The All Progressives Congress (APC) has expressed its grief over Prince Abubakar Audu, its candidate in Saturday’s Kogi State gubernatorial contest who died suddenly yesterday on the very day he seemed to be winning the governorship for the second time.
In a statement signed by National Secretary Mai Mala Buni, the party described Audu as “one of our stars, a democrat par excellence, a development-oriented leader and a beacon for the liberation of Kogi State from its apparent decay,” adding, “He was a Prince of hope, a symbol of peace and an apostle of unity and reintegration of Kogi State.” Commiserating with his family and the people of Kogi State for their strong belief in Audu's capacity to redeem the state, APC said his death had created a big vacuum in the State but that it takes solace in the fact that God gives and God takes.
It said the former governor might have physically transited but will forever be spiritually and politically relevant in the state and in the country. “We appeal to the people of the state to see Audu's death as an act of God,” the statement said. “There should be no recourse to lawlessness or vindictiveness in whatever form. The only honour will can do Prince Abubakar Audu is to remain peaceful and resolve to be undaunted in preserving the adorable ideals he lived for. It was evident to all that he ran a good race, he played his part well and he earned a rare rating as an exemplary leader.”
The party pledged not to abandon Prince Audu even in death, saying his legacies, virtues and vision are timeless. It urged its members and supporters in Kogi Stare and nationwide not to allow their spirit to be dampened by the sudden passage of Prince Abubakar Audu, but instead to be united in mourning, and encouraged to effect the desired change in Kogi through the ballot. “On INEC's position that the November 21, 2015 governorship poll in Kogi State was inconclusive, APC is studying the declaration of the Returning Officer, Prof. Emmanuel Kucha, who is the Vice Chancellor of the Federal University of Agriculture, Makurdi, based on Section M, Paragraph 4 (Page 22) of INEC Approved Guidelines and Regulations for the Conduct of the 2015 General Elections,” the statement continued, stressing that the party believes in the rule of law, as well as strict adherence to the 1999 Constitution and the Electoral Act 2010.
“Our government was a product of the rule of law, we have absolute faith in the nation's law and we will not in any manner undermine the law,” it further stated, adding that its observations and position will be within the laws of the land. It described the situation in Kogi State as a test case for the rule of law and the country’s growing democracy, and that APC is committed to its pledge to ensure a sustainable democracy.