Members of the Kwara state chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) loyal to the minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, on Wednesday went spiritual over alleged maltreatment in the hands of leadership of the party in the state.
The event, themed, God Save APC, was characterized by inter-religious prayers, as both Islamic and Christian clerics, Alfa Shuaib Cisse and Reverend Gabriel Olaoye led prayers for unity in the party and successful general elections come 2023.
The party also used the occasion to pray for President Muhammadu Buhari in choosing the right and credible person as his successor in 2023.
Various speakers at the event, who include 193 ward chairmen, 16 local government chairmen and youth in the party, as well as party stalwarts, said that they remained marginalized and disenfranchised despite complaints lodged with the national leadership of the party.
The people lamented that the ongoing crisis in the party portends grave danger for the fortune of the party in the 2023 and subsequent elections in the state.
They said that the war of attrition rocking the party is also capable of leading to mass defection of members to other parties in the state.
They, therefore, urged the leadership of APC in the state and Abuja to urgently intervene and salvage the situation.
Addressing the gathering on behalf of the 193 APC ward chairmen, AbdulRasheed AbdulRauf, said peace had allegedly eluded the party since the inauguration of the APC government in the state in 2019.
“The house is falling and we hereby appeal to our local government and state leadership to take urgent measures to retain our members at the grassroots, otherwise, the horse will bolt out of the stable”, he said.
Also speaking on behalf of the 16 APC local government chairmen in the state, Engineer Muyideen Shittu, accused Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq of disenfranchising party members during the registration/revalidation exercise.
“This we believe should not be the attitude of a party that is desirous of winning future elections in the state.
“So, we want to also let you know that we are under serious pressure in our various local government areas, particularly as the 2023 general elections draws near and majority of our members are desirous of contesting for elective positions. The APC broom is falling, we need to put it together quick and fast”, he said.
In his speech, Yinka Raji, who spoke on behalf of the Kwara APC youth said that they were not carried along in the running of the APC government in the state.
“We want to let you know on behalf of all the majority of our members at the local government levels have continued to put pressure on us and they are eager to know whether we should continue to remain in the party and suffer or take our exit from the party.
“This is in the light of the fact that the 2023 general elections is fast approaching and our members are desirous of contesting for various elective positions”, he said.
Responding, the factional chairman, Hon Bashir Bolarinwa, assured the party members of transmitting their grievances to the appropriate quarters.
“We will take all your complaints to their doorsteps. We hope this time around they will listen to us.I have the feelings and I pray for them that Almighty God will open their eyes and make them to realise that those of us in the APC Loyal are the true members of the party in the state.
“If APC must make any meaningful impact in the state, then Abuja must listen to our pleas. They must look into our matter and they must do something positive.
“I hope they will listen, because I am confident that definitely they will not want to lose us.
“Having said that, I want to appeal to all of us once again and I want to tell us that by the grace of God we will have cause to laugh at the end of the day.
“Secondly, we have also prayed for President Muhammadu Buhari as the leader of our party as well as the number one man in Nigeria.
“There is no way our party can be talking of a successor without his important input. We asked God to guide and give him the required wisdom to be able lead the party in choosing a good successor that will keep the flag of the party flying”, he said.
Edited by Felix Ajide