10 Kwara South senatorial aspirants battle seat with governor
AT least 10 aspirants for the position of Kwara South senatorial district representative in the 2019 general elections are jostling to slug it out with Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed.
Few months to end of his two-term tenure as governor of Kwara state, Ahmed, at the weekend, has declared his long-awaited intention to run for a seat in the Senate under the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), after series of denials over the intention.
Some of the senatorial aspirants include the incumbent, Dr Rafiu Ibrahim of the PDP, Architect Lola Ashiru, Alhaji Sulaiman Ajadi, Engineer Nurudeen Balogun, Hon. Saheed Popoola and Hajia Mariam Santana, among others.
Governor Ahmed, who announced this via his Twitter account on Saturday, said he had picked up the PDP Nomination Form for the Senatorial Primary Election.
"In response to calls by my people and in keeping with my strong desire to upscale the excellent work we have done in all three zones of the state, through effective, purposeful representation, I have picked up the PDP nomination form for Kwara South Senatorial District.'
Ahead of the primaries, Governor Ahmedís development strides across the stage, including the Kwara South Senatorial district, stand him in good stead with the people and have highly boosted his chances of clinching the ticket and winning the ticket in the 2019 general elections. His numerous accomplishments in the zone include the International Vocational Technical Entrepreneurship College, Ajase Ipo, the new Kwara State University Satellite Campus at Osi, as well as commendable strides in the roads, health, energy, water, education and informal sectors. Besides his sterling performance in office, Governor Ahmed is also a well-loved and popular figure across the state, especially in his home Senatorial district, Kwara South.
Governor Ahmed has severally defended his recent movement to the PDP on the grounds that his former party limited access to platforms for securing benefits for the people of Kwara State as a whole. His Senatorial ambition is seen in the light of his strong determination to better represent his people, and provide inclusive leadership in Kwara South".
Also, the incumbent Senator for the Kwara South senatorial district, Dr Rafiu Ibrahim of the PDP has sought re-election to the seat as he obtained the PDP Expression of Interest and Nomination Form at the weekend.
A media aide of the lawmaker, Abdulqadir Abdulganiyu, who disclosed this in a statement on Saturday, said his boss had heeded the clamour of his constituents to run for another term in the upper chamber of the National Assembly.
He expressed confidence that the lawmaker would pick the partyís ticket ahead of other aspirants, stressing that his record of achievements and performance in the Senate in the last three years placed him on a good stead to clinch the ticket and eventually get re-elected.
According to him, Dr Rafiu's re-election bid has received tremendous endorsements from his constituents and stakeholders across the seven local government areas of Kwara South.
Abdulganiyu added that the Senator had consulted widely with the party leadership, party elders and relevant stakeholders including traditional and religious leaders within Kwara South and they have all offered their support.
He noted that the lawmaker had performed excellently in his legislative duties and had delivered various constituency intervention projects including renovation of schools, provision of transformers, skill acquisition programmes, scholarships, provision of employment opportunities and empowerment programmes, among others.
He assured that Senator Rafiu Ibrahim will continue to offer quality representation for the people of his constituency and ensure that they get whatever benefits that should accrue to them.
Among All Progressives Congress (APC) contenders for the Kwara South senatorial district slot in the Senate in 2019 include a US-based aeronautics engineer and philanthropist, Engineer Nurudeen Adeyemi Balogun.
Balogun, who had anchored mobile health clinic in the senatorial district ahead of the announcement of his intentions to run for the Senate seat, had also contributed to the socioeconomic and political development of the Igbomina people over the years.
Another veteran politician under APC, stepping forward to slug it out with Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed is Architect Lola Ashiru of the APC
Architect Lola Ashiru, from Offa, an accomplished technocrat and philanthropist has contested the senatorial position in 2011 and 2015 under different political platforms.
Also, the former special adviser to President Goodluck Jonathan on Inter-Parliamentary Affairs, Alhaji Sulaiman Ajadi, who had also served as the representative of the Kwara South senatorial district in the Senate in 2007 is aspiring to go back to the Senate under the APC.
The erudite politician also contested for the same position in 2015 but lost to the incumbent.
Also in the race is a current member of the state House of Assembly, representing Offa state constituency, Hon. Saheed Popoola, who is contesting under APC.
Hon Popoola is the only member of the Kwara House who refused to defect to the opposition PDP with other 23 members of the House during recent defection in the 24-member House.
He is said to be a top ally of the APC national leader.