Abdulfatah Ahmed, the Governor of Kwara State, on Saturday, November 24, 2018, admitted that he might let go of his senatorial ticket for Kwara South Senatorial District for the incumbent Abdulrafiu Ibrahim.
He said the talks within the Dr. Bukola Saraki political family for him to step aside had been on for a while.
He clarified that forsaking the ticket had nothing to do with the November 17, 2018, by-election into Ekiti/ Oke Ero/ Isin/ Irepodun Federal Constituency.
But findings confirmed that Saraki, who is the governor’s godfather, directed Ahmed to forget his ambition after the defeat.
News reports say Saraki had favoured Abdulrafiu but Ahmed sent many PDP governors to his godfather to concede the ticket to him. The governor’s first political test after securing the ticket was election into the Federal constituency which was fatal for PDP.
A PDP source said: “Our leader has taken the senatorial ticket away from the governor because he cannot afford to take any risk. The slot is now for the present occupant of the seat, Sen. Abdulrafiu Ibrahim. What we are trying to do is to give the governor a soft landing. We do not want it to appear as if the governor is being humiliated. To get the ticket, the governor sent emissaries to our leader. It has now turned out that the shoe is bigger than him because 2019 poll is really testy for us.
“Our leader has been in the state in the past 48 hours to put things in order since he will serve as the Director-General of the Presidential Campaign Council of PDP. If you leave your pot unwatched, your food will get burnt.”
But Governor Ahmed has denied speculations that the Kwara South Senatorial ticket has been “retrieved from him on account of the last House of Representatives bye-election results in the state.” Ahmed, in a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Communications, Dr. Muyideen Akorede, described as “politically motivated mischief the rumours that he has been asked to step down due to the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, ’s loss of the Ekiti/ Oke Ero/ Irepodun bye-election.
The statement said: “The Governor said, on the contrary, consultation had been going on before the November 17 elections within the political family to consider the request by the leadership of the Ibolo division of Kwara South, from where the current Senator hails, for a second tenure at the Senate
“Furthermore, he said that the ongoing consultation was based on the view that the Igbomina and Ekiti divisions had successfully served two terms in the Senate as opposed to the Ibolo division whose representative had served only one term in the Senate.
“While describing the last by-election as a farcical exercise marked by voter intimidation, widespread disenfranchisement and the use of security agencies against PDP supporters and members, Ahmed said the result of such a disputed election could, therefore, not have formed the basis of a review of his candidacy for the Kwara South Senatorial elections. He assured that PDP will win the general elections in the state as the people of Kwara have resolved never to allow such harassment by security agents again.”
A separate statement by the State Publicity Secretary of PDP, Tunde Ashaolu, confirmed that the party was weighing options on the demand of Ibolo people to give a second term ticket to the incumbent Sen. Abdulrafiu Ibrahim.