By Mike Adeyemi
A member of Kwara State House of Assembly representing Ojomu/Balogun in Offa Local Government Area, Honourable Saheed Popoola, has maintained that there is no end in sight to the lingering crisis in the state chapter of All Progressive Congress (APC).
Popoola stated this on Tuesday while fielding questions from our reporter in his office at the Kwara House of Assembly complex, Ilorin, the state capital.
According to the Lawmaker, “the lingering crisis in Kwara APC was caused solely by the Governor since the day he decided to shun the bigwigs in the party.
“If the political crisis in our party will end, depends on the Governor, who is the leader of the party in the state. If he decides to bring an end to it, then no problem.
“It is his style of leadership that is causing the fracas. If he changes his style of leadership, I bet you the whole issues will die. He has arrogate too much power to himself in the way he runs affairs of the state,” he pointed out.
Popoola debunked the speculation in the public domain that the root cause of the crisis in the party is as a result of the Governor’s refusal to be hoodwinked by the party’s bigwigs.
“It is wrong to allude to the fact that the genesis of the whole crisis was his disdain to be a pushover by the party bigwigs. The crisis started because he didn’t want to see eye to eye with the bigwigs of the party. And that is why the crisis will continue.
“We don’t have personal problem with him. We worked for him and he has decided to do it alone. We won’t allow that. His case is like that of a child that sells the whole property of an extended family without the consent of other family members. If he refuses to retrace his step, the crisis will continue,” the lawmaker stressed.
Reacting to the recent outburst by the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, on Governor Abdurazaq , Popoola described the backlash as apt, saying the Governor got what he bargained for.
“It is what he asked for that he got in return. The outburst on the Governor by Alhaji Lai Mohammed is apt. Imagine the Governor calling the Minister a thief, alleging that all the monies for the campaign were diverted. The Governor didn’t contribute any kobo to the election that brought him into power. It was the Minister that mobilised for fund.
“Hardly would you see Lai Mohammed talk like that. For him to have tongue lashed the governor and talked like that, he must have been pushed to the wall. The Minister rarely talk.
“But it seems the Governor is ready to play gutter politics and we are ready for him. Abdulrazaq has decided to play gutter politics and others in the party are ready to play it along with him.
“Because he has become a governor (Abdulrazaq)today, he is becoming arrogant and we will let him know that he is not more than us. He was just an opportunist. He had contested many times and failed. We will teach him a lesson,” Popoola said.
He affirmed that his alleged hobnobbing with the immediate past senate president , Dr. Bukola Saraki has nothing to do with attempt to join the PDP, but a personal issue.
“The sense of history of our people is too short. I was the only one that refused to follow Bukola Saraki in 2018 and I set a precedent in what is happening in Kwara today. Dr. Bukola Saraki called me and I answered him.
“Anybody that called me as a politician, I will answer them. Saraki has now known my value. Bukola Saraki is a Kwaran and if he called me, I must answer him. That doesn’t mean I am working for him. He gave me 1000 Dollar for transport fare, ” he said.
He noted that there is no likelihood of the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) coming back into power in Kwara State come 2023, saying the party lacks wherewithal.
“PDP is not well organised in Kwara. They love taking money from government, but don’t know how to do opposition. Look at how we arranged our own opposition then. PDP has to go and learn from their past mistakes. There is no hope of the party coming into power come 2023. What I see perhaps is alliance. It can happen.”
Popoola, however, described as false the claim that there is a rift between him and the Olofa of Offa, Oba Mufutau Gbadamosi over the recent endorsement for the second term of the Governor by the traditional ruler.
“I cannot utter any wrong statement against my Dad. Olofa is like my father. I cannot say anything against him. What I said then that was twisted by the Governor’s propagandists was against Abdulrazaq and I don’t regret it.
“It was the governor’s data boys that want to change the narration. Olofa is an authority in Offa, nobody has right to counter what he says. Our Kabiyesi is traditional person and number three in the state. He has right to queue behind the governor.
“Any Kabiyesi that didn’t do that will find himself in Lagos just like in the case of Sanusi Lamido. I am one of the closest allies of Olofa, so I can’t disrespect him,” he said.
By Mike Adeyemi