By Mumini Abdulkareem
The crisis rocking the Kwara State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) worsened at the weekend as some top leaders in the party came down heavily on Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq accusing him of running a self centered government.
While former chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and a top proponent of the O to ge struggle, Iyiola Oyedepo assured that the Governor is a paper weight (Igi Isepe) who can be easily (uprooted), former gubernatorial aspirant, Prof Shuaib Abdulraheem Oba called on the chairman of the party, Bashiru Omolaja Bolarinwa to weed out recalcitrant members who are bent on destroying the unity in the APC.
The leaders both spoke in Yoruba at a stakeholders meeting held at the residence of Prof Oba in Adewole, Ilorin West local government area of the state last Wednesday. Bolarinwa was also present at the gathering which video has since gone viral in the state.
While lamenting the maltreatment extended to himself and other leaders of the party by the governor, Oyedepo said after defeating former Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki who is an Iroko tree then in Kwara Politics, the Governor is only an inconsequential figure (Igi Isepe) who would be easily checkmated.
He said: “It’s time to speak out and that’s why I’m out to speak. If you check, last week we celebrated the one year anniversary since God sent the other people away and gave us power. It’s therefore necessary to gather after one year to ask ourselves if what we are witnessing now looks like what we all agreed on during the struggle to take over power.
“Many people often call me to ask if this is how we are going to continue (with this government), and I often tell them ‘let’s wait and be patient even if it is just for a year to see what will happen.’ This is because I believe when someone has been in government for just a month or two or three; I do not know what offence you’ll say such a person has committed.
“But if after a year that you expected someone in government to take some certain steps but he failed to do so; if you now come out to say you don’t understand why things are the way they are, there is nothing wrong with that.
“For someone like me that many of you put in the front during the struggle that I should fight on, that you’re behind me, it has been 10 months since I last set my eyes on the governor.
“I don’t know when last Pro Oba saw the governor, but I have not seen him in 10 months. And if I called him or sent a WhatsApp message, the governor neither picked my calls nor respond to my messages. Am telling you all this so that you will be able to judge for yourself whether we have been patient enough or not.
“I want to tell you that there is no consultation in the government that’s run in Kwara state today. They don’t consult or inform us about anything, and this is not our agreement.
“Even if there was no agreement between us, but we all worked together to put this government in place. If you can involve us in the work of getting the governor elected; what’s right as people with the fear of God is to call on us to all partake in the running of the government. We also brought plenty people into the party… If you are tired, I am not in this struggle and if we were able to defeat Saraki, an Iroko, talk less of (Igi Isepe)”, he submitted.
On his part, Prof Oba who spoke in parable called on Bolarinwa to weed out recalcitrant members in the party. “My words are few and it will be parable. When Buhari was elected, he said we should stop importation and consumption of foreign rice to boost our economy and we agreed. We now agreed to be eating Shonga and Tsaragi rice produced locally here. But some said the product has stones. That is the rice we are eating today and we have to de-stone it. Chairman this is for you. All the stones that are in the Kwara State chapter of the APC from state to the ward levels should be removed now. We should not continue with this. If you to do it, then go ahead and if not, then leave it. This is not a matter of being stubborn. Though now I am old, then I used to be stubborn but my stubbornness was based on justice. You are not on the wrong side on this issue. Our party the APC has stones and we have agreed to consume it, we must remove the stone”, he added.
The meeting which was moderated by the APC chairman, Bolarinwa also had party senatorial chairmen, legal adviser as well as other chieftains from the wards and local government areas in attendance.
Governor Abdulrazaq and many party leaders have been at loggerheads since the party came to power in the state over disagreement on issues of appointment and style of governance.
The Governor has however kept quiet over the waves of attack from his party men leaving his loyalists in the party executive like PRO Alhaji Tajudeen Aro and other members of the AAG group sympathetic to reply most of them.
The issue has already divided the party leaders and supporters and already been seen as a threat to the governor’s second term ambition if he would still decide to run under the banner of the APC. Barr Kunle Suleiman, one of the governor’s loyalist however said the governor’s second term ticket cannot by stopped by anybody.
By Mumini Abdulkareem