The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has said the choice of the All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship candidate for Kwara State, in 2019, would be made through a rigorous and transparent process.
The minister, who is the APC leader in Kwara state, stated this in Ilorin, the state capital, yesterday, at a parley organised for APC governorship aspirants in the state, to present their vision and mission for the state.
He described as unprecedented, the parley that saw 12 of the 13 governorship aspirants under the auspices of the APC present their manifestoes to the state APC stakeholders at a well-attended and well-organised session in the state capital.
“This parley is one of a kind; perhaps unprecedented in the history of our dear state.
“It signposts our determination to conduct a transparent and hitch-free primaries, and to do things differently from the past, so that we can move our state forward and raise the living standards of our people. After all, governance is all about the people,’’ Alhaji Mohammed said.
The minister said all eyes are on Kwara because of the level of interest that has been shown in the governorship ticket of the APC in the state and the fact that the party is set to occupy the seat of power in the state in 2019.
He added that the parley would go down in history as the first time any political party in Kwara would organise such a forum as a platform to analyse the vision and mission of its aspirants.
Explaining the process, he said each aspirant is required to present his vision and mission to party stakeholders, in an open, transparent and organised manner.
‘’If you become the governor of Kwara state under the APC, what can the long-suffering people of our dear state expect from you?
“How do you intend to ensure that the government serves the people rather than just one man?
“How can what has become a one-man rule be transmuted to majority rule for the betterment of the people?
“The answers to these and other questions will give us an insight into your plan of action for the state,” the minister said.
He noted that there is no favoured candidate among the aspirants.
“We have not and do not intend to predetermine who our candidate will be. Whoever emerges will do so through a rigorous, transparent process. So, let’s all keep an open mind.”
In his remarks, the caretaker chairman of Kwara APC,Bashir Bolarinwa, said the parley marked a radical departure from the past when past chief executives of the state were determined by just one man.
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“You will agree with me that we are today laying a foundation that will become a benchmark in assessing the future chief executives of Kwara State.
“As you are aware, this is a clear departure from the ‘Mo fun e’ (I gave you) hegemonic system that has only succeeded in producing governors that are not only disconnected from the people but exhibit unbridled loyalty to a single man because of how they got to office,” he said.
The aspirants who made presentations at the forum included Oba Abdulraheem, Dele Belgore (SAN); Saliu Mustapha, Ishaq Modibbo Kawu, Tajudeen Audu, Yakubu Gobir, Lukman Mustapha and Moshood Mustapha.
Others were Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq, Abdulfatah Yahaya Sarki, Shuaibu Yaman and Hakeem Lawal.