2023: Lai Mohammed, Prof Oba, Oyedepo other aggrieved APC leaders may work with Saraki in PDP – O to ge lawmaker

Nat’l leadership summons warring factions, to decide Bolarinwa’s fate, today Moshood Mustapha backs Abdulrazaq …as BOB loyalists goes spiritual

By Mumini AbdulKareem
As the 2023 political hostilities enters top gear in Kwara State, a serving member of the State House of Assembly and top proponent of the O to ge mantra in the All Progressives Congress (APC), Hon Saheed Popoola has hinted on the possibility of aggrieved members in the ruling party teaming up with the immediate past Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
The lawmaker’s comment is coming on the heels of the renewed political battle in the ruling APC over the purported suspension of the party’s caretaker chairman in the state, Hon Bashiru Omolaja Bolarinwa last week allegedly by Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq.
Saraki who is the national leader of opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) was recently announced chairman of the party’s National Reconciliation Committee in Abuja.
Meanwhile, no fewer than 20 top leaders of the APC comprising 10 members each from the warring factions are currently in Abuja for what one of the party leaders loyal to the embattled chairman described as a “crucial meeting” that will determine the fate of state chapter of the party.
It was not clear last night whether reconciliation talks have already started between Saraki and the aggrieved APC members even as some top party leaders and loyalists of the Governor told National Pilot that their exit from the APC will not collapse the party in the state.
Prominent members of the aggrieved leaders who cut across the three senatorial districts in the state include former Chairman of the Federal Character Commission (FCC), Prof Shuaib Oba Abdulraheem, former chairman of the PDP, Akogun Iyiola Oyedepo, former APC gubernatorial aspirant, Waziri Gobir, former Minister of Transport, Alhaji Bio Ibrahim, owner of Sobi FM, Lukman Mustapha, Chief Sunday Oyeniyi, ex-governorship aspirants, Mallam Salihu Mustapha, Alhaji S.Y Yammah, Alhaji Tajudeen Audu and Hon Saheed Popoola among others.
But Popoola who spoke during a radio programme at the weekend blamed the Governor for the protracted leadership crisis that has plagued the APC since inception of the present administration in 2019.
Describing the two factions as “parallel lines”, the lawmaker who noted that the party is heavily fragmented at the moment added that any hope for reconciliation may have been foreclosed because of the failure of the Governor to genuinely work for the resolution of the crisis since the crisis began.
According to him, it is unfortunate that despite the opportunity presented by the emergence of the APC as the ruling party in the state, that there is so much noise in the party which is unnecessarily arming the opposition.
Asked whether he was being sponsored by Saraki, Popoola said:
“I am not working for Saraki now either do I have any grudges against him and the entire Sarakis family. We once worked together and we can still work (under the same party again). This is politics. Same way as I have no grudges against the Governor. This is all about staying on the side of truth for posterity. We came with the manifesto of free education and health care but is that what we are doing now.
“I stayed in APC because of the yearnings of my people in Offa and I will like to appreciate and salute the maturity and unbiased politics of former Speaker of the 8th Kwara Assembly, Dr Ali Ahmad, House Leader, Hassan Oyeleke and all the other members of that legislature for not (unlawfully) suspending me even though they have all the machinery to do that while I was the only lawmaker who refused to decamp along with them to PDP.
“I will never go to the Government House even if I am invited and if the members of the 9th House of Assembly decide to suspend me because of my position now, I am ready to go but I can assure them that I will collect all my dues as an elected lawmaker because they don’t have the right to sack me”, he noted.
On Rural Access and Agricultural Marketing Projects (RAAMP), the lawmaker said “Gov Abdulrahman is not doing anything special with the RAAMP projects. In all honesty, it was an initiative of the former Governor, Abdulfattah Ahmed.
“Nothing fantabulous has been done by this government. What we are witnessing are just basics. The ground and preparatory work for RAAMP project was done by former Governor Abdulfattah Ahmed. His undoing was failure to pay counterpart fund which should not have been. Many states like our neighbouring Osun got huge fund for infrastructure after paying the fund during the tenure of Aregbesola”, he added.
Meanwhile, the Mai Mala Buni led National caretaker committee has summoned the two factions in the state to a meeting at the party’s secretariat today (Monday) in Abuja over the crisis.
The meeting which is scheduled for 1:00pm, it was learnt, will decide the fate of the embattled State caretaker chairman, Bolarinwa.
One of the aggrieved members of the party and former PDP chairman, Iyiola Oydepo who confirmed the development told National Pilot on telephone weekend that the purported suspension of Bolarinwa is only a ruse adding that the Governor only tried to work with some of his friends in the Progressives Governors Forum like the Governor of Niger State to try to destabilize the party.

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