THE battle for who replaces the late Minister of State for Labour, Mr James Ocholi, intensified on Tuesday, with the two senatorial districts, Kogi East and West senatorial districts, jostling for the slot.
Sources close to the All Progressives Congress (APC) said on Tuesday, that Governor Yahaya Bello appeared undecided on who to back for the ministerial slot, as he was said to be torn between using the position to end the political feud in Kogi APC or choosing one of his own core loyalists for the job.
Sources said Governor Bello was on one hand looking to pacify the camp of the National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Senator Bola Tinubu, by pushing for the deputy governorship candidate to the late Prince Abubakar Audu, Honourable James Faleke, who is in court over the Kogi election issue and on the other hand, selecting his Chief of Staff.
The different postulations were said to be on the cards even as stakeholders from Kogi East, where Ocholi hails from, were insisting on one of their own retaining the slot.
While the stakeholders in Kogi East are seeking the position of minister as compensation for the loss of the governorship slot, those from Kogi West are insisting that the area had been marginalised all along.
For instance, the people of Kogi West have complained that apart from dominating the governorship slot in the state, Kogi East had also been producing ministers for some time now.
Kogi East had produced two ministers—Honourable Gabriel Adukwu and Humprey Abbah during the late President Umaru Yar’Adua era, while his successor, Dr Goodluck Jonathan also picked a minister from Kogi East, Mr Mohammed Adoke. President Buhari also went ahead to pick a minister from same Kogi East, in the person of the late Ocholi.
It was gathered that Governor Bello was also considering the choice of Alex Kadiri, besides his chief of staff for the final endorsement by President Muhammadu Buhari.