Finally, Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello has appointed Hon. Simon Achuba as his deputy and sent his name to the State Assembly for confirmation, following the refusal of Hon. James Faleke to be his running mate.
Achuba, a former deputy speaker of the State House of Assembly, was a member of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) before he defected to the All Progressives Congress (APC) few weeks to State Governorship election.
Since Bello took over office about 2 weeks ago, the state had been without a deputy governor, a situation that had brought about intense debate in the State.
Forwarding Achuba’s name to the state assembly brings to rest the insinuation in some parts of the state that some people were jostling for the number two position as the governor was yet to choose one out of them since he has the prerogative to appoint somebody he can work with to run the office of deputy governor effectively.
The letter of appointment of Hon. Simon Achuba signed by the governor and forwarded to the State Assembly read in parts:
“In line with the provision of section 186 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (1999) as amended, I have the pleasure to forward herewith the name of Hon. Simon Achuba for approval of appointment as the deputy governor of Kogi State.
“Achuba hails from Ibaji Local Government Area of the state and was a two-time member of the assembly (1999 to 2007) wherein he was deputy speaker of the assembly during his second tenure (2003 to 2007).
“In view of the above, it will be highly appreciated if the request is treated and approved with utmost speed to pave way for his assumption of office.”
It was gathered that the State House of Assembly on the reception of the letter, fixed February 9, 2016 (which is today) for the possible confirmation of Hon. Achuba as deputy governor.
It should be recalled that the appointment of Hon. Achuba as deputy governor of Kogi State follows the refusal of Hon. James Faleke, the running mate to the late Prince Abubakar Audu, to accept the offer of the position.
Faleke, a House of Representatives member, was the running mate to the late Audu in an election that was inconclusive due to Audu’s death.
Faleke, who was seen as Bello’s deputy rejected the position on grounds that he was supposed to be the one installed as governor following the demise of Audu and not Bello.
The APC after several abortive attempts to convince Faleke to take the deputy governorship position went ahead and inaugurated the administration of Bello on January 27 without a deputy governor.