The ruling party in Kwara state, Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) was no doubt hit by the devastating result of the last week Saturday national assembly election where it lost all the three senatorial and six houses of representatives seats to the main opposition, the All Progressives Congress(APC)in the state.
The leadership of the party had quickly gone back to the drawing board to restrategize and cover up for the lost ground in the last poll.
Vanguard reliably gathered that the political leaders known to be very close to the Senate president, Dr Bukola Saraki was said to be openly castigated by the good boys when they came to visit the leader in his lodge on the Sunday of the election to discuss the way forward.
While the political leaders looked in awe as they were rebuked, the good boys raised curses on them for causing the Senate president Dr Bukola Saraki the political misfortune by diverting to private use various resources, logistics and political appointments meant for the masses.
Recall that while the party members languished over the time overall manners of resources and appointments meant for them but diverted by their leaders, many fell prey to O to ge merchants in the main opposition All Progressives Congress(APC)to swell their own ranks.
Vanguard investigations also revealed that instead of the usual fanfare campaigns they previously embarked upon, the party has now resorted to door to door aggressive campaign to woo more members ahead of this Saturday poll.
The party leaders across the state sources claimed are now directly reaching out to the traditional rulers, the artisans across the board and various political interest groups on the need to give Dr BukolaSaraki another chance to reclaim the political leadership of the state in this forthcoming poll.
The agents of the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) in this door to door campaign was said to have laid premium on the need not to bastardise the ilorin tradition and culture by conceding Kwara state to the alleged whims and caprices of the political rulership of Asiwaju Ahmed Bola Tinubu.
Copious examples of sad tales being currently experienced by people of Osun,Lagos Ekiti,Oyo,and Ondo states in the hands of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu are now said to be one of the major ideas being sold to the electorates for consideration to vote for Hon Razaq Atunwa,the PDP gubernatorial candidates and other members of the house of assembly in order to preserve the tradition and culture of ilorin and its emirates.
More importantly, campaigns for the daughter of Emir of ilorin. Princess Aishat Sulu Gambari candidate of Peoples Democratic Party PDP in Magaji Ngeri constituency in the state assembly was being seriously pursued to be supported to win at all cost in honour of the monarch.
Consequently, Magajis were allegedly sent from the palace to the electorates in the coverage areas to as a matter of priority consider the interest of Emir of ilorin Alh Sulu Gambari.
Vanguard sources claimed that major stakeholders in Magaji Ngeri constituency were now said to be literarily being begged to forget their political party affiliations and consider honouring the emir of ilorin by voting for her daughter as a member in the state assembly.
Meantime on Tuesday Conference of Nigeria Political Parties (CNPP) in Kwara state of which Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) is a key player complained about non-usage of card readers in last presidential and National Assembly elections in the state to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC)
Speaking with journalists in Ilorin the state chairman of the CNPP, Alhaji Adebayo Lawal, said that 20 per cent of the 486,254 voters who voted during the last presidential and National Assembly elections in Kwara state were validated by card readers, adding that many of those who voted did so manually.
The CNPP, thus, said that only those verified and authenticated by card readers must be allowed to vote in the forthcoming governorship and state Assembly elections as stipulated in the electoral act.
The group said that card readers malfunctioned during the last elections in most units across the state, adding that the development resulted in alleged over voting and use of unclaimed PVCs by agents of a certain political party to vote during the elections with the approval of INEC officials.
It stressed, “This is clearly against the initial guideline given by INEC that only voters accredited through card readers would be allowed to vote and that any voting not verified and authenticated by the card readers would be declared null and void.,
The CNPP also said, “It is also disheartening to note that agents of opposition political parties, who protested that card readers were not being used for voting in their respective polling units were harassed by security officials.
“The election we had in Kwara was a charade, flawed and discredited exercise. The CNPP, therefore, cannot welcome the outcome of such elections as the true choice of the people. The results did not reflect the wishes of the vast majority of the electorate in Kwara.
“For the forthcoming governorship and State Assembly elections, we insist that only those verified and authenticated by card readers only must be allowed to vote in the elections as stipulated in the electoral act. Therefore, if the card readers at a polling unit are not working, INEC officials at such polling unit should request for functioning card readers in replacement, and if there is no provision for that, elections in such polling unit must be suspended. Only voters accredited through card readers must be allowed to cast their votes.
“We were glad to hear an INEC Federal Commissioner say on national TV yesterday morning that the usage of card readers is sacrosanct and that no manual voting would be allowed during the governorship and state assembly elections. This is a welcome development and we hope INEC ad- hoc staff will conform to this guideline.
“More importantly, INEC should correct all the observed inadequacies witnessed during the presidential and national assembly elections and must ensure that such indiscretions are not repeated during the governorship and state assembly elections.
“Furthermore, the CNPP in Kwara State condemns on strong terms the use of state power through the security agencies including the Nigerian Army, the Department of State Security (DSS) and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) along with even the NDLEA by the APC-led Federal Government to intimidate and silence members of the opposition parties in the State. Several members and supporters of the opposition parties, especially the PDP were picked up and detained by security operatives a few days before the last election. This is unfortunate and undemocratic.
“As we gradually approach the governorship and state assembly elections on Saturday, 9th March 2019, we in unequivocal terms warn against the repeat of such senile and barbaric arrest and detention of members and supporters of the opposition parties. This is in the interest of the peace pact signed by all parties participating in the election.
“We also caution against the militarization of the March 9 governorship and state Assembly elections as it was done during the presidential and national assembly elections, where heavy security officials were deployed in quantum to intimidate and suppress voters particularly in areas considered to be the strongholds of the opposition parties. We will not tolerate this act of impunity in the forthcoming election.
We are not in doubt that we have well-trained security forces, but we are urging them to demonstrate that professionalism for the entire world to see through being civil, impartial and non-partisan. They should stick to the main role of the security agencies during elections which is to provide security. They must not allow themselves to be used by any political party to carry out unholy acts during the elections either to harass or disenfranchise voters.
“The CNPP remains committed to doing everything possible to ensure the conduct of free, fair and credible elections in Kwara State. People should be allowed to freely choose whoever they want to lead them, without fear or favour, and their wishes must be respected.
“To this end, we want INEC to remain impartial and provide a level playing field for all political parties. Officials of the electoral body and the field staff must not become willing tools in the hands of some undemocratic agents and some unscrupulous politicians to scuttle the electoral process and subvert the will of the people. History and posterity will judge us all”. It concluded.