The crisis rocking the Kwara state chapter of the All Progressive Congress, APC, seems to be taking a new dimension that a real party loyalist, most especially those that risked their lives and worked tirelessly to ensure the party took over the control of the governance in the state from the former Senate President, Dr Abubakar Bukola Saraki in the last general elections are praying not to go.
Although, all that is happening in the APC at moment seems not to be new to political analysts, due to the ways and manners the primary elections were conducted without producing a unanimous candidate for the party.
It would be recalled that many of those aspirants during the primaries were laying claims to victory especially, Professor Shuaibu Oba AbdulRaheem, who was boasting of having led the polls beforehand until it was truncated.
The choice of a direct primary by the party was believed to be programmed to fail, considering how cumbersome it could be. It eventually turned out to be true for it did not provide the clear winner.
Nevertheless, the APC is expected to placate all parties which was evidenced with the spirit of sportsmanship displayed by Hon. Mashood Mustapha and Mallam Salihu Mustapha.
The duo had every opportunities to endanger the chances of the party to produce a candidate in the governorship election, with their unceremonious disqualification at the early hour of the primary through a broadcast from Radio Nigeria, Idofian.
In the eventuality of one of the duo contesting the disqualification at a law court, the party would have lost out totally in putting forward a candidate for the governorship election, just like what happened in River State, where APC, could not present a governorship candidate for the last general election.
However, these fears were allayed when the National Chairman of the Party, Comrade Adam Oshiomhole and other national leaders quickly appealed to the duo and issued them apology letters on behalf of the APC with promises of federal appointments.
All the contestants finally sheathe their swords after the declaration of Alhaji AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq as the winner of the primary who was the anointed candidate of the Presidency and national leaders of the party.
APC eventually defeated a force that has been dominating Kwara politics for sixteen years, with well-rooted structures across the political wards in the state.
This was made possible by the unity amongst the political gladiators across the state who were opposed to Bukola Saraki.
They all jettisoned their personal interests and deployed resources in favour of APC and all its candidates to ensure they came out victorious.
AbdulRahman finally swore-in as the Executive Governor of the state with the hope that he would operate an all-inclusive government.
Now, AbdulRahman is fully in the position of authority and many see him as someone they must please and do his biddings in order to secure his favours in terms of political patronage, like; appointments, contracts and many more.
But, the governor needs to realise that it is too early for his government to be giving some people attention due to their destructive moves to destabilize the party that worked for his victory.
This includes suggestions that he must hijack the party structure and make his loyalists executive of the party from the state chairman to all the 16 local governments. Is it because of 2023 or what?
It all started as a rumour until Ilorin South party chairman was removed from office in an unceremonious manner.
This was despite the warning from the State Working Committee to all the party members across the state to follow the party laid-down procedures before removing their chairmen or other executive members that must have committed one offence or the other.
It was further alleged that some people gathered signatures of votes of no confidence on the state chairman of the party, Hon. Bashir Omolaja Bolarinwa in all 16 local governments.
Some party stalwarts revealed that those people were being sponsored by the Governor AbdulRahman.
However, many doubt these allegations with reports that such people are attention seekers and sycophants that only looking for ways to get the governor’s attention.
Although, a source close to the Governor revealed he knows nothing about these moves to replace some party leaders at the local government levels.
It will be politically unwise for a governor who emerged on the love of the majority to commence premature politicking with 2023 in view without any tangible achievement.
However, a statement released by the state’s APC chairman, Bashir Omolaja Bolarinwa, stated that “in the aftermath of the wanton and reckless removal of Party officers by a congregation of disgruntled, selfish and attention seeking elements in the party, those involved must desist from perpetrating unconstitutionality and discord within the party”
“The APC decries a situation where one would labour to build a house and be hell-bent on destroying same.”
He stated further that “those who have murdered sleep would no longer find peace, as all the organs of the party would no longer condone such recklessness and activities inimical to the growth and unity of the party through the application of appropriate sanctions.”
He, however, declared as null and void, all suspension of officers embarked upon without due diligence and as laid down by the party’s constitution.
The above statement from number one party man in the state and many more stories are pointers that all is not well within APC in Kwara.
There were also a lot of secret complaints by some party gladiators that they were not being carried along in the constitution of the cabinet and governance of the state by the Governor.
Although, the Governor already stated that he was ready to set a standard in Kwara politics — a departure from the former government that was criticized for sharing public funds to please a few politicians in the state with little left for capital projects.
However, the governor must equally know that party members should not be totally sidelined because many of them invested heavily in the election that produced him.
Such people deserved to be given a sense of belonging in the governance of the state.
It is however expected that AbdulRahman should carry politicians along, most especially the experienced ones.
Since he has a blueprint of how the state is to be repositioned, his appointees must be people with similar ideals with sincerity of purpose in order not to compromise on preset standards.
In conclusion, the hard-earned political liberation many Kwarans are believed to be enjoying at the moment must be well-managed and judiciously guided.
The governor must know that the political future of one-time opposition members largely lies in the outcome of his administration. Moreover, it is time to prove to the people that he has what it takes to call the shots in the state.
Kayode Abdulazeez is an Ilorin based journalist and public affairs analyst.