By Demola Akinyemi, Ilorin

Ahead of 2023,General elections members of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) in Kwara state, under the aegis of the Alliance of Kwara North Progressive Youth, have asked the leadership of the party to zone the 2023 governorship seat to Kwara North senatorial district over alleged marginalization.

The Kwara North SDP members therefore threatened to quit the party if their request is not granted.

Their spokesperson, Comrade Mustapha Mohammed,spoke at a well attended press conference in Ilorin on Wednesday.

The people were drawn from five local government areas of the district, namely Edu, Pategi, Baruten, Kaiama and Moro, local governments .

Comrade Mustapha urged the leadership and entire members of the party to approach the coming election with sincerity and “not to discount Kwara North at this
most auspicious time”.

He ,further tasked the leadership of the party to work to ensure a Kwara Northerner emerges as governorship candidate in the coming 2023 elections under the SDP platform, “if we are truly democrats, which I believe we are”.

Mohammed, who also carried placards alongside his people to express their views, said that, “Kwara state was created on May 17, 1967. Incidentally, in less than one month from now, our dear state will be 55 years old. Since the return to democracy in 1999, Kwara South has had the privilege of having the governorship seat for eight years. Kwara Central, interestingly, has enjoyed that rotational arrangement for almost 16 years!

“Coincidentally, the only governor ever produced by Kwara North (for 18 months, in the second Republic) was under the platform of SDP and our people are poised to repeat the same”.

“In view of the above stated facts, if SDP fails to take the ticket to Kwara North, it will be an indication of continuous marginalization of Kwara Northerners and our teeming party faithful electorates, voters will have no option but to leave the party for a better option and that will signify the death of SDP in the zone. God forbid!”.

“Kwara Northerners have long come together and are determined not to support any other zone in the race for the governorship seat this time. Any Northerner clamouring for a candidate outside Kwara North is doing so as a money-making venture that will not translate to electoral votes come 2023.

“Our people’s position is quite simple: if the party fails to pick a governorship candidate from Kwara North, we might as well kiss their votes ‘goodbye’.

“The Social Democratic Party, SDP, is known for social justice, and majority of her members in Kwara state have also stood against injustice by fighting past
hegemonic dominance. As such, this must be re-echoed in the current political discourse in the SDP if the party must win the gubernatorial election come 2025.
There can never be any meaningful state-wide development if there is the prevalence of injustice which every faith goes against.

He also said that the district is blessed with many capable, competent, intelligent and intellectually vibrant technocrats and politicians that are men of integrity, who, he added, had also made remarkable achievements in their chosen careers.

“Politically, Kwara North is a power house of no mean repute!
The senatorial district had the second highest votes cast in the 2019 election results (34%); Kwara Central about (39%) while Kwara South (27%).

“Any argument in favour of Kwara Central factor is a fallacy as incumbency will only serve to further split the vote of Kwara Central more than that of Kwara
North which as at today has SDP in the majority. The people of Kwara North are fully prepared to bring more votes than ever if given the gubernatorial ticket under the platform of SDP. This is evident as we, the major politically grass rooted youths with our structures had left APC for SDP.

“In view of the above stated facts, if SDP fails to take the ticket to Kwara North, it will be an indication of continuous marginalization of Kwara Northerners and our teeming party faithful electorates, voters will have no option but to leave the party for a better option and that will signify the death of SDP in the zone. God forbid.

“The “Otoge” struggle of 2019 yielded a landslide victory because of the huge commitment from Kwara Northerners and other parts of the State to produce a Kwara Central governor as the ultimate beneficiary and it is time to reciprocate the gesture and stop peddling half-truths and propaganda to serve parochial
interests.

“In furtherance, we are warning the leadership of our dear party at the National level that 2023 will be the second wave of “Otoge” that will reset Kwara, enshrine
inclusive governance and make the state a shining example of true democracy that will stand for Unity and Social Justice for all.

“We cannot continue to play the ostrich. We must unanimously agree on the zoning of governorship seat to Kwara North Senatorial District. And all hands
must be on deck to ensure victory in the 2023 general elections.
stich in time SAVES nine!”.

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