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Published On: Fri, Aug 8th, 2014

2015: How Ahmed’s second term may eclipse Kwara Speaker’s dream

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Gov Abdulfatah AhmedFrom Olanrewaju Lawal, Ilorin

For the first time in the history of Kwara south senatorial district, the region has started campaigning for its candidate to have a second term in office as the executive Governor of Kwara state. This was against the belief that only Senator Bukola Saraki, the god father of Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed could anoint his second term aspiration.

It was believed in some quarters that when Saraki, Governor Ahmed and others were in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) before joining the All Progressives Congress (APC), Governor Ahmed had been reportedly assured of a second term in office.

Also, some political pundits and close political associates of Saraki are reportedly of the view that since the Kwara South senatorial district had not been given the chance rule the state to under the current democracy, the present Governor should be given a second term.

However, this arrangement may after all not be possible as it was gathered that Kwara North senatorial district would be given the slot under the APC’s administration since the immediate past Governor of the state, Saraki, who hail, from Kwara Central senatorial district had spent eight years as the Governor of the state, from 2003 to 2011 while the late Governor Muhammed Lawal, also from the same zone spent four years in office, from 1999 till 2011.

But a political revolution might swing in the state if the calculation and expectations of the people of Kwara south senatorial district were not satisfied. Already some youth forum and pressure groups in the state have started campaigning that APC should give Ahmed a second term in office as a mark of respect for his achievements and loyalty to his god father. Besides, they also noted that the people of Kwara South senatorial district deserved to be given a second term irrespective of the party that had produced the Governor of the state. They argued that since the incumbent rode to the Government House under the umbrella of the PDP while his political god father was also in the same party, he should be, endorsed’, as the APC governorship candidate in the 2015 general elections.

While mounting pressure on the APC and Saraki, the Kwara South Youth Consultative Forum (KSYCF) appealed to the APC, and other stakeholders to give Ahmed a second term as the governor of the state. Chairman of the Forum, Comrade Kazeem Adakanye, along other members of while briefing Journalists in Ilorin noted that with the performances of the governor in the areas of education, road construction, water and agriculture, he really deserves a second term in office.

According to Adakanye, “we therefore call on all well-meaning Kwarans, irrespective of political, religious and ethnic affiliations to drum support for the actualization of the return of Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed come 2015 as the governor fin order to continue and complete the good work he had already started in various facets of human development.

“In view of the forgoing, we appeal to the electorates; Kwarans at home and abroad and non-Kwarans alike, residents in Kwara Central, North and South, be it youth, students, market men and women, artisans, politicians and traditional institution to support APC and our leader, Senator Dr Bukola Saraki. We plead with Senator Abubakar Bukola Saraki, the APC and all stakeholders to make this our vision of continued sharing of prosperity a reality by fielding Maigida in the 2015 elections as Governor, while on our part we assure the APC of massive votes” Adakanye pleaded.

The forum which denied insinuations from some quarters suggesting that the incumbent Governor may not be given the second term ticket said, they believe other interest groups and politicians might come out to express their ambition stressing that they should just support Governor Ahmed for a second term.

Joining in the agitation was the forum of former student’s leader’s council, which also seeks second term for Gov Ahmed. The group comprising of all the former students leaders in all the state owned tertiary institutions, argued that Governor Ahmed, who had served under Saraki as the Finance and Economy Commissioner for eight years and was behind some of the financial agreements and MoUs, especially the N30 billion bonds sought in the capital market to finance many capital projects during the Saraki’s administration and after, should be given a second term to serve the people of the state. For them, a trustworthy loyalists and sincere son of the state must be encouraged.

The leader of the council, Engr. Rasheed Abdulsalam Oladodo while briefing Journalists in Ilorin on their public support for the Governor’s second term, said Ahmed has built his political ideology and democratic principles, comparing the governor with the 35th US President, J. F Kennedy. The forum stressed that Ahmed has surpassed the other job seekers who will only visit the state every four years to seek power and return to their businesses. They also appealed to APC and Saraki to support their agitation in the spirit of continuity.

“Kwara needs a committed man, a dedicated man and a man that shares same vision of our leader and today, Dr Fatah Ahmed is the man. His Excellency has touched all areas of life especially on education which is the fulcrum of development. Our primary and secondary pupils can complete favourably with their counterparts in any part of the world. Our higher institutions do not only produce first class citizens but with a self reliance packages through the introduction of vocation studies and entrepreneurship in all tertiary institutions in Kwara State” the group stated.

The group noted that Governor Ahmed has increased the IGR of the state from N500 million to N800 million monthly stressing that he needed to be given another chance to serve the state beyond 2015 saying “a visit to any of our hospitals, clinics and maternity homes will convince you how efficient our health policies are in Kwara State.”

The Council added that the rate of rural-urban migration has dropped by 69% in the last three and half years because of rural integration policies put in place by the Kwara state government under the Maigida Administration.

However, there were feelers that Dr Bukola Saraki, who also hailed from Kwara Central senatorial district may ‘likely’, support the Governorship ambition of former Sports Minister, Alhaji Bolaji Abdullahi, who also from Kwara Central senatorial district. But the pressure from the supporters of the Speaker of the House of Assembly, Barrister Razak Atunwa, for him to also contest for the governor of the state may probably dampen the chance of Abdullahi. It was gathered that, Atunwa, who hails from Asa local government may not be returned to the house due to the tradition of rotation among the people of the constituency.

Our correspondent gathered that if Atunwa is not given a second term to return to the house, he may join the race to contest for governorship under the APC.

Sources also informed our correspondent that Atunwa was considering the second option of joining PDP if he was not given the ticket under the platform of APC thereby, setting him to work against his god father, Dr Bukola Saraki.

For the people of Kwara South, if Governor Ahmed is not given the second term, they have no option than to support the main opposition party, PDP. According to reliable source in the district, the area has strong members of PDP such as Senator Suleiman Makanjoula Ajadi, Senator Simeon Ajibola, Hon John Dara and others who are working for President Goodluck Jonathan. The source noted that, instead of losing their rights to the other senatorial districts, they would prefer to work for the presidency and gain federal government’s confidence which would be paid back in the nearest future.

In Kwara North Senatorial district, with prominent indigenes like Senator Sha’aba Lafiagi, Senator Ahmed Mohammed, Hon Zakari Mohammed, who are APC members, they still waiting for their turn beyond 2015 to produce governor of the state.

A reliable source in the area informed our correspondent that the former Governor of the state and Senator representing Kwara North senatorial district, Alhaji Sha’aba Lafiagi, has insisted that it was the turn of Kwara South to serve as governor of the state for the second term. His voice and body language has also paved the way for Ahmed to serve as the governor of the state for the second term.

Speaking with our correspondent under condition of anonymity, a confidant to Atunwa said the Speaker who also served as a Commissioner under Saraki’s administration, would continue to agitate for his political rights until the party, APC, gives the gubernatorial ticket to another candidate. The source reminded our correspondent that in the hit-up to the PDP primary, Atunwa was among the strong contestants against Ahmed and he was compensated with the house ticket and eventually elected as the Speaker despite the fact that he was a first timer.

Nevertheless, some political analysts believe that the unfolding political developments in the main opposition, PDP would determine the choice of candidates of APC under the ‘feet’, of Dr Bukola Saraki in the forth coming 2015 general election.

 

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