Kogi Polls: Audu’s Campaign Organisation Roots For His Son To Replace Him

The campaign organisation of  late Abubakar Audu, the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Kogi State who died on Sunday when he was waiting for the result having lead with reasonable margin during the election has started rooting for his son Mohammed to replace him on the ballot.

Audu died a few hours after the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declared the election inconclusive.

The deceased had polled 240,867 votes in the election while his closest competitor and incumbent governor Idris Wada of the Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP)  scored 199,514 votes. But INEC declared the election inconclusive because the number of registered voters in areas where the election couldn’t hold was more than the margin between the top two contenders.
INEC had ruled that the party should pick a replacement for the deceased in the supplementary election. The APC has said that a primary will be conducted to pick Audu’s replacement in the supplementary election.

A source told the Punch that the political structure of Audu, which is still intact despite his death is said to be the most influential in the state. According to the source, nobody could win the state governorship primary of the APC without the backing of Audu’s supporters.

The source said, “Abubakar Audu’s supporters, including his campaign structure, are rooting for either Audu’s son, Mohammed, or James Faleke for them not to lose out entirely. They are narrowing it to either Faleke or Mohammed because the APC machinery believes that the election has been won. But the party elders and leaders, who worked for him, will be more comfortable with Mohammed.

Also in support of the replacement of Audu with his son is  a former Governor of Cross River State, Chief Clement Ebri. Ebri called on the national leadership of the APC to consider fielding one of the children of the late Audu as a replacement.

Ebri, who was the governor of the state between 1992 and 1993, said Audu was fortunate to have  adult children, who were capable of filling the vacuum created by Audu’s demise.

“I agree that this is a democracy and not a monarchy; but to my knowledge, more than one of the late Audu’s children have the capacity to take up the ticket. I have seen them and I know them to have the capacity. So, why the party is still thinking of what to do, here is a suggestion – put another Audu in there.

“In 1991, when we were running our elections, Dr. Joe Nwodo was disqualified and the party got his younger brother to replace him. That was Ekwezelieze Nwodo, who did a great job.

“I am sure that the circumstance we have today dictates that we even consider that. By that way, the labour of the late Audu, who had never given up and had sacrificed for his people, will not be in vain.”

Meanwhile, at least four other contestants have started lobbying to emerge as a replacement for Audu in the supplementary election on December 5.


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