Kwara APC crisis festers as party leaders endorse removal of acting chairman

Some chieftains of the All Progressives Congress from Kwara State stormed the party national secretariat in Abuja on Thursday to lend their voices in support of the removal of their acting state chairman, Honourable Bashir Bolarinwa by the APC North Central zonal executive.

A faction of the party led by Akogun Iyiola Oyedepo had on Wednesday at a press briefing at same venue accused the Kwara State governor, Abdul Rahman Abdulrasaq, his Niger State counterpart, Sani Bello and the Yobe State governor and Chairman of the APC Caretaker Committee, Mai Mala Buni, of orchestrating the removal of Honourable Bolarinwa.

But a group operating under the aegis of Kwara APC Elders Forum justified the removal of Honourable Bolarinwa who had since been replaced by his erstwhile deputy, Hon Samari Abdullahi.

Led by Barrister Kunle Suleiman, Nigeria’s immediate-past ambassador to Malaysia, the Kwara APC Elders Forum accused the displaced acting chairman of the party of instigating a gang up against Governor AbdulRasaq and in the process, distracting him from governance.

The group apologised to the interim national leadership of the party led by Governor Buni and the Niger State governor over the accusation of meddling in the Kwara State chapter of the party by the Otunba Oyedepo-faction.

“It is on the sideline of our consultations that we also wish to make some clarifications to members of the public, particularly our national party leaders, on some issues concerning party administration back home. First, we throw our weight behind the decision of the national headquarters of our party to appoint a dogged, committed and level-headed party chieftain Alhaji Abdullahi Samari as the Acting Chairman of the party.

“This indeed is a lifesaving decision for the party that had been in the vice grip of power-drunk and self-conceited individuals whose only loyalists are garrulous and selfish few whose only anger with the governor is that he did not make himself a yes-man or stooge through whom the public vault is thrown open. For many months, the former chairman Bashir Bolarinwa and his co-travellers have launched a campaign of calumny against the fine gentleman to the chagrin of Kwara public who wonder what could warrant these party chieftains from the ruling party attacking their own governor despite his glaring record of achievements in less than two years, humility, openness, and prudence.

“It is on record that these gangs dedicated a weekly programme to denigrate the governor, his administration, and the House of Assembly. They never missed any opportunity to denigrate the office of the governor.

“Certainly, no system, much less an organised political party, can survive the level of indiscipline, arrogance and unbridled ambitions of these lousy few. The intervention of the national headquarters of the party is therefore timely and necessary to save the party from these oppressive, self-centred gang.

“If anyone doubted our description of these few people, their public show of shame yesterday here in Abuja has again shown who they are. It is on this note that we condemn their foul languages against the national leadership of our party. Having said these, they remain our brothers and we apologise to the national leadership of our party for their unruly conduct and choice of words.

“Specifically, on behalf of the teeming members of our party, we apologise to the National Caretaker Committee Chairman and Governor of Yobe State His Excellency Governor Mai Mala Buni and the National Caretaker Committee Secretary Senator John James Akpanudoedehe. Kwarans, despite being brave and proud people, are not known for irreverent or foul languages. We also apologise to the North Central Caucus of our party especially the governor of Niger State His Excellency Sanni Bello over the unsavoury comments and unfair allegation by these few elements.”

• Dismiss Lai Mohammed, Gbemi Saraki as paperweights

The group further accused the Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed and his counterpart in the Ministry of Transportation, Senator Gbemi Saraki as masterminds of the gang up against the Kwara State governor. They, however, dismissed the two ministers who incidentally are from Kwara State as paperweights with no visible structures.

“Those ministers and Association of Failed Governorship Aspirants can come to Abuja to say nonsense but they are just paperweight politicians. They have no influence at the grassroots. Even a professor, like Oba Abdulrasheed who prides himself as a former university vice-chancellor, would still have to come to the grassroots to learn.

“Ministers are not elected officials. President Muhammadu Buhari picked them not based on their capability to win elections. If you check the pedigree of the two ministers you will understand what I am saying that they do not have the capacity to win elections.”

Aside Ambassador Suleiman, others members of the Kwara APC Elders Forum at the media briefing were General Tunde Bello (retd), Sen. Muhammed Ahmed, Senator Sen. Suleiman Makanjuola Ajadi, Chief JB Ayeni (Chairman APC Elders Forum in Kwara South), Alhaji Alabi Ilyasu, Chief Wole Oke, Hon. Ayinla Folorunsho, Alhaji Abubakar Ndakene, Hon. Mumuni Katugi, Gen. Ibrahim Bola Kale Agbabiaka and Alhaji Hameed Adio.

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