Kwara APC crisis worsens as aggrieved members dump party, form "third force"
Some aggrieved members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Kwara State have left to form a new political group known as the Third Force.
The decampees led by Yakubu Gobir, a former governorship aspirant, include APC senatorial chairmen, ward chairmen, local government chairmen, women leaders, youth leaders, as well as other party stalwarts in all the 16 local government areas of the state.
The members who converged on IIorin, the state of capital, on Saturday, accused Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq and his loyalists of not allowing them to participate in the recent membership registration and revalidation exercise of the APC.
The people, who tore their APC membership cards and burnt the party symbol of brooms, also alleged a plot to marginalise them ahead of the 2023 election.
Speaking on behalf of the group, the former state APC senatorial chairman for Kwara Central, Abdulfatai Abdulrahman, said it is impossible to achieve the developmental goals they aim for Kwara under the present leadership of the party.
"As you are all aware, Kwara APC has been enmeshed in one crisis or the other almost immediately after the party’s primary, stretching into the campaign period and lingering up to date.
"The crisis has gotten to its peak with the recent concluded APC membership revalidation and registration exercise in the state that was flawed with deliberate policies and grand orchestration to deregister and disenfranchise selected members of the party.
"The success of a political party is anchored on its popularity, intra party membership cohesion, integrity and sincere commitment to the service of the masses. All these are glaringly diminishing in Kwara APC as it is now.
"A grand design that denied majority of party members the opportunity to register and revalidate their membership across the state is a 2023 permutation agenda. We can never cross our fingers and watch the game from the sideline.
'The deliberate inaction to address the lingering crisis in Kwara APC has become obvious to all discerning minds that the agenda to deregister and refusal to revalidate thousands of members across the state was a grand plot that has the backing of the National Caretaker Committee of the party."
Mr Abdulrahman, however, said that the new party would be unveiled in due course.
This development trails the protracted crisis rocking the state chapter of the party.
Recall that the former Chairman, Bashir Bolarinwa, was removed by the national caretaker committee of the party led by Yobe State Governor Mai Mala Buni and replaced with Abdullahi Samari in January.
This, however, widened the differences between Governor AbdulRazaq and a group of party leaders led by the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed.
The faction loyal to the governor applauded the suspension of Mr Bolarinwa but party members on the side of Mr Mohammed saw the hand of the governor in it and have even been angrier.
Despite the intervention of the national body and executives of the North Central zone of the party, no consensus was reached between the warring factions.
The lingering crisis has degenerated to the point that the nationwide registration was rejected by Mr Mohammed, who believed the process was not transparent and was skewed in favour of Governor AbdulRazaq.
With the unsettled scores, political observers believe if the rift is not laid to rest, it will breed more crises which might spell the doom of the party in forthcoming elections.