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2023 : Group Cautions Kwara PDP against zoning Governorship to North

The PDP Victory Agenda (PVA) has cautioned the leadership of the Kwara People’s Democratic party (PDP) on the alleged plan to zone the 2023 Governorship Ticket to the North.

The Chairman of the Group, Dr Babatunde Salami, Chairman made this stance while addressing newsmen at a press conference in ilorin on Monday.

Salami who advised the Party to consider the Kwara Central candidacy to harness and utilize the opportunity of block votes from the district to the PDP’s advantage, noted that political permutations and calculations in winning election often work against the Kwara North in the governorship selection.

He said, “It is no doubt, that Kwarans have tasted both sides of the political life, and now discovered the difference. Remember an African proverb that says “A man who picks gold by the roadside does not value the pains of getting it”. Therefore, the obnoxious policies and maladministration of the present government in Kwara State is characterised with neglect of the electorate and politicians who suffered for the emergence of the governor.”

It is pertinent to share the political analysis of the two competing senatorial districts in Kwara State (Kwara Central and North) in the governorship election with the PDP stalwarts, electorate and the public for political justification and consideration for election victory for the PDP.

The PDP Victory Agenda and a group of professional Strategy Planners and Executors have painstakingly studied the Kwara State political scenario in preparation for the 2023 general elections and specifically between the Kwara Central and Kwara North senatorial districts on the governorship candidacy, and arrive at an empirical analysis and submissions as here presented.

With humility and utmost respect to the PDP national leader, Dr. Bukola Saraki, the Kwara State PDP Chairman, Rt. Honourable Babatunde Mohammed, and PDP stalwarts, I wish to share the outcome of PVA findings on the subject matter to complement the efforts of the leader (Dr. Bukola Saraki) and the party in general while taking decision on the governorship candidate and also convincing the party stalwarts on where the PDP governorship flagbearer should emerge in the next election.

The voting strength of Ilorin emirate cannot be undermined in the coming elections. With the recent creation of more polling units across the nation by the Independent National Electoral Commission in May, 2021. The Ilorin emirate now has a total of 1,207 polling units, plus another 142 polling units advantage of Moro Local Government Area in the Kwara north which is a member of the Ilorin emirate. Making a total of 1,349 units in Ilorin emirate. Meaning 67.6% of the polling units in the two senatorial districts.

Meanwhile, the Kwara North has 785 polling units. Out of this, 142 polling units of Moro Local Government Area belong to the Ilorin emirate. Therefore, only 643 polling units belong to the Kwara north. Making 32.4% of the total polling units in the two senatorial districts.

The king weakness of the Kwara Central is the consistent opportunity of being the governor for twelve years (1999-2011), and 2019 to date. By May 2023, Kwara Central would have completed 16 years in government House. Another weakness of the Central is the power of incumbency of the sitting governor which cannot be underrated in politics, especially if he is the only governorship candidate from Ilorin emirate.

Similarly, the major political weakness of the Kwara North is the heterogenous nature of the district. There are three political blocs: Edu/Pategi, Kaiama/Baruten, and lastly, Moro Local Government Area which is of more Ilorin emirate than the Kwara north by history, tradition and culture. The fact remains there is no political unity among the three political axises in the Kwara North. Very close to the above is the absent of an accepted leader who can give political direction in the north senatorial district.

Base on population and polling units, there is no controversy over the Kwara Central’s opportunity of having the highest number of electorate in the State. Also, Kwara Central has a political leader who can give political direction. Lastly, the senatorial district has the advantage of delivering a block vote if they so desire, especially if the candidate is of Ilorin emirate origin.

Considering the political opportunity at this critical period, the PVA suggests that the party should consider the Kwara Central candidacy to harness and utilize the opportunity of block votes from the district to the PDP’s advantage.

PVA discovers that if PDP fails to field a gubernatorial candidate from the Kwara Central in the 2023 election, the opposition party will have the block vote of the Ilorin emirate base on “Son of the soil factor” and “Omo wani e je o se” syndrome not minding his performance and party affiliation.

Conclusively, It is our submission that the PDP should not risk the chance of adopting a Kwara North candidate in 2023 against the incumbent governor. Otherwise, the party will be giving the governor a free ride to victory in the Kwara Central and by extension in Kwara State in general.

It is our recommendation that the party is advised to fly an acceptable, competent and reliable candidate in the Kwara Central to serve a term of four years to stabilize the state. Then, Kwara North should be considered for equity and justice in 2027 when PDP must have returned to power in Kwara State. He Added.

Read the full speech of PVA Chairman, Dr Babatunde Salami …

I am delighted to welcome you to the Press Briefing of the Peoples Democratic Party Victory Agenda (PVA) today. The Forum started about six months ago with the aim of complementing the party structures at all levels in the preparation for taking over the thirty-four elective offices in Kwara State and also delivering the State to the Peoples Democratic Party in the presidential election come 2023.
I wish to congratulates the national leader of the PDP, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki for his leadership astuteness and political acumen that ensured that the national reconciliation process was successful as demonstrated before, during, and after the congresses, and the recent national convention. However, the reverse is the case with the ruling party.
The Peoples Democratic Party Victory Agenda also congratulates the newly elected officers of the party from the ward to the State level in Kwara State. And more specifically, we rejoice with the newly elected State Chairman, Rt. Hon. Babatunde Muhammed.

Without mincing words, the Kwara PDP is ready to retrieve its stolen mandate from the ruling party come 2023 in Kwara State. The PVA subscribes to the adage “Failure is another opportunity to start more intelligently”. This group emerges to sensitize the party on how to get it right on selection of candidates, especially the governorship candidate in the coming elections. Therefore, we are complementing the party with statistical analysis and variables that are germane in winning elections.
Similarly, the electorate deserves to know why the PVA is advocating for the Kwara Central candidacy come 2023. It is no doubt, that Kwarans have tasted both sides of the political life, and now discovered the difference. Remember an African proverb that says “A man who picks gold by the roadside does not value the pains of getting it”. Therefore, the obnoxious policies and maladministration of the present government in Kwara State is characterised with neglect of the electorate and politicians who suffered for the emergence of the governor.
Gentlemen of the Press,

It is no longer news that the Kwara North Senatorial District has not been opportune to produce a governor in Kwara State since 1999. The prevailing circumstances each time is peculiar and unavoidable by the political parties. The Kwara North has men and women of political, socio-economic substance and value that can occupy the exalted seat. But political permutations and calculations in winning election often work against the district in the governorship selection.
Ladies and gentlemen, as we approach the electioneering year, the preparations and permutations for 2023 is gaining momentum and political gladiators are now moving closer to the track. Moreover, the two prominent political parties in Kwara State have just concluded their State Congresses. Thus, the agitation for Kwara North candidacy in the forthcoming governorship election is now occupying the political space in Kwara State. The agitators have the political right but do not consider the winning calculation at this political challenging time for the PDP in Kwara State.
It is pertinent to share the political analysis of the two competing senatorial districts in Kwara State (Kwara Central and North) in the governorship election with the PDP stalwarts, electorate and the public for political justification and consideration for election victory for the PDP.
The PDP Victory Agenda and a group of professional Strategy Planners and Executors have painstakingly studied the Kwara State political scenario in preparation for the 2023 general elections and specifically between the Kwara Central and Kwara North senatorial districts on the governorship candidacy, and arrive at an empirical analysis and submissions as here presented.
With humility and utmost respect to the PDP national leader, Dr. Bukola Saraki, the Kwara State PDP Chairman, Rt. Honourable Babatunde Mohammed, and PDP stalwarts, I wish to share the outcome of PVA findings on the subject matter to complement the efforts of the leader (Dr. Bukola Saraki) and the party in general while taking decision on the governorship candidate and also convincing the party stalwarts on where the PDP governorship flagbearer should emerge in the next election.
Political Strengths
The voting strength of Ilorin emirate cannot be undermined in the coming elections. With the recent creation of more polling units across the nation by the Independent National Electoral Commission in May, 2021. The Ilorin emirate now has a total of 1,207 polling units, plus another 142 polling units advantage of Moro Local Government Area in the Kwara north which is a member of the Ilorin emirate. Making a total of 1,349 units in Ilorin emirate. Meaning 67.6% of the polling units in the two senatorial districts.

Meanwhile, the Kwara North has 785 polling units. Out of this, 142 polling units of Moro Local Government Area belong to the Ilorin emirate. Therefore, only 643 polling units belong to the Kwara north. Making 32.4% of the total polling units in the two senatorial districts.

Political Weaknesses
The king weakness of the Kwara Central is the consistent opportunity of being the governor for twelve years (1999-2011), and 2019 to date. By May 2023, Kwara Central would have completed 16 years in government House. Another weakness of the Central is the power of incumbency of the sitting governor which cannot be underrated in politics, especially if he is the only governorship candidate from Ilorin emirate.

Similarly, the major political weakness of the Kwara North is the heterogenous nature of the district. There are three political blocs: Edu/Pategi, Kaiama/Baruten, and lastly, Moro Local Government Area which is of more Ilorin emirate than the Kwara north by history, tradition and culture. The fact remains there is no political unity among the three political axises in the Kwara North. Very close to the above is the absent of an accepted leader who can give political direction in the north senatorial district.
Political Opportunities
Base on population and polling units, there is no controversy over the Kwara Central’s opportunity of having the highest number of electorate in the State. Also, Kwara Central has a political leader who can give political direction. Lastly, the senatorial district has the advantage of delivering a block vote if they so desire, especially if the candidate is of Ilorin emirate origin.

Considering the political opportunity at this critical period, the PVA suggests that the party should consider the Kwara Central candidacy to harness and utilize the opportunity of block votes from the district to the PDP’s advantage.
Political Threats
Ladies and Gentlemen, the if PDP fails to field a gubernatorial candidate from the Kwara Central in the 2023 election, the opposition party will have the block vote of the Ilorin emirate base on “Son of the soil factor” and “Omo wani e je o se” syndrome not minding his performance and party affiliation.

A major threat in the Kwara North is the heterogenous factor and political disunity that often reflect in their voting pattern. Similarly, no accepted leader who can give political direction to win elections in the senatorial district.
Political Analysis
It is on record that the amalgamated of “O to ge” (APC) comprises of four tendencies in Kwara State: Alh. Lai Mohammed, Prince Fagbemi, Chief Akogun and Senator Gbemisola Saraki. Kwara Central remains the Political battlefield in the state because of its electoral strength of 1,207 polling units as against 909 of the South and 785 of the North. Therefore, Kwara Central remains the determinant factor for governorship electoral victory in Kwara State.

With the prevailing intra party crisis in the APC, Prince Fagbemi faction that produces the incumbent Governor AbdulRazak remains the only tendency in the Kwara State APC with the AA alias. Both Senator Gbemisola Saraki, Chief Akogun (that produced Professor Oba in the last party primary election) and Alh Lai Mohammed’s factions are on political principle no longer in the APC. Therefore, it remains only Prince Fagbemi’s faction alone in the Kwara State APC. Moreover, the popularity and followership of the duo of Senator Gbemisola Saraki and Professor Abdulraheem Oba cannot be politically undermined in the Kwara Central politics and by extension Kwara State in general.
Base on the above premise, Governor AA remains politically naked in Ilorin emirate and in Kwara State at large without the support of the trio aggrieved tendencies.
Very close to the above is the factor of the co-aspirants with Governor AA in 2019 primary election who have departed O to ge family. Among them are: Alh, Lukman Mustapha, Alhaji Amuda Gobiri, and Professor Oba.
Base on the above convincing variables, the PVA is not just advocating for Kwara Central candidate, but a credible, acceptable and someone with political culture that will wipe the tears of the people from their present political predicaments.
Ladies and gentlemen, the inability of the Kwara north in producing a governor since 1999 is not a political error but a political circumstance each time. Politics is all about winning elections but not just for contesting purpose. The circumstances working against the Kwara north is not peculiar to Kwara State alone but happens elsewhere across the country.
Selected States with Similar Scenario
Gentlemen of the Press, permit me to cite examples of few states with similar scenario in Nigeria. Let me call your attention to Ogun State. Ogun State has three senatorial districts: Ogun Central, Ogun East and Ogun West respectively. Since the creation of the State over forty years, Ogun West (Yewa/Egbado/Awori) has never produced a governor in the State. The governorship seat is always between the other two districts (Ogun Central and Ogun East).

It is also on record that in Oyo State (South West,Nigeria) Oyo Central Senatorial district has never produced a governor since the creation of the state. The governor predominantly emerges from Oyo South. The only opportunity Oyo North had was when Alhaji Rashidi Ladoja was impeached, Chief Alao Akala from Ogbomoso (Oyo north), the then deputy governor became the governor completing the tenure and that gave him an opportunity of contesting and won.
Similarly, in Imo State (South East Nigeria) Orlu district has produced governor for 20 years, while Okigwe four years, and Owerri just for eight months before Supreme Court judgement removed the then governor.
Finally, in the neighboring Kogi State (North-Central Nigeria) Kogi East has being governor since 1999. Kogi Central has just have the opportunity recently while Kogi West has never have a taste of the State governorship since the inception of the present nascent democracy.

There are several other similar cases across the geo-political zones in Nigeria. Therefore, it is not issue of political marginalization but a political winning strategy by political parties. When equity, justice and fairness do not have the required voting strength to win at a particular time, the concern sings the song of “Marginalization”, not minding the party’s calculation of winning the election. Gentlemen of the pen profession, is there any gain for a party to sponsor a candidate based on a zoning arrangement and fails at the poll? I am sure your answer will be no because that is the logical answer.
I wish people will get it clear that zoning and political emotional appeal can only work when there is a smooth transition of power in a conducive political space, but not in the process of struggling in attaining the lost political power like what is prevailing in the Kwara State PDP.
Conclusively, It is our submission that the PDP should not risk the chance of adopting a Kwara North candidate in 2023 against the incumbent governor. Otherwise, the party will be giving the governor a free ride to victory in the Kwara Central and by extension in Kwara State in general.
It is our recommendation that the party is advised to fly an acceptable, competent and reliable candidate in the Kwara Central to serve a term of four years to stabilize the state. Then, Kwara North should be considered for equity and justice in 2027 when PDP must have returned to power in Kwara State.
For Kwara South, the PVA appreciates your loyalty and commitments to the leader, Dr. Bukola Saraki, and also for supporting the cause of returning power to the PDP in Kwara State and Nigeria in general.
I appreciate the gentlemen of the press, youths, women and the PDP stalwarts for your keen attention and for giving me your audience.
United we stand to take over power in Kwara State.
PDP Victory Agenda: Total Victory in 2023

Thank you and God bless you all

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