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Sunday, 29 March 2015

PDP Camp In Disarray As Bola Shagaya, Son Lose Reps’ Seats In Kwara



Following the spate of electoral defeats, the Peoples Democratic Party has suffered in Kwara State as the state Women Leader, Alhaja Nimota Suleiman has resigned. After the presidential and National Assembly elections, results collated from polling centres across the North Central state indicated that the All Progressives Congress was in clear lead, with most leaders of the PDP in the state losing their polling units in the election. According to the collation, the PDP won only in Oke-Ero Local Government Area, while the race for Ekiti, home council of the PDP governorship candidate, Senator Simon Ajibola, was still too close to call as at press time. President Goodluck Jonathan’s Campaign Co-ordinator in Kwara State, Dele Belgore, lost his Ode Magaji Polling Unit 005 of Oke Ogun ward. The APC won with 201 votes to PDP’s 88. Also among those who lost were Minister of National Planning, Dr. Suleiman Abubakar; Kwara Central senatorial candidate, Alhaji AbdulRazak AbdulRahaman; business mogul and close associate of Dame Patience Jonathan, Hajia Bola Shagaya; and her son, Sheriff, who contested the House of Representatives seat for Ilorin West and Asa Federal Constituency. According to the collation, Suleiman lost to the APC in his polling unit with the PDP scoring 27 votes against 377 for the APC in the presidential slot, while PDP again scored only 29 votes against 386 for the APC for the Senate and 35 votes against 385 for the House of Representatives. The PDP polled 159 against APC’s 367 in the presidential slot in AbdulRazaq’s unit, 265 against 278 for the Senate and 313 against 227 for the House of Representatives. Shagaya also lost to the APC in her Ojuekun Sarunmi 02 unit where APC polled 149 against 88 for the House of Representatives and 140 against 90 for the Senate. Aside the electoral loss, Alhaja Suleiman also said she resigned because her mentor, Senator Gbemisola Saraki, had defected from the PDP to the APC. Alhaja Suleiman, a former member of the House of Representatives, is a very close associate of Gbemisola Saraki. She tendered her resignation letter to the state PDP chairman, Akogun Iyiola Oyedepo. The letter reads: “I hereby announce my resignation as the Women Leader of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Kwara State. This resignation is sequel to the defection of my leader, Senator Gbemisola Rukayyah Saraki, from the PDP in Kwara State to the All Progressives Congress (APC). “Since Senator Gbemi Saraki instructed her supporters to vote massively for the APC in the state, I have come to the realisation that my membership of the PDP has become untenable. “Therefore, in fidelity to her ideology and in solidarity with her political leadership, I, Hon. Nimota Suleiman, this day, cease to be the State Women Leader and member of the PDP in Kwara State.” In his reaction to PDP loss in the state, Ajibola called the hitches experienced with card readers during the polls as a complete embarrassment to Nigerians. PDP’s senatorial candidate for Kwara North, Alhaji Yinusa Yahaya, called on the Independent National Electoral Commission to make use of only manual accreditation in the governorship and House of Assembly elections. Ajibola blamed the INEC Chairman, Prof. Attahiru Jega, for the problem. He said: “He was telling Nigerians that he was ready for the election when in actual fact, he was not ready, even with the additional six weeks.” To Abubakar, APC’s projected victory “is marred with irregularities” in his constituency. But the Director-General of the APC Campaign in Kwara State, Alhaji Razaq Atunwa, described the minister’s anger as misdirected. Abubakar said: “In the course of accreditation, the process of accreditation was faulty, the card reader in most cases were not working, hence the recourse to the manual. Using manual method for accreditation attest to what we have been saying in PDP that the card reader introduction by Jega at this point in time is a misplaced priority. “It is obvious to Nigerians now that the card reader usage in this election did not really work and, as such, it created room for a lot of irregularities in accreditation process. I saw a connivance of the security agencies in Kwara State, to be specific, with the opposition party. “It does not tally with sense, for instance, where you have about 1,800 potential voters to one policeman, one policeman without arms. How will he contain the crowd? And you see the policeman eating left and right, being invited upstairs for one thing or the other. When there were disorderliness and you see policemen laughing, trivialising issues. This country has a long way to go. “Security men were inadequate and in some cases, they were not there at all. We told security operatives about thugs and the need to check them but nothing was done. “In so many places in Ilorin, residences were used as polling units which is a contravention of the law. I personally complained to Jega, he told me that it was too late, that they could not do anything about it. When I insisted that it was a violation of the law, he promised to get back to me. He did not get back to me, he did not do anything about it. Many of these houses were used as electoral fraud havens by the ruling party in Kwara State to rig election yesterday. “Where I voted, at Opobiyi was the residence of an APC chieftain, the three polling units. Going by the declared votes, the vote declared for Mr. President, especially for the opposition, outweighed the PVCs collected. It is a case of electoral tragedy, especially in our polling unit 006. “In conclusion while we await other results and other reactions, what we saw yesterday was no election. It was indeed a mockery of democracy. I want to assure you that it will not last. Any house that was built on mere sands will not stand the test of time.” Atunwa described the minister’s protest as the ranting of a loser. “Balderdash, title tattle, the minister is speaking from the other side of his mouth. As far as I am concerned, it is a very credible and fair election. If he has lost in his polling unit, he should blame himself. He is suffering from lack of experience and political inadequacies. It is clear that he lost woefully in his unit.”





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