Kwara Gov Touts Ministerial Appointment to Woo Opponents

Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq

*promises Seriki, Gobir, and Kwara North leaders
*Saliu’s camp foresees Oloriegbe’s treatment

The gubernatorial ambition of Kwara State Governor, Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq at the weekend suffered a setback following the heightening of internal wranglings and displeasure among his key supporters in the All Progressives Congress (APC) following allegations that he is touting ministerial slots among his key allies.

The governor’s camp, according to the investigation, is now rumbling as efforts by the governor to woo political stalwarts and swell his camp has led him to drop hints to many key stakeholders that he would nominate them for ministerial appointment in the post-May 29 Federal cabinets.

It was gathered that the governor has been running from pillar to post, spending billions of naira, and promising key posts to every key individual as it is becoming obvious that his chances of winning the gubernatorial election are very slim.

The grouse over the touting of the ministerial slot by the Governor got more pronounced following the realization by APC leaders that the Kwara State Governor does not enjoy a close relationship with the President-elect, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

One APC chieftain who is also a close ally of the Governor revealed that there has been apprehension over the swelling ranks of the opposition PDP, and the general indication that the voters prefer its Governorship candidate, Alhaji Shuaib Yaman Abdullahi who is from Kwara North Senatorial District.

“At a high-powered meeting, the ruling party resolved to extend an olive branch to aggrieved stalwarts, who are either still members or those who already left the party,” he said.

As part of a desperate move to seek more support from some leaders of the APC who earlier defected from the party, Gov. Abdulrazaq invited them to a parley.

The SDP leaders, however, shunned the Governor’s meeting, refusing to accede to the plea by his emissaries.

Those invited include Alhaji AbdulAzeez Afolabi, SDP State Chairman, Alhaji Hakeem Lawal, the party’s Governorship candidate, Alhaji Khaleel Bolaji, Campaign Director General and
Arch. Kale Belgore.

Others are Chief Iyiola Oyedepo Akogun, Alhaji AbdulKadir Manko, Alhaji Y. A. Adisa, Hon. Saheed Popoola, Dr. Hezekiah Oyedepo, and Chief Sunday Oyebiyi.

It was gathered that the dissatisfaction within the APC is also growing, becoming a huge concern for Abdulrazaq.

Expatiating on the matter, the source revealed that the conflicts stem from various political interests.

“For instance, the camp of the Senator-elect for Kwara Central, Saliu Mustapha, believes that Gov. Abdulrahman will give the same treatment as experienced by the incumbent senator, Dr. Yahaya Oloriegbe in 2027.

“The reason is that the governor wants to serve in the Senate when he concludes his tenure as Governor in 2027. Though he has promised to ensure that Saliu Mustapha gets the governorship ticket, there are reports that the Governor as part of his re-election bid has again pledged to cede the ticket to Kwara North, fueling displeasure in the Mustapha camp”, the source said.

Another source added that the Governor has been using the ministerial slot for Kwara State as a bargaining chip.

“There are many dissatisfied personalities within the party. One of those who are also aggrieved is Mr. Yahaya Seriki, who has not been able to achieve his political ambition despite his loyalty to the Governor.

“The Governor is assuring Seriki of the state’s ministerial slot. The same promise he has made to the YPP Governorship candidate, Gobir, to persuade him to declare his support for him”, the party chieftain stated.

He added that Sen. Oloriegbe is also eyeing the same ministerial slot as compensation for losing his return ticket to the Senate.

The source added that the governor has also assured elders from Kwara North that he will nominate the candidate for the post of a minister from the zone, a promise which is also causing more disaffection and disloyalty within the ranks of the governor’s supporters in the zone.