By Jimoh Sulyman
The stage is set and the hour is now upon us for the highly anticipated Kwara PDP primary election, this is not just an important primaries to the party members but it is believed to be consequential to the future of the state in not too faraway future.
The election is billed to be a competitive one,one that will keep many people on the edges of their seats, because it will be a three horse race among three prominent Kwarans from the Northern part of it, to be specific.
Of course it is no longer news that the Peoples Democratic Party in the state in what they call adhering to their own principle of Equity, justice and fairness, zoned the gubernatorial ticket to the Kwara North senatorial District,a move that received widespread commendation.
North is a part of the state that had relatively been overlooked in the polity of the state and the last time the region produced a governor was close to three decades ago, in 1993 during the stillbirthed 3rd republic that fell to military incursion.
The Kwara North is just the like the state and the nation, is an heterogeneous entity made up of people of diverse identity and culture, Majority of which are the Nupe speaking part, the Baruten/Kaiama part and Moro LG part of the region.
In a seamless manner devoid of any voice of dissent, the region thereafter micro-zoned the gubernatorial ticket to the Nupe speaking part, while the senatorial berth goes to the Baruten/Kaiama part and ticket to the Green chambers was ceded to the people of Moro.
Needless to emphasize on the importance of the outcome of Wednesday’s primary to the Kwara state future as it will provide the people of the state a viable alternative at the polls, a candidate that will most likely lock horns with the incumbent Governor, AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq for the highly coveted seat.
What will most likely increase the chance of the eventual victor in this contest is that, the Kwara North across ethnical and political divides have come together to demand for the gubernatorial post for their region, which many people will agree that it’s been a long time coming.
Another element that will also play in his favour is that winner’s major stumbling block which is the incumbent party, APC is more or less a house divided within itself, with several factions jostling for relevance and a lot of saboteurs could be lurking around.
Today’s primary which is a three-way race is expected to be an interesting yet peaceful one as there is no dearth of political and leadership experience when it comes to the three aspirants as they have all found themselves in various leadership positions in which they excelled.
This write-up is aimed at putting the aspirants under the floodlight, and an endeavour to familiarize Kwarans with their professional and political pasts which are crucial elements to be considered to understand how did they’re to lead the state into the future.
AMBASSADOR YISA GANA: He is a diplomat per excellence, a fact that was established by the Government of Japan in 2021 when they announced him as one of the foreign recipients of the Asian nation’s Autumn Imperial Decorations.
He received The Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Star, one of the highest orders awarded in the name of His Majesty the Emperor of Japan.
With his enviable resume, Gana is obviously not short of experience , as he has had a stint in the academia as a lecturer and in the legislature as a former deputy speaker of the Kwara State house of assembly.
He was first made the Provost of College of Education Technical in Lafiagi, while lecturing at the Federal University of Technology Minna. I went back to the university and two years later was made the commissioner for agriculture during the tenure of Dr. Bukola Saraki.
ALIYU AHMAN-PATEGI BAHAGO: He is also a familiar face in the political arena, as he was three-term member of the federal house of representatives where he represented the people of Edu/Moro/Pategi Federal constituency from 2007 to 2019.
During his time in the Green chamber, he was twice Chairman of the House Committee on Water Resources, and also Chairman, Legislative Budget Research. He was a member of other committees on Appropriation and Commerce.
An avid seeker of knowledge as he obtained his BS’c on International Studies in Ahmadu Bello University1982-85. And his M.Sc in Political Economy and Development Studies in University of Abuja, 2000–02.
There are too many sides to Bahago as he is popularly, apart from being a prominent politician in his own right, he is a chip from the old blocks, due to his family’s huge political pedigree in the northern part of the state, a quality that can come in handy in this contest.
In his professional career, Bahago is the CEO for Platform Nigeria Limited and Ahman Pategi Farms. He served as Director at Tranex and Branch Chairman of Kwara State Red Cross Society.
ALHAJI SHUAIB YAMAN ABDULLAHI: He is an experienced politician, as a matter of fact, he is no stranger to the gubernatorial race as he had once ran it in the last elections, will his experience help in this present race, it is a question left at the cusp of time.
He was gladiator that fought tirelessly to bring the present Governor into office in 2019, a decision he himself has regretted an denounced, he promised to use the same energy he employed in 2019 to undo their mistake.
He was appointed commissioner on the board of Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) in 2018.
Baba Idris: It wouldn’t be fair not to mention the Kwara born popular social media influencer, he is a familiar personality to many user of microblogging site, Twitter in Ilorin, which makes him the most endearing choice among the youth circle.
He is relatively green in terms of political participation but this made his move more commendable and a move that will be an icebreaker for the Kwara youths who will now understand that, they’re not too young to seize the bull by the horn.
This is a game of time and swinging pendulum, a puzzle that will be solved by time and patience for the answers will be upon us before the day runs out.