Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja
The crisis rocking the Kwara State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) took another dimension yesterday with a group within the party, which identified itself as Concerned Kwara APC Elders/Stakeholders describing the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed and Minister of State for Transport, Gbemisola Saraki as paper-weight politicians with no electoral value.
The concerned elders, which is a faction loyal to the state governor, Abdulrahaman Abdulrazaq, also declared support for the APC National Caretaker Committee Chaired by Yobe State Governor, Mai Mala Buni for the removal of Hon. Bashir Bolarinwa as the state party Chairman.
Another faction led by Mr. Iyiola Oyedepo, had on Tuesday while addressing press conference in Abuja rejected the removal of Bolarinwa by the Buni committee.
The Chairman of Kwara APC Elders Forum, Mr. Kunle Suleiman, while fielding questions from journalists said: “Those ministers and association of failed governorship aspirants can come to Abuja to say nonsense but they are just paperweight politicians. They have no influence at the grassroots. Even a professor, like Oba Abdulrasheed who prides himself as a former university vice-chancellor, would still have to come to the grassroots to learn”.
On his part, Senator Suleiman Ajadi said the two ministers are presidential appointees who lack the capability to win elections.
“Ministers are not elected officials. President Muhammadu Buhari picked them not based on their capability to win elections. If you check the pedigree of the two ministers you will understand what I am saying that they do not have the capacity to win elections.”
Addressing journalists on behalf of Kwara APC stakeholders earlier, Ambassador Nurudeen Muhammed, described the decision by the national leadership of the party as a life-saving decision.
He stated: “First, we throw our weight behind the decision of the national headquarters of our party to appoint a dogged, committed and level-headed party chieftain, Alhaji Abdullahi Samari as the Acting Chairman of the party.
“This indeed is a life-saving decision for the party that had been in the vice grip of power drunk and self-conceited individuals whose only loyalists are garrulous and selfish few whose only anger with the governor is that he did not make himself a yes-man or stooge through whom the public vault is thrown open.”
Muhammed said for many months, the former chairman and ‘his co-travelers’ launched a campaign of calumny against the governor to the chagrin of Kwara public who wondered what could warrant these party chieftains to attack their own governor despite his glaring record of achievements in less than two years.
He noted it was on record that the aggrieved members have a weekly programme to denigrate the governor, his administration, and the House of Assembly, adding that they never missed any opportunity to denigrate the office of the governor.
He explained that contrary to their claims, Bolarinwa was rightly removed as chairman of the party for his many anti-party conducts, which include but are not limited to open condemnation and denigration of the achievements of the APC-led government for his own selfish objectives, among others.