Kwara APC stalwarts react to Saraki’s rumoured return to party
Stalwarts of All Progressives Congress (APC) in Kwara, State yesterday, reacted to the rumoured crossing of former Senate President, Bukola Saraki from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) back to APC. They described it as a welcome addition, but gave a caveat, that Saraki must join the party from its local hierarchy.
According to Chief Wole Oke, Senator Suleiman Ajadi, and Chief Iyiola Oyedepo in separate interviews with The Guardian in Ilorin, said Saraki, like every other politician, could not be debarred from joining APC, but that the requirements of the party’s constitution for such membership must be strictly followed to avoid chaotic situations.
Oke, a former leader of Kwara State House of Assembly, said, “If Saraki wants to come, he must take his turn at the base in accordance with the constitution of APC. We have seen some of his aides in the last few days trying to revive his political strength within the state. He may be planning to come and take over the political leadership of our party. He is a crafty politician.
“If you could recollect, he left APC alongside Yakubu Dogara, the former Speaker of the House of Representatives, who had also, of recent, re-joined APC. Saraki may be using Dogara as a test case. He may want to see how Dogara will be treated to determine his own next line of action. But between Saraki and Kwara Governor, AbdulRahaman AbdulRazak, there is no love lost.”
Oke is of the belief that Saraki’s planned defection could not be divorced from the 2023 presidential ambition of the national leader of the party, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, “who is doing everything possible to lure more people into the party.”
For Ajadi, a former Senator (1999-2004), “He (Saraki) has a right to come if he wants to come. We are waiting for him. If he wants to work with us, we will work with him. But if he wants to do otherwise, we will equally cross the bridge when we get there.
“We can’t block anybody from joining our party. The more the merrier. But he must not have the mindset of coming to the party to effect an immediate change that can destroy the existing structure to his advantage. He is welcome. He should go to the ward level if he is joining us.”
In citing the results of the last elections, Oyedepo said that Saraki is no longer “the Alpha and Omega of Kwara politics. He is welcome if he is coming. But if he wants to be a true party man, he needs to come and allow the party men have discussion with him. But if it is business as usual, we know what to do. We are proactive politicians. His coming can only affect those who don’t understand politics.”
Some of Saraki’s men had, in the last two weeks on local media, been sponsoring invectives against the administration of Governor AbdulRazak. The development, according to political observers, could be a calculated attempt by the former Senator to stage a comeback to the party he left for PDP and consequently lost his grip on the power he inherited from his late father, Olusola Saraki.
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