Monetary inducement may decide governor battle for Kwara. By Abiodun Fagbemi
Now that the die is cast, financial muscles rather than political jingoism may eventually be the deciding factor for the likely winner of the 2019 Governorship polls in Kwara state.
It is one battle that the political gadfly of the Kwaran politics Bukola Saraki will prosecute without much confidence unlike the previous ones he had won with ease.
Already, political pundits have narrowed the contest to a straight battle between two of the Governorship candidates: AbdulRahaman AbdulRasak of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and AbdulRasak Atunwa of the People's Democratic Party (PDP).
The third force in the struggle may be Issa Aremu of the Labour Party (L/P).
While AbdulRasak the son of the first Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) in the defunct Northern Region is being touted as a multi billionaire in the global Petroleum business, Atunwa on the order hand with his modest family background would surely depend on the financial strength of his political god father, the Senate President, Saraki.
It is not yet certain how Aremu, a senior Labour activist would match the duo money for money.
The APC flag bearer, a loyalist of President Muhammadu Buhari, having shared the same political party with the President under the defunct (CPC), is a native of Ilorin, the state capital.
Atunwa a legal practitioner of note, a former Speaker of the Kwara State House of Assembly, and a serving member of the Green Chamber (House of Representatives,) is from Asa LGA of the state.
Asa is part of five LGAs that make up what is regarded as 'Ilorin Emirate.'
Politics in Kwara had in the past been enmeshed in welfarism system especially to the down trodden majority of qualified voters.
The method was utilised maximally by the late doyen of the state's politics Dr Olusola Saraki to assert his firm grip on the local politics for over three decades.
But at present, the political docility of the elites class seems to have been jettisoned for the politics of "who among us can expend his resources like Sarakis to win the hearts of voters in the state."
Sources told The Guardian in Ilorin that the most important factor "for the choice” of the APC candidate far and above others by the National hierarchy of the party was his financial strength
But the Chairman of the party in the state Bashiru Omolaja Bolarinwa popularly called BOB sharply criticised this noting that AbdulRasak "emerged the winner of the Governorship primary of our great party by polling the highest majority votes cast and not because of any other factor."
One of the aspirants Moshood Mustapha blamed his disqualification "mid way into the primary," on the alleged political "abracadabra" of the Minister of Information and Culture Alhaji Layiwola Mohammed.
He therefore called for outright cancellation of the primary.
But an aide of the Oro in Irepodun LGA of Kwara born politician under anonymity expressed sadness with Mustapha's claims urging him to embrace the rule and reality of democratic norms, adding, "we can only present one candidate to the INEC and not two.
So whosoever losses should not attempt embarking on any buck passing voyage."
Unconfirmed reports said Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, a national chieftain of the APC was allegedly sighted in Ilorin a few hours to the primary.
The 'Jagaban' of Borgu was believed to have visited the aspirants a few hours to the contest. Reports of the purported meeting were said to have been kept secret.