By Mike Adeyemi
Some aggrieved leaders in the Kwara State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) last night refused to deny or confirmed whether the faction was mooting the idea to unleash chairman of the Federal Character Commission (FCC), Prof Abdulraheem Shuaib Oba on Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq over the contest for the 2023 ticket in the state.
Prof Oba, many of his supporters claimed, won the highly disputed primaries that brought in the Governor and one of aggrieved leaders that has structure but lacks the war chest to challenge the governor for the top seat in 2023 if both factions failed to find a common ground to the leadership crisis rocking the party.
Several calls and text messages to get the reactions of factional party chairman, Bashiru Omolaja Bolarinwa, Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Muhammad among other were not answered or responded to before the paper went to press.
But a top chieftain of the party who spoke on the issue of anonymity told National Pilot that although he’s not aware of such moves, the exclusive politics and solitary leadership style of the Governor will swell opposition against his candidacy from the aggrieved tendencies within the party
According to the party chieftain, if such moves is ongoing and I am not aware, then I want to see how it will be achieved because I believed I am part of the faction that is feeling aggrieved.
“In as much as I am not against Prof Oba who is my friend from becoming the Governor, that is not to say there are no many other people who would come up that particular year. There are so other people bracing up for it in 2023 including the incumbent governor. This is even beyond the matter of Prof Oba against Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq, so many people will come up. The way the party is being handled will give room for proliferation of candidates against the governor who may even challenge him via another platform.
“Apart from Prof Oba, there are some many other people who will show interest”…I am not against any one of them, but the game is in the hands of the public who are the citizens of Kwara. Whether there will be a meeting point rest on the shoulders of the Governor. He has the power to either unite of further set us apart.
“Some surrogates around him are pushing him to do things that will never work at the end because if the APC at the National level is saying they want more people and a few people that have recorded many failures many times in Kwara are saying some people should not be registered, the we shall see who is going to win unless victory is not longer decided by numbers.
“These few people that are not chasing the Governor everywhere he goes, can they deliver. The consequences are there for everybody to see. How can the governor follow continued to listen to those people that have singularly carried him politically before now and yet where not able to make him governor”, he added.
Meanwhile, a report by Daily Independent from Abuja quoting sources close to the contending tendencies in the party that the choice of the former VC was arrived at on the understanding that he is meant to do only four years of one term to run out Abdulrazaq second tenure as an Ilorin man.
“There is a strong belief that Prof Abdulraheem would be more accepted by the APC factions now mostly ganged up against the governor over his handling of party affairs,” explained a former NEC member of the party in Abuja.
“The former VC won the party primaries in 2019 but his victory had to be overturned because Abdulrazaq, one of the contestants who came a distant third after was disqualified during the primaries.
“Abdulraheem emerged winner by default, but national leader of the party, Bola Tinubu, disagreed with the outcome of the party when Lai Mohammed, Minister of Information and leader of one of the factions the party has since broken into in Kwara, took the result to Lagos in 2019,” the paper explained.
It added that, “Oba’s candidacy suffered because Tinubu insisted that the candidate from Kwara must be financially buoyant enough because he wasn’t ready to spend money on Kwara”.
By Mike Adeyemi