Kwara APC: Unending crises, grounds losing to opposition
By Oluseyi Dasilva, Ilorin
The unending crises in the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, in Kwara state, gets messy by the day, leading to the factionalisation of the party into two. One faction aligns with Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq, while the other faction aligns with Hon. Bashir Omolaja Bolarinwa (BOB), the chairman acclaimed to be the lucky head that won the 2019 governorship seat for APC in the state.
Though there has been denials of the crises, it is too obvious to be ignored, as it is already causing the party to lose fortune in the state.
Recently, the Senator Bukola Saraki led People’s Democratic Party caused a major ache when he unexpectedly pulled a mammoth crowd during the Fidau prayers in remembrance of his father, late Dr Olusola Saraki in Ilorin.
Some noticeable APC members, who spoke to our correspondent at the Saraki event, said they are fed up with the AbdulRahman’s style of administration. He initially wanted to decline comments, but when assured his identity would be kept secret, said: “We will talk, but not now. We are fed up with this government. We thought that Saraki was bad; this one is worse. At the right time, we shall speak and the whole world will know our position.”
Also, another section of civil servants lamented the treatment meted on them by the state governor and threatened that 2023 will be the determining era for another change.
“Though as a civil servant, I am not suppose to speak, but I must tell you that this government is worse than the previous ones. All the welfare package is far below what our contemporaries take in other states. Walahi, we will vote him out come 2023, trust me. We had a meeting recently and we all stated our experiences and determination. For now, we would keep fingers crossed.
“You will see what happens in the upcoming local government elections. We will start to show him from that one, so that they will know that civil servants are small in population but we have great influence on the society.”
This crack, no doubt, is creating an opening for the opposition to come in as it widens by the day.
Just yesterday, Sunday, elders loyal to Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq, at a press conference in Ilorin, rejected the newly constituted caretaker committee of the party under the leadership of Hon Bashir Omolaja Bolarinwa (BOB), saying that a caretaker committee cannot succeed another one.
Rev. Bunmi Olusona, speaking on behalf of other elders like Senator Oyewo, Senator Mohammed Ahmed, Hon Ayinla Folorunsho and Senator Makanjuola Ajadi, among others, condemned in strong terms the deliberate dragging of the name of the Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq into the crisis by some members of the party, to please their sponsors in Abuja.
He said: “We are aware of all the various inglorious moves by those who are only loyal to their personal interests and ambition than the survival of the party. This crop of party supporters want to take us back to the era of slavery, but we refused to be enslaved again.”
Olusona, while warning that the party and the state do not wish to be returned to dark age, said: “Our collective desire as a people and party transcends the political and financial desires of anyone.
“We are, by this position, calling on the national caretaker committee that Kwara’s dissolved executive was a caretaker one and this had on several occasions been complained against via representation of papers immediately after the election because of the lopsided constitution of the caretaker.
“For the avoidance of any doubt, our great party’s NEC resolution for dissolved executives to transform to caretaker automatically should only be binding on substantive party executives produced by congress only, Kwara state party executive was a caretaker committee and can’t be dissolved and sworn in again as a caretaker executive.
“We, hereby, call for fresh constitution of Kwara Caretaker Committee that will put in place through congress, a proper state party executive that will reflect true democracy and guarantee continuous support of APC by Kwarans.
“The national caretaker should also appoint men of honour that will not contest, as caretaker committee members for Kwara state.”
However, the other faction of the party at another platform insisted that the party’s victory at the 2019 polls was unprecedented and will remain a reference point in the history of elections in the state and Nigeria as a whole. Hon Bashir Bolarinwa, the newly sworn in party chairman, made this assertion in Ilorin during the inauguration of the caretaker committee members for state, local and ward levels.
All members of the dissolved executive, except one, was at the oath taking ceremony of the caretaker committees at the APC secretariat in Ilorin, yesterday.
The APC caretaker committee chairman conceded that all had not been well with the party, even before its historic 2019 victory at the polls.
Bolarinwa explained: “You will recall that at the onset here too, we had every reason to implode in Kwara APC, but we put our differences aside and won a historic election that will forever remain a reference point in the history of elections in Nigeria.
“This is the time to be forward looking as we will soon approach another election. We cannot afford to do so as a divided house. We cannot afford to betray the trust reposed in us by Kwarans in 2019.
“With the dissolution of the party structures at all levels and eventual constitution and inauguration of states caretaker chairmen by the national caretaker chairman, we have lost our hitherto divisive personalities and put on a new garb of party men and women whose mantra is to promote party unity and cohesion.
“As we prepare for registration and revalidation of our membership, I urge us to be aggressive and dogged in our membership drive.
“In the same vein, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) will commence voters registration in the new year, we must mobilise for full participation of our members so that it can translate to another electoral victory.”
Observers say that if care is not taken, APC will lose in the next elections to the ousted Saraki led PDP in the state, which are seen to be more pragmatic than the present regime.