A fresh bout of confusion is brewing over the choice of candidate for Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for Kwara South Senatorial District of Kwara State as posters of Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed as the candidate have started flooding the district. Governor Ahmed, who is completing his second term in office, has, however, dissociated himself from the posters, insisting that he was not contesting.
He had initially emerged as PDP candidate for the senatorial poll before he reportedly withdrew for incumbent Senator, Rafiu Ibrahim. However, when Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) released the list of candidates for the National Assembly election in the state, Ahmed’s name and not Ibrahim’s was indicated.
The governor, while reacting to the development, insisted that Senator Ibrahim and not him would be the candidate, saying that the inclusion of his name on the list was erroneous and assured that efforts were being made to get INEC to correct the error.
However, when INEC was taken up on the matter, the commission explained that the name could no longer be altered because, while the deadline for change of candidate elapsed on November 17 last year, Ahmed reportedly only notified the electoral body of his intention to withdraw on December 3, 2018.
PDP’s campaigns at the senatorial district have continued to present Ibrahim as its candidate, even as he Ahmed also canvassed votes for him (Ibrahim). But about a week after this, at the weekend, the posters of Ahmed as the candidate were said to have littered some communities in the district. Some of the communities the posters were allegedly found include Ifelodun, the local government of Ahmed and Oyun, Ibrahim’s council area.
A copy of the poster seen on social media shows Ahmed’s picture in corporate suit with the poster carrying the logo of PDP and the inscription “Vote for Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed for Senate, Kwara South Federal Constituency.”
But when asked about the development, a media aide to the governor, Femi Akorede, said his boss did not know anything about the poster, as he explained that the governor remained resolute on his decision not to contest the senatorial seat any longer.
“We don’t know anything about the poster or its author,” Akorede said. “Governor Ahmed has said it loud and clear that he is not contesting. What I know and very sure of is that the governor is not in the senatorial race.”