In the just concluded general elections across the country, the All Progressives Congress (APC), Kwara State chapter defeated the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in all the contestable seats. The feat has been attributed to resilience of the leaders of the party who worked to ensure that the party takes the day. KAYODE ADEOTI takes a close up look at some of the party’s stalwarts whose impact will be significantly felt in the APC government.
Alhaji Lai Mohammed: Alhaji Lai Mohammed is the current Minister of Information and Culture who hails from Oro in Irepodun Local Government Area of Kwara State. He is a lawyer cum politician. Lai, as fondly called has been in politics for quite a while. He contested for the state governor in 2003 under the platform of the Alliance for Democracy, he lost. He served as Governor Tinubu’s Chief of Staff during his first term. He also served as the National Publicity Secretary of All Progressives Congress (APC) in Nigeria. He attained the peak of his political career when he was sworn in by President Muhammadu Buhari as Minister of Information and Culture following his appointment and successful screening by the Nigerian Senate in November 11, 2015.
Abdulrahman Abdulrasaq: He is the Kwara State Governor-elect on the platform of APC. He hails from Idi-Igba in Ilorin West Local Government Area. He is a billionaire business tycoon and oil magnate. Abdulrahman is one of the sons of the first lawyer in the Northern region of the country, Alhaji AbdulGaniyu Folorunsho Abdulrasaq (SAN). Over time, Abdulrasaq became one of the key financiers of his party, APC. His sojourn into politics saw him contesting for gubernatorial seat in 2011 on the platform of defunct Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) as well as Kwara Central Senatorial seat in 2015 but lost in the two attempts.
Prof Shuaib Oba Abdulraheem: Prof Oba comes from Ajikobi ward in Ilorin West Local Government Area of the state. He has several times aspired for the governorship of the state. He was an aspirant on the APC platform but lost to Abdulrahman Abdulrasaq in the primary. He’s an academician who has served in many capacities as head of tertiary institutions across the country. From 1984-86, he was the Sole Administrator, Kwara State College of Education, Oro. Lecturer/Head, Department of English and European Languages, Bayero University, Kano, Vice Chancellor, University of Ilorin 1997-2002; and former Chairman, Federal Character Commission.
Prince Sunday Fagbemi: Fagbemi is from Kwara South Senatorial district of Kwara State. He hails from Obbo Ayegunle and served as the State Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), from 2000 to 2002. He was a onetime chairman of the ACD and ACN through 2003 to 2008. In the quest to lead the PDP, Fagbemi contested against the then incumbent PDP Chairman, Iyiola Oyedepo in the 2016 Party Congress. The election was not successful, thereby becoming the factional chairman of the PDP. Since then, he has become a strong member and a decision maker of the APC. He was also a gubernatorial running mate to the governor-elect before he was dropped for Kayode Alabi.
Chief Iyiola Oyedepo: Oyedepo, who is popularly known by his chieftaincy name, Akogun, is one of the strong pillars of APC in Kwara state. He is from Isanlu-Isin, Isin Local Government Area of Kwara State. A barrister who has built his career in politics, he holds degrees in Political Science (Ibadan) and Law (Unilag). He was called to the Nigerian Bar in 1984 and started his legal practice with Magnus Egin Atie & Co and later proceeded to Sanyaolu, Baba & Co before founding Iyiola Oyedepo & Associates in 1990. He has been in active practice since then and has represented clients before several courts and tribunals up to the Supreme Court of Nigeria. He was Legal Adviser Social Democratic Party (1990-1992); State Legal Adviser, Action Congress of Nigeria (2006-2008). He also served in the Kwara State House of Assembly (1999-2003) where he was the Chief Whip and the Chairman of the widely acclaimed Public Petitions Committee. He is widely travelled, a prolific author, public affairs commentator and has brought to bear on the firm his extensive experience and contacts.
Lukman Olayiwola Mustapha: Mustapha is one of the popular APC leaders in Kwara State who hails from Isale Aluko in Ilorin West Local Government. He became famous when he established a radio station in Ilorin to further the course of his party, other opposition parties in their electioneering campaigns in the just concluded general elections. He is one of the earliest to signify interest for the governorship seat on the platform of PDP, before the party members defected to the ruling APC. He had over 30 years’ experience in both the private and public sector as a medical professional, Politician and Humanitarian.
After his secondary and GCE A level courses, Lukman proceeded to Usman Danfodiyo University, Sokoto, where he bagged a Bachelor’s Degree in Management Studies.
After the necessary National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) in 1992 he gained employment in an indigenous Bank in Lagos as Operation Officer, and in 1997, bagged a Master of Business Administration (MBA) Degree from University of Ilorin, Ilorin.
Also in 2011, Lukman Olayiwola studied Executive Course on Negotiation and Decision Making at the world famous Harvard Business School, Boston (Massachusetts), all in the United States of America. Lukman Olayiwola Mustapha completed Executive Courses on Key Account Management and Senior Management Programme, 2006 and 2009 respectively at prestigious Lagos Business School (LBS), Pan-Atlantic University, Lekki, Lagos, Nigeria.
Lukman currently is a Regional Director, Abuja and North and Head, Public Sector of First City Monument Bank (FCMB) with almost a hundred branches under his kind watch. In 1999, he was elected member of the Kwara state House of Assembly on the platform of the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP). He held sway as majority leader, Chairman House Committee on Health and House Committee on Local Government till he left in 2003.
Moshood Mustapha: Moshood Mustapha, who is popularly known as MM in the Kwara polity, hails from Isale Aluko in Ilorin West. He is the elder brother of the SOBI FM Proprietor. He began his sojourn into the murky waters of politics in 2001 and since then, he has been in the corridor of power until he left as Special Adviser to the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki on Inter-Parliamentary Affairs, Protocol and Special Duties. He served in various capacities from 2003 to 2011 when Bukola Saraki was governor of the state. He served as Special Adviser to the Governor on Local Government and Chieftaincy Matters, Special Adviser to the Governor on Special Duties, and Dep. Director General of Mandate Campaign Organisation for the re-election of Bukola Saraki as the Executive Governor of Kwara State. He also served as Commissioner for Lands and Housing, and Commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources. In 2011, he contested the House of Representatives position as a member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and was elected through popular vote to represent the people of Ilorin West/Asa Federal Constituency. While in the House of Reps, he was the Deputy Chairman, House Committee on Petroleum Resources (Upstream), member House committee on Marine Transport, Environment, Privatisation and Commercialisation, Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Steel, Industries, National Population Commission, Drugs, Narcotics and Financial Crimes, HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria Control and Niger Delta Ministry. In 2015, MM was appointed the Coordinator of Kwara State Chapter of Buhari/Osinbajo campaign organisation.
Mallam Ishiaq Modibbo Kawu: Kawu is from Isale Ajanaku in Ilorin South Local Government area of the state. Kawu also one of those who signified interest to gun for the number one political seat in Kwara state. Since his ambition could not materialised, he joined force with other party members to work for the victory of the Governor-elect, Abdulrasaq Abdulrahman. Kawu holds Bachelor degree in Mass Communication and Masters degree in Political Science. Kawu has deep and varied knowledge having reported for radio Nigeria, Radio France International, Radio Netherlands and BBC world Service. He was one of the former staff of Radio Kwara, pioneer general manager of Kwara State Television Authority.
Bashir Omolaja Bolarinwa: Bolarinwa is popular among his political allies as BOB. He is the current chairman of the APC in Kwara State chapter. He hails from Agunji in Ifelodun Local Government Area of the state and served as a member of the House of Representative in Lagos State on the platform of ACN between 2011 to 2015.
Chief Rex Adewoye: Baba Rex as fondly called, hails from Ifelodun Local Government Area. He is a pharmacist, who also built his career in politics. Rex is popular for his participation in a radio programme tagged ‘PDP Gbode’ which metamorphosed into ‘APC Gberede’. He has served the state in many capacities, he was publicity secretary of the PDP, former local government chairman of Ifelodun Local Government and currently a chieftain of the APC.
Ayinla Salman Jawondo: Jawondo is from Asa Local Government Area and a lawyer with over 29 years’ experience. He began his legal attachment with the Kwara doyen of SANs, Barr. Aliyu Alarape Salman shortly after he was called to Bar in 1990. Later, he joined the Law Chambers of Ismaila Sodiq & Co. where he rose to become the manager partner. He was at a time chairman of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Ilorin branch between 2009-2011, he was also a NEC member from 2009 to 2013. Over the years, Jawondo, who is fondly reference as political lawyer has handled many political cases in Kwara state. Among cases handled by the Jawondo Chambers is the case of Ishola Balogun-Fulani versus Bashiru Bolarinwa Omolaja, INEC, Adams Oshiomhole and others, the suit he eventually won at the Appeal Court. The result of that matter has however produced the Governor elect, Abdulraman Abdulrasaq.
Ibrahim Yahaya Oloriegbe: Oloriegbe, hails from Kwara Central Senatorial district. He attended Ahmadu Bello University in Zaria, where he studied medicine and has had a wide range of practice both locally and internationally. He also has over 30 years experience in both the private and public sectors as a medical practisional, politician and humanitarian. In 1999, he was elected a member of the Kwara House of Assembly under the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP). He held sway as majority leader, Chairman House Committee on Health and House Committee on Local Government till he left in 2003. Oloriegbe was a member of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) when he ran against Saraki in 2011 for the Senate seat.