December 15, 2018

Kwara 2019 guber race: Positive signals for Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq

Executive Governor of Kwara State, Abdulrazaq Abdulrahaman


Ilorin—Preparatory to the House of Representatives by election that took place in Ekiti/OkeEro/Isin/Irepodun federal constituency of kwara state,  the two rival political parties, the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the main opposition, All Progressive Congress (APC) that actively participated in that election knew too well that the outcome of the election would determine the shape of what to expect in the 2019 elections in the state.

When the Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki lost the by election to the All Progressives Congress (APC) on Saturday November 17,2018, the Saraki political dynasty saw the need to restrategize ahead the forthcoming general elections in the state.

Alhaji Abdulrazaq Abdulrahaman

The election was won by the APC as INEC Returning Officer, Professor Abimbola Adesoji declared the APC candidate Alh Tunji  Olawuyi the winner having polled 21,236 votes to defeat Alh Saheed Alatishe of the PDP who scored 18,095 votes.

According to Saturday Vanguard  investigations, a number of factors may have been responsible for the outcome of the by election. For instance, the opposition utilized a weekly programme on a local radio in Ilorin to attack Saraki dynasty as well as the state government and its policies. The programme had gone far before the media team of the government organized a counter programme.

There were other allegations such as non payment of local government salaries and the internal wrangling among members of the Peoples Democratic party over the party’s primaries which were also said to be responsible for the failure of the party in the by election.

Consequently, the outgoing Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed who was holding the Kwara South Senatorial District ticket during the by election,was compelled to release the ticket to his political rival, the incumbent Senator Rafiu Adebayo Ibrahim as part of efforts by Saraki’s political dynasty to reclaim Kwara South where one out of the two House of Representatives seats in the area had already been won by the opposition.

Meanwhile, while inaugurating the campaign committee of the party’s gubernatorial candidate,Hon Razaq Atunwa  last Sunday in Ilorin, Dr Saraki insisted that this was not the first time he would defeat the opposition that has the support of the Federal Government in the state and urged his supporters not to lose hope.

However, for the gubernatorial candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state, Alh Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq, the reality this time around is that his chances of winning the forthcoming election in the state are getting brighter by the day.

The social intervention program, Tradermoni, by the Federal Government which was launched in Kwara state last week Friday by the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo eventually turned out to be a huge success, contrary to claims that market men and women and artisans would shun the programme.

Professor Yemi Osinbajo at a caucus meeting with members of the party, in Ilorin eulogized the potentials and qualities of the gubernatorial candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), to turn the state around for good once and for all,and enjoined the people of Kwara state not to lose the opportunity of the forthcoming election, to liberate themselves from Saraki’s political dynasty, by voting massively for Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq as the incoming governor.

The  “O to ge’, meaning “Enough is enough” political slogan of the APC governorship candidate is another political master stroke that has further increased his popularity among the stakeholders in the state. The state government had to complain about the slogan, and also insinuated that the Emir of Ilorin, Alh Ibrahim Sulu Gambari shared similar sentiments on the slogan. But the Emir of Ilorin quickly dissociated himself from the controversy saying that he was the father of all.

According to a statement signed on  behalf  of the monarch by the National Secretary of Shehu Alimi foundation for peace and development, Mallam Abdulazeez Arowona, “It is worrisome that the name of the Emir of Ilorin, His Royal Highness,  Alhaji Ibrahim Sulu-Gambari, is being mentioned to cause disaffection among political gladiators in the state.

“The Emir is neither a card carrying member of any political party nor a staff of any advertising agency. His Royal Highness is always passionate about a United Ilorin Emirate, a United Kwara State as well as a United Nigeria. He is father to all citizens of Kwara State irrespective of your political platform.

“It is expected that the advertising agency will demonstrate high level of professionalism and competence in its operations without necessarily dragging the palace to its affairs in order to achieve compliance. There should be codes and ethics guiding every businesses. Such rules and regulations should always be leveraged on in order to achieve the desired goals.”

But in all of these, the APC candidate, an oil magnate from the respected Abdulrazaq family in Ilorin is consolidating on the outcome of the by election, by intensifying his ongoing efforts to win the governorship election next year.

For him, the defeat of Saraki’s candidate ahead next year’s election shows that the chancesof the APC  winning the governorship election are very high.

In view of this, the candidate and the party have resumed silent but aggressive mobilisation and sensitisation of the electorates across the nooks and crannies of the state to increase the support base of the party and remove Saraki’s political dynasty once and for all.

A chieftain of the APC and immediate past chairman of the party in the state Akogun Iyiola Oyedepo in an interview with Saturday Vanguard said the result of the last by election confirmed that Saraki can be defeated in the coming elections in the state.

He said, “The mystery of Saraki in Kwara has been removed as confirmed by the defeat of his candidate in the last House of Representatives election in the state. It shows that he’s defeatable and that in any free and fair election he cannot win.

“Over the years, the Sarakis never won any election fair and square. What they normally did was to manipulate elections in their favor. As witnessed in the last by election, that opportunity no more exist.

Continuing he said,”Aside that, all his political strategists  both old and new are with us now and many of his loyalists who worked closely with him are now in our fold. The outcome of the last by election confirmed their real essence of dumping him”

Oyedepo also said that the people of Kwara State now understood that the forthcoming election in the state is not about the personalities of the candidates but between Dr Bukola Saraki and the opposition who have been clamouring for liberation over the years.

He also said,”It is obvious that Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq of the APC is a big fish who has paid his dues in all ramifications, to become the next governor of Kwara state. His antecedents speak volume of his competence and his impeccable character that are already working for him, with his popularity increasing everyday.

“So, he can’t be compared with their own candidate, there is no basis for comparison. But as interesting as all of these are, the main issue in the next election here is between Saraki and the opposition, that is going to be the pattern as it was the pattern in the last by election.