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How Kogi dep gov emerged

After series of consultations, horse-trading and political maneuverings, a deputy governor eventually emerged for Kogi State in the person of Simon Achuba. Achuba was sworn-in…

After series of consultations, horse-trading and political maneuverings, a deputy governor eventually emerged for Kogi State in the person of Simon Achuba.
Achuba was sworn-in at government house, Lokoja on Tuesday, February 10 by the state Chief Judge, Justice Nasiru Ajana.
Earlier, the state House of Assembly had screened and approved the nomination of Achuba as deputy to Governor Yahaya Bello.
This followed a communication sent to the House by the governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello, and read to the House by the Speaker, Alhaji Momoh-Jimoh Lawal.
He said that the governor hinged the request on Section 191 (3) (c) of the 1999 Constitution,as amended, and in a bid not to allow a vacuum to be created in his government.
Daily Trust on Sunday reports that, Achuba who is a former deputy speaker in the state House of Assembly, was only asked by his colleagues to ‘take a bow and go’ when he submitted himself before the House for screening.
His emergence as deputy to Yahaya Bello followed the refusal of the running mate to the late Prince Abubakar Audu, Mr James Abiodun Faleke, to accept the deputy governor’s position.
It would be recalled that Bello was sworn in as the 4th executive governor of the state on January 27 without a deputy, a development that generated heated debates from legal experts on the legality or otherwise of the inauguration.
Faleke had since filed a suit at the governorship election tribunal challenging the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for declaring the November 21 governorship election inconclusive, insisting that the election was won on the Audu/Faleke joint ticket.
Although, there was clamour by people of Kogi West Senatorial District that the replacement of Faleke should come from the zone, Bello and the APC leadership reportedly settled for Achuba who is from the eastern part of the state as a way of calming fraying nerves.
Members of ‘Save Yagba Group’ (SYG) had urged the national leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC) to ensure the replacement of Mr James Abiodun Faleke came from Kogi West Senatorial District in the interest of fairness and balance.
Spokesman of the group, Mr Olusiji Adeboye, had in a statement issued in Lokoja, said it would amount to ‘great injustice’ if the deputy governorship slot was taken away from Faleke who is from Kogi West and given to someone else from another zone.
He said that Kogi West Senatorial District was one particular zone that was lagging behind as far as the current political dispensation in the state was concerned.
But Special Adviser on Media and Strategy to Governor Bello, Mr Abdulmalik Abdulkarim, said the choice of Achuba as deputy governor meets legal, political and social criteria.
“The choice of Simon Achuba as Kogi State Deputy Governor is in line with the governor’s tradition of ensuring the advancement of the rule of law and ethnic balancing without prejudice to merit.
“It is also instructive to note that the choice of Achuba from the political camp of the late Prince Abubakar Audu was not only an expression of respect for the late elder statesman, but a timely ethnic balancing move which has been the pillar of the Bello administration,” he also said.
He noted that the governor has displayed capacity to ‘cement the state into a united force that is capable of deemphasising ethnic or religious bigotry, to become an economic giant in the country’.
Abdulkarim described Achuba as a seasoned administrator with diverse experience in local government administration and legislative governance.
But the running mate to the late Prince Abubakar Audu in the November 21, 2015 gubernatorial election, Mr Faleke, has described the appointment of Achuba as ‘an illegality begetting illegality’.
Media Director of the Audu/Faleke campaign organisation, Mr Duro Mesoko, who spoke on behalf of Faleke, said his principal had reiterated over and over again that the emergence of Yahaya Bello as governor in the first place was founded on ‘manifest illegalities’.
“So, it stands to reason that any action emanating from him would be illegal. That is the reason why we are before the tribunal to get justice in order to put an end to these illegalities,” he said.
Mesoko noted that Bello cannot be claiming to have picked Achuba from Audu’s camp, saying that if he (Achuba) belonged to the camp, he would have believed in their ideologies.
He said the Audu/Faleke group still maintained that their principal won the election, adding that Faleke should have been the governor-elect and not a deputy governor.
Mesoko said that Achuba was on his own, adding he was not standing in as replacement for the Audu/Faleke’s ticket.
The man Achuba
The new deputy governor of Kogi State, Simon Achuba, was born on July 13, 1964 and hails from Iyano-Ibaji, in Ibaji Local Government Area of the state.
He started his early education at LGEA Primary School, Iyano-Ibaji, between 1971 and 1976 and proceeded to Idah Secondary Commercial College between 1976 and 1981 for his O’ Level certificate.
Achuba attended College of Education Katsina/Ala, Benue State between 1985 and 1988 where he obtained his National Certificate in Education (NCE).
In his quest for more knowledge, Achuba gained admission to Kogi State Polytechnic, Lokoja between 1998 and 2001 where he obtained Higher National Diploma (HND) in Public Administration.
He obtained a Post Graduate Diploma (PGD) in Public Administration from Kogi State University, Anyigba in 2004.
Achuba also attended Ambrose Ali University, Ekpoma in Edo State between 2004 and 2005 where he obtained a Master’s Degree in Public Administration.
He has held various leadership positions including Vice Chairman, Ibaji Local Government Council, 1997-1998; member, Kogi State House of Assembly, 1999-2003 and two term deputy speaker in Kogi State House of Assembly, 1997 and 2007.
Achuba was chairman, Kogi State Environmental Protection Board between 2012 and 2015; Government nominated member, Amateur Wrestling Federation Board, 2008 till date.
He has served at various times as chairman, House Committee on Public Account, Public Petition and Human Right, Commerce and Industry while he was member of the Kogi State House of Assembly.
He was also the Director General, Prince Abubakar Audu Governorship Campaign Organisation in 2008.
Achuba is an accomplished business man who majored in the areas of construction, production, oil and gas retailing amongst others.

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