The bubble is about to burst on the differences among key stakeholders in the All Progressives Congress, APC, in Kwara State as party members accuse Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq of sidelining party leaders in governance.
Addressing a press conference in Ilorin, Kwara APC Vice Chairman, Chief Sunday Oyebiyi, said the party had witnessed “peace of the grave yard” even as party leaders tried to paper over the cracks.
His words: “At this juncture, we need to reiterate that contrary to the norm, there is a gaping disconnect between the Governor and the party and between the Governor and revered party elders. There is no crisis within the party.
“This scenario has been in place since after the party primaries, during and indeed after the elections. Severally, party elders had tried to wade into the matter by meeting with the State Party Chairman, the Hon. Minister of Information and the Governor himself. However, a follow up meeting with the Governor to resolve the areas of differences has not been possible because the Governor has refused to grant audience to the elders.
“Suffice to say that while we blame the aggrieved Exco members for taking the party for granted, it is however a case of the proverbial ‘hand of Esau and the voice of Jacob’. All indications point to the Governor being behind the rebellion of this group. It is a well-known fact that all hands were on deck during the election under the aegis of one APC, it was after victory had been won, that splinter groups with a recurring “AA” acronym began to spring up.
“The promoters of these groups have acted in ways inimical to the constitution of the party. Their activities presuppose a parallel structure to the party structure and they have bandied the name of the Governor as giving approval to their activities. Not once did the Governor or his representatives come out to denounce them, rather they are financed from Government House. The turn coat publicity secretary has revealed that much in his garrulous radio programmes.
Oyebiyi warned that the soul of APC is “threatened by political marauders” even as he urged all genuine party members to join us in the tortuous task of saving our party from leeches and serial Jobbers.”
The differences in the party had reached a boiling point last week when hoodlums allegedly sponsored by some disgruntled executive members of the party attacked the State party chairman at Shao. The splinter group had also accused the Chairman of refusing to render account on party finances.
But Oyebiyi debunked the allegation of lack of accountability and said: “any allusion that Bolarinwa’s leadership was not accountable, transparent and fair is a disservice and a diversion from the main antics of the so called aggrieved group.”
He said “as members of the same exco with Bolarinwa, he carries members along, consulting, seeking divergent opinions and ensuring consensus in a manner that is satisfactory to all. The hues and cries from these aggrieved and indeed disgruntled elements within our fold is as a result of them not being able to have the chairman buy into their politics of ‘money for hand, back for ground’ arrangement,” he said.
On the issue of accountability on the party’s funds, he said “how else will Bolarinwa be expected to be transparent when its operating guidelines require not less than three party officials including the secretary who is part of these aggrieved excos to sign cheque books?
“Why would the secretary, Ishowo who is a key signatory to the party’s financial records and cheque books claim ignorance of how donations from aspirants were expended?
“In addition to being a key signatory to the party’s accounts, Ishowo is also the only receiver of the account’s transaction alert from banks on behalf of the party. If they are sincere about their request for accounts of the donations after more than a year then the secretary who is their ring leader and receives bank alert should provide it unless there is substantiated evidence that the chairman directly collected any of the donations,” said Oyebiyi.
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