Leaders of the All Progressives Congress in Kogi State have vowed to clip the influence of a national leader of the party, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, in the north central region of the country.
They also vowed to reject James Faleke if nominated as a replacement for the late Minister of State for Labour, James Ocholi, who died in March last year in a road accident.
The party called on President Muhammadu Buhari not to accept Faleke ’s nomination, saying it would cause crisis in the party in the state .
A statement jointly signed by the leaders of the party from Kogi West, Alhaji Suleiman Ejibunu and Chief Richard Asaje, and made available to newsmen in Lokoja on Monday said the party would reject Faleke ’ s nomination.
The statement read in part, “ If at all Faleke and his godfather, Asiwaju Ahmed Bola Tinubu , deserve any and not the ministerial slot of Kogi State to avoid serious crisis in the Kogi APC as such a move may lead to the exit of every prominent, loyal and committed member of the party while aggravating the fractionalisation of the party along many divides.
“ We are also unequivocally resolute to stop Tinubu ’ s expansion into Kogi State or any state in the North -Central; we are determined to push out all his cohorts from Kogi come 2018 / 2019 . It is a task that must be done through all legal / political means. They have failed and they will continue to fail.
The leaders noted that James Faleke representing Lagos State in the National Assembly was known to Kogi State APC only during the governorship struggle when Tinubu allegedly imposed him on APC in Kogi as the deputy governorship candidate to late Prince Abubakar Audu.
The statement also read, “ This generated a lot of discomfort to the founding members of APC who built the party, fought the then sitting government in all national elections and won. However , we swallowed the pains to fight and win the governorship election in the state.
“ Giving him such an appointment will amount to providing him fuel to fire on the breakup of APC in the state. Faleke alongside Honourable Buba Jibril in the West Senatorial Area of Kogi State have formed illegal party structures and lay claim to illegal stakeholder structure for which a petition is already before the national leadership of the party.”
The Kogi APC chiefs advised President Muhammadu Buhari to find other means of compensating Faleke and not to make him a minister representing Kogi State .