Embattled chair fight back, speaks on attack, accusation, today
By Mumini AbdulKareem
The protracted crisis rocking the Kwara State Chapter of the All Progressive Congress (APC) went violent over the week as some hoodlums allegedly loyal to the Governors faction in the party attacked the state chairman, Hon Bashiru Omolaja Bolarinwa.
The incident reportedly took place last week in Shao, Moro Local Government during Bolarinwa visit to the town to meet with some aggrieved stakeholders towards the resolution of the lingering crisis.
The chairman’s vehicles and those of other members were reportedly destroyed with windscreen shattered during the incident.
But the Governor had since condemned the incident and called on the security agencies to fish out those responsible for the attack and made them face the law adding that such action could heat up the polity.
The development is coming just as some aggrieved members of the state executive accused the embattled chairman and the Minister for Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed of financial impropriety.
Although attempt to get the reaction of Bolarinwa to the new development was not successful as he refused to answer several telephone calls put across to him, it was learnt that he will make his position on the issue known in a press conference scheduled for Monday (today).
The Governor since the conclusion of the election had been at loggerhead with the chairman and the minster leading to several public outbursts over his leadership style and failure to carry party stakeholders along in decisions about governance, party insiders said.
In a press conference held in Ilorin last week, the Party PRO and a loyalist of the Governor, Alhaji Aro Tajudeen accused Bolarinwa of gross abuse of office, misappropriation of funds and unauthorised collection of hundreds of million on behalf of the party during the last election.
He added that there is no evidence of a properly documented record of the party’s financial transactions since Bolarinwa has presided over the party adding that the chairman has made sustained efforts to frustrate the audit process in clear breach of the extant provisions of the party’s constitution he swore to uphold.
“No records of inflow and outflow of funds, no evidence of compliance with the principle of internal control. Besides, the party hierarchy is constantly embarrassed by the failure or refusal of a leader of the party from the state, indeed a Minister, who received hundreds of millions of naira from Governors, captains of industry, and other stakeholders on behalf of the state chapter of the party ahead of the 2019 general election but never gave a kobo to the party or accounted for same.
This failure to declare the good gestures of these donors, he noted, made it difficult for the party to officially send appreciation letters to them, especially following the huge success the party recorded. Sadly, this has been the trademark of this individual throughout the political struggle in the state.”
They urged the chairman to promptly respond to their allegations rather than “trying to change the narrative”.
The aggrieved executives said the chairman failed to “acquire a befitting accommodation for the Party even after donations running into Millions of naira were sought and received from stakeholders.
“Regrettably today, we (as a Party) are housed in a wing of an apartment used for personal and Political purpose by one of our respected Party chieftains. How does asking for the whereabouts of the money meant for the office accommodation become a crime in a Party like ours? All that is requested is accountability and nothing more.
“The State Executive as constituted today is a fusion of varying interest groups arising from the various consensus and compromises necessitated by the need to temper all personal interests for the general goal of achieving the much desired victory envisioned as the end result of the OTOGE mantra. To the glory of God, Kwarans in their right judgement entrusted our great Party with the leadership of the State. We hold this trust and will continue to do so in high esteem.
“To think therefore that the State Chairman still runs the Party like a sole administrator without recourse to any level of a properly conveyed Executive Committee in a Party that prides itself as the champion of anti-corruption, transparency and accountability offends our sensibility. This certainly betrays the fundamental principle upon which our Party was built and should not be allowed to continue”, he added.