All may not be well in the Kwara State Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) following the decision by Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed to dropped his senatorial ambition for Senator Rafiu Ibrahim (PDP-Kwara South) to serve second term in the Senate.
There have been series of arguments over the real reasons behind the governor’s decision to cede the seat to Ibrahim, prominent among which is the defeat suffered by the PDP in the recently conducted by-election to fill the vacant post in the Irepodun/Isin/Oke ero/Ekiti federal Constituency.
It was gathered that Senate President Bukola Saraki, who is also the political leader in Kwara State told the governor and other candidates contesting under the PDP to work hard and make sure that their party wins the by-election which he said would be the determinant of 2019 outlook, failure of which will affect the governor’s ambition.
Although, the PDP was quick to deny a media report that there is a panic in the party over the decision of Saraki to substitute Ahmed with another candidate over the fallout of the by-election and that Ahmed is under pressure to withdraw from the Kwara South senatorial race as a result of the aftermath of last Saturday’s by-election in Ekiti/Oke-Ero/Isin/Irepodun federal constituency.
Despite the denial, it was however gathered that Saraki got angry over the governor’s failure in his assignment to win the by-election which was a bad omen for the party in the coming election because with APC winning three out of the four local governments in the constituency, there is no way PDP can win in the seven local governments that made up the Senatorial district since there is every likelihood that Offa local government will vote for the APC candidate who hails from there.
It was also believed that Senator Rafiu Ibrahim is more popular in the district and has contributed immensely to the lives of the people which gives him upper hand and the fact that Ahmed will be serving for 16 years at the end of his tenure as governor of the state having served 8years as the commissioner for finance during Saraki’s tenure as governor, the position that is considered as second to that of the governor.
The fact that the governor will also enjoy pension for life as a two-term governor and other benefits as well as securing a bigger appointment at federal level hopefully if PDP wins are some of the tenable argument that the governor was confronted with before he agreed to cede the ticket to Senator Rafiu Ibrahim.
The insinuation that things have fallen apart between Saraki and Ahmed may also be true because of statements credited to both of them after the ticket was given to Ibrahim.
Political observers, however, noted that Ahmed was never a popular and acceptable candidate for the post by many PDP stakeholders but accepted grumbly when Ibrahim was forced to step down for him before the primary election where he was affirmed as the candidate of the party.
This they said was a sacrifice made by Senator Rafiu for the good of the party which later hunt the party because since the emergence of Ahmed there have been insinuations that he may not win the election which was later confirmed by the outcome of the by-election.
The agitation and pressure from the people of Kwara south which resulted in the protest votes during the by-election made him feel embarrassed, which led to his withdrawal.
Daily Trust on Sunday also learnt that the money meant for mobilization for the election got into wrong hands which are people who are said to be loyal to the governor. Some of them were said to have ran away and switched off their telephones but lied that police harassed and arrested them.