Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed of Kwara State has withdrawn from the senatorial race in the 2019 general elections.
It is recalled that the governor had won the ticket to contest Kwara South senatorial seat under the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in a consensus arrangement during the October party’s primaries.
In a statement by the PDP publicity secretary, Tunde Ashaolu, the party commended Governor Ahmed for ceding the party’s Kwara South senatorial ticket to Ibolo axis of the zone.
Also, beneficiary of the governor’s action, who is also the Senator representing Kwara South in the National Assembly, Dr Rafiu Ibrahim, has praised the Senate President and national leader of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Dr Bukola Saraki, for granting the request by Ibolo leaders on ceding the party’s Kwara south senatorial ticket to Ibolo axis of the zone.
He described as highly commendable the decision of the state governor, Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed to cede the senatorial ticket following the pleas by Ibolo elders.
This, he said has further affirmed Ahmed’s reputation as an advocate of fairness, equity and inclusion.
Ibrahim, in a statement he personally signed and made available to journalists in Ilorin on Tuesday, expressed special gratitude to Saraki and Ahmed for granting the request of the leadership of Ibolo division of Kwara South that the senatorial ticket is retained in the axis.
He was particularly impressed that the popular decision of Saraki and Ahmed on the issue of Kwara South senatorial ticket was done in the interest of fairness and equity, noting that both Ekiti and Igbomina divisions of the senatorial district had both produced senators who served two terms in the Senate.
Ibrahim also thanked all the stakeholders within the zone and the state at large for their efforts and support in ensuring that the request of the Ibolo leaders sailed through.
The senator who is the beneficiary of the change in the PDP’s candidate for the zone also expressed his profound gratitude to his constituents, party members and advocates for their support and confidence him.
“The decision of Governor Ahmed to cede the senatorial ticket following the pleas by Ibolo elders is highly commendable and this has further affirmed his reputation as an advocate of fairness, equity and inclusion. This is indeed leadership by example.
“I think it is also important I clarify that Governor Ahmed’s decision to relinquish the ticket has nothing to do with the November 17 by-election in Ekiti/Oke Ero/Isin/Irepodun Federal Constituency. The outcome of an election that was characterized by rigging, harassment and intimidation of voters could not have led the governor to withdraw from the senatorial race.
“You will recall that last week, on the floor of the Senate, I raised concerns about the conduct of the poll and the use of security operatives by the Federal Government and the All Progressives Congress (APC) to intimidate voters as well as harass members of the PDP.
“It was on this basis the Senate directed its Committee on Police and National Intelligence to investigate the matter. I have no doubt that the PDP would have won the election if it was conducted in a free, fair and credible manner.
“Let me also use this opportunity to thank all the leaders of our party in my senatorial district and the state at large for demonstrating quality leadership and for their efforts in upholding the unity of the party. I hereby reiterate my unflinching loyalty and commitment to the entire structure of the party.
“I also would like to thank the good people of Kwara State for their continued support and belief in our great party, PDP despite all the calumnious campaign launched against our leaders and the party by desperate politicians in the state.
“I am confident that with the support of Kwarans, our party will triumph in the 2019 general elections.”