The National Working Committee (NWC) of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has announced the election of Alhaji Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq as the Kwara State governorship candidate of the party.
He will face his namesake Razak Atunwa, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, picked a week ago.
According to APC spokesman Yekini Nabena, Alhaji AbdulRazaq, an oil mogul, polled 29,098 votes to defeat Alhaji Yammah Abdullahi – 22,116, Alhaji Lukeman Mustapha – 14,233, Prof.Oba Abu – 23,298, Alhaji Hakeem Lawal – 18,758, Alhaji Mooshood Murtala – 9,511, Isaq Modibbo Kawu – 5,060, Alhaji Yakubu Gobar – 2,420 and Tajudeen Makama Audu – 3,127.
Other governorship candidates are Yahaya Kaale Saadu of Mass Action Joint Alliance (MAJA) party, Kolawole Sarafadeen Africa Peoples Alliance (APA).
Prince Ayorinde Adedoyin has also emerged the governorship candidate of the Accord Party.
Abdulrazak, son of the first lawyer from the old Northern Nigeria, Alhaji AGF Abdulrazaq, was the PDP senatorial candidate for Kwara Central in the 2015 election. He lost narrowly to Senate President Bukola Saraki and sought unsuccessfully to upturn Saraki’s victory in court.
Abdulrazak was a member of the Action Congress of Nigeria before its fusion into the All Progressives Congress, but left to join the PDP when Saraki joined the party.
After Saraki rejoined the PDP, Abdulrazak, left with many others, back to the APC.
He started business in the late 80s setting up First Fuels in Lagos, involved with the marketing of Nigeria’s crude oil and condensates.
He said he was inspired to join Kwara politics because of his concern about the extreme poverty and very poor state of basic infrastructure and services in the state.
During one of the debating sessions organised for all the governorship aspirants in the state, Abdulrazk spelled out his vision for the state:
“My priority in Kwara will be the provision of security and creating of jobs for the youths, we will establish industrial training incubators where youths will be given opportunities right after graduating from Secondary School to be trained in technical, electronics ,IT and related skills. This training will be directly related to industry needs as well as self-employment.
“We shall also provide agricultural extension services and take full advantage of the Nigerian Agricultural Mechanized Agency located in Ilorin. This will create opportunities for youths to go into farming on a large scale. We have very fertile soil in Kwara particularly along the banks of the River Niger, where rice will be massively cultivated. We have a huge potential for growing various crops and vegetables all over Kwara. Due to climate change we shall establish green houses with the private sector to harvest vegetables all year round, and possibly develop an export market through our international airport in Ilorin.
“These shall be our focus. However, we shall also address the provisions of good primary healthcare services, good roads ,adequate and constant water supply and provision of power through renewable energy. I recognise the excellent initiative of University of Ilorin in her plan to establish a huge solar farm and power plant on its campus .l pledge to fully support this initiative and bring it to fruition. I also recognise the need for an efficient, well trained and well paid civil service particularly teachers at all levels. Kwara State is a state of reputable public and private universities.
“We shall explore the benefits that these institutions can bring to the state and their adjoining communities.
“Finally we shall also address the tourism potentialities of the state, renovate the dilapidated tourist sites , develop new untapped sights and revive traditional festivals with the active involvement of our royal fathers, whose role also in the peace and security of the state cannot be over emphasised.”