History in Kogi as Bello takes oath of office without deputy

History in Kogi as Bello takes oath of office without deputy
January 27 14:12 2016

Kogi State has entered the history books once again as Yahaya Bello was sworn-in as governor of the state on Wednesday without a deputy.

The state had hit the history books on November 22, 2015 when Prince Abubakar Audu, the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate died just when he was on the verge of being announced winner of the November 21 election.

His sudden demise caused serious rancour in the state when his running mate, James Abiodun Faleke laid claim to the position of governor with Idris Wada of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) also laying claim to the same position.

While the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) insisted on conducting supplementary election for some cancelled poling units, the APC which was leading in the race opted to replace Audu with Alhaji Yahaya Bello, who was the first runner-up during the party’s primary election.

Against his wish, the party also urged Faleke to retain his position as running mate. Faleke, a member of the House of Representatives representing Ikeja in Lagos state has since gone to court to challenge the party’s decision.

It is the first time in Nigeria’s political history that an elected governor would be inaugurated without a deputy.

On Wednesday, Bello was inaugurated amid pomp and ceremony by the Chief Judge of the state, Nasir Ajana, who administered the oath of office and that of allegiance on him.

Those that attended the inauguration were the National Chairman of the APC, John Odigie-Oyegun. Governor Tanko Almakura of Nasarawa state and the Minister of Communication Technology, Adebayo Shittu.

President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki, was represented by Kabir Gaya, a senator and former governor of Kano state.

The Senator representing Kogi West, Dino Melaye, who gave the welcome address, said Bello’s inauguration was historic, stressing that the governor would not disappoint the people of the state.

Melaye also called on all the aggrieved people to unite and cooperate with the new governor for the sake of Kogi state.

In his remarks, Governor Bello said his administration would take a cue from the principles and ideals of President Muhammadu Buhari, saying he belonged to nobody and belonged to everybody.

“We will pursue the principle of zero tolerance for corruption and impunity. We will be fair to all and block all leakages of our finances. We will fight corruption and impunity vigorously,” he said.

The governor promised that he won’t allow any force either from within or outside the system to control his government, and called on the people of the state to remain calm and support his administration.

He also paid tributes to the late Prince Audu, saying his death remains a misery just as his emergence was divine not by the power of any man.