By Hammed Shittu
The internal crisis rocking ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in Kwara State has continued unabated as some aggrieved members of state executive committee of the party accused the state Chairman, Hon. Bashr Bolarinwa, of high handedness in the day-to-day administration of the party. But, in a swift reaction, a group in the party, Kwara APC Integrity Vanguards (KAIV), described the allegations of the aggrieved APC executive members as illogical allegations drawn from speculations against the party chairman and the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Muhammed, with a sinister motives to heat up party politics in the state.
The party had been enmessed in internal crisis following the electoral victory of the party during the last year’s general elections.
The crisis, according to THISDAY checks, had splited the state executive council of the party into two camps in the state as one group was believed to be loyal to Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrasaq, while the second group was said to be loyal to the Minister of Information and Culture.
However, speaking at a press conference in Ilorin, the spokesperson of the group of the state exco said to be loyal to govenor, Alhaji Abdullahi Abubakar, said “all the actions and attitude of Hon. Bolarinwa acted against the constitution of the APC.”
Abubakar, who is also the Deputy Chairman of the party in the state, added that “this ugly internal crisis in the party in Kwara State was occasioned by dissatisfaction expressed by a bloc of the state executive committee against the leadership of Hon. Bolarinwa.”
The group explained that “the state executive as constituted today is a fusion of varying interest groups arising from the various consensus and compromises necessitated by the need to temper all personal interests for the general goal of achieving the much desired victory envisioned as the end result of ‘O to ge’ mantra.”
“To the glory of God, Kwarans in their right judgement entrusted our great party with the leadership of the state. We hold this trust and will continue to do so in high esteem.
“To think therefore that the state chairman still runs the party like a sole administrator without recourse to any level of a properly conveyed executive committee in a party that prides itself as the champion of anti-corruption, transparency and accountability offends our sensibility.
“This certainly betrays the fundamental principle upon which our party was built and should not be allowed to continue,” he said.
The group alleged that “as at today, there is no evidence of a properly documented record of the party’s financial transactions. No records of inflow and outflow of funds. No evidence of compliance with the principle of internal control.”
The APC leader said the chairman had made sustained efforts to frustrate the audit process in clear breach of the extant provisions of the party’s constitution he swore to uphold.
“More worrisome is the refusal of Hon. Bolarinwa to acquire a befitting accommodation for the party even after donations running into millions of naira were sought and received from our party stakeholders when most of them were still aspirants.
“Regrettably today, we (as a party) are housed in a wing of an apartment used for personal and political purpose by one of our respected party chieftains. How does asking for the whereabouts of the money meant for the office accommodation become a crime in a party like ours? All that is requested is accountability and nothing more,” he alleged.
Meanwhile, members of a political group in the party loyal to the party chairman and Mohammed under the aegis of KAIV, have reacted to the allegations.
KAIV, in a statement in Ilorin over weekend, described the allegations of the aggrieved APC exco members as illogical drawn from speculations against the party chairman and the minister with a sinister motives to heat up party politics in the state.
The statement signed by its National Coordinator and Publicity Secretary, Abdullahi Yinka Onimasa and Kayode Aliyu Bamidele, respectively, said: “The party leaders were acting divisive script of their sponsor, targeted at our state chairman, Hon. Bolarinwa, the Minister for Information and Culture and other notable leaders of our party who have invested their times, energies and resources, but have today become targets of their daily verbal missiles. This is a clear case of an ingrate king who go for the jugular of those who made him.”
“First, we want everyone to know that this is not the first time these desperate stomach infrastructure and appointment seekers who now described themselves as aggrieved persons will be throwing illogical allegations drawn from their speculations against the party chairman with a sinister motives to heat up party politics, stir up the chairman’s emotions so as to give their power obsessed sponsor avenue to dismantle the validly constituted party structures and replace with their co-desperate stomach infrastructure, appointment seeking parasites.
“Bashir Bolarinwa, an experienced party man and an advocate of party disciplines and supremacy understands all their evil plots and will never be distracted by sponsored attacks of few frustrated elements acting scripts of their sponsor within the party.
“It is so tiring that these people keep exposing themselves to public ridicules with their unintelligent speculations against Hon. Bolarinwa,” he said.The group added that Bolarinwa did not mismanage the party’s funds which came in form of donations.
“How else will Bolarinwa be expected to be transparent when the party operating guidelines require not less than three party officials including the secretary who’s part of these aggrieved excos to sign chequebooks?
“Why will a party Secretary, Alhaji Salman Ishowo, who is a key signatory to party’s financial records and chequebooks, claim ignorant of how donations from aspirants were expended?
“In addition to being a key signatory to all party’s accounts, Salman Ishowo is also the only receiver of the account transaction alert from banks on behalf of the party.
“Where then is sincerity in their agitations when they turned their backs to deny party’s decision which they were not only part of but also benefited from?
“The State Chairman, who’s found to have been rejecting valuable gifts and gratification from aspirants cannot be alleged of misappropriating party fund which has a record.
“It’s also on good record that the party conducted primaries which was fully sponsored by the state as it was open and verifiable that no kobo came from the national headquarters for that purpose. Special thanks for the efforts and the proactivenesss of the leadership of Alhaji Lai Mohammed and the state chairman that our primaries did not end up the way of Zamfara State.
“It is safe to conclude that the chairman has not been the one frustrating the party’s audit process but the incompetency and insincerity of the auditor, pursuit of needless vendetta are responsible for his failure.
“It is also important to state that all the records of the party’s financial transactions are correct, up to date and intact. So, let’s abide by the party constitution.
“A genuine party member will not frown at the present exercise being embarked upon by the state executives ably led by Bashir Bolarinwa. Or why should visitation aimed at strengthening the party be a problem to them if they are not having a hidden agenda,” the statement said.