The Kogi State government, on Sunday, said 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 recognise the contributions of the late leader to the infrastructural development of the state.
The Chief of Staff to the governor, Mr Edward Onoja, made the clarifications following comments credited to the son of the late leader, Mohammed Audu, over the award.
The junior Audu was said to have described the award as “self-serving and diversionary”.
Onoja, however, said Governor Yahaya Bello conferred the highest leadership award on the late Audu because it was a unanimous decision that no past Kogi governor had impacted the state developmentally in the last 25 years like him.
“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.
Onoja said it was unfortunate and illogical for anybody to think that the award was connected to the pending case at the Supreme Court.
“Bestowing award on the late Prince Abubakar Audu has no bearing with the awaited judgment 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,” said the COS
He said besides the recent leadership award,Bello had earlier named the Kogi State University, the highest tertiary institution in the state after Audu to honour and immortalise his memory, adding that such gesture should be gratefully appreciated by Mohammed.
According to him, the immediate past administration in the state had earlier proposed to name the state polytechnic after the late leader but governor Bello thought it best to name the highest institution in the state after the late political icon.