By – Kayode Abdulazeez
In a modern democracy, justice, equity, fairness and good conscience remain the watchwords. In the absence of these, crisis looms as the silence and disenchanted voices will rise.
For so long a time, the Kwara Central Senatorial District seat at the Senate has continued to be a birthright of and particularly occupied by people from one local government area, out of the four that make up the senatorial district.
This is fast becoming a subject of discussion among major stakeholders in Kwara politics as 2023 general elections approach.
Undoubtedly, the senatorial district comprises four local government areas: Asa, Ilorin East, Ilorin South and Ilorin West, which are principally Ilorin metropolis and its suburbs.
Among these local government areas, the political pendulum always swing in the direction of Ilorin West, as the luckiest one, which continuously produces people to occupy the coveted seat at the National Assembly for many years.
With this, many believe that the development was as a result of the influence of the late Kwara Political Kingpin, Dr Olusola Saraki, who determined who got what in the political landscape of the state throughout his lifetime.
This influence of the late iconic politician played a prominent role on how long Ilorin West is holding on to the position up till today, at the expense of other local government areas in the same senatorial district.
For instance, below shows the years, holders and local government of origin of the past and the present occupier of Kwara Central Senatorial seat:
1979 – 1983: Sen. Olusola Saraki – Ilorin West
1992 – 1993: Sen. Ayinla Olomoda – Asa/Ilorin West
1999 – 2003: Sen. Isiaka Salman – Ilorin West
2003 – 2011: Sen. Gbemisola Saraki – Ilorin West
2011 – 2019: Sen. Bukola Saraki – Ilorin West
2019 – 2023: Sen. Ibrahim Oloriegbe – Ilorin West
Unarguably, they all contributed immensely to the growth and development of the senatorial district when it comes to projects facilitation and human empowerment programmes that cut across all the four local government areas.
The missing point of equal representations by people from other local government areas is, however, becoming a source of concern, more importantly, in the forthcoming 2023 general elections as concerned citizens are demanding that such lapses must be corrected going forward.
These concerned people are advancing that, such recurrent situation has led to under-development of other local government areas as both physical, and human capital developments are becoming a question of who occupies the seat. It is believed that the other three local governments remain under-developed as a result of being denied their turn to represent their people in order to bring about development.
It is pertinent to reiterate this marginalised part also parade competent hands with the requisite wherewithal to represent the good people of the senatorial district at the National Assembly, but they are not always lucky, due to lack of proper political arrangement on the part of stakeholders and perhaps fear of consequences of going against the dictate of political godfathers.
History has it that Saraki’s political dynasty produced all senators that had represented the district, except the serving Senator Ibrahim Oloriegbe who beat the former senate President, Bukola Saraki in 2019 general election under the O to ge Movement that changed political structure in the state.
Although, one could attribute the emergence of Senator Ibrahim Oloriegbe of APC, to a gamble that paid off in 2019. This is because people could not have thought he had a chance to defeat an incumbent senate president in the contest, and consequent to the fear of losing, many politicians did not fancy that particular ticket at that time.
In as much as nobody is to be blamed for the unlucky politicians from the concerned LGs. This piece is just to preach equity and justice ahead of parties’ primaries in preparation for the 2023 general elections.
On this basis, other LGs should be considered to produce candidates that will represent the interest of Kwara Central at the Red Chamber.
Nobody is expecting any party to give the ticket out on the platter of gold but, it is expected to be a kin contest where everybody is given a level playing ground, and where any party want to do it in a way of consensus, special consideration must be given to any candidate from the three LGs which has not been lucky to produce a senator to represent them at the National Assembly in the interest of justice, equity and fair play.
On the part of the aspirants from the concerned LGs, courage, determination, intellectual capability and wealth of cognitive experience must be displayed to convince all stakeholders.