The crisis of confidence in the Kwara state chapter of the ruling All Progressives Congress APC took a turn for the worse on Wednesday as loyalists of the Information and Culture minister, Lai Mohammed and those of Minister of state for Transportation, Sen. Gbemi Saraki rejected the verdict of the national leadership of the party sacking Bashir Bolarinwa as state Chairman of the party.
Reading the text of a prepared speech signed by 19 stakeholders of the party, leader of the delegation, Akogun Iyiola Oyedepo warned Gov. Abdulrahman Abdulrazak against stoking crisis in the party, saying if the group could dethrone former Senate President, Bukola Saraki, a “political Iroko”, it would not take anything to unseat the governor, a “political shrub”.
Other signatories were Chief T. A Sunday Oyebiyi, Engr. Umaru Sha’aba, Isa Bio lbrahim, Barr. Ladi Mustapha, M. T. Mamman and Akande Adefila. Others were Hon. Saheed Popoola, Prof. Shuaib Abdulraheem, Senator Ahmed Zuru, Alhaji Lukman Mustapha M., Alhaji Waziri Olayiwola Gobir, Alhaji Saliu Mustapha, Alhaji S. Y. Abdullahi, Alhaji Tajudeen Audu, Alhaji Akeem Lawal, Alhaji Bolaji Jimoh, Capt. Nasiru Mohammed Efuman(retd) and H. B. Oyedepo.
Their position was however dismissed by a loyalist of Gov. Abdulrazak, Barr. Kunle Suleiman who expressed support for the decision of the national secretariat to sack Mr Bolarinwa.
He said; “That is far from the truth. We are already in Abuja, about 11 of us trying to reach the National Chairman. We heard they (Oyedepo group) are there and we don’t want a clash. You will see the real leaders of the party and the stakeholders when we meet the National Chairman.
“We stand fully by the decision of the National Working Committee on the appointment of Abdullahi Samari as the Chairman of the Caretaker Committee”.
However, in the text titled, “Road to the destruction of All Progressives Congress in Kwara state”, Oyedepo noted that the governor is not humble with power “and we believe that he is trying to ruin and destroy the chances of the party”.
“He leads without consultation. He has pocketed the state assembly and we do not want him to pocket the party structure, otherwise there will be a totalitarian regime in the state”, he added.
He said the governor cannot be the leader of the government and the party at the same time, adding that even if he was appointed as leader of the party, there is no way he can lead without consulting the people and that he cannot unilaterally remove the party chairman.
“We fought the war of O’toge and he played the least role and we have told him that if we could remove an Iroko tree, it will not take us anything to remove a shrub.
“Gbemi Saraki and Lai Mohammed are with us. They are fully with us. They are not with the governor and we are telling the whole world openly.
“We have resolved to reject the verdict of the National Caretaker Committee on the purported removal of Hon Bashir Omolaja Bolarinwa. It is worth nothing more than the value of the paper on which the letter given to Hon Samari Abdullahi is written. It certainly shall not work in Kwara State no matter who is behind it.
“Though when we told the Secretary that the decision could sink the party in the state, he said they really do not care. And he repeated during the conversation more than five times that he was acting under the instructions of the Chairman HE, Mai Mala Buni. We shall prove to those who aborted the peoples’ revolution foisting on our party the present situation since 2018 that Kwara is not an appendage of any outside power conspiracy. They continue to compromise our noble cause with these unacceptable decisions and we shall henceforth prove to those that are not popular at home but rather rely on political manipulations from outside that, the game is up.
“We appeal to Mr President, Muhammadu Buhari GCFR, to save the Party from the imminent destruction that this decision can engender in Kwara State. We also appeal to the leaders of integrity and goodwill in the Party to save this Party from this deliberate journey to political perdition. We appeal to our teeming supporters for calm and that they should remain steadfast, resolute and continue to support this historical cause once again. We should know that it is not over, until it is finally over”.
Oyedepo said the Secretary of the National Caretaker Committee, Sen. James Akpanudoedehe had told his group that Mr Bolarinwa was said to have been removed on the complaints of the Gov. Abdulrazak as he claimed that he could not work with the former.
He said “the complaint was sustained and made a subject of removal as a result of a connivance between the Governor of Kwara State and his Niger State counterpart and friend, His Excellency, Sanni Bello. The content of the complaints was not made available, neither to the Critical Stakeholders of the Party in Kwara State nor to the Chairman, Hon Bolarinwa.
“The decision of the Caretaker Committee was said to be based on the recommendations of the North Central Zone of the Party, under the Chairmanship of HE Sanni Bello. Governor Sanni Bello was said to have recommended that the authentic Chairman of the Party should be removed and be made a Commissioner in the cabinet of Kwara State. He also recommended that Abdullahi Samari, the crony of the Governor of Kwara State and the leader of Abdulrahman Splinter AA group within Kwara APC, be made the Caretaker Chairman. With this recommendation, the smallest of the four tendencies that formed the new APC after the exit of Dr Bukola Saraki is now given a political edge that can never work. The whole thing appears to be a ploy by the National leadership of the APC to save their unpopular friend from political drowning at the coming congresses of the party in Kwara State.
“We found it difficult to believe that the leadership of a National Political Party like the APC will flagrantly abuse its constitution by the purported removal of our State Chairman. It is not written anywhere in the Constitution of APC that a zone of the Party like the North Central Zone, can recommend to the National Secretariat for the removal of any officer of the Party in any ward, Local Government and the State? Does the North Central zone know what goes on in Kwara State? Has the North Central Zone conducted diligent inquiry on events in the APC of Kwara State to have been in position to make any form of recommendation about the party in the State? If the Governors decide in solidarity with one another to abuse the constitution, it is our belief that the body that has the duty to uphold the sanctity of our Constitution should be the National Executive of the Party. And really this is an Executive whose leadership had been visited by the Kwara State Stakeholders of the Party in October 2020. The Chairman of the National Caretaker Committee on the occasion of that visit undertook to convene the meeting of both sides to the crisis with a view for an amicable reconciliation. Until the time of the illegal and unacceptable removal of our State Chairman of the party, the National Caretaker Chairman never convened any reconciliatory meeting”.