Why Kwara APC returned Balogun-Fulani, Adesina, Oniwa, Balogun


Secretary: Adekanye out, Ayeni in

By Mumini AbdulKareem

More facts emerged last night on the sweeping return of majority of the state executives of the Kwara State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Except for the positions of the state Secretary and Youth Leader with few other ones, the party returned majority of the executives through consensus.

Before the state exercise which was witnessed by top members of the party including the Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki at the Banquet Hall, Ilorin, talks were rife among party caucuses and leaders on the imminent replacement of some of the executives.

Aside from some of them not spending up to the eight years as reportedly directed by the party to warrant their change, part of the reasons for the now botched “replacement exercise”, it was gathered, was also due to the need to avoid what a source described as “distractions” ahead of the 2019 general  elections.

Besides, issues of “uncommon loyalty” demonstrated by some of the executives to the party leadership and structure also reportedly accounted for their return.

Some of the ripple effect of the last ward and local government congress exercise are still generating echo weeks after they have been concluded in places like Edu and Patigi among others over alleged imposition by some party elders.

Shortly after the commencement of the exercise at the Banquet Hall, Saraki promised to stay back in the state till Sunday night to address any issue that might emanate among party members as a result of the congress.

It could not however be confirmed whether Saraki left last night or he will be leaving this morning as one of the sources said he was still in town around 6pmyesterday.

Another source who also spoke on the matter however noted that the return of some of the executives especially those who have crossed the “radar” or have “overstayed” in certain positions may only be temporary as they may be replaced after the 2019 election.

“You know the party has said that those that have spend eight years and above and who have not done well should be eased out and settle in other places where they will more useful to the party and the dynasty.

“So some vibrant youths have been identified with the believe that they have the charisma, energy,  and experience to add value to the system and do things differently from the past in order to achieve greater result. The agitation before now is that some of these people have been around for too long and need to be replaced, it turned out not be so for obvious reasons.

The dropping of the Secretary of the party, Chief Bode Adekanye, for former deputy chief of staff from Ekiti, Christopher Ayeni was described as a sudden twist by a top party member from the emirate who confided in our reporter.

According to the source, the retention of the former secretary was on “consensus” before “last minute development” gave it to Ayeni.

It was gathered that Saraki who met Adekanye among other party members on Sunday appreciated his service and assured that the party will continue to engage him in other capacities.

Speaking with National Pilot shortly after his emergence at the venue of the congress, Ayeni thanked the leader of the party, Dr Saraki, Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed, the chairman, Ishola Balogun-Fulani and other party leaders for giving him the opportunity to serve adding that it is all about service for him.

“To me, this is all about service and I am ready to serve the party diligently with all my energy in whatever capacity”, he added.

The Kwara State chapter of the APC returned over 30 members of its executive unopposed.

The exercise which was supervised by the APC state congress committee led by its Chairman, Senator Salisu Hussain,

Other party leaders at the event were Governor Ahmed, Deputy Governor, Elder Peter Kisra, Speaker of the state House of Assembly, Dr Ali Ahmad and members of the National Assembly from the state.

Also in attendance were National Publicity Secretary of the party, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi, Alhaji Kawu Baraje and representatives of INEC from Abuja and Kwara.

Chairman, congress committee of the party, Senator Saliu Hussein, expressed delight over the arrangement, saying the process satisfied party’s rule and constitution.

“We received return forms from 36 candidates with no opposition but we will still go ahead with voting for affirmation”, he said.

Speaking at the event, the Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki, commended party members for the conduct of the exercise, saying Nigerian politicians have a lot to learn from the Kwara model of politicking.

According to Saraki, “this is the third stage of the journey that started with ward congresses which were adjudged as the best in Nigeria. In Kwara, we don’t have problems of people fighting themselves. That is while you can see two former governors sitting together to participate in an electoral process with the incumbent.”

He challenged youths who have been elected into executive offices at the ward levels to prove their mettle in the coming general elections.

Speaking after the election, Kwara State Governor, Dr Abdulfatah Ahmed who congratulated the newly elected officials charged them to immediately prepare for the next general election.

He promised to consolidate on the achievements of the party in leading the state to an enviable heights and guarantee electoral victory for the party in 2019

In a vote of thanks, National Publicity Secretary, APC, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi, insisted that the party would only recognise congresses conducted by Congress Committees put in place by the national body.

Others elected officers include Alhaji Ishola Balogun Fulani, State Chairman, Hon. Christopher Tunji Ayeni, Secretary; Alhaji Buhari Sulaiman, Publicity Secretary and Hajia Rahmat Oganija, Women Leader among others.

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