The fight between Kwara Gov. AbdulRahman AbdulRasq on one hand and the Culture and Information, Alhaji Lai Mohammed and his Transport Ministry (State) counterpart, Gbemi Saraki, on the hand has consumed the state caretaker committee chairman of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Bashir Omolaja Bolarinwa.
Bolarinwa, who is in Mohammed/Saraki’s camp was sacked by the Mala Buni-led APC national committee with Abdullahi Sanmari, the hitherto deputy chairman of the party named in his place.
Kwara APC has been polarized over leadership battle between Gov AbdulRasaq and the two ministers.
The fight came to a head with the sack of Bolarinwa during the week to the chagrin of the party members in the state who are at the receiving end of the national committee’s decision.
They voiced their discountenance at a press conference in Ilorin on Wednesday.
Reading a prepared text at the party secretariat, leader of the 12-man delegation, Akogun Iyiola Oyedepo, said, “We heard it as a rumour until we came face to face with the secretary of the National Caretaker Committee of the APC, Senator John Akpanudoedehe on January 12, 2021. It was the secretary that told us that APC has dethroned our chairman, Bashir Omolaja Bolarinwa on January 11, 2021, by giving a letter of appointment to his deputy, Samari Abdullahi.
“It should be recalled that Bashir Bolarinwa became the chairman of APC October, 2018 and he led the party to 100 per cent victory in the 2019 general elections. He, along with other state chairmen of APC in Nigeria, was sworn in as the Kwara State chairman of the caretaker committee on December 11, 2020.”
On why the chairman was purportedly removed, he said: “The secretary of the National Caretaker Committee told us that the Chairman is said to have been removed on the complaint of the Governor of Kwara State, Abdulrahaman Abdulrazak as he claimed that he could not work with the former.
“The complaint was sustained and made a subject of removal as a result of a connivance between the Governor of Kwara State and his Niger State counterpart and friend, Governor Sanni Bello. The content of the complaints was not made available, neither to the Critical Stakeholders of the party in Kwara State nor to the Chairman, Hon Bolarinwa.
“The decision of the Caretaker Committee was said to be based on the recommendations of the North Central Zone of the party, under the Chairmanship of Sanni Bello. Governor Sanni Bello was said to have recommended that the authentic Chairman of the party should be removed and be made a Commissioner in the cabinet of Kwara State.
“He also recommended that Abdullai Sanmari, the crony of the governor of Kwara State and the leader of Abdulrahman’s splinter AA group within Kwara APC be made the caretaker chairman. With this recommendation, the smallest of the four tendencies that formed the new APC after the exit of Dr Bukola Saraki is now given a political edge that can never work.
“The whole thing appears to be a ploy by the National leadership of the APC to save their unpopular friend from political drowning at the coming congresses of the party in Kwara State,” he said.
On their resolutions, he said: “We have resolved to reject the verdict of the National Caretaker Committee on the purported removal of Hon Bashir Omolaja Bolarinwa. It is worth nothing more than the value of the paper on which the letter given to Hon Sanmari Abdulahi is written.”