Youths of Kogi state extraction under the umbrella of Kogi APC Youth Rebirth took to the streets of Abuja and later the headquarters of the All Progressives Congress (APC) on Thursday to protest the imposition of candidates by Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi state.
Addressing journalists at the peak of the protest, Comrade Ezekiel Edogboanya appealed to the leadership of the party to advise the governor before “he sink the ship of APC in Kogi state”.
In his words, “We the members of the Concerned Kogi APC Rebirth, wishes to use this medium to appeal to the good conscience of the leadership of our great party, the All Progressive Congress (APC) to as a matter of urgency and of national interest save the APC in Kogi state from imminent disintegration due to the activities of His Excellency, Governor Yahaya Bello and his cronies”.
The group further implored the APC to consolidate and reward the contributions of the deceased winner of the 2015 gubernatorial elections whose votes was inherited by Gov Bello:
“It is crucial for us to state here that in the annals of Kogi state, the contributions of the Late Prince Abubakar Audu is of immense proportion. As a fact, the late Prince Abubakar Audu even in death represents a united and robust Kogi state because of his politics of inclusiveness that saw him defeat an incumbent governor before he passed on to the great beyond. May his soul continue to rest in peace.
“Our dear leaders, the principal reason why we are protesting here at the National Headquarters of our great party is to intimate the party that Governor Yahaya Bello who was the direct beneficiary of the goodwill and votes of our late leader, Prince Abubakar Audu has initiated a devilish and highly unpopular campaign to push the brother of the late Prince Abubakar Audu out of the race for Kogi East Senatorial District.
“We wish to state that, this act is not only misplaced, it is also capable of causing great disaffection amongst the various stakeholders in Kogi East Senatorial and which would ultimately lead to either mass defection to the opposition party or anti-party activities,” he warned.
The group further implored the state governor to reduce his draconian policies and immediately commence the payment of salaries with the aim of restoring the lost glories of the APC before the 2019 election in the state.
“Our greatest worry is the fact that we are surprised at the speed with which Governor Yahaya Bello through his Chief of Staff, Edward Onoja can go to bed knowing full well that electoral defeat would be our lot should they continue to disrupt the hands of justice by criminalizing and pushing out political assets of the party to the opposition party just because of a difference in opinion on ways to move the state and the party forward.
“This is also aside from the fact that the electoral chances of the party in the forthcoming elections are already threatened with the non-payment of salaries by Governor Yahaya Bello. As a matter of verifiable fact, Kogi State under Governor Yahaya Bello is the worst regarding payment of wages to civil servants in the history of the state,” it said.
The group further appealed to the National Chairman of the APC, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole and President Muhammadu Buhari to “intervene before it is too late and ensure that the will of the party men and women prevail at the primaries”.