By Mumini AbdulKareem
Strong indications emerged last night that the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the newly launched radio station in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital, Sobi FM, Alhaji Lukman Mustapha is being touted to emerge the gubernatorial candidate of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the 2019 race in the state.
Lukman, is the younger brother of the Special Adviser to the Senate President on Special Duties, Hon Moshood Mustapha.
A number of reasons were allegedly considered for Mustapha’s choice by some top members of the PDP, it was gathered last night.
Apart from his media platform which the party would consider strong campaign machinery for the election, Lukman also hails from the Kwara Central region in the state where the 2019 battle might likely be shifted between the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and the PDP.
Other factors that were also being suggested in his favour include the freshness he will be bringing into the race as an untainted candidate who has the wherewithal to contest the election.
The launch of the younger Mustapha’s radio station last week was described as a political jamboree of sort as the event attracted top politicians within the PDP in the state according to those who spoke to this medium about the matter.
Speaking on the issue which was described as “Project 2019”, a source who confided in this medium last night said, “Lukman is believed to have the means and wherewithal for the race and seen as untainted unlike other PDP leaders.
“Dele Belgore may be faced with credibility crisis if he was fielded due to his current travails with the EFCC over the N450m election campaign fund.
“He is from the Kwara Central which is likely to be where the battle ground will be shifted come 2019 by both the PDP and APC. He already has his own media platform which the PDP has lacked for long and believed to be a sellable candidate,” the source added.
Another part of the scheming, it was learnt, was the issue of Moshood Mustapha who is reportedly interested in the ticket in the APC.
National Pilot gathered that although the Senate President’s aide was not behind the establishment of Sobi FM, the project was to allegedly see that the governorship race in the state come 2019 is domiciled in the family.
A highly placed source who confided in this medium last night said both siblings may be banking on the development to see that one of Mustaphas emerged the candidate of the leading political parties in the state.
According to the source, depending on who among Moshood or Lukman that emerged from any of the political parties, one of them will step down to clear the road for the other.
“The plot is this. You know MM (Moshood Mustapha) is one of those that have shown real interest to contest for gubernatorial seat in the state. But with the new plot, the plan is for one of the family members to get the ticket.
“If MM is finally told by the leadership of the ruling party to step down for another candidate, his brother will emerge from the opposition party. But if on the other hand, he (MM) is considered for the ticket in the APC, his brother will step down and support him”.
But reacting to the report, the Sobi FM boss told this medium last night through a telephone chat that nothing is certain yet adding that “we’ll cross the bridge when we get there”.
“I am not aware of any such plans and nobody has approached me about being considered to be the candidate of the PDP.
“So until then, we get to the bridge, we will cross it,” the younger Mustapha added.
Also the factional Chairman of the PDP in the state, Prince Sunday Fagbemi told this medium on telephone that the party is ready to work with anybody that can deliver the governorship seat for the PDP.
“Well, I am not aware of any plot to that effect as we speak now. I have not met the person in question personally and so might not be able to access him. But I can tell you that we are ready to work with anybody that will lead us to victory in the state governorship race come 2019,” Fagbemi submitted.
Efforts to reach the other factional PDP Chairman in the state, Iyiola Oyedepo, last night, proved abortive as calls to his line were not answered.
Also reply of text message sent to his line was still being awaited as at the time of filing this report.
Recall that Oyedepo and other notable leaders from his faction including former deputy governorship candidate of the party in the 2015 election graced the commissioning of Sobi FM in Ilorin last week.