Leadership crisis looms in Kwara APC
The looming leadership tussle among some members of Kwara State chapter of All Progressives Congress (APC) should be amicably resolved for the party, newly voted to power in the state, to make the needed socio-economic impact after the May 29, 2019 swearing in of the incoming administration. The local APC, an amalgam of political chieftains in Kwaran political circle, had prior to the last general elections, come together and snatched political hegemony from the age long political gladiators, led by the outgoing Senate President, Bukola Saraki.
Prominent among these political ‘heroes’ are Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, former Vice Chancellor of University of Ilorin who was also an ex-Chairman of Federal Character Commission, Professor Shuaib Oba AbdulRaheem, former Chief Whip of the state’s House of Assembly, Chief Iyiola Oyedepo, a former House of Representatives member, Moshood Mustapha, former Chairman of Ifelodun LGA of the state, Dr. Rex Olawoye, former Senator, Makanjuola Ajayi, and former Deputy National Publicity Secretary of People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Raheem Adedoyin.
Others are Issa Aremu, Labour Party governorship candidate who, at the last minute before polls, stepped down for APC’s candidate and the eventual winner, AbdulRahaman AbdulRazak, Dr. Amuda Aluko, AbdulGaniyu Cook Olododo, former Chief of Staff to Dr. Bukola Saraki while serving as Governor of Kwara, Chief Wole Oke, Dr. Mike Omotosho, among others.
However, despite the 75 per cent aggregate victories achieved over Saraki and his supporters in the elections, sources told The Guardian in Ilorin of the alleged cold war of supremacy among the APC leaders in the state. “Each and every one of them, (APC’s local leaders) are laying claims to their input leading to the much envisaged electoral victories. Besides, many of these leaders are said to be seriously eyeing certain positions when the government is eventually inaugurated,” according to a source.
“I want to see how they will apportion portfolios without giving me at least two commissioners’ slots. We committed so much of our energies and resources to the recently obtained political freedom in the state, ” added another source. Oyedepo said the party in the state remained leverage for all its members, especially leaders of the amalgamation, adding that the system being adopted within the leadership circle at the point of decision making “is collective method and not a one-man dictation.”
For him, “we don’t believe in the democracy of one-man who at all times calls the shots. No. We all staked our necks to terminate the draconian system in Kwara politics. So there is no leadership tussle in our camp at all. We are all matured individuals who have the interests of our state and her people at heart.”
For Olawoye, “Ours is not about hustling for posts or positions but the development of our dear state that had over the years been a money-spinning machine for a particular family and some of its cronies. The victory at our disposal at present was divine. God was the author of it through the courage and commitment of all the good people of Kwara.”
In Oke’s view, it will be tantamount to lying to deny the fact that the honourable minister is not the leader of the APC in the state, citing his pedigree as the one with the highest political portfolio “among all other APC members in the state.”Oke, the Leader of the state’s House of Assembly in the defunct Third Republic added that the type of leadership provided by Mohammed is not dictatorial but “a coordinator of the collective thoughts of all our leaders.”
A source within APC, on condition of anonymity, noted, “I am telling you that there is a brewing cold war in Kwara APC. But we hope it will be amicably resolved because the whole world is watching us. We can’t afford to fail. A stitch in time will surely save nine.”
Meanwhile, a chieftain of APC in Kwara State, Mr. Olanrewaju Kazeem Yusuf, has commended the National Leader, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, for his contributions to the party’s victory in the state and across the country during the last general elections. Yusuf, who played a prime role in the O to ge (Enough is Enough) political slogan that dislodged Saraki’s political machinery in the just-concluded 2019 general elections, noted that senate president had on previous occasions won elections with the power of incumbency, but failed in the last exercise because of the input of Tinubu.
According to him, “The national leader brought the political masterstroke that removed the state from Saraki’s grip. Tinubu is a bridge-builder and builder of persons. The role also played by former Senator Suliamon Ajadi, who represented Kwara South Senatorial District cannot be overemphasised”.
His people-oriented leadership style delivered the zone to APC and, with the enough resources at his (Ajadi) disposal, he will do better for the zone. With the new development, Kwara State is set to now witness rapid economic and social growth and enjoy the dividends of democracy like it is being experienced in Lagos.”Yusuf also congratulated the Governor-elect, Abdulrahman Abdulrasaq and other elected public officers on the party’s platform, urging them to fulfill the yearnings of Kwara people.
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