…PDP zones ticket to Irepodun
By Mumini AbdulHakeem
The race for the seat of the Deputy Governor in the Kwara State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) commenced in earnest last night following the decision of the party to zone it to Irepodun in Kwara South,National Pilot reliably gathered.
The issue of who the party would pick as its running mate has become a subject of discussion among party stakeholders shortly after the emergence of former speaker and serving member of the House of Representatives, Hon Razak Atunwa.
Atunwa is from Asa in the Kwara Central and his running mate is expected to be picked from Kwara South following speculations that the PDP would settle for a Speaker from Kwara North.
A reliable source who confided in our reporter because he was not authorised to speak officially with the press on the matter said the issue has already started generating high wire politicking among contenders.
According to him “I can confirm to you that the party has zoned the seat of the running mate to the party’s gubernatorial candidate, Hon Razak Atunwa to Irepodun and the contenders have been limited to only Christians in the light of the present political permutations in the state.
“The party is expected to make official announcement on the issue any time soon and discussions have already started among the top stakeholders for some of the interested candidates.
“For now, we have five of them from the two constituencies of Irepodun and Irewolede that made up the community. Although the number may swell in the coming days. Three of the contenders are from Irepodun axis while two others are from Irewolede. Most of the contenders have started reaching out to party leaders and stakeholders for them to be considered,” he noted.
When contacted, the state chairman of the party, Engr. Kola Shittu said the party has not taken any official position regarding the matter.
“Nothing is official yet. Once we are through on the issue, we will get back to you,” he added.
Meanwhile five members of the community, it was gathered, have emerged frontliners for the race in Irepodun.
They include a two-term member of the House of Representatives and Deputy Chief of Staff to the Senate President, Gbenga Makanjuola, former Commissioner III in the Local Government Service Commission and immediate past secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state, Chief Bode Adekanye and former member of the state House of Assembly in the seventh legislature, Elder David Bamidele.
Bamidele was a pioneer Liaison Officer in Ilorin West local government and had served as the Youth Empowerment Coordinator (YEC) for Irepodun. He was also a one-time Commissioner I in Kwara State SUBEB as head of the Planning, Research and Project Monitoring before he was elected member of the House of Assembly.
Another source described him as one of those “highly favoured” because of his long standing relationship with the Saraki dynasty.
Others said to be in the race include a two-time Special Adviser to Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed on Labour Matters and Students Affairs, Comrade Bisi Fakayode and his Agriculture and Rural Water Support Service counterpart, Anu Ibiwoye.