The Nation (Nigeria)
Kwara APC crisis deepens
THE crisis rocking the Kwara State All Progressives Congress (APC) is to be deepening, as the two factions loyal to Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq and Information and Culture Minister Lai Mohammed intensify the battle for the control of structures.
The faction loyal to the governor, the APC Elders Caucus, has called for immediate suspension of the minister for allegedly factionalizing the party. The Elders’ Caucus made the remark in Ilorin, the state capital. The group said that the minister “is no longer fit to represent the interest of people of Kwara State” and should be removed from the cabinet of President Muhammadu Buhari.
But, some chieftains of the party loyal to the minister fired back, threatening From Adekunle Jimoh, Ilorin to suspend Governor Abdulrazaq for alleged anti-party activities. Spokesperson of the group loyal to the minister, Oladimeji Mustapha advised the governor to desist from alleged anti party activities.
Mustapha, who is also the factional legal adviser of the Kwara APC Caretaker Committee, said the party might have no option other than to apply the provisions of Article 21 of the APC Constitution on him.
Some leaders of the Elders Caucus at the briefing include Elder Wole Oke, Kunle Sulaiman, Prince Sunday Fagbemi, Alhaji Abdulmumeen Katibi, Chief Titus Ashaolu (SAN) Senators Simeon Ajibola and Mohammed Ahmed.
They fired back immediately that the “action of Alhaji Lai Mohammed has clearly shown to everyone that the intra party crisis that has bedevilled the party in Kwara State was not precipitated by the erstwhile chairman, Alhaji Bashir Bolarinwa”.
They said Bolarinwa was just a tool in the hands of the minister to destroy the APC in Kwara State. They added: “The question to be asked is whether the new secretariat unveiled by Alhaji Lai Mohammed is for their new party called the Third Force or for the APC. This is because it was the same set of people who declared that they have defected to Third Force and burnt brooms were the same set of people who gathered at Alhaji Lai Mohammed’s so called on APC secretariat.
“The estranged relationship between him and the governor, who by the party’s constitution, is the leader of the party in Kwara State, is most uncalled for. His continuing encouragement and support for factionalisation of the party is divisive and disruptive to the party. It is anti-party. He cannot contest the leadership of the party with the governor.
“We, therefore, call for the immediate suspension of Alhaji Lai Mohammed as a member of the APC in Kwara State for his actions. We also call for his removal as a minister from the cabinet of President Muhammadu Buhari for he is no longer fit to represent the interest of people of Kwara State.”