By Hammed Shittu in Ilorin
Senate President and national leader of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Dr. Bukola Saraki and stakeholders of the party in Kwara State yesterday night signed a pact with traditional and political leaders from the northern part of the state, agreeing to a shift of power to the north by 2023.
By implication, the party’s gubernatorial candidate, Alhaji Razak Atunwa, will spend only one term if the party wins the forthcoming election on March 2, 2018.
The pact was revealed at a press conference addressed by the party’s state chairman, Alhaji Kola Shittu and Director General of the PDP campaign council in the state , Professor Suleiman Abubakar.
Abubakar who read the communique issued at the end of the meeting, indicated that traditional rulers from the zone as well as the Emir of Ilorin, Alhaji Ibrahim Sulu-Gambari witnessed and endorsed the Memorandum of Understanding(MoU).
It was also agreed at the meeting that, Kwara North will produce the Secretary to the State Government (SSG) and Speaker if the PDP wins the 2019 election in the state.
“The sole purpose of the meeting was for us to have an understanding on specific terms on issues bordering on power shift, cohesion, giving sense of belonging and inclusiveness to our people across all the three Senatorial Districts.
“The conclusion of the meeting is that there will be power shift to Kwara North in 2023. Also, the positions of Speaker of the Kwara State House of Assembly and Secretary to Kwara State Government have been zoned to Kwara North in the post- May 2019 government.
“The understanding has been committed to writing and signed by all key stakeholders present.
“The stakeholders present at the meeting included Saraki; Governor Abdulfatai Ahmed; gubernatorial candidate of the party, Hon. Atunwa; Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Dr. Alli Ahmed; Director General of the Mandate 2019, Prof. Abubakar Sulaimon; Chairman of the Party, Kola Shittu, and other leaders of the party in the three senatorial districts.
“Traditional rulers from Kwara North Senatorial District and Emir of Ilorin, Alhaji Ibrahim Sulu Gambari were consulted on the understanding and they gave their royal blessing to the terms and contents.
“In their speeches at the meeting, the traditional rulers expressed support for any move that will ensure equity, justice and unity among all the various zones in the state.
“They also noted that their decision to serve as witnesses is based on the need to ensure that political leaders honour and respect the contents of the understanding and work for peace and progress of the state before, during and after the general elections.
“Also, in return, the people of Kwara North have agreed to deliver the bloc vote from the zone to the Peoples Democractic Party (PDP) in the general elections.
“We believe this understanding aimed at re-enforcing the unity, harmony and even development of our dear state is definitely necessary for the continued progress of Kwara State now and in the future.”