By Mumini AbdulKareem
More facts emerged last night on why the national leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC) preferred Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq as its candidate for the governorship election in Kwara State, next year.
Abdularazaq, was announced as the party’s candidate on Monday in Abuja by the National Publicity Secretary of the party, Yekini Nabena polling 29,098 votes.
But the announcement has since been trailed by protests and outright rejection by other contestants over alleged imposition and manipulation of spurious figures to aide Abdularazaq’s emergence.
The development has also polarised the party with some aspirants backing the declared candidate while others rejected him. The national leadership of the party has however stood for him.
But according a top member of the party who spoke on condition of anonymity, the reason for the choice of Abdulrazaq goes beyond what happened in Kwara during the primary.
The source noted that one of the major grounds the party preferred him was the commitment extracted from him to singlehandedly bankroll the election in Kwara without the support of the Presidency and national leadership of the party.
“You will recall he had once been a Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) man where he came in contact with President Muhammed Buhari then.
“But beyond that, there have been several meetings between him and some national leaders of the party over funding of the election. Not that he has the structure but he has the needed financial war chest and he is ready to spend for the party.
“That will take a lot of burden away from the party in a state that some of its leaders at the national level consider as a must-win. So with the expected federal might and the ongoing moves to get other aspirants who are aggrieved to collapse their structure for him, his choice will be a huge relief for the party.
“But to many of us, it was rather unfortunate because the party should have considered who is more on ground with the right structure that also has the needed fund and ready to spend for the party.
“The curious disqualification of some aspirants, hours into the race over allegation of being moles was just a flimsy excuse. Abdulrahman AbdulRazaq had related with the distinguished Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki in the past and also had established business links with Bola Tinubu and several other leaders in the country. That is business and not politics and the reality now is different,” the source added.
However, former vice chancellor of the University of Ilorin, Prof. Shuiab Oba AbdulRaheem has rejected the results of the primary and the choice of AbdulRazaq.
AbdulRaheem in a radio programme in Ilorin yesterday said he will fight to reclaim the mandate freely given to him by those who voted for him.
“What happened was injustice and it cannot stand. We will continue to fight, not with guns and cutlasses, but stand to get back what has been given to us.
“This is not about me personally but about all of us and installation of good governance in Kwara State. What happened is not new but it will not stand this time around”, he added.
Similarly, it was learnt that another aspirant and former member of the House of Representatives, Hon Moshood Mustapha has travelled to Abuja to petition the national leadership of the party over the issue.
Mustapha, otherwise known as MM accused the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Muhammed of orchestrating his disqualification during the primary in controversial circumstance.
His media aide, Kayode AbdulAzeez confirmed to our reporter last night, that Mustapha has “travelled to Abuja since Monday to petition the national leadership of the APC and is yet to return.”
However, Sobi FM boss, Alh. Lukman Mustapha and Saliu Mustapha, who both contested the seat under the APC, have agreed to work with the party’s candidate in their separate responses. They were joined by the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) boss, Ishaq Kawu Modibbo in towing the party’s line.
Full list of party’s candidates
Kwara House of Assembly:
1: Abdullahi (Kaiama)
2: Jimoh Aliyu (Ilorin East)
3: Salisu Danladi (Ilesa Baruba)
4: Mohd. Saliu (Okuta Yasikira)
5: Ahmed Rufahi (Patigi)
6: Aliyu Wahabi (Afon)
7: Kanyinde Oparanti (Offa 1)
8: AGS Salaudeen (Omupo)
9: Nurudeen Odetoye (Oyun)
10: Ambali Ibrahim (Owode Onire)
11: Abdulkasim B. (Oloru Malete)
12: Alh. Musa (Edu)
13: Ganiyu Alabi (Ajikobi/Alanamu)
14: Ayo Obisesan (Magaji Geri)
15: Tayo Awodiji (Irepodun)
16: Kasim Baloye (Offa 2)
17: Rapheal Adetiba (Oke-Ero)
18: Ganiyu Erubu (Ilorin South)
19: Owolabi Rasaq (Share)
20: Awolola Kunle (Isin)
21: Abolarin Gabriel (Ekiti)
22: Ojo Olayiwola (Okeogun)
23: Engr. Yinusa Afolabi (Kaiama)
House of Reps
1: Saheed Popoola Ifelodun/Offa/Oyun
2: Raheem Tunji Olawuyi Ekiti/Irepodun/Isin/Oke-Ero
3: Sadiq Alagagusi Asa/Ilorin West
4: Hamed Indakem Edu/Patigi
5: Umar Moh Biu Baruten/Kaiama
6: Jimmy Idiagbon Ilorin East/South
1: Lola Ashiru – Kwara South
2: Dr. Ibrahim Oloriegbe – Kwara Central
3: Alh. Sadiq Umar – Kwara North