By Mumini AbdulKareem
The list of interested candidates in the race for the appointment of the next Kwara State Chief of Staff swelled last night even as interested aspirants have reportedly stepped up lobby to clinch the top job.
To this end, many of the contestants have been reaching out to influential family members of Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq and some traditional leaders in the state to help get the governor’s nod over the issue.
It was gathered that last week, some traditional leaders in the state held a closed door meeting with the Governor on behalf of some of the aspirants.
The appointment of the next Chief of Staff to replace Dr Adisa Logun who died from Covid-19 complications in June has been enmeshed in high wire politicking and manoeuvrings with some of the aspirants already flying things in the media and many other social media platforms to discredit the opponents in their desperate bid to get the seat.
Findings last night by this medium revealed that personalities that have signified interest in the plum position are a retired Permanent Secretary and former Clerk of the House of Assembly, Alhaji AbdulKadir Mahee, a lecturer of Veterinary Medicine in the University of Ilorin, Dr Mohammed Ghali, a Deputy Director of the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB), Dr Yusuf Lawal and two high ranking government officials whose name could not be ascertained before this paper went to bed.
A source who confided with National Pilot on the issue last night said majority of the aspirants are connected to one of the governor’s siblings of Dr Alimi, Isiaka or Senator Khairat who have tried to intervene on their candidate behalf with the governor.
“The issue of the next chief of staff has assumed a frightening dimension among some of the aspirants I can tell you many of them have enlisted the support of either top traditional rulers in the state or members of the Governor’s family to help intercede with the governors on their behalf.
“Some of their emissaries especially siblings of the governor have either had their fingers burnt over the issue as the Governor has expressed displeasure for their action or left them in uncertainty.
“But there is presently high wire politicking in the race to outsmart each other to get the governor’s nod for appointment among the candidates. This is the situation now and because many of them know and understand that the governor can be unpredictable, they don’t want to live anything to chance and have well intensified efforts. The governor have his choice for the position even before late Dr Adisa Logun was appointment but the question now is whether he will return to that or come up with another shocker”, the source submitted.
Meanwhile, confusion has continued to trail the purported appointment of Mahee as the new chief of staff.
Reports about his appointment went viral on many social media and online platforms last week with some radio stations in the state also airing it.
Although the government was yet to release any statement confirming or denying Mahee’s reported appointment, the Adewole residence of the son of the late Emir of Ilorin have been a Mecca of sorts as indigenes besiege it to felicitate with him.
Several efforts to get his reaction over the development proved abortive last night as his phone was switched throughout the day.
The Kwara State Commissioner for Information, Mrs Adenike Afolabi-Oshatimehin did also not respond to several calls or text of message seeking clarification over the matter.
Senior Adviser and Counsellor to the Kwara State Governor, Kale Belgore, the Governor’s Special Adviser Political, Mallam Saadu Salahudeen and the Deputy Chief of Staff, Riskat Mohammed Babalola among others have been among those tipped to succeed the late Chief of Staff.
Recall that this medium had reported how the Governor’s sibling reportedly dragged him before their mum and matriarch of the Abdulrazaq’s family in Ilorin following disagreement of choice of candidates.
Dr. Yusuf Lawal: Dr Yusuf Lawal is a former of President of Third-Estate Ilorin Emirate forum and a 1985 graduate of Political Science and Administration, University of Maiduguri. In 1995, he bagged his Masters from the University of Lagos, before his Ph. D in Public Administration and Policy Analysis from the University of Abuja (2007). He joined JAMB as an Administration Officer I in 1989 from the Federal Ministry of Finance and Economic Development. He rose through the ranks and was later elevated to the post of the Director of Test Administration Department (JAMB).
Dr Ghali Mohammed: Dr Ghali Mohammed is a Researcher and Doctor of Veterinary Medicine of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria between 1985-1990 before his stint at the University of Ilorin as a lecturer in the Department of Public Health and Preventive Medicine. As a thorough academic, Dr Mohammed later bagged his Masters in Public Health and Bacterial Zoonoses in Raw Milk and has carried out Research on zero prevalence of Toxoplasmosis in Cats and Cat Owners in Kwara state.
Kale Belgore: Architect turned politician, Hon Kale Belgore once served as Director-General of the Bukola Saraki Campaign Group ahead of the 2003 gubernatorial election in Kwara State. Subsequently after the election of Saraki, Kale was appointed the Commissioner for Lands, Housing and Urban Development and he was a member of the governor’s kitchen cabinet. But he was later named Special Adviser on Political Affairs before he resigned. A nephew to former Kwara governorship candidate, Dele Belgore SAN, Kale was named Senior Adviser and Counsellor by Governor Abdurahman Abdulrazaq, a position he still occupies.
AbdulKadir Mahe: Mahe is a retired Permanent Secretary in Kwara State Civil Service and also a onetime Clerk of the Kwara State House of Assembly. He is a nephew to the present Emir of Ilorin, Alhaji Ibrahim Sulu Gambari and cousin to the present Chief of Staff to President Muhammadu Buhari, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari.
Mahe is a son of late Emir, AbdulKadir popularly known as Baba Agba.
By Mumini AbdulKareem