By Mumini AbdulKareem
It appeared there is no end in sight yet to the crisis rocking the Kwara State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) over its gubernatorial primary held in the state last month.
Since the controversial exercise which produced billionaire businessman and oil magnate, AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq, many of those who contested the primary with him have complained bitterly against his announcement by the APC accusing Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed and some party leaders of alleged imposition and brazen impunity.
A meeting of all the party aspirants with President Muhammadu Buhari at the instance of the minister ended in further accusation against Lai Mohammed.
According to one of the aspirants and former member of the National Assembly representing Ilorin West/Asa federal constituency, Hon Moshood Mustapha, the meeting with President Buhari was an alleged attempt to cover the impunity perpetrated during the primary.
A stakeholders’ forum by the state chapter of the party held in Ilorin yesterday to affirm AbdulRazaq was however boycotted by many of the aspirants.
According to a source who attended the meeting, except for Ambassador Yahaya Seriki and Ahmed Mustafa, the son of late Justice Mustafa Akanbi who were present, majority of the aspirants reportedly boycotted the event.
He added that the ceremony was even almost disrupted by supporters of some of the aggrieved aspirants who protested at the venue, chanting, “we have not gotten any governorship candidate yet”.
In a telephone chat with our reporter last night, Moshood Alaka, an aide to one of the aspirants, Prof. Shuaib Oba AbdulRaheem, told this medium that nobody invited his principal for the event.
He said those that gathered at the venue were only friends of the party’s declared candidate adding that the ceremony has no meaning to Oba’s supporters.
He said President Buhari has promised to reclaim stolen mandate for all those that were wronged unjustly during the primaries and they stand on such promise.
“How can you say you are the party’s candidate when you have no structure on ground? To win election, we must have the support of the people that will vote and if we are not careful, the APC will not have it rosy during the next election.
“How many of the aspirants were present at the affirmation ceremony. Those that attended were just friends of AbdulRazaq.
“We are not going anywhere but we shall remain with the party and we are hopeful that justice will be done at the end of the day. We are very confident about that”, he added.
Meanwhile, the APC on Wednesday affirmed Abdulrasaq as its governorship candidate for the 2019 general elections.
The chairman of the party, Bashir Bolarinwa, who made this known at a stakeholders’ forum called for unity among the party members.
Bolarinwa reminded the party members that President Buhari had earlier called for their support during a recent peace meeting.
He added that it was high time every party member in the state aligned themselves with the reality.
He also appealed to all aggrieved party members to put behind them all issues that resulted from the outcome of the primaries and work for APC’s progress.
He assured all aspirants that lost out during the primaries of the party’s support, urging them to work for the victory of APC in the state during the 2019 general elections.
“We must all work for the progress of the party come 2019. Our dear state has suffered neglect and we must rescue it from the oppressors.
“We may have had issues from the primaries, but they are surmountable ones that we can deal with,” Mr Bolarinwa said.
In his remarks, the party’s candidate, Abdulrazaq commended the disposition of his fellow aspirants in ensuring that they achieve proper reconciliation of relative differences.
He said that there could be no better time to address the issue of unity and party loyalty than a time like this.