Senate President, Bukola Saraki, has narrated how the governorship primary election of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), was disrupted by thugs on Sunday.
According to a statement signed by Yusuph Olaniyonu, his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, issued on his behalf, Saraki said he had no preferred candidate in the contest.
The statement reads: “Following the discussions with participants and sources on the ground in Kwara State, and due to the speculation that is being generated on certain social media channels, it is important to highlight the following about the Kwara PDP gubernatorial election that held yesterday.”
“First, as stated at various fora, and as expressed to the gubernatorial aspirants at a meeting held in the early hours of September 25th, 2018, the President of the Senate, Dr Abubakar Bukola Saraki, had no preferred candidate for the party primaries that held yesterday.”
“Dr Saraki believes that competence, popularity and acceptability, must be the deciding factors in the selection of the party’s gubernatorial candidate, as such, due to the fact that many of the aspirants in question meet all three criteria, Dr. Saraki has stated that a level playing field must be provided for all the aspirants to vie for the gubernatorial ticket of the PDP in Kwara.”
“Going back to yesterday’s incident, the accreditation had already taken place, and delegates from two Local Government Areas had already previously voted. The third Local Government had started to vote when a few people from that LGA raised certain observations about the process.”
“The organisers of the primaries then suggested that the LGA in question should either conclude voting while the observations were addressed, or allow another LGA to vote — pending the resolution of the observations that were raised.”
“It was at this point that hired thugs then forced their way into the venue of the primaries to disrupt the process.”
“It is important to note that despite his influence in the politics of the state, Dr Saraki has always worked to ensure that the democratic process is followed to the letter. Additionally, as many of his political associates are aspiring to become the next Governor of the State, he has maintained that he will allow the people to decide and worked to ensure that the party primaries in the state remain credible.”
“That was why he stayed back in Abuja while the primary election in Ilorin was on-going. He only left Abuja for Ilorin at 9.10pm yesterday following the news of the disruption.”