A former senator, Gbemisola Saraki, has signified her intention to contest the Kwara state governorship election in February 2015 on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.
She disclosed this in a letter to the chairman of the state chapter of the party and its Elders Committee, saying she resolved to contest after state-wide consultations, which she said took her several months.
Ms. Saraki contested for the same position in 2011 on the platform of the Allied Congress Party of Nigeria, ACPN, but was defeated by the incumbent, Abdulfatah Ahmed, who ran on the ticket of the PDP.
Mr. Ahmed has since defected to the All Progressives Congress, APC, on which platform he is running for a second term.
“I have the pleasure to inform you that after several months of statewide consultations, I have resolved to contest for the position of the governor of Kwara State under the platform of our great party, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in the 2015 General Elections,” Ms. Saraki said in the “Letter of Intent,” dated October 2.
“This decision is informed, on the one hand, by calls by family members, friends and several thousands of members of our party who are convinced about my capacity to lead the state out of its present state of hopelessness and stagnation which the ruling party has deliberately thrown it into.
“On the other hand, it is informed by the positive reactions received so far from majority of elders and stakeholders of our party, and other members of the public during my statewide consultations.
“Thus, in obedience to their clarion calls, and a personal conviction that Kwara State can be better governed, I have decided to offer myself to the service of the good people of Kwara state.”
The former senator, who is a younger sister of a former governor of the state, Bukola Saraki, stated that as an aspirant, she was under no illusion that the stakes were high.
“But I also know that we face an electorate that has been exhausted by broken promises, bad governance, collapse infrastructure, an ailing economy, and a host of other problems that seem to defy solutions.
“But with God on our side, and the unalloyed support of our party, I believe I would bring my experience and connection to bear to salvage our dear state from the brink of collapse,” she said.
She assured that party leadership that she was committed to free, fair and transparent primaries among her co-aspirants in the PDP.
While commending the party from exempting the female aspirants in the state from paying the mandatory minimum levy of N500, 000, Ms. Saraki, however, noted that she had contributed more than that amount to its progress.
Ms. Saraki, daughter of the late strongman of Kwara politics, Olusola Saraki, was a member of the House of Representatives between 1999 and 2003 on the platform of the defunct All Peoples Party, APP, and later moved to the Senate where she spent two terms.
Her efforts, backed by her father to succeed her elder brother, Bukola, in 2011 failed as she was defeated by Mr. Ahmed.
Mr. Saraki, like the governor, is now in the APC.[Premium Times]