The crisis rocking Kwara chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has divided the state executive members, leading to the emergence of two groups.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that one faction has demonstrated loyalty to the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, while the other pitched tent with Gov. AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq.
A faction loyal to the governor consisting of some aggrieved members led by the state Deputy Chairman of the party, Alhaji Abdullahi Samari, had allegedly accused the state Chairman, Alhaji Bashir Bolarinwa, of financial recklessness.
Addressing newsmen in Ilorin, Samari accused Bolarinwa of running the party like a sole administrator alleging that the chairman is involved in shady deals contrary to the fundamental principles upon which the party was built.
He explained that the party has been enmeshed in some sort of internal schism occasioned by the dissatisfaction expressed by a bloc of the State Executive Committee against the leadership of the chairman.
“Unfortunately, rather than address the sundry issues that bother on the lack of accountability, transparency, equity, fairness, the sacrosanctity of the provisions of the Party’s Constitution and our demand for the same.
“A cabal within the Party Executive and the State Chairman are deliberately diverting attention from the real issues and instead of blaming some imaginary forces for the rising opposition against their autocratic leadership,” Samari alleged.
Reacting to the allegations, the Vice Chairman of Kwara North of the party, Mr Sunday Oyebiyi, told newsmen that the contributions of the minister during the 2019 general elections were immeasurable and dismissed the claims of Samari.
Oyebiyi said their (Samari’s group) reference to a cabal within the party led by the minister was petty, childish and laughable.
“They are afraid of their own shadows and in going down, they are willing to pull anyone strand with them. The APC will outlive many of them.
“If the memories of these aggrieved people are short, we cannot be accused of the same. The struggle to win the election was fierce and challenging.
“During this period of tribulations, it was only Alhaji Lai Mohammed that we saw, he sponsored sensitization programmes, provided logistics and other such supports requested from him.
“He stood by us and together we navigated the rough roads to victory. This is not news to our traducers, they only chose the path of mischief,” Oyebiyi said.
He reiterated that contrary to the norm, there was a gaping disconnect between the governor, the party and revered party elders, asserting that there is no crisis within the party.
The APC chieftain explained further that this scenario has been in place since after the party primaries, during and indeed after the elections.
“Severally, party elders had tried to wade into the matter by meeting with the state party chairman, the minister and the governor himself.
“However, a follow-up meeting with the governor to resolve the areas of differences have not been possible because the governor has refused to grant audience to the elders,” Oyebiyi said.
He said it was a well-known fact that all hands were on deck during the election under the aegis of one APC, it was after the victory had been won, that splinter groups with a recurring AA acronym began to spring up.
“The promoters of these groups have acted in ways inimical to the constitution of the party.
“Their activities presuppose a parallel structure to the party structure and they have bandied the name of the governor as giving approval to their activities.
“Not once has the Governor or his representatives come out to denounce them, rather they are financed from the Government House.
“The turncoat Publicity Secretary has revealed that much in his garrulous radio programmes,” Oyebiyi said.
He absolved the party chairman of any financial recklessness as insinuated by the aggrieved group.
“Any allusion to Bolarinwa’s leadership not being accountable, transparent and fair is a disservice and a diversion from the main antics of the so-called aggrieved groups.
“For the avoidance of doubt, a member of the state same executive with Bolarinwa as chairman, he carries everybody along, consulting, seeking divergent opinions and ensuring consensus in a manner that is satisfactory to all,” Oyebiyi added.
He said the chairman cannot be more transparent than he has proven, noting that the system of financial operations of the party requires not less than three party officials to sign cheques.
“How will Mustapha Ishowo, the aggrieved State Secretary, claim ignorance of how party monies, especially donations from aspirants was spent as one of the signatories.
“In addition to being a signatory, he (Ishowo) is the only receiver of the account transaction notifications,” Oyebiyi said.