With the Exit of Dissidents, AbdulRazaq Rules Kwara APC

Hammed Shittu writes that Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq has completely taken over the entire structure of the All Progressives Congress in Kwara State, following the exit of his former allies

After a long battle over the control of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Kwara State, the state governor, Alhaji AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq has finally taken  over the party structures across the 193 wards ahead of the 2023 general election.

With the exit of the governor’s political foes from the party to the Social Democratic Party (SDP), the APC is currently setting a new political order  that guarantee its return to power in the next poll.

At the time of this report, the governor  remained the main decider of who gets what as far as the elective positions are concerned in the state;  as he has taken firm control  of the party.

His men are  positioned across the political structures of APC so as to achieve his second term bid. With this  development, there is not likely to be any opposition on his path within the APC.The governor’s group which received the greenlight from the national secretariat of the APC has Prince Sunday Fagbemi as Chairman. Consequently, the new state chairman has constituted  all other executive members at the state, local and wards. This finally laid to rest all squabbles over  control of the party.

Speaking at an event in Ilorin recently, Fagbemi  warned the new executive members of the party and aspirants to desist from acts of indiscipline  that can affect ongoing repositioning of the party for  electoral success in the 2023 general election.

 He said  any one of them caught engaging in  acts of indiscipline would be sanctioned.

He stated, “the current leadership of the party in the state is poised to unite the party and would not allow any act that would thwart the move so as to ensure the party wins the next elections.”

Fagbemi added that, the leadership was also in touch with other aggrieved members in order to reconcile them.

 The chairman noted that, “the administration of Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq has achieved a lot since assumption of office on May 29, 2019 and it is for us to put our house in order so as to ensure electoral victory of APC.

He said: “Putting our house in order cannot happen without discipline within the party. We will therefore begin  by ensuring that there’s discipline within the party.

 “The party shall also embark on genuine reconciliation to win back our aggrieved members. We shall not relent in our efforts to unite the party and match collectively to 2023, to not only deliver victory for all across board, but to do so with better margin compared to what we had in 2019

 Fagbemi also used the occasion to roll out the achievements of the present administration in the state especially in the areas of education, health, water, roads, empowerment, among others.

He therefore, urged the members of the party to commence intensive mobilisation across the three senatorial districts of the state in order to garner more support for the electoral victory of the party during the next elections in the state.

Also speaking, the state governor, Alhaji AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq  said that the ruling APC can only beat its own excellent record in the delivery of its campaign promises in basic education, healthcare, public funded-safety net programmes, gender mainstreaming and youths empowerment.

 The governor,  who spoke at the inauguration of the new APC state executive members in Ilorin said: “Kwarans have resolved not to ever hand the reins of government to wandering wolves and their allies.”

The governor said no true progressive will leave the party under which Kwara is fast regaining its lost glories, adding that whatever disagreements among brothers can always be resolved if those involved are committed to the growth of the state.

AbdulRazaq added: “Today represents a new beginning for our party in Kwara State. I congratulate all members of the new state executive committee. Let me remind you that this position is a trust. You now carry the mandate of over 400,000 members of APC in Kwara State to lead us to another victory.

 “You are coming on board at a crucial moment. No genuine progressive, whatever the disagreements, will sabotage the collective resolve of the people of Kwara State to solidify the victory of 2019 in 2023.

“From basic education, healthcare delivery, provision of water, infrastructural development and access to the rural areas, prudent management of resources, gender inclusion and youths empowerment, safety net for the poor, and welfare of workers, the Otoge administration can only beat its own excellent record. We can do more.

 “What is certain is that Kwara people will never again hand the reins of government to the wandering wolves and their allies. APC is the trusted vehicle to keep the victory of 2019 and no patriot will leave the party.

“So, together with the government, you have a duty to mobilize the people of Kwara State on this just struggle to keep the till from those who perpetrated mindless pilfering of public properties and brought the state on its knees.”
As the state governor, Alhaji AbdulRazaq has taken over the control of the party in the state, his foot soldiers have commenced consultation and to ensure that the governor returns to office for another four-year tenure.

Series of day and nocturnal meetings have commenced with various stakeholders in the state:Youths, royal fathers, women, civil servants, motorbike riders, transport unions leaders, students among others have been involved in the task ahead.

So far,  AbdulRazaq remains the only gubernatorial candidate  in the APC. His banners, billboards among others have littered all the parts of the state ahead of the election.

Following this development, various stakeholders in the state especially the royal fathers  from the state recently paid a solidarity visit to the governor to endorse  his candidature for second term based on his superlative outing in the past three years.

The first royal father to make the endorsement was the state chairman of traditional council and Emir of Ilorin, Alhaji Ibrahim Sulu-Gambari during his visit to Government House, Ilorin for courtesy call and to celebrate with the Governor on the just concluded Ramadan Fast.

At the event, the Emir declared  that, the state governor, Alhaji AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq deserved a second term in office come 2023 in view of his outstanding performance  since assumption of office on May 29, 2019.

The tradition of paying of homage to the sitting governor dates back to the colonial years.

According to him, “The Governor AbdulRazaq has been hardworking like a field man.

 “I think he spends more time on the field (attending to public needs) than in his office.

The Emir added, “I wish the Governor is willing to do another term in office. It is an individual’s right assigned in the constitution of Nigeria that the Governor that spent four years in the first term can also contest for a second term. 

The Governor, for his part, commended the Emir for his fatherly roles and for promoting peace and cultural heritage of the Ilorin Emirate.

He said, “I welcome Your Royal Highness and distinguished members of your entourage to Government House on another occasion of Bareke. This is a tradition that is rooted in history and culture. 

“It is a testament to the excellent relationship between the traditional institution and the government. We do not take that for granted. 

Also, the royal fathers from the Kwara north and south senatorial paid their solidarity to the governor and assured him of their support for second term so as to continue with his good works.

In a statement issued in Ilorin by the governor’s Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Rafiu Ajakaye, the monarchs said, “Your Excellency, you have touched lives all around our communities. 

“We have seen dividends of democracy all around our communities. We are proud to be associated with you and we pray that you will be the person to pilot the affairs of the state in the next four years”.

Etsu Patigi and Vice Chairman State Council of Chiefs Alhaji Ibrahim Umar Bologi II  who spoke on behalf of royal fathers from the North senatorial district of the state said, “when he led other traditional rulers from Kwara North to pay sallah homage to the Governor. 

Other traditional rulers from Kwara North in attendance were the Emir of Lafiagi Ahaji Mohammed-Kudu Kawu; Emir of Kaiama Alhaji Muazu Shehu Omar; Emir of Shonga Dr. Halidu Yahaya; Etsu Tsaragi Alhaji Aliyu Abdullahi Nda Kpoto; Emir of Okuta Alhaji Abubakar Idris; Emir of Ilesha Baruba Professor Halidu Abubakar; and Emir of Yashikra Alhaji Umar Usman Sariki.

Monarchs from Kwara South on the other hand echoed the same sentiments, with the Olofa of Offa Oba Mufutau Gbadamosi Esuwoye II saying the administration of AbdulRazaq has touched virtually every region and sector of the state in a good way. 

“Without mincing words, you have been a great revelation to Kwara State and your disposition at the helm underscores the astoundingly fine qualities you exhibit as the Chief Executive Officer of our dear state,” he said.

“Therefore, it has been a sojourn of hope under your leadership, and hopefully, we can make it a journey of more fulfillment with more delivery of dividends of democracy to the common man. 

Other Kwara South first class monarchs in attendance were the Olomu of Ajase-Ipo Oba Ismail Alebiosu; Olomu of Omu-Aran Oba AbdulRaheem Adeoti; Olosi of Osi Oba Saliu Adasofegbe; Olupako of Share Oba Haruna Olawale Sulaiman; Alofa of Iloffa Oba Samuel Dada; and representatives of Elerin of Erin-Ile and the Olusin of Isanlu-Isin. 

AbdulRazaq appealed to the monarchs to continue to support various initiatives of his administration to secure the state.The governorship election and the contest for state and federal legislature in Kwara promises a lot of spectacles, as former allies of the governor who have left him to opposition  political parties like PDP, SDP and YPP are working day and night to repositioning themselves for the task ahead.

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