The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, says the era of imposition is over in Kwara politics and that there is no favoured candidate among the governorship aspirants in the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Mohammed said this on Wednesday in Ilorin at the APC Kwara governorship aspirants parley with the leaders and members of the party.
The News Agency if Nigeria (NAN) reports 12 of the 13 APC governorship aspirants presented their manifestoes to the public at the event.
Addressing the gathering, Mohammed who is the leader of APC in Kwara, stressed that the party had not and did not intend to predetermine who the candidate would be.
He said that the candidate party’s governorship election candidate would emerge through a rigorous transparent process.
“What we are saying is simple: Let all the aspirants present their vision and mission to our party stakeholders in an open, transparent and organised manner.
“If you become the Governor of Kwara State under the APC flag, 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.”
Mohammed said that the parley was unprecedented in the history of Kwara and a signpost to the conduct of a transparent and hitch-free primaries.
He stressed that the party had determined to do things differently to move the state forward and raise the living standard of the people.
The minister added that the parley was particularly important because of the level of interest that had been shown in the governorship ticket of the party in the state.
“Kwara APC has the highest number of governorship aspirants under this dispensation.
“All eyes are on Kwara; so, we must get it right, especially as we are sure to occupy the seat of power in this state, come 2019,” he said.
Similarly, the state party Chairman, Mr Bashir Bolarinwa said that the event had opened a new page in the history of the state.
Bolarinwa said that the parley was designed to engage the aspirants, have a peep into their programmes for the people and showcase the aspirants to all stakeholders and the country at large.
“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 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.
“Without equivocation, the governor of a state belongs to all. Therefore, it is important to carry every one along, from the start, the people whose mandate the governor carries.
“That is why we are here; to further deepen our democratic process through engagement, participation and feedback from our respected audience,” he said.
Bolarinwa said that the party was gradually closing the page of an era that had deliberately held the state back and in which the loyalty of public office holders was to one man, rather than to the people.
“Never again will our state be held down by the whims and caprices of one man.
“The old order, which can only nurture mediocres and bring unpatriotic elements to the corridors of power, must give way to a genuinely democratic system,” he said.
NAN reports that the 12 aspirants present at the parley included Dele Belgore (SAN), the Director-General, National Broadcasting Commission, Ishaq Modibbo-Kawu and two brothers Lukman Mustapha and Moshood Mustapha.
Others Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq, Yakubu Gobir, Salihu Mustapha, Tajudeen Audu, Abdulfatah Yahaya and
Hakeem Lawal, Prof. Oba Abdulraheem and Shuaibu Yahman.
The 13th aspirant, Kayode Abdulwahab, was absent.