…exercise holds for Senate, Reps, today
Kwara records highest number of guber aspirants in Nigeria
By Mumini AbdulKareem
The entire Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) gubernatorial aspirants in the North Central zone of the country will on Saturday in Lafia, Nasarawa State, undergo the party’s screening exercise ahead of the 2019 general elections.
The exercise which will take place at the zonal office of the party will cover the six states in the region which include Kwara, Niger, Nasarawa, Kogi, Benue and Plateau.
According to one of the officials, Alhaji Toyin Olosasa who confirmed the development to National Pilot, the zonal office of the party is very much ready for the exercise adding that it is expected to take place simultaneously across other regions of the country.
According to the time table released by the national leadership of the party, screening for the national assembly members will come up today, September20 while Saturday September 22 has been scheduled for governorship screening.
The party’s presidential screening will come up on 23rd September, 2018, while primaries for the House of Assemblies will hold September 26th. Primaries for House of Representatives and Senate will come up September 30th and October 2nd respectively.
Similarly, primaries for the governorship will take place October 3 while October 6 is scheduled for its National Convention.
However, the Kwara State chapter of the PDP, yesterday announced change in venue and time for the screening of National Assembly aspirants.
According to a statement by its state Publicity Secretary, Tunde Ashaolu, the exercise which was earlier scheduled to hold at the party secretariat will now hold from 10am to 6pm today (Thursday) at Kwara Hotel, Ilorin.
He disclosed that the screening committee from the national headquarters of the party would be on ground for the exercise, stressing that the process would be free, fair and transparent.
Ashaolu maintained that screening for governorship aspirants of the party will still hold on Saturday, 22 September, 2018 at the PDP North Central Zonal Secretariat in Lafia, Nasarrawa State.
Meanwhile, the number of gubernatorial aspirants jostling for the ticket is the highest in the country.
At least 21 aspirants from the PDP and the All Progressives Congress (APC) have collected intent and nomination forms which closed this week in their respective parties.
Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Muhammed on Wednesday alluded to this fact in Ilorin during a parley organised for APC governorship aspirants under the platform of factional executives at Savannah Hotel, Ajase-Ipo road, Ilorin.
Although 13 governorship aspirants reportedly picked the intent and nomination forms of the party, only 12 of them with the exception of Alhaji Kayode AbdulWahab, showed up for the parley. No reason was given for his absence.
According to the minister, the development is a demonstration of the party’s resolve to give everybody equal opportunity adding that the parley is a unique one in the state.
He assured that the leadership of the APC in the state will not favour any governorship candidate or predetermine the outcome of the primaries.
During the parley, all the aspirants were given five minutes each to sell their manifestoes to the gathering.
“According to our record at the national headquarters, the last time we checked, Kwara State has the highest number of governorship aspirants in the country with this number. This we believe is a sign of how democratic the party has been and nobody will be favoured at any stage of the process,” he added.
Among the Kwara APC guber aspirants in attendance were; Alhaji Yakubu Gobir, Abdulfatai Yahaya Seriki, Mohammed Dele Belgore (SAN), Alhaji Tajudeen Audu, Alhaji Soliu Mustapha, Alhaji Kayode AbdulWahab, Alhaji Shuaib Yahman Abdullahi, Prof Shuaib Oba AbdulRaheem and Mallam Lukman Mustapha.
Others include; Hon Moshood Mustapha, Hakeem Lawal, AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq and Mallam Ishaq Modibbo Kawu
The aspirants from the PDP included; Prof Suleiman Abubakar, Hon Zakari Muhammed of the House of Representatives, former Chief of Staff, Alhaji Ladi Hassan, former Attorney-General of Kwara state, Barr. Saka Isau (SAN), Kwara State Speaker, Dr Ali Ahmad, Hon Ahman Pategi, former Governor of Kwara State, Shaaba Lafiagi, former APC National Spokesman, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi and ex- Aide De Camp to former Senate President, Ibrahim Ajia.