Kwara APC Crisis:How we rigged primaries for Gov Abdulrazaq – Bolarinwa

Kwarans’ll not renew mandate of violence, sole administratorship in 2023 – Aggrieved Lawmaker Gov talks tough, says dissidents risk suspension …as shooting, violence mars S’holder’s meeting/registration exercise

By Mumini AbdulKareem
Factional caretaker chairman of the Kwara State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) on Sunday in Ilorin opened up on the high power maneuvering and high wire politics that led to the emergence of Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq during the party’s primaries that led to the 2019 gubernatorial election in the state.
Bolarinwa spoke in Ilorin on Sunday during a grand empowerment programme by a former governorship aspirant of the party and billionaire philanthropist, Mallam Saliu Mustapha held at his foundation secretariat, Fate/Basin roundabout, Ilorin.
This is the first time the factional chairman will be speaking on the issue publicly since the highly contentious primaries that led to the disqualification of Mallam Mustapha and former House of Representative member for Asa/Ilorin West federal constituency, Moshood Mustapha through a radio announcement at the middle of the exercise.
He however did not revealed the result of the primary which has been a subject of sharp disagreement among some of the party’s aspirants then most of whom have laid claims to be the winners of the exercise.
According to Bolarinwa who insisted that he remained the authentic caretaker chairman of the party in Kwara State, said the beneficiaries of that arrangement are today his enemies in the party.
He said: “During the 2009 primaries of our party, I was instructed by the national leadership that (Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq) is the party’s candidate for the election and I should change the winner of the primaries.
“During that process, I was approached by the beneficiary of that arrangement that how much it will cost them for me to do it. But vehemently refused and never collected a kobo from them. I am saying this publicly. My position was that the decision was that of the party and as a thorough party man to the core, I am ready to do that party’s bidding at no cost without any string attached.
“However, I told them then that those we have schemed (rigged out) of the primary will end up been my enemies and that you (Governor and loyalists) should not also be one. But today, the opposite is that case. Look at how God works”, Bolarinwa noted.
Narrating his relationship with Saliu Mustapha in the party, Bolarinwa who was a special guest of honour at the programme noted that his initial meeting with the billionaire philanthropist started on a suspicious note before they later settle their differences.
“I once met Mallam Saliu Mustapha in 2018 at APC’s national secretariat. It happened that we were having a stakeholders meeting and some people informed me that he was a mole for Dr Bukola Saraki and so will not be allowed to attend the meeting that he had to leave. And approached him and told him just that and he left.
“But after we met again in the process of APC reorganisation, he told me that the day I made that accusation against him, I can’t remember whether it was Monday or Thursday, he was fasting and had to break his fast. I have to apologise to him and since then, we have moved on greatly”, Bolarinwa added.
Meanwhile, lawmaker representing Balogun/Ojomu state constituency at the Kwara State House of Assembly, Hon Saheed Popoola has said that Kwarans will not renew the mandate of Governor Abdulrazaq Abdulrahman come 2023.
Popoola who is one of the aggrieved members of the party made the remark during a radio programme monitored in Ilorin weekend.
He said the dose of violence that had been unleashed on party members and citizens in the state was contrary to the mandate they entrust upon the party adding that Kwara State is being autopiloted by the governor.
“Kwarans will not renew the Governor’s mandate in 2023 because this was not what we voted and bargain for. I have not seen this kind of situation before in my years of politics for a ruling to commence political fight after only two years in the saddle. Where is the time for governance again in the state? For those who are gathering signatures in support of the governor including the state lawmakers and most of their counterparts at the national, we shall know if it is the signature that will win them the election or the people. It is they that will leave the party for us and not the other way round because that met us here”, the lawmaker noted.
Speaking on the violence that erupted during the party’s stakeholder’s meeting at the Banquet Hall and the revalidation exercise in the state, Popoola who condemned the incident indicted the governor for promotion violence in the state because politics of self interest adding that Bolarinwa was duly invited to the programme.
In a telephone chat with National Pilot on the issue on Sunday, Bolarinwa denied he was behind the violence opposite the government house adding that he was invited to the venue in his capacity as the state caretaker chairman by the registration exercise for Kwara, Senator John Danboi
“According to him, the venue of the forum scheduled for 12 noon was still under lock as at 1.30 pm. That Banquet Hall is a government-owned facility. When it was around 1.30pm, I sent a message to the chairman of the Registration Committee expressing surprise that the hall was still under lock and key as at 1.30 pm. I did not know that some AA members loyal to Gov. Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq were already inside the hall. Outside where we were, a lot of those boys were wearing AA support t-shirts who have no business at all at the venue in the first place.
“The hall was eventually opened at about 2 p.m; as we were about to enter, a female member of the AA group loyal to the governor, Labibat came from nowhere and held my shirt very tight around my neck and was trying to prevent me from entering the hall. The people around prevented her from causing any havoc, so I managed to enter. It was after I entered the hall that I saw that majority of the people in the hall were AA members”, Bolarinwa added.
Recall that the party’s stakeholders meetings on the registration exercise was marred with violence which further led to shooting in some venue of the event. While the vehicle of the state woman leader was vandalised, that of another party stalwart, Wahab Adesina, was also destroyed and he was wounded.

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