Mild drama as two parallel APC ward congresses held in Kwara

The crisis rocking the Kwara State chapter of the ruling APC deepened yesterday as the two leading factions in the party embarked on separate congresses to elect their ward executives at the 193 wards in the state.
A group loyal to the state Governor, AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq, under the platform of AA Group adopted a consensus arrangement for the emergence of their executives at the ward congresses.
But a group loyal to the Information Minister, Lai Mohammed, under the platform of the Loyal Group used direct system for the emergence of their ward executives in the state.
However, there was a mild drama on Saturday at the Kwara congress of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Badari Ward of Ilorin South Local Government Area.
Against the general grain of consensus arrangement in picking candidates by Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq-led APC, members of the ward opted for election.
They accused some APC executives of trying to impose a candidate on them, saying, the original list of candidates for respective offices had been doctored.
Attempts by APC coordinator Tunde Aluko at the venue to convince the people for a consensual arrangement met with brick walls.
The intervention of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) officers at the ECWA Primary School, Oja-Iya, venue of the exercise saved the situation from degenerating into rancor.
INEC’s intervention made the people to settle for election as the people queued behind their choice candidate for the Ward Chairman, Abdullahi Ibrahim.
A member of the ward, Asabi Joseph, told our reporter that “we opted for election because we realised that some people in the party wanted to impose their candidates on us.
“During membership registration and revalidation, it was this our candidate that arranged how all of us got to the venue of the exercise at Ipata Oloje.
“This man along with the women leader in the ward has always been there for all APC members in the ward. That is the truth, that is why we have all resolved that he must return unopposed.”
Ibrahim said: “Before this time around some people in the party approached me to step down but I told them that decision would come from majority of the ward members.
“However, over 95 per cent of the electorates want me to continue. Any attempt not to accede to their clarion call would amount to arrogance.
“I am 100 per cent in support of Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq for another four years in office.”
In other parts of the State, congress reportedly took off peacefully and orderly across various parts of Kwara State with thousands of party loyalists, including INEC officials, APC representatives from Abuja, lawmakers and government appointees participating.
Reports, videos and photos from various parts of the state showed mammoth crowd of party members attending the event with fanfare.
Visits and reports from Adewole Ward where Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq hails, to Alanamu and Ajikobi in Ilorin West to Ifelodun in Kwara South and Kaiama in Kwara North, show a rancour-free exercise so far.
The exercise is being presided over by APC officials and closely monitored by INEC representatives in line with the law.

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