Two governors emerge in Kogi
Kogi State Governor-elect, Idris Wada, and the House of Assembly Speaker, Mr. Abdullahi Bello were sworn in as the acting governors of Kogi State on Friday in Lokoja.
While Wada and his deputy-elect, Mr. Yomi Awoniyi, were sworn in at the Government House as governor and deputy governor respectively by the President, Customary Court of Appeal, Mr. Shaibu Atadoga, Bello was later sworn in as the acting governor by the Chief Judge of the state, Justice Nasiru Ajanah.
The judgment of the Supreme Court on Friday, following the appeal of the Independent National Electoral Commission to the verdict of the Court of Appeal on tenure elongation on Friday, ended the tenure of the five governors.
The other states are Adamawa, Cross River, Bayelsa and Sokoto.
In Kogi, it brought to an end the administration of Alhaji Ibrahim Idris.
Following the judgment, Wada, Awoniyi, and members of the Peoples Democratic Party in the state had gathered for the oath-taking by Wada and Awoniyi. But the members of the state House of Assembly felt that the then Speaker of the House, Mr. Abdullahi Bello, was expected to be inaugurated as the acting governor in line with the Supreme Court ruling.
They had argued that Wada, as the governor-elect, must abide with the judgment of the Supreme Court, which made the Speaker the acting governor of the affected states.
However, the intervention of PDP stakeholders brought the situation under control.
After several hours of waiting for the CJ to swear in Wada and Awoniyi, Atadoga was later called upon to swear in Wada and Awoniyi.
In his inaugural speech, Wada thanked God for making it possible for him and Awoniyi to be sworn in and start the expected governance of the state. He thanked the people of the state for giving him and his deputy the opportunity to serve.
He commended his predecessor, Alhaji Ibrahim Idris, for his achievements in the past nine years. He promised that his administration would deliver the dividends of democracy, ensure good governance and meet the yearnings of the people in the state in infrastructure provision and in executing developmental projects.
He promised to ensure prudency, transparency and accountability in the management of the state resources. He ordered that all political appointees should remain in their offices, saying he would run open door policy.
He said that his administration would embark on youth empowerment programmes.
However, about 15 minutes after their inauguration, a directive from the office of the Attorney-General of the Federation, Mr. Mohammed Adoke, nullified the whole exercise. Adoke directed that the Speaker of the House of Assembly should take over as the acting governor.
Consequently, all security agents detailed to Wada and Awoniyi, following their inauguration, were withdrawn.
The police and State Security Services operatives quickly re-enforced the security of the Speaker as Bello and other stakeholders headed for the Kogi State High Court, where he took oath as the acting governor of the state.
There was an intimidating presence of security agents at the judiciary complex for the peaceful swearing-in ceremony.
Bello was sworn in at the office of the Kogi State Chief Judge, Justice Nasir Ajanah.
The event was witnessed by the police, SSS, members of Kogi State House of Assembly, PDP stakeholders and the public.