By Mumini Abdulkareem
The leadership crisis rocking the Kwara State chapter of the All
Progressives Congress (APC) took a new dimension during the week as a
lawmaker, representing Balogun/Ojomu constituency of Offa, Hon Saheed
Popoola, said that Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq will have to take
the blame if the party fails to leverage on the mandate it rode to
Popoola, during a radio programme on Federal Radio Corporation of
Nigeria (Harmony FM) in Ilorin on Tuesday further noted that the party
may be forced to choose another leader if the Governor allowed things
to further degenerate to another low.
Since the conclusion of the gubernatorial poll that brought the
Governor to power, there has been no love lost between him and some
gubernatorial aspirants in the APC over his style of governance and
choice of appointments, a situation that some stakeholders in the
party have expressed their worries.
According to Popoola, it is high time the Governor called for a
congress and invite all the aggrieved leaders and members of the party
to address whatever differences pulling back the party and rally
everybody behind a common goal as the leader of the APC in the state.
The lawmaker was reacting to a leaked audio tape that went viral in
the state last week where the party’s Publicity Secretary, Alhaji
Tajudeen Folaranmi Aro was heard condemning the altercation between
the Governor and some members of the party’s executives during a trip
Both Popoola and Aro are from Offa in the southern part of Kwara State.
But according to Popoola, those that insulted the Governor all the way
from Ilorin to Abuja and back are nothing but disloyal set of people
including the person that brought the issue on air.
He said: “We will not shy away from saying the truth even if it may
not favour us. The Governor must take charge of the APC (in the state)
and if the party crumbles, we will hold him responsible as one that
collapsed the party because there is no reason for the party to go to
the abyss at this early stage.
“We have been shouting for days (for there to be a meeting) and they
just pretend as if they don’t know what we are saying.
“Why can’t the (Governor) call a meeting of the executives and put a
stop to all the noise making the rounds as the leader of the party in
the state. If the Governor says he is no more the leader of the party,
a position God has bestowed on him and which we desire him to play, we
will with the help of God and assisted by other elders in the party
choose another leader.
“If he (the Governor) refused to play his God-given leadership role,
God will give us another leader “How can some members of the
executives begin to call chairmen of other local governments to come
and sign that they want to restructure the party. Imagine that and the
removal of ward party chairmen through the radio. What rubbish is
that? This is the highest level of indiscipline within the party.
“This is not how politics is played. It’s important that the Governor
as the leader of the party call everybody to order. Imagine the PRO of
the party reacting to a call like that. The job of the PRO is to
defend the party, a role that the Minister of Information, Culture and
Tourism, Alhaji Lai Mohammed has played so well.
“No matter what you want to say about the minister, he is at home with
his craft. That is why when some of our members were writing letters
of discontent against his re-nomination, I was just laughing, those
people did not know when he and others went to the President in Daura
to convince him to contest the 2015 poll.
He advised the Governor not to play politics of self centeredness now
that he has emerged but call everybody to order and work hard to bring
everybody in the party for one goal.
He wondered why the party’s crisis has become a recurring decimal,
adding that, “what do we now expect the opposition (PDP) to do,
despite not winning and yet lost funds”, Popoola noted.