Kogi State governor-elect, Yahaya Bello, was on Wednesday sworn in without a deputy.
The man nominated by the All Progressives Congress (APC) to be Bello’s deputy, James Faleke, made real his threat not to present himself for swearing in with the governor.
It is the first time in Nigeria’s political history that an elected governor would be inaugurated without a deputy.
On Wednesday, Bello was inaugurated amid pomp and ceremony by the Chief Judge of the state, Nasir Ajana, who administered the oath of office and that of allegiance on him.
Bello was picked by the All Progressives Congress to replace its late candidate, Prince Abubakar Audu.
Faleke objected to the party’s decision and approached the election tribunal in the state asking it to declare him governor-elect.
He contended that the election had been won and lost before Audu died and that he (Faleke) should have been pronounced governor-elect.
Faleke has repeatedly claimed that he was not consulted or taken into confidence by anyone regarding the choice of Bello as Audu’s replacement.
He was also quoted in various reports as expressing suspicion that the party was planning to announce his replacement on the grounds that he absconded from Wednesday’s inauguration.
Those who attended Wednesday’s inauguration include the National Chairman of the APC, John Odigie-Oyegun as well as the governor of Nasarawa State and the Minister of Communication Technology, Adebayo Shittu.
The President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki, was represented by Kabir Gaya, a senator and former governor of Kano.
The senator representing Kogi East, Dino Melaye, who gave the welcome address, said Wednesday’s inauguration was historic because “a minority is now the governor of Kogi State”.
He pledged that Bello would not disappoint the people of the state and called on all aggrieved people to unite and cooperate with the new governor for the sake of Kogi State.