President Goodluck Jonathan on Tuesday drew the line with former Governor Bukola Saraki and the incumbent governor of Kwara State, Abdulfatah Ahmed, as he insisted that the state belongs to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and will be reclaimed in the 2015 general elections.
The president, who sounded determined to teach political office holders in the state, who defected to the All Progressives Congress, APC, a political lesson, said that “all stolen mandates” will return to PDP even as he looked forward to a test of political might at the polls between the PDP and APC.
He spoke in Abuja when business woman-turned politician, Hajiya Bola Shagaya led members of the Kwara PDP to the Presidential Villa to thank him for his role in the PDP rally held in Ilorin, the state capital recently.
Jonathan said: “We remain very grateful and from what we saw that day, I do not think we need a soothsayer to say that Kwara is totally for the PDP.
“Just like the Principal Secretary said, the task of the pudding is in the eating. In 2015, we will know who owns Kwara. And if God gives us the opportunity, which I believe, probably we will even test our strength before 2015. All stolen mandates will return to PDP. And those who think that they can run away with our mandates, as a member of the Assembly who refused to defect, you will have nothing to regret. Just celebrate it.
“If they think that PDP will allow them to run away with it, they will see it. So let us continue to encourage you and we will continue to work together with your leaders, supporters and make sure that just like the Senator said, not only will we win the election at the national level, we will also win at the state levels.”
Continuing, he said: “We must take over the state structures of the party, the Governor and the state Assembly, we must take all, because it is easy to reach the grass root through the states than the center because the country is so big that by the time we distribute positions, you will not be noticed. But at the state level, we can touch more people.
“So any state we are unable to win, members of the party in that state will continue to live like orphans. So definitely, we are taking over Kwara. So I am quite pleased with what you have done today”, he added
He went on: “Let me join the organizing Secretary and Vice President to really thank you for finding time to come and interface with us. I welcome you to the state house and appreciate the efforts you took on the Ilorin and other parts of Kwara.
“Let me also join others to express our deepest appreciation for the reception you gave to us when we came for the rally. The rally in Kwara was even thicker than some zonal rallies.
“It was even a day because the government had wanted to distract the attention of the citizens. They arranged some Programme even within the Ilorin and those programmes failed. These things do not happen by chance because men and women who are here worked very hard to get to that level so extend our appreciation to those our brothers and sisters and formidable member of our party who are not here. You spent your personal money in mobilizing our people to get there that day”, he said.
Speaking on behalf of the group, an elder of the party in the state, Laziz Jimoh promised that the state will support Jonathan’s reelection bid come 2015, just as he lamented that without a sitting PDP governor in the state, they will remain like orphans.
Members of the delegation included Senators Simeon Ajibola, Gbemi Saraki, Special Adviser to the President on National Assembly Matters, Suleiman Ajadi, Special Adviser to the President on Ethics, Sarah Jibrin.