The primary election, which held last Sunday ended on a rancorous note after some delegates suspected that ballot boxes had already been filled with the name of one of the aspirants, Hon. Razak Atunwa, member, representing Asa/Ilorin West Federal Constituency at the Federal House of Representatives.
The ground rules and credibility stand point governing the primary election were deliberately ignored, giving room to anti-democratic norms and a substantially compromised election.
Investigations revealed that voting was said to be going on smoothly when some suspected hoodlums invaded the venue of the voting and disrupted the whole exercise. The invasion followed the wide-spread speculation that Senate President Bukola Saraki, had infiltrated the process and masterminded the irregularities surrounding the botched election.
Among the aspirants that contested the primary election is Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi, who many believed would get the PDP’s ticket but was pushed aside for Hon. Atunwa.
Recall that Mallam Abdullahi, resigned his appointments twice, first as Minister of Sports under former President Goodluck Jonathan, and then recently as National Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC), due to his loyalty to Mr. Saraki.
Despite Mr. Abdullahi’s loyalty, he was again betrayed by Mr. Saraki as investigation revealed that he was never in the picture of those who Saraki have in mind to take over the baton of leadership from Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed.
A source, who pleaded not to be named, disclosed that Saraki had a phone conversation with Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi last Saturday, assuring him that he is the chosen candidate.
“Saraki wanted to stage a primary and when it’s all done, he will tell Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi that it was actually the party that rejects him as he can see from the result of the primaries. But when voting commenced last Sunday, it was discovered that a sizeable number of the ballot papers already carried Hon. Atunwa’s name, written obviously by the same person,” the source revealed.
He added that Saraki hurriedly left Abuja on Sunday night to Ilorin, on hearing that the plan to force Hon. Atunwa wasn’t going according to plan. “On arrival, Saraki called the aspirants one after the other and instructed them to step down for Hon. Atunwa.”
Hon. Ali Ahmad and Hon. Atunwa were always Saraki’s choices from the beginning while deceiving Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi. Additionally, Saraki’s decision to force Hon Atunwa on the delegates and other aspirants did not go down well as many argued that Kwara North should produce the next Governor of the state.
Worried by the negative reactions from the disorganized and undemocratic primary elections by concerned residents of the state and political observers, the Senate President and his media team are proactively working to keep the damage to a minimum by posting tweets conferring the Senate President’s assertion that nobody was told to either join or withdraw from the race, and all aspirants are members of Saraki’s political family, and that the family brought them up and will sustain them.
Already, a tweet from the Special Assistant on International Relations to Senator Saraki, already reflected this where he tweeted: “Just in : Governor Ahmed presents Hon. Rasaq Atunwa as the winner of the #KwaraPDPGuberPrimary and the party flag bearer in the 2019 governorship elections. We had a lot of qualified candidates but as one big family @Atunwa_1 will represent us well.”