Barely a week after the All Progressives Congress, APC, held its National Convention which ushered in former Nasarrawa Governor, Senator Abdullahi Adamu as its National Chairman, the crisis rocking the Kwara State Chapter of the party has escalated, leading to the mass defection of aggrieved members and their supporters to the Social Democratic Party, SDP.
On Saturday, April 2, 2022, thousands of APC members officially defected to the SDP on allegations of injustice meted on them by the leadership of the APC in the State.
For months, there had been in existence, a parallel Caucus within the Kwara APC fold known as the ‘APC Loyal’, which had its secretariat located along Reservation road, G.R.A, Ilorin, Kwara state capital. They are allegedly loyal to the Minister for Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed.
The factional APC Caucus made up of aggrieved members of the ruling Party at a Media Briefing said that the injustice meted on them by the leadership of the Party led to their dumping the Party and having a parallel Caucus.
Rasak Alabi, Spokesperson of the Group in a statement said that , “The tragedy in the conflict in APC becomes very glaring when those who seek to destroy democracy appear fighting for legitimate aims while its defenders are pictured as repressive reactionaries.
“Curiously after our official complaints to the National Appeal Committee on Registration headed by Mallam Adamu Farouq on the manner the exercise was conducted in Kwara State, we were assured that there would be no party congresses in Kwara until another registration exercise was conducted.
But regrettably this was not to be. With all the promises and assurances given, nothing concrete ever happened in view of the fact that justice itself demands that complainant in a dispute should not be deprived of the fruits of his/her complaints”.
“It is, however, important to note that democracy in the first place is not about isolation or exclusion but more about building those core values in its defense. And the beauty of democracy again is that it provides for a chain of internal mechanism for a peaceful resolution of conflicts rather than coercion.
“Despite our endurance in the face of the inhuman treatment meted us in the party, it will be correct to suggest that the Kwara state governor working in tandem with the former national caretaker committee chairman, Mallam Mai Mala Buni has decided to edge us out of the party against our wish.
“To make matters worse, Senator Abdullahi Adamu who once headed the party’s National Reconciliation Committee that denied us a fair hearing but rather turned himself to Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq’s solicitor and advocate is now the party’s national chairman.
How then can we be hopeful of getting justice in this. circumstance? We do not think we have a future in this party any longer and it would be safer for us to look elsewhere where our democratic views and opinions would be respected”.
“We seize this opportunity to thank our men and women and our numerous supporters for their courage and faith in standing with us. In the past few months, they have become agitated about our continued stay in the party.
This indeed is the beauty of democracy. Politics is a noble undertaking and a vehicle to serve the interest of the public and improving their lives. The delay in our response has been a product of a rather long and far reaching consultations and dialogue with majority of our leaders, elders and supporters across the state.
The aggrieved members were received into the SDP by the National Chairman of the Party, Olu Agunloye, who was represented by the Party’s National Publicity Secretary, Rufus Aujenigba.
The SDP welcomed them Into their fold, promising that equity and justice are their watchword as the 2023 General Election draws closer.
“If the national leadership of the party does not believe that we are politically relevant in the state, we need to make them understand also that the man they queued behind is also a blown-out fuse and not capable of leading the party to any victory in the state come 2023.
Seated here with us at this press briefing, are all the 193 Ward chairmen, 16 Local Government chairmen and all the State Working Committee members who have jointly decided with our numerous supporters, to announce our official defection and mass movement of our supporters and party members from the APC to SDP”.