BARRING any unforeseen circumstances, 40-year-old Alhaji Yahaya Adoza Bello will tomorrow, at the Confluence Stadium, Lokoja, the state capital, be sworn-in as Governor of Kogi State.
Two motions for the interlocutory injunction to stop the inauguration were thrown out by the Kogi State governorship Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Lokoja.
Meanwhile, there are indications that Mr. Gowon Egbunu may emerge as deputy governor to Bello.
It was learnt that Egbunu who hails from the Eastern Senatorial district of the state was unanimously nominated as the preferred deputy governorship candidate by key stakeholders of the party in the Kogi East Senatorial zone.
A statement signed by Chairman, Media/ Publicity Committee for the Inauguration Isiaq Ajibola and made available to The Guardian in Lokoja yesterday said President Muhammadu Buhari, Vice President Yemi Osibanjo and Senate President Bukolá Saraki are expected to grace the inauguration along with members of the national and state assemblies, governors, ministers and captains of industry.
Tribunal chairman, Justice Halima Mohammed in her ruling that paved the way for Bello’s inauguration, dismissed the motions, saying that though the tribunal has jurisdiction contrary to insinuations, however the motions were not contained in the original petitions but motion on notice.
She explained that granting the motions filled by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Labour Party will definitely affect the life of the original case before it.
She noted that the motions seeking the order of the tribunal to stop Bello’s inauguration as governor of the state did not form part of the case before the tribunal.
The nomination of Egbunu, a Christian, indigene of Ofu Local Council from Aloji Ward and an Abuja based publisher and politician, was contained in a six-page letter addressed to Bello, the governor-elect.
The letter was also signed by Dr. Yakubu Ugwalawo, the Leader and Senatorial Coordinator, Hassan Haruna , Yahaya Menyaga and Prince Isah Abdullahi, all zonal coordinators and nine other local government coordinators.
In the letter, copies of which were sent to the National Chairman of All Progressives Congress, (APC) and other top national leaders of the party, the coordinators pointed out that the nomination of Mr. Egbunu was based on the fact that he is tested, matured, creative and dogged.
“The impasse, which characterized the issue of the deputy governorship candidate is common knowledge and we wish to recommend a candidate for your consideration after due consultations with leaders and other stakeholders across the Senatorial District.
“In order to pacify the people of Ofu Local Council of the late Prince Audu and also to douse the current volatile political situation in the Senatorial District, it has become imperative to consider the Local Council for the deputy governorship slot.
“The coordinators stressed further that Mr. Egbunu, by his pedigree, has been adjudged to be a man of principle, hardworking, imaginative, philanthropic, adding that a man with such attributes will be of great asset to Alhaji Yahaya Bello’s administration.
A serving House of Representatives member, James Faleke, who was the deputy governorship candidate picked by the APC to run with Alhaji Yahaya Bello, turned down the nomination, on the basis that he should have been declared the governor-elect of the state with the votes on ground after the demise of late Prince Abubakar Audu. Whose running mate he was before the election was declared inconclusive upon Audu’s sudden death.