Cabinet: Make or mar for Gov Abdulrazaq’s administration?


The recent promise by Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq to form his
cabinet this month has created tension and anxiety within the
leadership of the Kwara State Chapter of the All Progressives Congress
(APC) with some of the party stakeholders reportedly spoiling for war
if the list is not reflective of their interests. HEAD POLITICS,
MUMINI ABDULKAREEM writes on the issue.
Last week in Ilorin during one of the programmes scheduled as part of
the activities to mark the 100 days in office of the present
administration in Kwara State, Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq hinted
on the possibility of announcing the much expected list of
commissioners and special advisers expected to work with him.
According to  Governor Abdulrazaq, the delay in the formation of the
cabinet was due to the need to have an acceptable list agreed upon by
all stakeholders in the APC, adding that he would consult more with
the leaders and stakeholders across the state before submission to the
State House of Assembly.
The Governor’s revelation coming more than three months after his
inauguration has expectedly generated differing reactions from various
blocs within the party that formed the APC.
Investigation by Pilot Politics revealed that although the leadership
of the party in the state has tried to bottle up the sharp differences
between leaders of various camps within the party and the Governor,
many of the aggrieved party chieftains are reportedly spoiling for war
with him if the cabinet does not reflect their interests.
Among other accusations, Governor Abdulrazaq has been alleged by some
party executives of taking unilateral decisions on issue of
appointments and policies without carrying the party along. Some of
the Governor’s opponents in the party have also reportedly accused him
of clandestinely working to create his own structure for a possible
second term in office and deliberately shunning the party leaders.
However, the disquiet in the APC reached a crescendo recently when the
party Chairman, Bashiru Omolaja Bolarinwa confronted the Governor
complaining bitterly about his style of leadership and deliberately
neglecting the party in the scheme of things despite the sacrifices
and collective efforts that led to his victory during the last
gubernatorial election in the state.
Rather than dousing  the tension, the meeting between the party
executives and Governor was said to have worsened the situation.
An eyewitness at the meeting who disapproved the use of his name
recounted what transpired at the meeting thus:
“During the meeting which took place at the Presidential Lodge inside
the Governor’s Office, the party chairman who spoke for about two
hours complained about the Governor’s action so far and how he has
refused to carried the party along in the issue of appointment and
other decisions so far taken.
“When the party chairman concluded his remarks and it was time for the
Governor to respond, he just stood up and called for closing prayer.
It was one of the most surprising attitude we have ever seen occured
during political meetings. Despite the numerous complaints raised by
the party chairman, the Governor just shunned everybody and abruptly
brought the meeting to a close, imagine. This was after we have waited
for close to four hours to see him”, the source added.
In an attempt to find a common ground between the Governor and the
party chairman, the leadership of the party collated three names each
across the 193 wards in the state with expectations that the list will
form the pool of the nominees for appointment in the coming cabinet.
However, with the forwarding of the list to the Governor and his
pledge to further consult with the stakeholders in the party to have
an acceptable list of nominees, many APC chieftains have expressed
strong scepticism about the possibility of the Governor picking from
the list presented to him by the party.
Speaking on the issue, one of the party stakeholders in Kwara North
who agreed to comment on the issue only if he would not be quoted
because of the sensitivity of the matter, said the party might
disintegrate if the Governor fail to carry along all those who toiled
for the victory the Governor.
“It would amount to a disaster if the Governor goes against the
interest of party leaders and chieftains who believe they have a stake
in this Government and in the formation of his cabinet.
“Although I learnt he consulted with some traditional leaders in the
district, but some of the party stakeholders from Kwara North were not
carried along on the issue of appointment before now and even on the
impending one”, the party chieftain noted.
Similarly, according to a very close aide of one of the APC 2019
gubernatorial aspirants from Kwara Central, the agitation and
expectation among party stakeholders concerning the list is so serious
that the eventual outcome will either make or mar Governor
Abdulrazaq’s administration if care is not taken.
According to the source, some notable party leaders in the state who
accused the Governor of singlehandedly running the administration
without carrying them along are eagerly looking forward to the list of
the cabinet before deciding whether they will continue to work with
him or not.
“The Governor cannot be predicted and leaders of party who believe
they deserved more than what they are presently getting are just
waiting to see the direction the Governor would go in the formation of
the cabinet.
“If they feel they are disappointed which though will not be
surprising going by the Governor’s unilateral actions and  decisions
so far, I can tell you that the Governor might not have it easy
because they are ready to team up with other aggrieved camps in the
party to frustrate all his efforts in office which will be disastrous
for the party, the government and the people who voted the APC with
high expectation for change”.
Despite the scenario that has played out and with the potential to
further impact negatively on the party,  the state chapter of the APC
through it Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Tajudeen Folaranmi Aro recently
told this medium that the party is not having any crisis regarding the
issue of appointment and the governor’s leadership style, adding that
the leadership is fully in support of the efforts of Governor
Abdulrazaq in providing good governance in the state.
But speaking on the issue,  a chieftain of the party and former
gubernatorial aspirant, Hon Moshood Mustapha said the agitation over
the list in the party was not unexpected.
He however sounded a strong note of warning that he will speak out
should the eventual list fail to reflect the efforts of those that
toiled for the success of the party in line with the agreement of the
party stakeholders.
According to Mustapha, “The list is not out yet and I don’t see why we
are unnecessarily agitated. I am sure it will take care of all the
tendencies that formed the APC at the end of the day. The Governor
requested for the list long time ago and I am sure he’s working on it.
”The issue of people coming with stories insinuating that there is
crisis in the party is not something we should take with any kind of
“He (Governor) will definitely have his government in place and this
is the first time some of our brothers who came to join us in APC will
be in a party that will form the government at the state level. Of
course there will be a lot of agitations and permutations in the
system and that is exactly what we are seeing. It is not unexpected
for us who had been in government. We don’t see it as anything
special. There will always be a lot of horse trading, bickering and
some sycophants will come and say different things even if they know
it’s not true just to curry favour.
“As far as I am concerned, there is no crisis anywhere and I want to
correct an impression where people see gubernatorial and senatorial
aspirants as the leaders and major stakeholders of the party, it
shouldn’t be. That some people came out to aspire to be governors or
senators among others has not put them in a position where we see them
as leaders of the party. We have other stakeholders too who are even
more qualified and important than some of us that came out to contest;
that is the truth.
“Everybody fall under one tendency or the other in the APC during the
formation of the party and I am very sure he (Governor) has collected
names from all tendencies, groups, shades of opinion and different
leaders and we should allow him. This is his government and we should
allow him to come out with the list that is best suitable for him to
run his government,” he added.
The former commissioner for Lands and Housing however warned that he
will however speak out if the outcome does not tally with his
expectation and input.
“We have given him the mandate and this is the time for governance, we
should allow him. When he comes out with the list, if some of us are
not okay with it, we will come out and say it. But I don’t see why we
should be too unnecessarily pre-emptive. At the stakeholders’ level,
we will ask questions and if we don’t know any of them that make the
list eventfully and we believe they are people that have not
participated, some of us will talk.
“As far as I am concerned, he collected list from different groups,
and you don’t expect that he would call a stakeholders’ meeting where
they will draw list of commissioners, The only thing is that if you
have interest through your tendency or you are the head of your
tendency, you look for a way to see him and tell him what you want. I
think he’s very accessible and I am very sure he has collected list
from so many people.”
Mustapha however called for patience from the people, adding that, “I
am not complaining because I have never called him that I want to see
him and he didn’t listen to me and I don’t think the list has come out
that I did not see the names of some of those I requested from him. So
I do not belong or fall within the categories of those that will say
they are not being carried along. I don’t know whether some other
people are complaining that they are not being carried along. We
should take it easy; he has just spent 100 days out of four years.”
As the list for next cabinet in Kwara is being awaited, it remains to
be seen whether the Governor will toe the line of the party
stakeholders by taking care of their interests and preferences in the
appointment of his cabinet or continue with his unilateral action
which may make or mar his government from opposition within his party.

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