The All Progressives Congress (APC) yesterday dissolved the executive committee of the party in Kwara State.
The decision was taken by the party’s National Working Committee (NWC), which also asked a caretaker committee led by Hon. Bashir Bolarinwa to run the party pending the election of new leaders.
Caretaker committees will be appointed at the ward and local government levels.
The dissolved state executive committee, which is loyal to Senate President Bukola Saraki, is led by Alhaji Ishola Balogun-Fulani, who has been openly castigating the party along with other leaders in the state.
It was learnt that the decision was taken because of alleged disloyalty by the Balogun-Fulani led APC executive.
It was also gathered that the step became necessary to prevent Saraki from “hijacking” the party’s candidates who will be elected at the primaries of APC.
With the development, the party has been handed over to critical stakeholders led by the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed.
Mohammed and stakeholders on Sunday, at a meeting in Oro, called for the dissolution of the former executive.
A statement by APC National Chairman Adams Oshiomhole and National Secretary Mai Mala Buni said: “The National Working Committee (NWC) at its meeting of 30th July 2018 examined the unfolding developments within the party in Kwara State, specifically the irregularities that characterised the conduct and outcome of the Congresses that produced the leadership of the party at all levels (Ward, Local Government and State).
“The committee also reviewed the actions of some leaders of the party that emerged from the above congress who participated in an open rally calling on the Senate President to defect to the PDP.
“The National Working Committee, after a careful and exhaustive deliberation on this and other developments in the State Chapter of the party, and pursuant to the provisions of Article 13.4(xvi) and (xvii) of the party’s constitution invoked its power as enshrined therein and hereby resolves as follows:
“To dissolve all party organs from Ward, Local Government and State Executive of the party in Kwara State.
“To constitute Caretaker Committee at all levels of the party organ at: (a) Ward, (b) Local Government; and (c ) State Executive Committees of the All progressives Congress in Kwara State.
“That Hon. Bashir Bolarinwa shall and is hereby appointed as the chairman of the Caretaker Committee of the State Executive Committee of APC in Kwara State.
“That this shall take immediate effect.”
A top source in the party said: “It is evident that Senate President Bukola Saraki is defecting to the PDP with his supporters. He cannot approbate and reprobate at the same time. We are therefore calling a spade a spade.
“The dissolved APC executive council is loyal to Saraki. Their plot is to influence the primaries of our party in Kwara State and make sure they impose candidates on us.
“To start the process, the sacked APC leadership, in an apparent show of indiscipline, was part of those who asked Saraki to defect to PDP. We will not tolerate brigandage.”
In a statement yesterday, Mohammed said the APC would not be left in the hands of double agents.
Reacting to Alhaji Jimoh Balogun’s query of his membership of the APC, he said: “The issue of my membership of the APC, as well as my contributions to the growth of the party in Kwara and indeed in Nigeria is settled and not subject to any contestation.
“For those who may be engaging in mischief over this, the massive turnout of APC members and supporters to welcome me during my trip home this past weekend for a stakeholders’ consultative meeting should serve as ample confirmation.
“The truth is that those who are making this allegation are the ones who need to validate their membership of our great party, since they have left no one in any doubt about their status as ‘double agents’. Alhaji Balogun is one of the three Kwara senatorial chairmen who recently called on their leader to take them out of the APC. As far as our members are concerned, these Janus-faced people are just waiting to crash the APC in Kwara before they escape to the other side.
“What has rattled them so much, however, is our decision not to allow them to actualise their nefarious plan. That decision was concretised this past weekend when the stakeholders’ meeting resolved, among others, that the current executive committee of the APC in Kwara should be dissolved and a new congress organised at all levels to produce a new set of party executives.
“The stakeholders also want those who got various appointments under the pretext of being APC members to resign immediately or be fired.
They said: “Now that the wheat has been separated from the chaff, APC members and supporters in Kwara are determined to strengthen the party, open its doors to hordes of those willing to join and reposition it ahead of the 2019 general election, with a view to delivering the state to President Muhammadu Buhari. On this, there is no going back.”
Speaking with reporters in Ilorin before the Kwara exco was dissolved, APC Kwara South senatorial chairman Alhaji Jimoh Balogun, said the state party executive led by Balogun-Fulani, remained loyal to the party at the national level.
Alhaji Balogun, who said that they had not left APC, added that members were waiting for the directive from their political leader Dr. Bukola Saraki.
He said members of the National Assembly who defected to the PDP last week did so on personal instances.
The party leader also said that events had overtaken a call by three senatorial chairmen of the party on the Senate President to take them out of APC, explaining that series of meetings had been held on grievances raised, adding that the outcome of those meetings was being awaited.
He said the state executives were duly elected to serve for a tenure of four years (2018-2022)
“That we advise Lai Mohammed to join hands with the authentic elected APC executive in Kwara state led by Hon. Balogun Fulani as we prepare for 2019 general elections.
“That Lai Mohammed is a Kwaran in the diaspora with antics of surfacing during election period only.
“That Lai Mohammed did not vote in Kwara state during the presidential election that brought in President Muhammadu Buhari.
“That Lai Mohammed has contributed nothing to APC in Kwara state since he became a minister.”