The Kogi State government yesterday said that the posthumous leadership award bestowed on the late All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship candidate, Prince Abubakar Audu, was not meant to serve any diversionary purpose but to recognize the contributions of the late leader to the infrastructural development of the state.
The chief of staff to the Governor, Mr Edward Onoja, said this while reacting to comments credited to the son of the late leader, Mohammed Audu who had described the award as ‘self-serving and diversionary’.
According to him Governor Yahaya Bello bestowed the highest leadership award on the late Audu because it was an unanimous decision that no past Kogi Governor had impacted the state developmentally in the last 25 years like the late Audu.
“It wouldn’t be surprising for Mohammed Audu to go to press to say the award was diversionary and self-serving. How does that serve the Governor? Rather, it serves the political family of the late Audu. It serves the memory of the late Audu. It serves the good people of Kogi east and generality of the Kogi people,” he said.
Edward said it is unfortunate and illogical for anybody to think that the award has got anything to do with pending case at the Supreme Court.
“Bestowing award on the late Prince Abubakar Audu has no bearing with the awaited judgement at the Supreme Court. But there are antecedents which are very clear. At the tribunal, it was made clear that governor Bello’s mandate is in line with the law.
“At the Appeal, it followed suit. And the good people of Kogi state are not expecting anything different from the Supreme Court. He should not link the award to the Supreme Court, he should rather wait for the outcome of the Supreme Court as he had always done in the other lower courts and has gone back home disappointed”, he said.
He said besides the recent leadership award, Governor Yahaya Bello had earlier named the Kogi State University, the highest tertiary institution in the state, after the late Prince Abubakar Audu to honour and immortalize his memory. A gesture that he Mohammed Audu gratefully appreciated.