By Olanrewaju Oyedeji
Outrage and condemnation has greeted an alleged plan to compel Lagos LGAs to contribute N50 million each for the forthcoming Kogi gubernatorial elections.
The Difference checks reveal that the Lagos local government councils and local council development areas are now being saddled with the burden of funding and winning the Kogi gubernatorial polls at all costs after earlier efforts to get the 23 governors elected on the platform of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, to pick the said bills had failed.
According to Nigerian online newspaper, Breaking Times, the story of the compulsory levy was corroborated in a press conference addressed by Tunde Babarinsa, Chairman Coalition of Civil Societies, Lagos State and Alabi Oyewole, a representatives of the group, ‘Well-meaning Lagosians.’
The Kogi State Governorship Election is slated for next month and while the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP is being represented in the contest by the incumbent Governor, Captain Idris Wada, the APC flag is being flown by another former Governor and veteran contender for the position, Prince Abubakar Audu.
Polity watchers wager that the immediate link between the Lagos and Kogi APC in the forthcoming polls appears to be Honourable James Faleke, a member of the House of Representatives, representing Ikeja-Lagos Federal Constituency, who is the running mate to Prince Audu in the contest. Faleke, a two time chairman of Ojodu Council, was reportedly nominated as Audu’s running mate for the forthcoming polls by APC’s national leader, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, who almost singlehandedly determines the full gamut of political office holders in the state.
Also being discussed is the fact that success for the Audu/Faleke ticket in Kogi would not just be an APC win, but that it could also represent a further deepening of the ‘Tinubu factor’ in the national political space given the continuing cat-and-mouse relations between Tinubu and President Muhammadu Buhari as well as the fact that Kogi is a North central state in Nigeria.