By Mumini AbdulKareem
Ahead the November 4 local government elections in Kwara State, interested aspirants in the race have allegedly commenced subtle moves to emerge elected chairmen in their respective councils, National Pilot gathered last night.
The chairman of the Kwara State Independent Electoral Commission (KWASIEC), Dr Uthman Ajidagba, on Monday announced that the commission had fixed date for conduct of the exercise which has attracted legal arguments and criticisms from opposition parties.
The KWASIEC boss, who notified all political parties and other relevant stakeholders of the commencement of 2017 councils electioneering in the state, revealed that the commission had acquired boats to be used for the poll in the riverside areas of the state.
But majority of those who would emerge as chairmen are going to be determined by zoning, it was further gathered.
The tenure of the immediate past elected council bosses in the state lapsed November 2016 and replaced by appointed Transition Implementation Committee (TIC) which served for six months.
According to findings by this medium last night, although some councils are yet to schedule caucus meetings to ratify the zoning arrangement of the All Progressives Congress, supporters of interested candidates have started to market them on social media.
Those allegedly jostling for chairmanship in various councils include former elected council chairmen, their vices, TIC appointees, special advisers, former House of Representatives aspirants, one time Youth coordinators and speakers of councils among others.
Multiple sources who spoke on the issue with this medium last night, said the race will be intensified in the coming weeks ahead of the announced date.
A top source in Ilorin Central who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorised to speak to the press on the issue yet said “all those that have indicated interest but do not fall within the ward the chairmanship is zoned to by the party (APC) will automatically be dropped because of the existing rotation policy in the local government”.
Another source from Kwara South who confirmed that the issue is already taking front burner in local politics in the state, said there is no limit to the number of aspirants for now since “it can be regarded as all comers affairs now and list is expected to swell in the coming days.
“But by the time the party (APC) conducts its primary and KWASIEC is notified, then the picture will become clearer.”
Some of the aspirants who National Pilot spoke to last night confirmed their involvement but preferred to “keep it low” for now, adding that they represent the best candidates from their councils for the seat.
In Ilorin West Local Government where the race has reportedly been zoned to Magaji Ngeri/Warah Osin/Oko-Erin wards, those that have allegedly entered the race include, the son of former Grand Kadi of the state Sharia Court of Appeal, Ibrahim Abdulkadir Orire; incumbent TIC chairman, Abdulwahab Ololele; state youth leader who was a former House of Representatives aspirant from Badari, Oba Aluko and former TIC vice chairman, Alhaji Soliu AbdulRahman Ayinde.
For Irepodun, zoned to Omu-Aran/Oko/Arandun, the contenders include former SA Judiciary, Teju Oguntoye; ex–council chair and cousin of Yemi Afolayan, the late PDP secretary, Niyi Fabiyi; former Youth Empowerment Coordinator (YEC) for Irepodun, Muyiwa Oladipo; immediate past supervising councillor for Agric, Engr Emmanuel Lanre Oyeniyi (EBO) and Gbenga Ajayi who is running the constituency office of Funke Adedoyin.
Other contenders include council speaker during chairmanship tenure of Hajia Basira Mohammed, Sunday Aremu and Barrister Bello Afolayan, former commissioner in Teaching Service commission.
In Ifelodun, immediate past TIC chairman from Oke-Ode, Fatai Garuba Labaka; present TIC chairman, Isiaka Ayinka Omoniyi from Babanla and former Permanent Secretary I (SUBEB) from Babanloma, Yakubu Abdullahi are jostling for the office.
The seat had reportedly been zoned to Oke-Ode.
For Patigi, former TIC chair during late Governor Mohammed Lawal’s administration, Alhaji Sha’aba Saba Uthman; immediate past vice chairman of the council, Alhaji Muazu Sanni Shuaib and a retired civil servant, Alhaji Muazu Abdullahi Muhammed, are said to be the front runners. Others will emerge later, a source said.
The contest for Edu that has reportedly been zoned to Tsaragi has Dan Masani Tsaragi, Alhaji Abdullahi Bele; a party stalwart, Abdullahi Umar and one Mallam Sha’afi as early contenders.
In Baruten, it was gathered that former elected council vice chairman in the last administration, AbdulRasheed Ibrahim; former councillor, Saliu Idris; former council secretary, Issa Abdullahi and a retired agric officer, Saidu Musa are in the race,
The early list in Kaiama include, Immediate past TIC chair, Adamu Bani Yakubu from Kaiama ward III; a party stalwart, Muhammed Umar Papa from Kaiama ward 11; Audu Bata from Gbanade II and Ahmed Aboki, an House of Assembly aspirant on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) during the last election.
For Offa, it was gathered that the list include, one-time secretary of council from Sawo south/west, Mallam Aliu Ibrahim; former secretary of the last elected council from Balogun ward, Wasiu Isioye; present council secretary, Lasun Olarinoye from Ojomu Central B; Dr Ganiyu Shittu, a council member from Sawo central; Jare Olatundun from Ojomu South/East who served as former SA on Sport during Saraki’s administration and Engr. Orimadegun Agboworin from Sawo South/East ward, factional chairman of PDP in Offa.
Although, name of contenders in Moro, Oke-Ero, Ilorin East and South, Asa, Ekiti where still sketchy last night, it was learnt that the seat had been zoned to Malete/Ajanaku, Idofin Igbana, Gambari I, Balogun-Fulani I,II,III, Afon and Osi/Karo respectively.
There were however conflicting accounts on the zoning arrangement in Oyun. While some said it is the turn of Erin-Ile, a highly placed source however told this medium that it has been zoned to “Oke-Ogun comprising Ipee/Ijagbo/Igosun/Ikotun/Ojoku), adding that the current arrangement may have knocked Ijagbo and Ojoku out of the race.
THE FULL LIST AT A GLANCE
ILORIN WEST LGA
Ibrahim Abdulkadir Orire;
Alhaji Soliu AbdulRahman Ayinde.
Engr Emmanuel Lanre Oyeniyi (ELBO)
Barrister Bello Afolayan
Fatai Garuba Labaka
Isiaka Ayinka Omoniyi
Alhaji Sha’aba Saba Uthman
Alhaji Muazu Sanni Shuaib
Alhaji Muazu Abdullahi Muhammed
Alhaji Abdullahi Bele
Adamu Bani Yakubu
Muhammed Umar Papa
Mallam Aliu Ibrahim
Dr Ganiyu Shittu
Engr. Orimadegun Agboworin
Moro LGA, Oke-Ero, Ilorin East and South, Asa, Ekiti where still sketchy last night, it was learnt that the seat had been zoned to Malete/Ajanaku, Idofin Igbana, Gambari I, Balogun-Fulani I,II,III, Afon and Osi/Karo respectively.
There were however conflicting accounts on the zoning arrangement in Oyun. While some said it is the turn of Erin-Ile, a highly placed source however told this medium that it has been zoned to “Oke-Ogun comprising Ipe/Ijagbo/Igosun/Ikotun/Ojoku), adding that the current arrangement may have knocked Ijagbo and Ojoku out of the race.