By Steve Oni, Ilorin
The Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki on Monday night met with gubernatorial aspirants on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Kwara state.
Though details of the meeting were sketchy, it was learnt that the National Leader of the PDP enjoined the aspirants to conduct their campaigns in the build-up to the primary election in orderly manner.
The meeting which was held behind closed doors at Saraki’s private residence in Ilorin, the state capital, started about 10.20pm and lasted till about 11.02pm with nine aspirants present.
Also in attendance was a former Deputy Governor, Chief Joel Ogundeji while the party’s state Chairman, Alhaji Kola Shittu as well as Secretary, Alhaji Rasaq Lawal joined few minutes to the close of the meeting.
The aspirants who attended the meeting included Dr Ali Ahmad, Barr. Razak Atunwa, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi, Senator Mohammed Sha’aba Lafiagi, Alhaji Ladi Hassan, Hon. Ahman Pategi, Alhaji Saka Isau (SAN), Professor Sulaiman Abubakar and Alhaji Mohammed Ibrahim Ajia. The only aspirant absent at the meeting was Hon. Zakari Mohammed.
Briefing newsmen at the end of the meeting, Senator Sha’aba Lafiagi said it was convened to ensure peace as a family group, adding that contestants agreed to ensure a transparent race during the primaries.
The former governor now representing Kwara north in the Senate, said there was no discussion on consensus but that there was no written undertaking among them since it is all within the same political family.
“The meeting was all about bringing the family together. It is only normal that at a time like this the leader of the family meets with us to keep peace and ensure that all went well.
“We agreed to respect the outcome of the primaries, to ensure that we remain friends after and ensure peace. We will surely accept whoever emerges. The intention is that the contest should be free, fair as much as possible. Whoever emerges we will all line up behind him and we will remain members of the family.
“I don’t know about consensus, time will tell but for now everyone is preparing to enter the contest but I don’t rule out possibilities of consensus arrangement. Along the line we may consider that as a family. We don’t need to sign an undertaking because as I told you we are members of the same family.
Asked if any of the aspirants had been adopted at the meeting, PDP state chairman, Hon. Kola Shittu said he was yet to be briefed on such as he joined the meeting midway. He also hinted that the gubernatorial primary might hold on Sunday.