By Mumini AbdulKareem
Kwara State Commissioner for Finance, Alhaji Nurudeen Ademola Banu has asked members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Irepodun/Isin/Oke-Ero/Ekiti federal constituency to canvass support for the party ahead of the general election next year and the by-election slated for the 17th of November, 2018.
He spoke during the monthly interactive meeting and empowerment programme for party members in Ajase Ward 1, Ajase-Ipo on Saturday.
While expressing optimism that the party will emerge victorious in 2019 and during the by-election, Banu also told the party members and supporters to use the opportunity of resumption of the collection of the Permanent Voter’s Card (PVCs) by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to update their particulars.
The by-election has been fixed for the 17th of November, following the demise of late Hon. Funke Adedoyin, who until her death represented the Irepodun/Isin/Oke-Ero/Ekiti constituency in the House of Representatives.
He said the PDP is the only party on ground with the necessary structure and members to continue to win any elections conducted in the state and charged INEC to ensure the exercise was free and fair.
Banu, who said the opposition is already a confused party whose gubernatorial candidate, AbdurRahman AbdulRazaq is a no match for PDP’s Razak Atunwa, expressed optimism that the ruling party in the state remains the party to beat.
Speaking to newsmen on reasons for holding the monthly interactive meeting and the empowerment programme, Banu said it has helped in strengthening the bond with the grassroots and also provides opportunity for feedback to know where government interventions are appreciated and areas where such are still needed.
‘Today I met with about two thousand women and we discussed their expectations from the government and the forthcoming by-election in Irepodun/Isin/Oke-Ero/Ekiti federal constituency.
“Starting from Monday, they should use the opportunity created by INEC to update and collect their PVCs. And judging from today’s event, it is clear that the state PDP will win the next election. The large turnout you saw here today are only the women, excluding the men and the youths.
‘The programme is just a way of bonding with my people and it is what I always do from time to time, monthly and weekly where we discuss like a family and enlighten one another in order to keep them abreast of developments in the state and the country and you can see that they are all happy with the government, they all appreciate the developmental projects and the empowerment programmes the state government has initiated including the Vocational Centre here and they have pledged continued support for the administration.
On Atunwa’s candidacy and the opposition APC, Banu described the PDP candidate as a grassrooter with the requisite experience to hit the ground running having served the state in various capacities at the local and national levels.
“There is confusion everywhere in the APC, and the party is not in any way democratic. I don’t want to interfere in their affairs but right now, we don’t even know who their candidate is. They said somebody won but they gave it to AbdurRahman AbdulRazaq. We all know his antecedents. He will come few months to the election and once he loses, he disappears and come back when another election is approaching. He does not identify with his people and he has not even done any project that has benefitted his community in anyway and yet he says he wants to be governor’, he added.
Meanwhile, there was a mild drama during the programme as the Commissioner led thousands of supporters and youths to welcome the Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki who was on his way to Ilorin from the burial ceremony of late General David Bamigboye amidst chants of “Sai leader! Sai Saraki! Sai Bukola!”
Dr Saraki, who could not hide his happiness over the show of love waved at the overwhelming crowds while his security operatives had hectic time controlling the crowd.