‘Wole Adedeji, Ilorin
Kwara State Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq and two children of late Governor Mohammed Lawal have the tickets of their parties to contest elections next year.
The governor who is of the All Progressives Congress (APC) will by the ticket of Akeem Lawal (a step son of his sister) of the Social Demomcratic Party (SDP) be contesting against each other for the governorship seat of the State come 2023.
However, Ex-Governor Lawal’s daughter; Arinola Lawal is having the ticket to run for the Ilorin East constituency at the State House of Assembly and she is of the same APC with the governor.
She was a cabinet member in the administration of Governor AbdulRazaq until recently, when she resigned to contest election into the House.
Meanwhile, all the 965 delegates of APC at the primary election venue merely affirmed the governor for a second term in office because no other member of the picked the nomination form to oppose him.
At the SDP primary election, Akeem Lawal who was one of the five aspirants in the party got the ticket of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) to run for governorship and if successful would become one of the successors of his late father.
For the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Yamah Abdullahi was elected to carry the flag of the party for the governorship position after beating his brothers from Nupe region in the primary election.
They are Hon. Ahman Pategi, a former Federal House of Representatives member and Professor Issa Gana, a former Nigerian Ambassador to Japan. Yamah polled 518 votes out of 574 while Pategi polled 31 and Gana only polled 14 according Niyi Owoade; Chairman of the electoral Committee that conducted the exercise.
Political parties in Kwara State had shut the media or at best, been limiting the number of journalists invited to over their primaries and functions of late for reasons not yet known. Not even the governor’s ruling APC fared better. The strange development is therefore forcing journalists to rely on scanty and unbaked statements coming from them.
Meanwhile, at the APC Governorship and House of Assembly primaries Professor Emmanuel Dandaura; Chairman of the APC Election Committee said the voting which took place in the presence of all, pronounced Governor AbdulRazaq as validly nominated to run for the second term.
This he said was because of what he described as the excellent performance of the governor which he said “could be seen from the declaration of the delegates”.
Rafiu Ajakaiye; the governor’s Chief Press Secretary in a statement said his boss in an acceptance speech said; “my profound gratitude goes to all of you distinguished delegates, and to the people of Kwara State for this honour. I also thank all royal fathers, thought-leaders, party stalwarts and leaders across Kwara State. I do not take your support for granted”.
The governnor added that; “between 2019 and now, the trajectory of Kwara State has changed. We have registered a bold presence in the comity of decent and respected states.
“We have positive strides and indices in education, health, access to water, improved youths engagement, gender mainstreaming, support for farmers and the vulnerable, and rural development to show for our mandate. Today, no part of Kwara State is left without government presence.
He added that the politics had evolved saying; “the destiny of Kwarans is no longer tied to any particular person. That is the bold message from our primaries. Are we perfect? No, we are not. What is not debatable is the magnitude of progress that Kwara has made over the last three years. We can only beat our own records of achievements.
“So, we will campaign on our records of improving the lots of our people and reasserting the leadership position of Kwara State. We will campaign on our record of courageously opening up the democratic space for all.
“We will campaign on our records of courageously opening up our books for public assessments in our strong belief that perfection belongs to God alone. In doing so, we are steadily improving the old system and achieving more efficiency”, he concluded.