Yahaya Bello allegedly withdraws support for Tinubu

Yahaya Bello, governor of Kogi State and a member of the All Progressives Congress Presidential Campaign Council, may have withdrawn tactical support for his party’s standard-bearer, Senator Bola Tinubu.

According to a Sunday Tribune source, the Kogi governor’s new stance is influenced by developments in the North-Central State ahead of the November governorship election.

According to the source, Governor Bello, who is also the National Youth Coordinator of the Tinubu-Shettima Presidential Campaign Council, has developed reservations about a Tinubu presidency as a result of reports that the lawmaker representing Ikeja Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives and Secretary of the APC Presidential Campaign Council, Honourable James Faleke, may throw his hat into the ring for the APC governorship tick.

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Faleke is Tinubu’s confidante and was the running mate of the APC governorship candidate in the November 2015 governorship election, Abubakar Audu, who died shortly after voting.

Checks revealed that political parties plan to hold their governorship primaries between March and April 2023, almost immediately after the general election.

According to sources, Governor Bello is in a pickle because his confidants have advised him to reconsider his open support for Tinubu, who, if elected president next month, will wield the yam and the knife over who gets what in the party.

Kogi West’s push for a power shift Another party chieftain in Kogi State who asked not to be named said Bello is opposed to power shifting to Kogi West and has already designated the state’s incumbent Accountant General, Jubril Mommoh, who is from Kogi East, as his anointed choice.

He said: “The governor wants a close confidant, who can cover his tracks as his successor.

“So, he is wary of Tinubu winning the presidential election. He knows that Tinubu will look at how he emerged, with the support of northern governors for power shift and may look in the direction of Kogi West and Faleke.

“The PDP may also settle for a candidate from Kogi West in the November election.”

The source also revealed that, in addition to the current Kogi Accountant General, the incumbent Deputy Governor, Edward Onoja, a former Chief of Staff from Kogi East, is interested in the APC ticket for the Lugard House.

It could not be confirmed, however, if the Secretary of the APC PCC, James Faleke, has expressed interest in the party ticket.

According to the APC source, Tinubu, who personally signed Governor Bello’s appointment letter as the National Youth Coordinator for his campaign issued to the latter last September, was already aware of the governor’s half-hearted commitment to his aspiration.

He said: “He knows some of the governors who could undermine him. That’s why he is relying on the Independent Campaign Council he created to drive his cam-“Faleke is from the state. Same is the Minister of State, Federal Capital Territory, Ha- jiya Ramatu Tijani Aliyu, Hon- ourable Baba Ali and a host of others who have been galvanising support for Tinubu in the state.”

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