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Elders of the All Progressive Congress (APC) in Kogi State, North-central Nigeria, have tasked President Muhammadu Buhari on the need for a replacement of late James Ocholi who died as minister of state for Labour and Employment.
Ochili, a Senoir Advocate of Nigeria who represented Kogi State in the Federal Executive Council (FEC) died in a ghastly motor accident alongside his son and wife on Kaduna – Abuja Expressway, early this year.
In a letter signed by, Isa Sani Omolori on behalf of Kogi State’s APC Elder’s Vangauard, and addressed to President Muhammadu Buhari, which was obtained by LEADERSHIP, the elders noted the importance of filling the vacant position created as a result of the demise of the late minister.
They expressed concerned that many months after the sudden death of the minister, who represented the slot of Kogi State in line with the principle of Federal Character, a replacement is yet to be made.
The elders, however, warned the president not to appoint someone who is not a member of the legacy parties that formed the APC in Kogi State as Ocholi’s replacement. They also urged the President to be guided by the agreed zoning formula of sharing political positions in the state as fashioned by the late party leader, Prince Abubakar Audu.
The elders noted in the letter that since the late James Ocholi was of the defunct Congress For Progressive Change (CPC), it will only be fair that the slot is retained by the CPC in the state.
The Kogi elders listed three nominees from which President Buhari should choose the replacement, among whom are Alhaji Idris M. Usman, state coordinator, Buhari Solidarity Organisation (BSO) who they said has been in
the opposition for the past 17 years, Mallam Ahmed Kokoli and Hon Jibril Yusuf.
According to the elders, “Since the demise of our beloved minister, James Ocholi , there has been a general clamour for his replacement from various interest groups in Kogi Sate, but there is need to be aware of the gentleman agreement reached during the formation of APC, chaired by late Prince Abubakar Audu.
“Since James Ocholi of blessed memory is only few months into his tenure, it is only fair, that his slot goes back to CPC. A meeting of CPC was convened and we zeroed on three CPC members from the three senatorial districts. Also, any appointment should recognise the geographical equation for equity.”