By Mumini AbdulKareem
Contest for the forthcoming local government chairmanship election slated for November 18 in Kwara State took a dramatic twist over the week following findings that several contenders lied over the credentials presented to the party.
It was gathered that several aspirants under the banners of the All Progressives Congress (APC) who had claimed to have obtained degrees and Higher National Diplomas from universities and polytechnics could not defend the claims when confronted with the allegation by the party.
National Pilot learnt that some aspirants who claimed to be National Certificate of Education (NCE) holders were discovered to be “just market traders” with School Leaving Certificates.
“Others were found not to have possessed the first degree they claimed to have and the situation cut across the three Senatorial Districts of the state”, a source added.
Another insider who spoke on the issue last night told this medium that the situation was very worrisome and baffled some leaders in the party.
Some of the affected persons were said to be aspirants of some “very influential” party leaders.
It was gathered that the issue has already been discussed by the APC leadership in the state with accusing fingers being pointed at some leaders of the party over the matter.
Based on this premise, APC reportedly seconded a member of the state executive to be part of the seven-man committee set up to screen aspirants across the 16 councils, yesterday and “to tidy things up” in the process.
At the last APC stakeholders meeting held at the Banquet Hall in Ilorin on Tuesday, Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed was said to have alluded to the matter and reportedly accused some party leaders of concession which resulted in the ugly situation.
It was learnt that the governor said any candidate considered unable to add value to local government administration in the state will be rejected.
“This is the era for people with requisite experience and qualification to man council administration in the state especially with the current economic recession. There is no more free money in Abuja in the guise of federal allocation and any candidate considered unable to add value to local government administration in the state will be rejected,” Ahmed had said.
Speaking on the issue, in a telephone chat last night, the state Chairman of the party, Hon Ishola Balogun-Fulani said the party will decide on the matter when it officially received such report.
“For now, we have not seen or heard anything to that regards. Until such report is officially submitted that is when we can then decide what to do. But for now, I have heard nothing of such”, he added.
…disquiet in Kaiama over chairmanship candidate
By Joke Adeniyi-Jackson
The choice of whom to present as chairmanship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for the November 18, 2017 LG polls, is causing furore in Kaiama Local Government Area of Kwara State.
National Pilot learnt that elders of the party in the council are yet to come to a consensus over the issue.
The chairmanship seat in Kaiama had been zoned to Constituency A which comprised of Gwanabe 1, Gwanabe 2, Banni, Gwria and Adena wards.
This medium gathered that the seat was later streamlined to three wards by the 11-man committee set up by the party, which consequently led to emergence of Usman Yusuf (Banni); Aliyu Umar Monde (Gwanabe 2) and Abdullahi Bata Abubakar (Gwanabe 1).
A party stalwart in the local government who confided in this medium last night, said the issue has created a gulf among party elders in the area.
The politician, who craved anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue, said the elders are routing for different aspirants.
“Majority of the elders wants Yusuf from Banni Ward to emerge as the candidate for the chairmanship seat but a few interests are routing for Abubakar from (Gwanabe 2).
“Why many want the chairmanship to go to Banni ward is for fairness and equity in the distribution of political appointments.
“The other two wards have had their fair share of political appointment; it is only Banni that has not benefitted so much from this arrangement,” the source added.
The source also stated that Yusuf has the experience having served as the vice chairman of the council twice and his unalloyed loyalty to the party hierarchy.
“This is the working arrangement put in place by the Saraki dynasty and the leader of the party in the state, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki.”
When contacted over the development last night, a party elder in the local government, Alhaji Alhassan Bagidi denied knowledge of the development.
According to him, there is no problem over the choice of who should emerge the candidate, saying that the process of selection is ongoing.
He denied the marginalisation of Banni ward in political appointments at the state level, saying “no ward is a slave to the other.”
On the allegations that some elders are routing for Abubakar, he said it is a matter of interest as anyone can support any of the three candidates.
In his reaction to the issue, the immediate past Transition Implementation Committee chairman in the local government, Adamu Yakubu confirmed that some party members are aggrieved over the zoning arrangement.
Yakubu, is one of the aspirants disqualified from the race by the zoning arrangement, which did not favour his constituency.
He said this is the first time that such process would be deployed by the party in the local government for selection purpose
“Since the inception of Kaiama, zoning had never been an issue; we always go for credible candidates, so it came as a shock to most of us.
“We were told that it is a directive from the party or the leader but the issue has been generating controversy within the party here,” he added.