Ogunsola remains Kwara APP chairman, says Saraki

Date: 2001-03-19

A vote of no confidence passed on the Kwara State chairman of the All Peoples Party (APP) Professor Albert Ogunsola by a faction on Wednesday, has been dismissed by a stalwart of the party, Olusola Saraki.

Speaking at the end of an emergency meeting with some faithfuls of the party in Ilorin, Saraki declared that the purported removal of Ogunsola was tantamount to "an attempted coup" which had been foiled.

He told reporters; "Gentlemen, what you said yesterday was an attempted coup which has been foiled. Ogunsola remains the authentic chairman of our great party, APP, in the state.

The APP chairman had on Wednesday shunned the swearing-in ceremony of the newly constituted cabinet of the state.

This development was interpreted by some APP stalwarts to mean a show of Ogunsola's disapproval of the new state cabinet which excluded Dr. Femi Ogunsola (a former Health Commissioner in the cabinet.)

Some youths suspected to be from the youth wing of the party, had, few minutes after the swearing-in ceremony, started chanting slogans for Ogunsola's removal.

Besides, on Friday, the crisis worsened at a press briefing in Ilorin, during which the state Secretary of the party, Alhaji Umar Gunu announced the first Vice Chairman of the party, Alhaji Mustapha Ijaya as Ogunsola's successor.

Among others, Gunu cited Article 18(5) of the party's constitution and alleged dictatorial tendencies of the chairman.

However, Saraki sharply criticised the conveners of the press conference, adding that the ward leaders of the party were never consulted, before their action.

He tagged them "dissidents" who acted on their own as he noted that they had been forgiven while a peace and reconciliation group had been constituted to reconcile the waring factions of the party.

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