PDP Submits Saraki Name To INEC As Senatorial Candidate For Kwara Central

The national leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party has sent the name of the President of the Senate, Senator Bukola Saraki, to the Independent National Electoral Commission as a senatorial candidate.

 

 

The name of Saraki was among the list of candidates submitted to the commission in Abuja on Thursday night.  Saraki, who represents Kwara Central District in the Senate, was among the 13 presidential aspirants of the party.  He came third at the party’s national convention which was held in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.

The PDP had held the senatorial primaries before that of the presidential primary.

While Saraki paid for the PDP nomination and expression of interest forms,  it was however not clear if he paid for that of the Senate as well.

Investigations by one of our correspondents in Abuja showed that Saraki’s name was used to replace the name of one Ope, whose name was initially filed as the PDP candidate for the senatorial district.

It had initially been speculated that the former governor of Kwara State was among the suspected presidential aspirants in the party who had another plan since they knew they could lose the PDP presidential nomination.

 

It was learnt that Saraki is being positioned to return as the President of the Senate in 2019 by the PDP, if former Vice President Atiku Abubakar wins the presidential election.

The source said, “Bukola Saraki’s name is there (in the list). He’s returning to the Senate on the platform of the PDP.”

It had initially been speculated that the former governor of Kwara State was among the suspected presidential aspirants in the party who had another plan since they knew they could lose the PDP presidential nomination.

It was learnt that Saraki is being positioned to return as the President of the Senate in 2019 by the PDP, if former Vice President Atiku Abubakar wins the presidential election.

The source said, “Bukola Saraki’s name is there (in the list). He’s returning to the Senate on the platform of the PDP.”

Meanwhile, the tension among the All Progressives Congress aspirants heightened on Thursday as members who aspired for governorship and National Assembly seats inundated the party’s Director of Organization, Altai Abu-Bakr Kari, with calls in a bid to know their fate.

Kari, who led some party officials in an APC branded coaster bus held tightly to a bunch of files on one hand and struggled to answer calls to his mobile phone with the other.

It was gathered that aspirants for national assembly seats were especially eager to find out the outcome of their petitions to the Prof. Osariemen Osumbor-led APC Governorship and National Assembly Appeals Committee.

This was against the backdrop of the party’s last minute effort to beat the 12:00 midnight deadline set by INEC for the submission of the list of all party candidates for the 2019 elections.

A summary of the panel report document obtained by one of our correspondents in Abuja, on Thursday, indicated that all petitions against the Senate and House of Representatives primaries were rejected.

The party’s primaries held across the country were marred by allegations of irregularities and disqualification of aspirants.

Several of these issues led to a series of meetings between the party leadership, some aggrieved governors and President Muhammadu Buhari.

 

The president’s wife who felt slighted by the party for failing to support the emergence of her brother, Mahmoud Halilu, as governorship candidate in her native Adamawa State, took to her twitter handle to register her displeasure.

She tweeted, “It is disheartening to note that some aspirants used their hard earned money to purchase nomination forms, got screened, cleared and campaigned vigorously yet found their names omitted on election day, these forms were bought at exorbitant prices.”

However, aspirants whose petitions were not treated voiced their opposition to the panel’s handling of their petitions.

The coordinator of the group, Mr Akor Ikwuocha, told newsmen that they were surprised that after the emergence of a winner from the party primaries and names submitted to the approximate authorities by the electoral committee, “the minister allegedly called a meeting of a few persons while overseas and announced that he was substituting names of most of the candidates because they were not his choice.

 

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