With just two days before the gubernatorial and state house of assembly elections across the nation, confusion has rocked the Kwara State chapter of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) as its governorship candidate, Razaq Atunwa, has insisted on pulling out of the race owing to lack of funding of his campaign by the incumbent Governor Abdulfatai Ahmed, among other factors.
The confusion deepened in the past few days as Ahmed made it clear he was not going to spend public funds to bankroll the campaign again as anti-graft agencies keep beaming their searchlight on his government.
At least three top officials of the state government – including the Finance Commissioner, Ademola Banu, have been arrested in connection with the N1 billion loan recently obtained from a bank and diverted to fund the presidential and National Assembly elections.
The governor is said to be afraid that he might be arrested and prosecuted if public funds are found to have been used to run the election.
The tension is worsened by the crushing of the PDP at the presidential and National Assembly elections on February 23, with Senator Bukola Saraki and all his cronies failing to win their seats.
“There are yet-to-be successful efforts to convince Atunwa to remain in the race. He is bitter that he has become like an orphan. The governor no longer allows free money for the campaign while others are mocking him that he (Atunwa) was probably responsible for the bad luck the PDP has suffered,” according to a source.
“It is now common, even in Government House, for people to say ‘o daye Atunwa’ for PDP to win. There is this suspicion that the Governor is working for APC because of his nonchalant attitude to the PDP campaign,” the source said.
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