2023: How Elections Would Be Won and Lost in Kwara

By Saheed Abdullahi

Few months to 2023 general elections in Nigeria, political parties are on the verge of marketing their products to the citizens as best choices in Presidential, National Assembly Governorship and State Assemblies to respond to their yearnings and aspirations.

Kwara State is one of the 36 states where the political contest is likely to be most fiercest. From all indices, some political parties have edge above others in the 3 senatorial districts of the state. It trite to politically analyse the zones, putting into considerations factors that would play up in winning and losing the contest.


In Kwara North, All Progressives Congress, APC, is advantageous above Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Social Democratic Party, SDP, New Nigerian Peoples Party, NNPP and Young Progressive Party YPP. In practical terms, the political rivalry among Baruten-Kaiama axis and Edu-Pategi zone strategically positions sitting Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq of APC to win governorship election in Kwara North. This is because the full presence of number 3 citizen of the state, the Speaker, Kwara State House of Assembly, Engineer Yakubu Danlad-Salihu and Senator representing Kwara-North, Senator Sadiq Umar shall be great influence as a result of their performances.

Some House of Assembly Assembly members from Baruten and Kaiama like Muhammad Baba-Salihu of Okuta Yashikira Constituency, Saidu Baba of Kwanaba 1-2-Adena Constituency and Abdullahi Halidu-Danbaba have less performed as lawmakers in their respective consistencies as they are likely to ride on the performances of Speaker, Engineer Yakubu Danlad-Salihu and Senator representing Kwara-North, Sadiq Umar to return. Similarly APC is likely to win Moro Local Government as AA is fully domiciled in terms of critical infrastructure, juicy political appointments including Head of Service, Mrs Susan Modupe-Oluwole and Commissioner for Works and Transport, Engineer Sulaiman Rotimi Iliasu among others.

It should be noted that Edu-Pategi zone will be a challenge for APC as PDP gubernatorial candidate, Abdullahi Shuaib Yaman is likely to capture that area as there is tendency of Yaman winning the entire Edu Local Government and probably Pategi. The contest is purely between PDP, APC and SDP. There is a likelihood of APC losing Edu-Pategi-Moro Constituency to either PDP or SDP. In general analysis of Kwara-North, Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq; Speaker, Engineer Yakubu Danlad-Salihu; incumbent Senator representing Kwara-North stand the chance of being reelected as Baruten, Kaiama, Moro would likely be swept by APC and parts of Edu and Pategi Local Government Areas.


Without iota of doubt, Kwara South is strictly challenging for APC even being the territory of the sitting State Deputy Governor, Mr Kayode Alabi, who hails from Oro-Ago, Ifelodun Local Government Area of the state. It is generally perceived that Mr Kayode Alabi has no political value in Ifelodun not to talk of the entire Kwara South. It generally believed that it will be a 3-horse race in senatorial election between Professor Wale Sulaiman of SDP, Senator Rafiu Ibrahim of PDP and incumbent, Senator Lola Ashiru. It could be probably predicted that Professor Wale Sulaiman of SDP or Rafiu Ibrahim, PDP is likely to win senatorial seat of the zone due to the personalities of the PDP and SDP Senatorial flag-bearers. It is observed that SDP is growing profusely in Kwara South and performance of Senator Rafiu Ibrahim during as former Senator is also on record. These made them popular than the sitting Senator, Lola Ashiru.

In Kwara South APC is likely to be downplayed as it appears unpopular in the zone. Huge number of APC candidates for State House of Assembly and House of Representatives would suffer imminent defeat if care is not taken as PDP and SDP majorly will slug it out in Kwara South in 2023 general elections. It is worthy of note that Lawmaker representing Share Oke-Ode Constituency, Olatunde Razaq Owolabi of APC stands a chance to be reelected in view of numerous achievements in empowering his constituents while his counterpart from Omupo Constituency, Ganiyu Folabi Salau may not likely return as a result of his abysmal performance. No doubt, State Constituencies of Isin, Oke-Ero, Irepodun and Ekiti and National Assembly Federal Constituencies may be lost to either PDP or SDP which is likely to affect incumbent member representing.Irepodun-Isin- Ekiti-Oke Ero Constituency, Raheem Olawuyi Ajuloopin, who is having issues with forwarding his campaign because of legal tussle in retaining his ticket.

*Kwara Central*

With the way things are going, there is a tendency that Kwara State votes will be shared by APC, PDP, NNPP, Labour Party, YPP and SDP. One can conveniently predict that Kwara Central is for APC due to Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq , Turaki of Ilorin, Mallam Saliu Mustapha and Muktar Tolani-Sagaya factors. These 3 political giants are deeply rooted in the four Local Governments of Ilorin West, Ilorin East, Ilorin South and Asa of Kwara Central.

This is because, Governor Abdulrazaq who is perceived not to be well embraced, is now having his popularity spreading like a wide 🔥 from Kwara Central to Kwara South to Kwara North as a result of his numerous achievements. He has been able to raise the bar of acommplishments in education, health, road infrastructure, workers welfare (implementation of 30,000 naira minimum wage, civil servants promotions) and women and youth empowerments through Kwara State Social Empowerment Programme KWSSIP and Media with newly established new Radio Kwara Kakakin 90.1 FM, Ilorin and first ever Radio Station in Kwara North, Nortia 90.7 FM, Okuta Baruten Local Government Area of the state

For Turaki of Ilorin, Mallam Salihu Mustapha has won the hearts of people in Ilorin through his recent 200 million naira empowerment programme at the State Banquet Hall, Ilorin. The least amount gotten by the beneficiaries was One Hundred Thousand naira while the highest amounts were One Million Naira to Two Million Naira irrespective of political affiliation. It was during the empowerment programme that people of Ilorin now started beaming search light on him observing that someone that has not occupied a political office is generous like this, if he occupies a political office, what would be the experience?. Another critical factor about the Turaki of Ilorin has to do with his immediate gesture to Late Shaikh Abdulganeey Zul Nurain-Aboto’s family where he donated cash and decent accommodation to the family of the late Shaikh Aboto.

That has also boosted his chance of winning the senatorial seat in Kwara Central. Although Former Commissioner for Education and Minister, Mallam Abdulganiyu Bolaji Abdullahi is a respected brilliant Journalist of repute, but his image as Omoluabi as grossly evaporated and deteriorated drastically anchored on perceived stewardship failure as Commissioner for Education and Minister of the Federal Republic. Mallam Abdullahi was viewed to be arrogant and dreaded with little or no impact across all levels of education sector between 2007-2011. Also the Former Minister is seen as an individual with poor human relations with people whose impact never felt as a Minister of Youth Development and Sports under Former President Goodluck Jonathan from 2011-2014

The young Muktar Tolani Sagaya is generally accepted and embraced by women and youth that constitute the largest population of the prospective voters. No doubt Tolani Sagaya will be benefiting from the benevolence of his elder brother, Alhaji Sherriff Sagaya who has demonstrated strong passion for youth emacipation. What we all understand now is no iota of poverty in those working for Alhaji Sherriff Sagaya. The goodwill of Alhaji Sherriff Sagaya is tremendously working for his junior brother contesting for Ilorin West-Asa Federal Constituency in addition to his tremendous empowerment and positive human relations with the people. On the other hand, Alhaji Ibrahim Muhammad Ajia will be confronted with his junior brother from another mother, Muktar Tolani-Sagaya. Alhaji Ajia is a vibrant and well articulate youth with impeccable character. Unfortunately, what may affect his emergence is his non-visibility in town. Alhaji Ibrahim Muhammad Ajia is not in circulation like Muktar Tolani-Sagaya who happens to be his closest challenger

With these analyses, it could be observed that candidates contesting for House of Assembly and House of Representatives in Kwara Central are likely to emerge victorious. Interestingly, only Ilorin East and South votes are to be broken into pieces due to political juggernauts contesting in the 2 local governments. For instance, the battle between Yinka Aluko of APC, Abdulwahab Issa of PDP and Abdulganiyu Cook Olododo of SDP will be hot as the candidates are physically visible in the state political landscape.

APC may lose Ilorin East-South Federal Constituency to either PDP or SDP as candidates of the two parties, Alhaji Abdulwahab Olanrewaju Issa and Alhaji Abdulganiyu Cook Olododo are politically stronger than Alhaji Yinka Aluko. Both of them are believed to be impactful on the people in the areas of attraction of capital projects and employments for the people in their political sojourns than Alhaji Yinka Aluko who was Special Adviser on Security to 2 Former Governors in the state for more than 12years under the last administration and Special Adviser, Special Duties under incumbent Governor, Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq with no impact on the people before his resignation to contest for Ilorin East-South Federal Constituency under the platform of APC. There are also strong indications that Ilorin South House of Assembly seat would be won by H.T Alaya, if only he works along Alhaji Abdulwahab Olanrewaju Issa to move and pull votes together as his political presence is not obscure in Ilorin south.

The strength of incumbency will play out for the daughter of a late Former Governor in the state will also contribute to the victory of Hajia Fatima Arinola Lawal of APC to defeat Muhammad Maigidansanma in the PDP in Ilorin East State Constituency election. In a nutshell, the togetherness of Governor Abdulrazaq, Mallam Salihu Mustapha and Muktar Tolani-Sagaya is going to aid the victory of some candidates in Kwara Central. The trio are essential political commodities capable of propelling some APC candidates to triumph. As a result of the the above, Governor Abdulrazaq stands a chance of beating other candidates running for fovernorship in Kwara North and Kwara Central Senatorial Districts to be reelected

Saheed Abdullahi is of Radio Kwara, Ilorin

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