By Mumini AbdulKareem
The Deputy Chief Whip of the Kwara State House of Assembly, Hon Felicia Ebun Owolabi, a Professor of Educational Psychology and Director, Centre for International Education of the University of Ilorin, Prof. Olabisi Olasehinde-Williams and the wife of a former council chairman in Kwara State are being considered as additional nominees by the state chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to fill the Deputy Governor’s slot, National Pilot, learnt last night.
Although the PDP has reportedly zoned the slot to Irepodun in Kwara South, the inclusion of Owolabi from Osi in Ekiti Local government was allegedly the result of some influential women lobby group in the state said to be pushing her course after a meeting with the Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki at his GRA residence on Saturday.
Prof Olasehinde-Williams and the spouse of the former local government chairman are from Irepodun.
Spirited efforts by our reporter to get the name of the wife of the former council boss met brick wall last night but a source in one of the top churches in the country who confided in our reporter described the contender as a graduate of Bible College from one of the popular churches in Lagos “with a Masters degree”.
The development is coming just as contestants in Irepodun have enlisted the support of traditional rulers in the state to lobby influential stakeholders for the party to consider them for the post.
Another source in the Kwara State civil service who spoke on the matter last night said Prof Olasehinde-Williams was a nominee of the Founder, Living Faith World international better known as Winners Chapel, Bishop David Oyedepo, who hails from Omu-Aran.
A first class graduate of Ahmadu Bello University, Prof Olasehinde-Williams, aged 66, was a visiting scholar in the University of Technology, Sydney, Australia from 1999-2000.
It was gathered that the issue of the deputy governorship slot dominated discussion at the highest level of the leadership of the party, last week.
On Saturday, women leaders across the three senatorial districts in the state pleaded with the Senate President, Dr Abubakar Bukola Saraki, for them to produce “a grassroots female politician” as the first female deputy governor in the state.
While making a case for a female appointee, they promised to rally support for the success of all PDP candidates in the coming elections as they have always done.
Since the emergence of the immediate past speaker of the Kwara Assembly and the Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Judiciary, Hon Razak Atunwa as the PDP’s governorship candidate in next year’s election, the issue of who deputises him has been raging among interested contenders.
Meanwhile, indigenes of the local government who had earlier indicated interest in the race have reportedly enlisted the support of first class traditional rulers in the state to help lobby the leadership of the party.
A source who spoke on the issue said some of the interested persons have approached royal fathers in their communities to help lobby the Emir of Ilorin, Alhaji Ibrahim Sulu Gambri on the matter.
Five indigenes of Irepodun had earlier emerged front runners for the race in Irepodun.
They include a two-term member of the House of Representatives and Deputy Chief of Staff to Senate President, Gbenga Makanjuola, former commissioner III in the Local Government Service Commission and immediate past secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state, Chief Bode Adekanye and former member of the state House of Assembly in the seventh legislature, Elder David Bamidele, a two time Special Adviser to Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed on Labour Matters and Students Affairs, Comrade Bisi Fakayode and another Special Adviser to the Governor on Agriculture and Rural Water Support Service, Anu Ibiwoye.