Kwara 2015: Issues and forces for, against Maigida and his godfather

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Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed may be the governor of the Kwara State, but as almost everyone knows, he is not in a position to govern his own political track. Agitations from stakeholders from his base in Kwara South for him to go for a second term may have positioned him between the devil and the deep blue sea.

By Emmanuel Aziken, Political Editor
It is understandable that Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed would be the last to speak about his political aspiration under the circumstances he has found himself. Despite the raging clamour by people of Kwara South Senatorial District for the zone to be given another term in office, neither Governor Ahmed nor any of his senior aides have come out to openly endorse the clamour.

Abdulfatah-AhmedHis quietness is understandable. He has at least until now carved the unique niche of being the only civilian governor since the creation of Kwara State not to openly squabble with either of the two political godfathers that have dictated the pace and pattern of politics in the state.

Former Governor Corlinenus Adebayo who governed the state for three months under the suzerainty of the late Oloye, Senator Olusola Saraki may have been mentioned also as an exception, but he did not stay in office long enough to prove his pliancy or otherwise.

Even the present political godfather Senator Bukola Saraki who is also the immediate past governor of the state at one point towards the end of his second term had political differences with his father, Oloye.

However, with the prospects of a second term in view, Governor Ahmed is believably now under pressure from friends at home in Kwara South to declare interest for a second term. But he dare not without the consent of Senator Bukola Saraki, the undisputed political leader of the All Progressives Congress, APC in the state.

Speaking at a recent press conference, a group based in Kwara South known as the Kwara South Youth Consultative Forum (KSYCF) made an open appeal to Senator Saraki to give his consent for Ahmed to go for a second term.

The group led to the press conference by Kazeem Adekanye in pleading for the governor said “We plead with Senator Abubakar Bukola Saraki (CON), the APC and all stakeholders to make our vision of continued shared prosperity a reality by fielding Maigida (Ahmed) in the 2015 election as governor.”

The plea from the group is besides the equally pressing agitation by political stakeholders from Kwara South for Saraki to give heed for Ahmed to commence preparations for a second term.
The group styled as the Kwara South Consultative Forum includes serving commissioners, special advisers, senior special assistant, special assistants, liaison officers, youths coordinators from Kwara South.

It is doubtful if Governor Ahmed could have given his go ahead for the later group to commence their agitation given his understanding of his position in the hands of the former governor. It is thus not surprising that a number of other political stakeholders including several associated with Governor Ahmed are apprehensive towards the activities of the Kwara South Consultative Forum as they describe their activities as divisive, sectional and probably harmful to the political interest of the governor.

Political interest
The agitators drawn mainly from the seven local councils in the south namely: Isin, Ifelodun, Oyun, Offa, Irepodun, Ekiti and Oke-Ero are, however, probably oblivious of the political challenges facing Senator Saraki in presenting Governor Ahmed for a second term.

The thrust of the agitators is that since Kwara Central had 12 years to produce governor, eight of which were under Senator Saraki and four under the late Alhaji Mohammed Lawal, that Kwara South should also be given an opportunity to present a governor to serve for eight years.

In the face of that argument is the political dilemma that has recently arisen with the agitation by some elements within Kwara Central for the governorship to return to Kwara Central.

Political family
Though no member of the Saraki political family from Kwara Central has openly called for power to return to the zone, the eyes of the political leader are said to be fixed on developments in the state chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP which is desperately strategising on how to reclaim the state from Saraki’s political grip.

Many agitators from Kwara Central are basing their claim on the fact that the district has the highest population in the state. It is estimated that Kwara Central has more than 45% of the total population of the state and it is as such in very good position to determine who becomes governor or not in the state.

However, some pundits have claimed that the boast of Kwara Central in having a large population may not be totally reflective of the fact as they claim that a sizeable proportion of that population are immigrants from other parts of the state and country who may not be moved by the sentiments of the indigenes of Kwara Central.

Another trouble for Governor Ahmed is that while some of his people are calling for him to be returned for a second term, some others from Kwara South are also tackling him, albeit on the platform of the PDP.

The PDP has so far produced a number of gubernatorial candidates who are increasingly gaining attention among political stakeholders in the state. Mr. Sunday Babalola who was second to Ahmed in the PDP gubernatorial primary of 2011 has again indicated interest for another match. Alhaji Jani Ibrahim, the billionaire investor reckoned to be the second largest employer of labour in the state after the government has also indicated interest in the governorship.
Hence it is no surprise that for Saraki and his godson, Ahmed, the pondering continues.

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