Tunde Opalana, Abuja
Members of the Kogi state executive committee of the All Progressives Congress (APC) have denied social media reports that they have endorsed the state Governor, Yahaya Bello for a second term in office
The executive committee members however, reiterated their call that the governor should pay their allowances and emoluments in the last three and half years.
Addressing the press in Abuja on Sunday, the APC state Secretary in Kogi state, Salam Tom Adejoh said it was true that a meeting was held between the state executive committee members and the governor in Abuja on Saturday night, declaring that the executive committee never endorsed Gov. Bello.
Adejoh said the state executive committee members have no personal grudges with the governor, but that there exist differences on the running of the state and the performance of the APC in the state.
The secretary said they demanded from the governor full payment of their allowances and emoluments for 42 months still pending with the state government, adding that the governor on his part promised full payment of the allowances and emoluments on the condition that the state executive withdraws the case it filed in court.
“Contrary to news on the social media that we endorsed Governor Yahaya Bello, we never and has not endorsed the governor or any other person at that.
“The meeting we held with the governor was to iron out issues in the state APC. We demanded that payment of our allowances and emoluments. We worked for the party in 2015 and we deserved allowances as members of the state executive committee,” Adejoh said.
On their preference on who emerges the APC candidate for the November 16 governorship election in the state, he said it is not the duty of the executive committee to endorse candidates, but to provide a level playing ground for all aspirants to test their popularity at the party’s primary in August.
He also said that traditional rulers in the state do not have the powers to endorse Bello, adding that the royal fathers can give their opinions, but will not participate in the party’s primary.
“The party has criteria for fielding candidates and more so, primary election will be conducted for all interested persons. So, the issue of candidate should be left for the party.
“But, honestly speaking, if you are not a Kogite, you are a Nigerian. If someone is a performer, you will know. And anybody who thinks he is qualified, he should present himself to the people for screening.
“While we are not against his interest to contest the party’s ticket, we need to put it on record that Gov. Yahaya Bello has been far away from the executive. He has neglected the direction of the party,” the party scribe added.