The All Progressives Congress (APC) has announced that a fresh primary election will be conducted in Kogi state to pick a replacement for Abubakar Audu. Audu, who passed away on Sunday, was the party’s candidate in the November 21 governorship election.
Speaking with reporters at the national secretariat of the party in Abuja on Tuesday, John Oyegun, chairman of the party, said the decision to hold a fresh primary was taken after the APC received a letter from the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) asking it to replace Audu.
Audu’s death had sparked debate among lawyers and public commentators, with some suggesting that Abidoun Faleke, the deceased’s running mate, should be given the ticket of the party. “Kogi situation fits more into section 181(1) of the 1999 constitution (as amended) and as such James Abiodun Faleke automatically becomes the governorship candidate of the APC. As a result the joint ticket of Audu/Faleke has acquired some votes already.
James Abiodun Faleke is as much entitled to those votes already counted as much as the late Abubakar Audu. He has a right to cling to those votes going into the supplementary election,” Keyamo had argued. But with the new development all the issues that arose have been settled. Though Oyegun did not disclose the date for the exercise, it is expected to be this week since INEC has scheduled the supplementary election for December 5. INEC had declared Saturday’s election inconclusive because the number of cancelled votes was higher than the margin between the two leading candidates. Audu, who was leading the election, secured 240,867 votes ahead of Idris Wada, incumbent governor and candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), who polled 199,514 votes. The difference between them was 41,353 votes, while a total of 49,953 votes were voided in the election as a result of irregularities.