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2023: Kogi governor allegedly in secret deal with PDP to sacrifice Natasha Akpoti’s interest for support



Kogi State governor, Yahaya Bello
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Kogi State governor Yahaya Bello was said to have approached the National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Iyorchia Ayu and some party leaders for a deal to deliver votes to PDP in next month’s general election.

Bello is a member of the All Progressives Congress APC and now a National Youths Coordinator of the Ahmed Bola Tinubu presidential campaign council.

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On Sunday, an online platform, SaharaReporters known for exclusive investigation revealed that multiple sources made it available to it that Bello recently approached the PDP Chairman, Iyorchia Ayu and some party leaders over the issue pending in Court between Adamu Attah and Natasha Akpoti.

SaharaReporters was quoted as saying:

“Bello was said to have promised to deliver the majority of votes cast in the presidential election in the state for the party’s candidate, Atiku Abubakar.

“The governor however asked the PDP to withdraw its support for its Kogi Central Senatorial candidate, Natasha Akpoti-Uduaghan, one of the sources familiar with the meeting with Ayu told SaharaReporters.

“He approached our National Chairman and some people in PDP, he however gave them different conditions to work for us.

“One of them is that PDP should allow Natasha to lose the case in court so that Adamu Attah can be the senatorial candidate. He asked them to withdraw all legal support given to her. He said if that happens, he will allow Atiku and some PDP candidates to win Kogi,” the source told SaharaReporters.

Another source noted that Governor Bello is not close to former Lagos governor and the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Bola Tinubu and Tinubu’s ally, James Faleke, despite being the National Youth Coordinator of the APC Presidential Campaign Council. Faleke is the Secretary of the Council.

According to sources, Bello does not feel relevant as an APC governor as he is being bypassed by the APC-PCC to deal directly with Faleke, especially as regards the allocation of funds for the election.

Another source added, “Don’t you know notice that he is not close to (Bola) Tinubu? The manner by which he became a governor and how he fought James Faleke in court after Prince Abubakar Audu died is still sore. Under normal circumstances, Faleke ought to be the governor and not Bello. He was Audu’s running mate and Audu died after he won the election.

“And you know Faleke is very close to Tinubu. Currently, in Kogi, they have two groups in APC, Faleke’s faction and that of Bello. All the money to fund elections in Kogi is being passed through Faleke; Bello team doesn’t get anything. Forget that he is the National Youth Coordinator of the APC-Presidential Campaign Council.

“You won’t see him attending any meeting with Tinubu, you won’t see him attending any of Tinubu’s rallies. They don’t invite him for anything regarding the APC Presidential bid. That’s why he feels he will have a softer landing in PDP.

“Moreover, he is planning on installing his own successor. With Tinubu’s presidency, this may be a difficult task for him.”

But in a swift response, Bello denied the report that he dumped the campaign train of the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Bola Tinubu.

Bello, in a post via his verified Facebook page on Sunday, said his unwavering support for Tinubu and his running mate, Kashim Shettima, in the 2023 presidential election remained undiluted.

Reports in some media outlets claimed that the Kogi governor may have dumped the Tinubu campaign.

The report said the National Youth Coordinator of the Tinubu-Shettima Presidential Campaign Council’s action could have been informed by the permutations in the North-Central state ahead of November governorship election.

Debunking this, Bello said, “My unwavering support for Tinubu/Shettima 2023 is 100% undiluted. God bless APC!!! God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria!”

The rumour is also coming barely 24 hours after a key player in the Tinubu-Shettima campaign dumped the APC.

The PUNCHreports that Naja’atu Muhammad, who was the director in the presidential campaign team of Tinubu resigned from the position on Saturday.

Naja’atu was the Director of Civil Society in the Presidential Campaign Council of the ruling APC.

Sixty-seven-year-old Naja’atu’s resignation came one month to the presidential election.

Her resignation letter was directed to the APC National Chairman, Abdullahi Adamu, in which she also decried the state of the nation, and said she would rather be involved in salvaging the country than continue in party politics.

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