Posted by News Express | 16 December 2017 | 1,586 times
Mixed reactions and public condemnation yesterday followed the indictment of Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello, by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), over alleged double registration.
INEC had on Thursday, sacked and retired some of it officials over their involvement in registering Bello twice, one in Abuja and the other one at his office in Lokoja. The electoral body told journalists that the governor could have been prosecuted if not for the immunity he is currently enjoying as governor. However, the deputy governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), James Abiodun Faleke, has urged the embattled governor to resign as governor, as that is what an honourable person would have done. Faleke said: “My advice to Bello is for him to resign honourably.
This is a shame to our state it is a shame to Kogi. In the history of Nigeria this is the first time the illegality by a Governor is affecting an ordinary citizen.” “It will serve as deterrent to others. I sympathise with the families of the three INEC staff just as I sympathise with all Kogites for suffering the senseless rulership of Yahaya Bello,” he said. The PDP in it reaction said it has justified and vindicated over the continuous illegality harboured by the APC and it government.
The opposition party which spoke through it state Publicity Secretary, Mr. Bode Ogunmola, said the APC-led government in the state had always been shrouded by illegalities. The PDP stated that: “That the guy acted illegally. Double registration is an offence under our laws and we are happy that INEC is doing the needful now.
“The guy doesn’t know the law and unfortunately he has surrounded himself with armatures if not, his Attorney General should have ordinarily advised him that double registration is an offence.” On the implication of the governor’s action, Ogunmola said: “Definitely he cannot be in contention in the next election. INEC declared that for immunity they should have gone ahead with his prosecution.
“But don’t worry we are going ahead dusting our books and our legal department is up to the task and when we get to the bridge we will tell him where he belongs. “After all he wasn’t an elected governor nobody voted for him actually, his coming was an aberration and we have always hammered on that and now that people are saying he should step aside he should obey the clarion call of the people of Kogi State.
“He is getting every foot wrong, he is not paying salary, he is not paying pensioners, the only project he commissioned this year is his personal house, he has not done any other thing outside that. If you cannot carry a load why not step aside and allow people that are prepared to take over to come in and do the needful? So, we are in support of the masses calling for him to step aside and go back to his transport business.”
Also in his reaction, Senator Dino Melaye, said: “If it were a civilised society where leaders respect themselves and the people and where there is value, I think the best thing is for him to resign honourably but you know our society is such that they will always believe they can have their way by maintaining the immunity believing that after the expiration of his tenure in office he will find a way of escaping the wrath of the law. Melaye, who spoke through his media assistant, Gideon Ayodele, said: “Our leaders lack integrity. After the illegality has been confirmed and sack of three INEC officials involved, he has succeeded in putting the affected INEC back in to the labour market. There is nothing better than for him to honourably resign.”
In his own reaction, the executive Director Centre for Human Right and Conflict Resolution, Idris Miliki, said would not join in calling for the governor’s resignation because of the immunity that covers him, but rather advise him to apologise to not only Kogians but to the entire Nigerians.
He said: “For me resignation may not be the issue since he cannot be tried while is is still in office but for the fact that INEC has conducted its action in this manner I think he should apologise to the people of Kogi State. I am not saying he should resign.”
•Text courtesy of Saturday Telegraph.
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