By Omeiza Ajayi
Indications have emerged that the Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki may have sponsored several candidates in the just concluded primary elections of the All Progressives Congress APC in Kwara state.
The party was said to have uncovered the action of the senate president after the primaries had been concluded, a move that made its national leadership to immediately put in place measures to identify and weed out those considered protégés of Dr Saraki.
While two aspirants, Abdulfatai Yahaya and Mohammed Dele Belgore voluntarily withdrew from the governorship race, the National Working Committee NWC of the party had on the recommendations of the governorship screening panel screened eight aspirants to participate in the polls.
Those cleared were Yakubu Gobir, Hakeem Lawal, Ishaq Modibbo Kawu, Lukman Mustapha, Prof. Oba Abdul Raheem, Alhaji Tajudeen, Abdullahi Shuaibu Yaman and Abdulrahman Abdulrazak.
In the lead up to the exercise, the NWC had dissolved the Hon. Ishola Balogun-Fulani led state working committee who were seen as aligned to Dr Saraki.
However, when the governorship primary election was later conducted, the results were not announced by the panel which conducted it. The NWC of the party had to meet, deliberate on it and then announced a winner. Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq emerged the winner.
“When Saraki left the APC, we dissolved the state executives and we did our best to flush out the remnants of Saraki in the party but we later discovered that he even bought forms for some of the aspirants in the APC both for legislative and governorship seats. He actually sponsored some of them”, a top party official told Saturday Vanguard.
According to him, the party had to meet with the Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed with a view to ascertaining the true identities of some of the aspirants whose contributions to the party in the past were not pronounced but who suddenly picked interest in the race.
On how the party intends to upstage Saraki in Kwara politics, the source said most of the governorship aspirants have made firm commitment to work in concert with the Information minister to strengthen the party at the grass roots.