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26 year old Rukayat wins house of assembly election in Kwara

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Rukayat Shittu, the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), has been declared the winner of the election for Owode/Onire state constituency in Kwara.

Announcing the results on Sunday, Akeem Ijaiya, INEC returning officer, said Shittu polled 7,521 votes to defeat Abdullah Magaji of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) who scored 6,957 votes.

“Having scored the highest number of votes and satisfied the requirements of the law, she is hereby declared the winner of the election” Ijaiya said.

With her success at the poll, Shittu will be the youngest state assembly lawmaker in the country by May 29.

Shittu’s journey to being elected as a member of the state house of assembly was not without hitches.

After clinching the APC ticket in May 2022, Ayinde Alajere, another aspirant, challenged Shittu’s victory in court.

The court, however, dismissed Alajere’s case over lack of merit and declared Shittu as the legitimate candidate of the APC for the state house of assembly poll.

“Even though the court of appeal has given its judgment in our favour, I do not see this as a victory. No winner no loser; we are all one family, and I urge everyone to come together to deliver victory for our party across all levels,” Shittu said in an interview after a ruling on the matter at the court of appeal.

However, the seat is currently occupied by Ambali Olatunji, also of the APC, who lost his bid to seek re-election.

WHO IS RUKAYAT SHITU

The 26-year-old state lawmaker-elect was born in Manyan village of Alapa/Onire/Odegiwa ward of Kwara state.

She attended Baptist Primary School LGEA in Ilorin, and Government Girls Day Secondary School, Oko Erin, after which she obtained her Senior Secondary School Certificate (SSCE) in 2011.

In 2015, Shittu proceeded to the Kwara State College of Arabic and Islamic Legal Studies where she obtained a diploma certificate in Mass Communication and Islamic Studies.

In 2022, she was employed as the head of the news department at Just Event Online, a Kwara-based online newspaper, after graduating from the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) the same year.

In an Interview in January 2023, Shittu said she did not pay to secure the ticket.

“I only paid for the nomination forms, while the expression of interest form was free for women and youths that were willing to contest under the ruling All Progressives Congress,” Shittu said.

While aspiring to clinch the seat, Shittu promised to “sponsor bills that will be of benefit to our people, facilitate and lobby for government projects to my constituency, carry out oversight activities of the executive, and ensure that our people have adequate representation”.

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