Ahead of the November 16 governorship election in Kogi and Bayelsa states, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has promised to give free, fair and level playing ground to those aspiring for elective positions on its platform in the coming elections.
The party’s position is hinged on the apprehension expressed by some of the aspirants in Kogi State who are worried that a particular aspirant has been endorsed by the party leadership even ahead of the primary election.
However, speaking with Daily Independent on Wednesday, Kola Ologbondiyan, the party’s National Publicity Secretary, said the party will not endorse any candidate in the election and will give all aspirants who purchased the party’s nomination form the opportunity to test their popularity during the primary.
“The PDP will give a level playing field to all the aspirants. The party will not endorse any candidate. Anybody who picks the party’s nomination form has a right to contest.
“We are working towards a primary election that will be a reflection of what we did in Port Harcourt during our presidential primaries”.
In a related development, the Kogi Renascence Forum (KRF) has cautioned James Faleke, lawmaker representing Ikeja Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives, to concentrate more on making laws that will be of benefit to his constituents and stop unnecessary meddlesome in the current political affairs in Kogi State.
Faleke was running mate to the late Prince Abubakar Audu in the governorship election in Kogi State in 2016.
Coordinator of KRF, Alhaji Ahmed Jibrin, who stated this while addressing journalists in Abuja on Wednesday, noted that the undue interference of Faleke in Kogi politics, especially ahead of the forthcoming governorship elections in the state, was worrisome.
Jibrin, who chided the lawmaker over his alleged endorsement of a particular APC governorship aspirant of Kogi East senatorial axis, wondered from where he draws such powers.
Jibrin said he was aghast as to what gave Faleke the temerity to organise a screening for aspirants from the Igala-dominated Kogi East senatorial district.
He said the purported screening and endorsement was a complete charade and exercise in futility having been championed by someone who hailed from the Kogi West senatorial zone.
“Who is Faleke and under what capacity did he set up committee to screen APC governorship aspirants in Kogi East to talk of endorsement of an aspirant for the zone?
“This is an insult on the people of Kogi East. This sham is unacceptable.
“He knows that what brought him into Kogi politics which was Audu/Faleke ticket has expired. So, we feel what is happening is an insult on the psyche of Kogi people.
“We still respect him as family but we wouldn’t want anyone to over step his boundary.
“We remember vividly how against all odds, even in the face of dire opposition against him by his own Okun people of Kogi West, late Prince Audu insisted he must be his running mate for the November 21, 2015 governorship election.
“He, thereafter, abandoned Kogi West people at the height of their suffering only to go back to his Lagos State to contest return ticket for House of Representatives.
“And he is now coming back to meet them again now the governorship contest is around the corner. I will advise Faleke to respect himself and focus on politics of Lagos where he is currently representing Ikeja federal constituency.
“We are aware of his closeness to the APC national leader, Asiwaju Ahmed Bola Tinubu. We are convinced he was not acting on behalf of Tinubu and he should not spoil Tinubu’s revered name.”