Zulum, Sanwo-Olu Unopposed, Uncertainty Over Kwara Gov As APC Forms Closes


The governors of Lagos and Borno states, Babajide Sanwo-Olu and Babagana Zulum respectively may be returned as automatic candidates of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in their states as the date for collection of nomination forms of the party closed Tuesday (yesterday). 

The APC has set Tuesday as the deadline for all party members interested in presidential, governorship, senatorial, House of Representatives and state House of Assembly positions to pick nomination and expression of interest forms which will enable them to contest in the party primaries. 

The ruling party had last Wednesday announced an extension of the closing date for the sale of forms to allow new entrants into the race.

Eighteen-Eleven Media reports that at the close of work on Thursday 5th May 2022, 95 gubernatorial aspirants, 241 senatorial hopefuls, and 821 House of Representatives picked up forms after payment of requisite fees, according to the National Organising Secretary, Sulaiman Arugugu. 

Also, 17 presidential aspirants, including one female presidential aspirant, have picked their forms. The figure is said to be close to 30 as of Tuesday’s closing date.

While the male presidential aspirants paid N100 million each, the female aspirant paid N30 million as directed by the party.

Although, Arugugu did not go into specifics when reeling out the figure. However, Eighteen-Eleven Media can authoritatively report that no aspirant on the platform of APC picked up forms in both Lagos and Borno states. Some aides of the former governor of Lagos State, Akinwunmi Ambode made some fuss about unseating the incumbent, Eighteen-Eleven Media can report that no direct purchase of form was made by the camp. 

Meanwhile, it is unclear if the governor of Kwara State purchased the Fifty Million Naira (N50,000,000.00) only form 

Rafiu Ajakaye, the Chief Press Secretary to Alhaji Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq did not respond to an enquiry on the issue. 

There has been a resounding clamour for an indigene of Kwara North Central District to occupy the exalted position. The people of the zone have insisted that since the return to democratic rule in 1999, the zone remained the only district yet to occupy the highest office in the state. In deference to this position, the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)  decided to zone its ticket to the region. 

Announcing the zoning of the governorship ticket to the North Central District, PDP said its decision was taken after a series of exhaustive sessions with stakeholders of the party comprising of party faithful from the three senatorial districts. 

Chairman of the party in the state Tunde Mohammed said “This development as expected has elicited many positive reactions from many members of public most especially those with concern for the future of our great state at heart.

“Well, it is important to state that the choice of the party was made in good faith and recourse to justice, fairness and equity, the very fundamentals of our party. The main essence of democracy is inclusiveness which is the crux of the decision made by the party. Our party is creating a realm where everyone will feel they belong and have their roles to play irrespective of where they come from or the colour of their tongues. All the organs of the party played a crucial role in assisting the party in arriving at its decisions after making a series of consultations around the state under the guidance of our leader Senator Bukola Saraki.”

Meanwhile, on his part, Mallam Abdullateef Alakawa, Special Adviser to the governor on Political Matters, spoke earlier in April on why his boss has not publicly declared his interest in retaining his position after May 2023 says the governor remains the man to beat for the job any day. 

“It is too early to worry over the governor or anyone declaring for a second term. As of this minute, I don’t know of any first-term governor who has made any public statement on the 2023 ballot. The governor is the candidate to beat if he decides to run again. This is because of his commitment to the welfare of the greatest majority of our people. That can be seen in his welfarist programmes especially targeting the underserved and the silent majority, his statewide infrastructural projects, his easygoing and live-and-let-live approach to life, his unprecedented commitments to workers’ welfare, respect for traditional and religious institutions, and rare humility in service delivery.

“His rare leadership traits and style are such that party elders and stakeholders with love for the state are already urging him to run again. The last time workers earned half or had their salaries unpaid in Kwara State was in 2019. The governor has made the promotion of workers a priority. I’m not sure any worker wants to go back to those horrible years of stagnation and arbitrary diversion of public resources and treasonable sale of public properties at giveaway prices. 

“For the greatest majority of our people, the Abdulrazaq-led APC administration has opted to place the state on a sound footing, especially in basic education, primary healthcare delivery, the welfare of workers and the weak, rural-urban development, youths engagement and empowerment, and ease of doing business. Many communities across Kwara are having a fill of government for the first time in decades. For the women, it has never been so good to the extent that Kwara is now a model state for Nigeria in gender mainstreaming,” he said.

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