic Party or Labour Party. The combination of politicians involved counted on the fact that Kogi West had a 50-50 chance with Kogi Central to produce the governorship in 2015 when Hon James Faleke was denied his joint ticket with the late Prince Abubakar Audu.

“After eight years of Yahaya Bello, it is only right that the governorship moves to Kogi West. Anything short of it will be an injustice”.

“I can tell you that as we speak a combination of key politicians from Kogi West and Central who believe the governorship should go to West are planning to sponsor a candidate in another party. These people have met in Lagos, they have met in Abuja. Meanwhile as this is happening top Kogi West leaders, including top politicians, successful businessmen and retired top government functionaries will be meeting in Abuja this weekend to take a position and make a pronouncement. If you look at it, the PDP is not fielding any candidate for the governorship from the Central because they are of the opinion that the governorship should move to West. And the argument was that the doctrine that made Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu to emerge as the presidential candidate of the PDP was on the basis of fairness by the northern leaders. If the northern political leaders had not done that, Asiwaju wouldn’t have emerged and that would have been too bad. It is the same doctrine that top politicians from the Central have applied in Kogi State that it has become imperative to allow Kogi West produce the next governor of the state to ensure equity, fairness and justice.

“They see the need for the West and Central to come together because BVAS technology used in the February presidential polls has exposed the figures on display in the 2019 general elections.

“The alternative party will either be Labour Party or Social Democratic Party. What appointees of Governor Yahaya Bello who are buying forms from Central do not realise is that their actions constitute a looming danger to APC in Kogi State and the consequences can be imagined”.

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