Wants Tinubu, gov’s intervention
.Alleges interference by party leaders
.Calls for sack of Sanwo-Olu’s aide
By Olasunkanmi Akoni
Crisis is currently brewing among the Arewa community and group in the All Progressives Congress, APC, Lagos chapter, over the authentic and recognized leadership.
A particular group is aggrieved over the claim by Commissioner for Waterfront and Infrastructure Development, Kabiru Abdullahi of being in control and as leader of Arewa in APC Lagos, hence, it called for his immediate removal or face the consequences in the forthcoming 2023 general polls.
Abdullahi, the only man of the Northern extraction, a Hausa in the state Executive Council, led by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, was accused of highhandedness, intolerance, selfishness, aggrandizement, arrogance and failure to promote and protect interest of the group in government and APC, among others.
The commissioner has also been having a running battle with members of the state House of Assembly over budget allocation and expenditure by his ministry. He was recently summoned by the state assembly to appear before it or get pass of no confidence on him after failing to honour several previous invitations for oversight functions of budget appraisal.
Speaker, Lagos State House of Assembly, Mudashiru Obasa, during a plenary, directed the Clerk of the House, Olalekan Onafeko, to invite the commissioner for umpteenth time or face the consequences.
The invitation raised on the floor of the House by Olumuyiwa Jimoh, Chairman, House Committee on Waterfront and Infrastructure, was necessitated due to the evasiveness of the commissioner over the mid-year budget appraisal and other absenteeism before the House Committee.
He added that the commissioner had been invited to the House for clarifications on the operations of the ministry as part of the Committee’s oversight functions at which he had presented a no-show without adequate justifications.
Bisi Yusuff stated that being privy to the matter, the issue of the Commissioner’s absenteeism was long overdue, and the commissioner needed to be invited to the assembly for explanation.
However, the agitation for the sack of Abdullahi came to the fore during week, with two different protests staged at the State House of Assembly Complex, Alausa. Ikeja, while a faction is calling for his sack other expressed solid support for the commissioner and second term of Governor Sano-Olu in office.
On protesters calling for the sack of the commissioner, they lamented the failure of Abdullahi to carry the group along despite ‘parading’ himself as the chairman of Arewa Community in APC, Lagos for over 26 years without anything to show for it among members.
They urged Obasa to pass vote of no confidence on the commissioner and replace him with another, “Arewa person who can harmonise Arewa and carry everyone along for the interest of the party. particularly as the 2023 general election is fast approaching.”
However, another faction, loyal to the commissioner, accused the people calling for the sack of the commissioner of being members of the opposition party, Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and not serving the interest of the party in the state.
The Secretary of Arewa Community in Lagos, Kudu Abubakar, in an interview with Vanguard, also accused the leadership of the party of encouraging the commissioner for the selfish gain of divide and rule which has further fueled the crisis.
He alleged that attitude of the commissioner towards members of the community, was what led to the agitation for his sack.
Abubakar said none of the people calling for the commissioner’s sack belong to PDP but are full and loyal members of APC.
According to Abubakar, “We have petitioned the house of assembly over this leadership crisis. But we believe that the state party chairman knows about it and shielding the commissioner.
“They invited us with Kabiru but he refused to show up twice. The party said they were going to write their own letter to the state Governor and National Leader of the party, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu.
“We met former Senator Ganiyu Olarewaju Solomon, GOS, we met Cardinal James Odunmbanku, alias “Baba eto” met the Governor’s Advisory Committee members among several party leaders over the issue.
“The issues are, Kabiru after being in government for 26 years, please show us at least five members you have helped. The answer is no. During an employment opportunity in Lagos State Traffic Management Agency, LASTMA, he collected over 1,000 names of our members, non was employed.
“He can not be a commissioner and also be the leader of a group, Arewa, it’s not possible, just like we have Babajide Sanwo-Olu as the Governor and Pastor Cornelius Ojelabi as party chairman. So now we have decided to elect somebody who we be our leader in respect of Arewa community. But Kabiru wants to be the commissioner and leader of Arewa at the same time, no, its unacceptable any longer.
“Kabiru’s fear is because campaign is here and wants to collect all that is due to Arewa community and cornered it, knowing full well that he has not the clout and value to do so. But already, the game is over for him.
“It’s better for him to come back to us, and let’s resolve our differences and unite, so that we can take the party to greater heights, but he is blackmailing us and being evasive.
“We hereby call on Asiwaju Tinubu and Governor Sanwo-Olu to intervene for peace to reign as the crisis could cause electoral damage to APC in the 2023 general polls in the state because we have membership running into millions.”
Meanwhile, as of press time the commissioner could not be reached on his mobile phone after several attempts.