Protests in Kogi APC as Abubakar Audu collects certificate of return



FORMER governor of Kogi State and chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Prince Abubakar Audu yesterday received his certificate of return to vie for the governorship of the state in the November 21 poll on the platform of the party, amid protests from members.

The party’s decision to hand the ticket to Audu was opposed by members on the pretext that Audu was still grappling with a suit with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), which accused him of corrupt practices when he was the governor from 1999 -2003.

The protesters who positioned themselves at the precinct of the secretariat in Abuja carried placards, some of which read: “Audu, have mercy on Kogi State;” “We say no to Audu;” “Don’t contest this election because you have an issue with EFCC;” “We need a credible leader in Kogi State.”

But for the intervention of security personnel manning the gate of the party secretariat, there would have been a disruption to public peace between the protesters and Audu’s supporters who were singing his praises shortly after he collected the certificate of return.

The spokesperson of the protesters, Suleiman Muhammad said Audu’s ongoing case with EFCC was enough to disqualify him from the race.

He said: “We are here to protest against the candidature of Prince Abubakar Audu, under the platform of APC for the forthcoming governorship election in Kogi State. We say no to Abubakar Audu because he has N11 billion corruption case with the EFCC; until he clears himself of the case he has no moral right to present himself for an election.

“The administration of President Muhammadu Buhari has declared war against corruption.

We the concerned citizens of Kogi State are in support of his anti-corruption move. We want to tow the line of the APC change mantra and we will not support Audu because of his alleged corruption.”

But Audu who fielded questions from reporters on the issue said the protesters must have been engaged by those bent on not only smearing his image but keen on using all means at their disposal to stop his re-election bid.

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