Ajibola blames PDP loss in Kwara on "wave of change"

Date: 2015-04-06

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship candidate in Kwara State, Senator Simeon Sule Ajibola, attributed the failure of the party to win any National Assembly seat in the last Presidential and National Assembly elections to low level of voter education.

He noted that the party was a victim of the national wind of change, saying the outcome of the election indicated that many people wanted to vote for APC presidential candidate and therefore voted for all the party's candidates.

Ajibola stated this while meeting with members of the 2015 Press Week Committee of the Kwara State Council of Nigeria Union of Nigeria (NUJ) in Ilorin.

Daily Trust reports that during the last election, APC won the presidential election and all the nine National Assembly elections in Kwara State.

Ajibola reiterated that the state APC leveraged on the popularity of the APC presidential candidate, General Mohammadu Buhari in the last election.

He, however, expressed confidence that the outcome of the last elections would not in any way have negative effect on his aspiration to emerge the next governor in the state.

The PDP governorship candidate stated that leadership of the party should not be blamed for the outcome of the election as being made to believe in some quarters.

He said, "The outcome (of the elections) did not in any way discourage or have any negative effect on my own aspiration. Agreed that we least expected what the result turned out to be, we were thinking that we would be able to achieve, at least, 70 per cent of success, but it turned the other way round.

"After the analysis of the result nationwide, I discovered that there is a general desire for a change at National level that cuts across a very sizeable part of this country. And this one was achieved through the determination of the electorate. It is that wind of change that in turn affected our National Assembly candidates because the level of voters' enlightenment programme was very low.

"People could not even readily differentiate the ballot paper that was meant for presidential, the ballot paper that was meant for senatorial and the ballot paper that was meant for the House of Representatives. You would not believe it, I also saw that ballot paper for the first time. The INEC was not too fair to voters generally by not letting us know the kind of colour. It is only even by the margin that differentiates this ballot paper.

"You know Kwara State, particularly in Kwara North and rural areas, teeming voters can neither read nor write. They could only vote by symbol, and since a lot of these people had Buhari (president-elect) in mind, that is what they voted all along. That now made us a casualty of the wave of change to bring Buhari to power.

"But the general opinion in Kwara State is that we desire change too in Kwara, positive change. God being on our side, by Saturday, that kind of thing that happened, would also happen in our favour such that both the gubernatorial candidate of PDP and the House of Assembly candidates, we will likely achieve 100 per cent".

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