Stories by Mumini Abdulkareem
The crisis rocking the Kwara state chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has began to take its toll on the party as no fewer than 500 supporters of one of the aggrieved aspirants, Professor Shuaib AbdulRaheem Oba and several other followers have dumped the party to join the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state.
Prof Oba is reportedly still battling to recover his alleged ‘stolen’ mandate during the APC controversial gubernatorial primaries in the state even as he has also opened talks with Labour Party in actualisation of his governorship ambition.
Though an oil mogul, AbdulRahman AbdulRasaq was announced as the winner of the primaries from the APC national secretariat in Abuja, Prof AbdulRaheem and his supporters have maintained the exercise was rigged against them and that they won the primaries.
The youths who are from Ubandawaki ward in Ilorin West Local Government Area of the state on Saturday visited the national leader of the PDP and Senate President, Dr Abubakar Bukola Saraki in his GRA residence, Ilorin to pledge their allegiance.
While pledging their allegiance to Saraki dynasty, the former supporters of AbdulRaheem said they were disappointed in the way and manner the affairs of the APC is being handled by its leaders and the discontentment that followed the outcome of its primaries across board in the state.
The spokesman of the decampees, Mohammed Okutagidi said they were disappointed in the way and manner their former leaders in the APC reacted to the outcome of the primaries.
“The refusal of the APC chieftains to accept the outcome of the gubernatorial primaries and agree to team up with the declared winner has clearly shown that these leaders are self-centred and are only interested in grabbing political offices to achieve some selfish ends.
“Having discovered that some of our leaders are pursuing personal agenda and are not really championing the cause of the masses as they wanted us to believe, today we have come here to officially join the PDP and pledge our allegiance to our father, the lover of masses, Dr Bukola Saraki”.
Okutagidi assured Saraki of their preparedness to bring some other youths who had been deceived by fake promises back into the PDP’s fold.
Responding, the Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki thanked the decampees for taking their destiny in their own hands and for realising that their aspirations can only be achieved within the PDP which he was confident would win the 2019 general elections in the state and form government at the federal level.
Saraki, while explaining that his mission in politics is ensuring the growth and development of Kwara and her people assured the youths of equal opportunities with the existing members of the PDP in the state.
He assured that the Atiku Abubakar presidency will make deliberate efforts to create job and employment opportunities for the Nigerian youths.
The Senate President asked the decampees to register with his ABS constituency office in Ilorin so that they can be carried along in the sundry empowerment schemes of the constituency.
Saraki was flanked at the ceremony by the state chairman of the PDP, Engr. Kola Shittu, his secretary, Alhaji Rasaq Lawal and the Director General, ABS constituency office, Alhaji Musa Abdullahi.
…aggrieved politicians occupy party secretariat for 2nd day
…vows to continue sit out over imposition
Buhari meets leaders, guber aspirants, today
The crisis rocking the Kwara state chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC), took another dimension last night as aggrieved members continued its occupation of the party’s secretariat along Sango road last night.
This is coming just as the leadership of the party will be meeting President Buhari today, party officials told this medium.
The members who started the sit out on Saturday night continued the occupation of the facility yesterday and vowed to remain until their demands of alleged imposition are redressed by its national leadership, a source told this medium late last night ..
The group under the aegis of Concerned APC foundation members sat all night from Saturday to Sunday morning and continued the exercise last night.
Addressing some newsmen who were present during the event, the leader of the group, Hon. Isiaka Toyin Wara from Ilorin West Local Government demanded the reversal of the candidates announced by the party adding that 50 percent slot be ceded to foundation members.
He decried the sidelining of foundation members despite the sacrifices they have made for the party.
“We were undeterred and trudged on in the face of intimation hoping and praying that the occupation forces will go back to base. We endured the pains for almost four years before providence smiled on us.
“It is however sad that rather than celebrate the final freedom, we are presently under another set of colonisation, wherein new entrants into our party who were displaced by the re-admittance of Dr. Bukola Saraki have come to usurp the entire space, thereby living us to gasp for breadth once again.
“Judging from the list of candidates submitted by our party for all the elective positions ranging from the governorship, National Assembly and State Assembly, we only have one House of Reps ticket, and two House of Assembly seats.
“None of the numerous qualified foundation members were found worthy of getting neither the National Assembly seats nor governorship, even the House of Assembly ticket was shared majorly amongst the PDP decampees” he stressed.
Reeling out the demands of the protesters, Hon. Wara demanded for at least 50 percent elective positions for its members. He said “We want 2 of the 3 available Senate seat to be ceded to us, four of the available 7 House of Representatives seats and 12 Houses of Assembly seats.
“We’ll not evacuate the Secretariat until President Buhari, National Chairman of our party, Adams Oshiomole, our National Leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and other well meaning lovers of our party who are ready to stand up for justice, equity and fairness, wades in and ensure we get our rightful place in the scheme of things in Kwara APC. We are ready to remain here as long as necessary, we won’t leave here until we get a valid and legally actionable duely signed document that’ll be binding on all stakeholders concerned” he threatened.
Meanwhile, the Spokesperson of the party, Tajudeen Aro who confirmed the development to our reporter last night, said the chairman of the party, Basheer Bolarinwa will comment on the matter later.
He said the party meeting with president Buhari is meant to forge ahead after the party’s primaries in the state.
Also, the assistant Publicity Secretary of the party, Femi Yusuf who corroborated the position of the spokesman on the meeting said those occupying the secretariat are only having picnic adding that the party has moved passed that stage.
Where we are now is to consolidate for the 2019 election in the state and that is why the president is meeting our candidate and other aspirants which was a follow up to the meeting the party’s national chairman, Oshiomhole had with them upper week”.