THE political battle between Governor Abdul Rahman AbdulRazaq and members of the opposition within the same ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, in Kwara State, did not start today. In other words its not a crisis that started with the present administration.
What initially buried the simmering political crisis before the 2019 polls was the deep-seated anger against the political hegemony of Dr Bukola Saraki, which they wanted to removed at all cost.
So, it was a case of ‘let’s first chase away the wolf and come back to look after the hen/’ That is what is manifesting in Kwara APC today.
Removal of Saraki’s structures
Vanguard investigation revealed that since Dr Bukola Sarakis political structures have been completely removed from Kwara State Government. The target now is the governor himself.
The gang up of the opposition against Governor AbdulRazaq, which include Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Muhammed; Minister of state for Transportation, Senator Gbemisola Saraki; Akogun Iyiola Oyedepo; Luqmon Olayiwola Mustapha; and Professor Shuaib Oba AbdulRaheem among others is united against that of the governor to deny him APC second term ticket.
The anti AbdulRaszaq group in the ruling APC held strategic positions which include the chairmanship through Bashir Bolarinwa, the secretary and other key positions and there had been not less than two attempts to remove Bolarinwa by the governor’s men which were tactically rebuffed.
Origins of the festering crisis
Vanguard reliably gathered that the emergence of Mallam AbdulRazaq as the governorship flagbearer of the party in 2019 after the heated primaries actually opened the wounds that have not healed up till today.
The collection of the aspirants then believed that AbdulRazaq never won the primaries, and that he schemed himself through President Muhammadu Buhari, with whom he had Congress for Progressive Change, CPC, accord in 2003 on the platform, on which he contested the governorship election then and lost.
Further checks revealed that these opposition members did not accompany him on most of his campaign activities, and there were strategic plans to frustrate the goal of winning the election which AbdulRazaq also ignored then.
It was also gathered that the campaign logistics for the APC governorship flagbearer from the presidency never got to AbdulRazaq, same with some huge amount of money running into billions of naira, eminent Nigerians and some APC governors reportedly sent as help to rescue the state of harmony from Dr Bukola Saraki.
It was gathered that the governor knew about some of these issues, and won in spite of them, a development that further widened the gulf of political crisis between him and his opponents in the party.
Vanguard’s checks also revealed that the governor made all his appointments without the input of the opponents in the party, who had held on to the party with the sole aim of denying him second term ticket on the platform of the APC.
Implications of Bolarinwa removal
With the tactical removal of Hon Bashir Bolarinwa as the chairman of the caretaker committee of the party, about a week to the commencement of membership registration exercise, it just dawned on the governor’s opponents that he is indeed a political strategist they took for granted.
This development has therefore stirred up mixed reactions among APC stakeholders in Kwara.
Concerned APC youths, LG chairmen bicker over Bolarinwa
Some youths in Kwara State under the aegis of Concerned APC Youth Stakeholders, have therefore threatened to disrupt the forthcoming membership registration of the party in the state if the national leadership of the party failed to reverse the removal of Bashir Bolarinwa as chairman.
In a related development, the forum of the Local government chairmen of APC, Kwara State countered, by congratulating Alhaji (Hon.) Abdullahi Samari on his appointment as the new Caretaker Chairman of Kwara State APC and urged members to troop out en mass for the party membership exercise which will commence soon.
Many of the youths who cut across the three senatorial districts were represented by Ahmed Ishowo from Kwara Central; Abdullahi Adamu, from Kwara North; and Mr John Adegboye from Kwara South at a press conference at the party secretariat in Ilorin on Thursday.
Ahmed Ishowo, in his address, described the removal of Bolarinwa as illegal, stressing that it would not stand.
He said: “This illegality and rape of party’s constitution will not stand. It is highly shameful and unacceptable that the governor of Niger State will influence the removal of Bolarinwa over unknown allegation that the governor cannot work with Bolarinwa. Does Niger State governor know our problems and peculiarities? The so called reasons given by our governor are not known.
“If we could remove the sitting Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki, under our collective struggle of O to ge,when we held our destiny in our own hands, we will remove the governor and that is it.
“We are ready to disrupt the membership registration that will come up in the next couple of days if the so called removal is not reversed.
“Its not about BOB,and its not about the performance of the governor, it is about the fact that the principles of democracy are being hijacked.
“This removal is also an affront on our president because he was there when the state executives across the country were sworn in in Abuja,so it can not stand.”
Ishowo, therefore, called on President Buhari to intervene in the political impasse in Kwara state and reverse the removal of Bolarinwa saying that a stitch in time saves nine.
However, the local government chairmen forum in a statement by signed by its Publicity Secretary and Chairman Ilorin West local government, Hon Sulyman Tejidini, urged Samari to use his wealth of experience to ensure unity in the party.
The LG chairmen said: “We received the news of your appointment with great excitement and satisfaction. Given your track record of excellent leadership as a core progressive, we are in no doubt that the peace and unity of purpose which had long eluded our party in the state will be revived and our great party will again return much stronger, focused and united.
“We also thank our leader,the Executive Governor of Kwara State for delivering services to the good people of Kwara in line with our party’s campaign promises. We hereby call on the party leaders, members and other Kwarans of good conscience to sustain their support for our performing governor.
“On the forthcoming membership registration, the local government Party Chairmen commend the National Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee, CECPC, for putting all necessary machinery in motion to ensure the success of the exercise.
“While we commend our National leadership for taking the right steps to permanently return peace to Kwara APC, we appreciate their diligence in putting all machinery in motion to ensure the success of this exercise. We therefore call on our members, old and intending ones to avail themselves of the rare opportunity of the registration to fully own the party in their respective areas by encouraging as many people as possible to join the party.”
Wishing Bashiru Omolaja Bolarinwa well in his future endeavours, they added: ‘’On the final note, we urge our distinguished members of APC to come out en mass for the membership registration exercise that will commence on the 25th January, 2021 as we promise to carry everybody along.”
The fight for the soul of Kwara State in 2023 may be tough and long and fought mainly in the to APC because the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, which has no elective member across the state hasn’t also shown the political clout to take over power.
Till now, the PDP has also failed to ensure the swearing in of its only member in the House of Assembly, Hon Jimoh Agboola of Ilorin South who reportedly won and had been allegedly ordered to be sworn in by the supreme Court.
Time will however tell who wins in the unfolding political war in Kwara APC and the state at large.
Culled from: Vanguard154