By Mumini Abdulkareem
The Kwara State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) will today (Thursday) screen aspirants vying for the state House of Assembly seats on the platform of the party.
The screening is coming ahead of the party’s state Assembly primaries slated for September 26th, 2108.
The PDP Publicity Secretary in the state, Tunde Ashaolu, who disclosed this in a statement yesterday, said only aspirants who have obtained and submitted their expression of interest and nomination forms are to come for the screening slated for the Kwara Hotel’s Banquet Hall, Ilorin starting from 10am.
He added that members of the screening committee from the national headquarters in Abuja are already in town for the assignment.
The party’s spokesperson assured that the exercise will be free, fair and transparent, stressing that the PDP will present the best candidates for the state Assembly election in 2019.
But the race for the assembly seat took another dimension last night as Commissioner for Environment, Mr Shayo Amos reportedly decided to dump the executive for legislature by picking his intent form to contest the Ekiti Constituency.
Similarly, another former commissioner for Environment, Barr. Kayode Towoju, has picked his intent form to contest for the Oke-Ero seat which has been zoned to Ekan ward, it was gathered.
Hon Victoria Bunmi Afolayan who is presently serving out the term of her late husband, late Musa Afolayan will not be returning according to the zoning arrangement in the local government.
A top source who confided in this reporter regarding the development, said as at last night, five aspirants who have indicated interest in the race were determined to go through the “process” despite pleas from the stakeholders.
“The five of them have however declared that they will support whoever wins at the end of the day.
“Aside Towoju, names of the other aspirants include a former special assistant and presently member of the Governing Council of Kwara Srare College of Education, Oro, Mr Kayode Bankole, one Mrs Awoleye who is an aspirant from the old PDP, Mr Dapo Jolayemi and Mr Kehinde Bankole,” the source added.
In Ilorin West, the Deputy Leader of the House, Hon Segilola Abdulkadir will be picking her Intent form to contest for the House of Representatives for Ilorin West/Asa after completing her two terms. She is looking to replace Hon Razak Atunwa who is said to be eyeing the seat of the governor.
Atunwa was reportedly billed to return to NASS until the latest development which reportedly prompted the leadership of the party to zone the ticket to Ilorin West and Magaji Ngeri Constituency that were yet to enjoy such privilege before.
Other contenders from the constituency include Special Assistant to Governor Ahmed on Youth Empowerment, Alhaji Saka Babatunde, Hon Suleiman Warah from Warah-Osin and Project Director, ABS Mandate Office, Ibrahim Yinka Otukoko.
Meanwhile, Hon Segilola’s slot in Magaji Ngeri Constituency at the Kwara House of Assembly is likely to be filled by the daughter of the Emir of Ilorin and Special Assistant to Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed on Poverty Alleviation, Hajia Aishat Sulu-Gambari. Also interested is the immediate past state Youth Leader under the All Progressives Congress, Abdulkadir Oba Aluko who has also reportedly collected and submitted his nomination and intent forms.
Also interested is Hajia Jemilat Salman Ishola from Warah Osin, who has tagged her campaign; Reality 2019.
Although Hon AbdurRahman AbdulRafiu representing Ilorin North West has picked the intent form to return to the House but over five others were said to have collected the form to vie for the seat.
In Offa, House Leader, Hon Hassan Oyeleke who has also completed his two-term has reportedly collected the House of Representatives form to vie for the Ifelodun/Oyun/Offa Federal Constituency seat currently occupied by his former colleague in the state Assembly, Hon Tope Olayonu.
The latter is reported to have shown interest to return by picking up the intent form.
It was however not clear last night whether Hon Saheed Popoola will be vying for the seat to represent Balogun Ojomu state constituency after his alleged interest in the senatorial ticket under the APC.
Popoola is the only lawmaker out of the 24 House members that did not defect to the PDP.
Aside Hon Oyeleke, Hon Segilola and Hon Afolayan, other ranking lawmakers who will not return to the House because of the zoning arrangement in their respective constituencies include chairman, House Committee on Appropriation, Hon Moshood Bakare, Chairman, House Committee on Judiciary, Hon Kamal Fagbemi, Hon Sikirat Anako, Hon Felicia Ebun Owolabi and the Speaker, Dr Ali Ahmad who is billed to contest the gubernatorial race. Among those who have reportedly picked the forms to replace the Speaker is Mallam Mohammed Musiliu from Akanbi Ward 4, Ilorin South.
Speaking with this medium, Musiliu popularly called (MC) said his aspiration was borne out of his desire to provide good representation for the people of Ilorin South Constituency, noting that the Constituents deserve nothing but the best.
He said, as a youth and entrepreneur, his focus aside from assisting in making good laws for the state would also mentor the youths of Ilorin South to be self-dependent rather than relying on white collar jobs that are very minimal.
He, however called on party members, stakeholders from his ward and particularly in Ilorin South Local Government to support his aspiration so as to pick the PDP ticket for the House of Assembly and win in the election proper.
Other first term lawmakers, who will not return to the state legislature except last minute change in the zoning arrangement, it was gathered last night, include Hon Babatunde Muhammad (Moro), Hon Mobalaji Amasa (Asa), who is being challenged by Alhaji Isiaka Labaika among others.