Simon Achuba from Ibaji LGA of Kogi East has been sworn in as the Deputy Governor of Kogi state after being screened and confirmed by the Kogi State House of Assembly. Achuba’s confirmation followed Governor Bello’s letter to the Assembly seeking the confirmation of Achuba as his deputy. According to reports, journalists weren’t allowed in to the venue of the swearing in because according to the armed security guards, the Governor Bello said it wasn’t a public function.
Hon. Simon Achuba has now been appointed as the new deputy governor of Kogi state by Governor Yahaya Bello.
In a letter to the House of Assembly, Governor Bello asked the lawmakers to confirm Hon. Achuba as his deputy following the vacuum created by the refusal of Hon. James Faleke, the running mate to the late Prince Abubakar Audu, to accept the office.
Faleke was the running mate to the late Audu in an election that was inconclusive following the death of Audu in that election.
The House of Representatives member (Faleke), who was touted to step in with Bello as the deputy, declined on the ground that he was rather the one to be sworn in as governor following the death of his boss and not Bello.
However, the All Progressives Congress (APC) after an extensive attempt to convince Faleke into accepting the deputy governorship slot went ahead and inaugurated the administration of Bello on January 27th, 2016 without a deputy governor, the first in Nigeria’s contemporary politics.
Since Bello assumed office a fortnight ago, the state had been without a deputy governor, a development that had generated intense debate in the public square.
The appointment of Hon Achuba by Governor Bello is an attempt to placate the Igala nation which had hitherto been outraged by the death of Prince Audu. Moreso, the Igala people of the state had since its creation ruled Kogi, a position it was not willing to relinquish, which had generated bad blood among the various ethnic groups in the state.
A copy of the letter written by Bello reads: “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.
“Hon. Achuba (JP) hails from Ibaji Local Government Area of Kogi State and was a two-time honourable member of the state House of Assembly from 1999 to 2007 where he was Deputy-Speaker during his second tenure.
“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,” Bello said.