Matthew Kolawole, the Speaker of the Kogi State House of Assembly, is said to have faced jeers and heckling after urging Governor Yahaya Bello to appoint a successor from his senatorial district.
According to the Daily Sun, political appointees and members of the ruling party have castigated Kolawole for the event that occurred on Tuesday at the Government House in Lokoja, calling him an opportunist.
According to reports, Governor Bello called political office holders and nominees to a meeting as part of his ongoing dialogue with stakeholders and APC leaders (APC).
The meeting was held to discuss how all the candidates of the party including the presidential candidate in the forthcoming elections would win.
However, when it was the turn of the Speaker to respond on behalf of the appointees, he eulogised the governor, bowed before him and begged him to bring his successor from among his kinsmen.
“Your Excellency, you have done what no governor has done before in terms of achievements and touching of lives of the people,” he had said, adding, “if I begin to outline your achievements we may not leave here today and think the chairman that spoke before me has done justice to that.”
“In Kogi West senatorial district especially you have done marvelously; you built the first flyover bridge at Ganaja junction, Lokoja, in Kabba town, which is the headquarters of the district, when Adamu Attah, an Ebira, was governor, he built the Kabba-Okene road. Your Excellency too an Ebiraman also constructed the Kabba town ship road, we have never had it so good.
“I will, therefore, (bowing down) plead with your Excellency to bring someone among your kinsmen in your senatorial district to be your successor in 2023 so that he may continue the good works you have done.”
The paper reported that immediately emotions were high as the audience began to boo him, calling him unprintable names and asking him to sit down if he had nothing better to say.
The hall reportedly became so rowdy that policemen and other security agents had to be called in to appeal to the people to calm down.
Many people in the state are of the opinion that power should shift to Kogi West Senatorial district where the Speaker hails from because the Igala who are in the Eastern Senatorial district have governed the state for over 18 years.
The Ebira from the central senatorial district are to complete their eight years in office by January 2024.
An appointee, who spoke to the paper on condition of anonymity, expressed his disgust over Kolawole’s statement, saying: “Kolawole should have buried his head in shame, how can the party (House of) Reps candidate who needs the votes of his people publicly go against the interest of the same people who want to vote for him? This is shameful and he has to apologise to Okun people.”
Meanwhile, Kolawole’s name was not in the list of candidates to contest for 2023 general elections, which was released by the Independent National Electoral Commission.
By the omission of his name, the APC may not have any candidate for the Kabba Bunu Ijumu federal constituency seat and this may have sealed the fate of the Speaker.