Wednesday, January 27, 2016 2:33 pm
Alhaji Yahaya Bello, 45 years old, was sworn in today as the new governor of the central Nigerian state of Kogi , the fifth person to occupy the position since 1991.
Apart from the ceremony being conducted without the complement of a deputy governor being sworn in as well, it was diminished by the absence of many invited VIPs.
President Muhammadu Buhari who was billed to attend, left Abuja today to begin a three visit to Kenya. His wife, Aishat was however represented by the wife of Nasarawa State governor, who came with her husband, Tanko Al-Makura.
Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo was also absent along with the Senate President, Bukola Saraki and Speaker House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara. Saraki and Dogara were however represented, with Senator Kabiru Gaya, a former governor of Kano State, standing in for Saraki.
APC chiefs led by the chairman, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun were however at the event, as well as the Minister of Communications, Adebayo Shittu and minister of state for labour, Ocholi. But the national leader of the party, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, was conspicuously absent.
A minute silence was observed by the crowd for Alhaji Abubakar Audu, who dramatically died on 22 November, the day his election was declared inconclusive by the Independent National Electoral Commission.
Audu’s running mate, James Abiodun Faleke, believed that INEC’s declaration was a faux pas, as the election was already won by Audu and he stands as the beneficiary of the vote, not Bello, who was named as the replacement for Audu.
The matter is now before the Election Tribunal for determination, while Faleke kept away from the venue.
Bello signed the oath at exactly 12.05 pm and declared thereafter that his election had been made possible by God, a sentiment that echoed through the event.
Senator Dino Melaye, who compered the ceremony had also remarked: “Kogi voted for Audu but God voted for Yahaya Bello”.