The protracted crisis between the joint forces of Lai Mohammed, Gbemi Saraki on one part and Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq on the other, over control of the All Progressives Congress, APC in Kwara State again came to the fore on Wednesday. The war in Kwara APC followed the decision of the national caretaker committee to remove Bashir Bolarinwa as state chairman of the party.
The move was immediately resisted by the camps of Alhaji Lai Mohammed and Gbemi Saraki who vowed to resist the imposition of the governor’s man as the new chairman.
Under an arrangement supposedly struck by the Governor of Niger State, Alhaji Sanni Bello, Bolarinwa who is a long time associate of Lai Mohammed and Asiwaju Bola Tinubu would be appointed as a commissioner in the Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq government.
A new chairman in the person of Abdullahi Samari was named by the national leadership.
Lai, Saraki Groups Declare War In Kwara APC
However, the development was immediately rejected by the two camps of Lai and Saraki who in a joint position told the national leadership to bury the thought. They said that if they could together remove an Iroko like Bukola Saraki that removing a shrub like Governor Abdulrazaq was no problem.
The governor’s camp has, however, dismissed the threats of the Lai/Saraki groups.
An associate of the governor, Barr. Kunle Suleiman said they were bluffing.
The Lai and Gbemi associates who signed a joint statement read out at the party secretariat on Wednesday included Akogun Iyiola Oyedepo
Chief T. A Sunday Oyebiyi, Engr. Umaru Sha’aba, Isa Bio lbrahim, Barr. Ladi Mustapha, M. T. Mamman and Akande Adefila.
Others included Hon. Saheed Popoola, Prof. Shuaib Abdulraheem, Senator Ahmed Zuru, Alhaji Lukman Mustapha M., Alhaji Waziri Olayiwola Gobir, Alhaji Saliu Mustapha, Alhaji S. Y. Abdullahi, Alhaji Tajudeen Audu, Alhaji Akeem Lawal, Alhaji Bolaji Jimoh, Capt. Nasiru Mohammed Efuman (retd) and H. B. Oyedepo.
Oyedepo reading the joint position of the group against the governor said warned that the governor was trying to destroy the party through creating a war in Kwara APC.
“He leads without consultation. He has pocketed the state assembly and we do not want him to pocket the party structure, otherwise there will be a totalitarian regime in the state”, he added.
“We fought the war of O’toge and he played the least role and we have told him that if we could remove an Iroko tree, it will not take us anything to remove a shrub.
“Gbemi Saraki and Lai Mohammed are with us. They are fully with us. They are not with the governor and we are telling the whole world openly.
“We have resolved to reject the verdict of the National Caretaker Committee on the purported removal of Hon Bashir Omolaja Bolarinwa. It is worth nothing more than the value of the paper on which the letter given to Hon Samari Abdullahi is written. It certainly shall not work in Kwara State no matter who is behind it.
“Though when we told the Secretary that the decision could sink the party in the state, he said they really do not care. And he repeated during the conversation more than five times that he was acting under the instructions of the Chairman HE, Mai Mala Buni. We shall prove to those who aborted the peoples’ revolution foisting on our party the present situation since 2018 that Kwara is not an appendage of any outside power conspiracy. They continue to compromise our noble cause with these unacceptable decisions and we shall henceforth prove to those that are not popular at home but rather rely on political manipulations from outside that, the game is up.
“The decision of the Caretaker Committee was said to be based on the recommendations of the North Central Zone of the Party, under the Chairmanship of HE Sanni Bello. Governor Sanni Bello was said to have recommended that the authentic Chairman of the Party should be removed and be made a Commissioner in the cabinet of Kwara State.
“He also recommended that Abdullahi Samari, the crony of the Governor of Kwara State and the leader of Abdulrahman Splinter AA group within Kwara APC, be made the Caretaker Chairman. With this recommendation, the smallest of the four tendencies that formed the new APC after the exit of Dr Bukola Saraki is now given a political edge that can never work.
The whole thing appears to be a ploy by the National leadership of the APC to save their unpopular friend from political drowning at the coming congresses of the party in Kwara State.”
Dismissing the contentions of the group of a war in Kwara APC, Suleiman, an associate of the governor hailed the decision to sack Bolarinwa.
He said; “That is far from the truth. We are already in Abuja, about 11 of us trying to reach the National Chairman. We heard they (Oyedepo group) are there and we don’t want a clash. You will see the real leaders of the party and the stakeholders when we meet the National Chairman.
“We stand fully by the decision of the National Working Committee on the appointment of Abdullahi Samari as the Chairman of the Caretaker Committee”.