By Ibrahim Sheriff
No fewer than eight members of Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq’s cabinet are warming up to contest elective political positions in the forthcoming 2023 elections, Fresh Insight can authoritatively report.
While some of these cabinet members have been all out consulting with political stakeholders within the Governor’s camp, others are still testing the waters and watching the body language of Governor AbdulRazaq as the leader of their political camp.
AbdulRazaq’s cabinet members touted to be eyeing elective offices in the 2023 general elections includes the Commissioner for Education – Hajia Saadat Modibbo Kawu, Commissioner for Enterprise- Hajia Fatimah Arinola Lawal, Special Adviser Political to the Governor – Lateef Alakawa and Commissioner for Justice and Attorney General – Salman Jawondo, SAN
Others are the Special Adviser, Special Duties, Alhaji Ahmed Yinka Aluko, Commissioner for Mineral resources- Harriet Afolabi-Oshatimehin, Commissioner for Territory Education, Barr. Senior Kunle Ibrahim and Commissioner for Health – Rasaq Raji.
Other appointees of the Governor said to be showing interest for elective positions includes the Senior Special Assistant on Community Intervention- Kayode Oyin-Zubair, Kwara state Social Investment Programs (KWASSIP) helmsman – Mohammed Brimah and the Chairman of the State Universal Basis Education Board (SUBEB) – Prof. Sheu Abdulraheem Adaramaja.
While the list is not yet exhaustive as more members of AbdulRazaq’s cabinet may join race to contest various elective office, the aforementioned have been overtly or covertly making moves that indicates their interest in the coming elections.
HAJIA SA’ADATU MODIBBO KAWU
Hajia Saadatu Modibbo Kawu is the commissioner representing Ilorin South in AbdulRazaq’s cabinet. She was first seconded to the Ministry of Tertiary Education and later, Ministry of Education after the cabinet dissolution and reconstitution by the Governor.
Saadatu Modibbo Kawu whose husband, Mall. Ishaq Modibbo Kawu contested the 2019 gubernatorial elections played active role in women mobilization in the 2019 general elections.
Saadatu Modibbo Kawu, an Alumni of Usman Danfodiyo University, Sokoto and University of Ilorin, and an educationist by profession is believed to be gunning for the Ilorin East/South Federal Constituency seat, currently occupied by Hon. Ganiyu Saka Cook Olododo.
As part of preparatory moves for her 2023 ambition, Modibbo has been seen recently fraternizing and consulting with political stakeholders from Ilorin East and South local governments. She also recently organized a day workshop for APC women leaders from the Federal Constituency.
HAJIA FATIMAH ARINOLA LAWAL
Hajia Fatima Arinola Lawal is the daughter of former Governor of Kwara state – Mohammed Alabi Lawal and commissioner representing Ilorin East in AbdulRazaq’s cabinet. She is also one of the commissioners returned after the cabinet dissolution by the Governor.
Arinola-Lawal initially manned the Water resources ministry before she was reappointed as commissioner for Enterprise. His brother, Alhaji Hakeem Oladimeji Lawal contested the 2015 and 2019 gubernatorial elections and currently not on the same page politically with Governor AbdulRazaq.
Arinola-Lawal, an entrepreneur, is said also to be eyeing Ilorin East/South Federal Constituency seat.
While impeccable sources told Fresh Insight that Arinola Lawal’s rumored ambition is a serious matter, her campaign fliers had recently surfaced online without any rebuttal.
SALMAN JAWONDO, SAN
Salmon Jawondo, SAN hails from Asa and he is the current commissioner for Justice and Attorney General of Kwara state.
Jawondo, an activist is synonymous with the longstanding struggle that eventually change the political status quo in Kwara with his numerous court cases and advocacy to challenge what he considered the anti-people decisions of the previous administrations.
Jawondo, is an alumnus of the University of Lagos and former Chairman of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Ilorin Branch, showed interest to represent Asa/Ilorin West Federal Constituency in 2019 and currently, he is said to also be interested in running for the position in the 2023 general elections.
Jawondo, according to reliable sources have kIckstarted consultations of people that matters in Ilorin West and Asa local government politics towards the materialization of his ambition.
MR. LATEEF GIDADO ALAKAWA
Mr. Lateef Gidado Alakawa is an Asa born politician, who served as the State secretary of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP under the Chairmanship of Chief Iyiola Akogun Oyedepo and currently serving as Political Adviser to Gov. AbdulRazaq.
Alakawa, who was hitherto Special Adviser, Strategy before his redeployment is said to be interested in contesting Asa/Ilorin West Federal constituency representative position come 2023 and has also started consulting with party stakeholders from the two local governments.
Alakawa will be slugging it out in the APC with his cabinet colleague, Jawondo SAN and one of the Shagayas, Muktar Tolani.
ALHAJI AHMED YINKA ALUKO
Ilorin South born Alhaji Ahmed Yinka Aluko is the current Special Adviser on Special Duties to Gov. AbdulRazaq and an aspirant for Kwara Central Senatorial District in the 2019 elections. He also contested for the seat in the 2015 elections under the PDP.
Aluko is an old horse in the Kwara political space, having served as Special Adviser on Security to former Governor Bukola Saraki and also emerged the Deputy Governorship candidate of the opposition PDP in the 2015 general election, to persuade him over hijack of his duly won Kwara Central Senatorial ticket for his then contender and 2nd runner up – AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq
Aluko’s close allies have in recent times, been consulting political stakeholders across the four local governments that constitutes Kwara Central Senatorial District with respect to his intention to run for Senate in 2023.
Aluko would be contesting the APC Kwara Central Senatorial seat ticket against incumbent Senator Ibrahim Yahyah Oloriegbe and popular miner, serial entrepreneur and close ally of the Governor, Amb. AbdulFatah Yahyah Seriki Gambari.
Ms. Adenike Harriet Afolabi-Oshatimehin is the most experienced of AbdulRazaq’s appointees having served in the highest number of ministries since her first appointment as Commissioner for Agriculture, and later Communications, Youths and currently, Mineral Resources.
Oshatimehin who is the Commissioner from Ifelodun local government of Kwara state is a financial expert, who is said to be nursing ambition to represent the people of Ifelodun/Offa/Oyun Federal Constituency at the National Assembly, to replace the incumbent Rep. Tijani Kayode Ismail.
Recall that when she was renominated as commissioner by Gov. AbdulRazaq, her screening which she eventually scaled through was threatened by the Kwara state House of Assembly. This, Fresh Insight gathered is not unconnected with political bickering with members of Kwara state House of Assembly from Ifelodun local government over clash of political interests linked to her initial intention to run for the State House.
Aside the incumbent Tijani, Oshatimehin will have the Senior Special Assistant on Community Intervention, Oyin-Zubair to contend with for Ifelodun/Offa/Oyun House of Representatives race
BARR. SENIOR IBRAHIM SULEIMAN
Before his appointment as Commissioner, Barr. Senior Suleiman Ibrahim was an Abuja based legal practitioner. He is currently the Commissioner for Tertiary Education.
His dad, Barr. Kunle Suleiman is the pioneer state Chairman of the PDP in Kwara and currently, a stalwart of the APC and close associate of Governor AbdulRazaq.
Senior, who hails from Ilorin West local government was an aspirant for Ilorin Central State Constituency House of Assembly, he contested the APC primaries against the incumbent Majority Leader of Kwara state House of Assembly, Hon. Abubakar Magaji Olawoyin.
Observers noted that Barr. Senior may still be very much interested in contesting the Kwara state House of Assembly seat.
While the journey for Senior might be thought to be a smooth ride because the incumbent Olawoyin is already gunning for Ilorin West/Asa House of Representatives ticket, there is an unexplainable cold war between the duo, which has seen the AbdulRazaq faction of the APC polarized in their Magaji Ngeri constituency.
Dr. RAJI RASAQ
Dr. Raji Rasaq is a medical Doctor and the current Kwara state Commissioner for Health. He hails from Osi, Ekiti local government of Kwara state.
He contested Irepodun/Isin/Ekiti/Okeero Federal Constituency seat in the 2019 elections under the PDP and he is said to also be interested in retrying his luck come 2023.
Sources said Hon. Raji has been consulting with political stakeholders from the four local governments that makes up the constituency for support ahead of the party primaries.
MR. KAYODE OYIN-ZUBAIR
Mr. Kayode Oyin-Zubair is a household name in the community development parlance and a former member of the Lai Mohammed political group. He was at the fore front of the struggle against the domineering tendencies of Dr. Bukola Saraki’s camp over the Legacy group of the APC between 2016 and 2018, when Saraki eventually left the Party.
Oyun-Zubair, who was an arrowhead of the Samari-led factional Kwara APC in 2017 currently serve as Senior Special Assistant to Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq.
The Igbaja born politician gave Ifelodun/Offa/Oyun Federal Constituency and later, Omupo Constituency House of Assembly seat a shot in the build up to 2019 elections, with no luck.
He is however making efforts to stage a stronger relaunch in 2023. Fresh Insight gathered that Oyin-Zubair is already intimating close associates about his intention to run for House of Representatives in 2023.
He also recently met with ward Chairmen, youth leaders and selected party executives and stakeholders in Ifelodun, although no formal declaration was made, it is believed to be part of preparatory moves to kickstart his aspiration.
Mohammed Brimah is a native of Ilorin, Kwara State and an alumnus of University of Ilorin, Kwara State, Nigeria. He is currently the Acting General Manager of the Kwara state Social Investment Programme (KWASSIP).
He was formerly the Special Assistant to the President on Job Creation under the office of the Vice President. He was also appointed as the Special Assistant to the President on Internally Displaced Persons under the Office of the Vice President from 2015-2019.
Brimah was popular for his Kwara Alliance for Buhari/Osinbajo (KABO), a campaign organization tor Buhari/Osinbajo in the 2019 general elections, with office on Fate road, Ilorin.
Recently, campaign fliers and contents of Mohammed Brimah for Ilorin East/South Federal Constituency have surfaced online, without rebuttal.
Brimah is the third of AbdulRazaq’s appointees showing interest in Ilorin East/South Federal Constituency, besides Sa’adatu Modibbo Kawu and Fatimah Arinola Lawal.
PROF. SHEU ABDULRAHEEM ADARAMAJA
Sheu Abdulraheem Adaramaja is an Asa born professor of Physical Health Education at the University of Ilorin and currently on a leave of absence to serve a five years tenure as the Chairman of the Kwara state Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB).
Prof. Adaramaja is a former ally of Prof. Shuaib Oba Abdulraheem and had served as Director of INEC matters under the opposition PDP gubernatorial campaign organization in 2015.
Sources said Prof. Adaramaja is also interested in replacing Hon. Yekini Alajagusi at the green chamber, to represent the people of Asa and Ilorin West.
If the rumored aspiration of Prof. Adaramaja turnout to be veracious, he will also be the third of AbdulRazaq’s appointee aspiring for Asa/West Federal constituency seat. He would be slugging it out with Jawondo, Alakawa and Shagaya.