27 aspirants in race to replace Audu

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A FEW hours after the All Progressives Congress (APC) opted for a fresh primary to fill the vacuum created by the death of its governorship candidate in November 21 polls in Kogi State, there were indications that no fewer than 27 aspirants are warming up to grab the party’s ticket.

Electoral umpire – the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has asked the APC to replace its late candidate for the supplementary election scheduled for December 5.

Some of the aspirants on from the three senatorial districts are:  Alhaji Yahaya Bello, Senator Abatemi Usman, Alhaji Sanusi Abubakar (Gamji), Adinoyi Onukaba-Ojo and Sadiq Adaba (Kogi Central);  Suleiman Baba Ali, Otunba Suleiman Lanre, Dr Yakeen Abdullahi, Rotimi Obadofin, Olusola Olumoroti and Clarence Obafemi (Kogi West) and Sani Shu’aibu, Air Vice Marshal Atawodi Saliu,  Hadiza Ibrahim, Abdullahi Suleiman, Yakubu Mohammed, Senator Yahaya Ugbane, James Ocholi (SAN), Abutu Ejeh, Hussain Idris, Sunday Edibo, Dr. Tim Nda Diche, Aliyu Jiya, Alex Kadiri and Usman Mainyanga (Kogi East).

The fate of Bello and James Ocholi, who is the Minister of State for Labour & Productivity, was however unknown as at press time. It was also unclear if veteran journalist Yakubu Mohammed, rated as one of the morally upright aspirants, will be interested in the primaries.

When contacted, Abatemi said: “I am just hearing the pronouncement. We just did a quick evaluation of where we are and we have resolved that we will proceed to the field. I am contesting for the governorship ticket.”

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On his part, Baba Ali, who spoke through his media aide, Mohammed Bashir, said: “I will be taking part in the primaries.”

Adinoyi-Ojo, who is also a seasoned journalist, told our correspondent: “I am interested in the fresh primaries.”

AVM Atawodi, who was abroad, spoke with this newspaper yesterday. He said: “I have just been told of the party’s position.  I am going to contest in the primaries. I have been in touch with home and I will soon be heading back.”

A media consultant to Echocho, said: “Echocho will participate in the primaries.”

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