From Jide Orintunsin, Abuja and Adekunle Jimoh, Ilorin
The Chairman of the Caretaker/Extra-Ordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC) of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Governor Mai Mala Buni, will today in Abuja meet the two factions in the leadership crisis rocking the party in Kwara State.
Sources at the national secretariat of the party told The Nation yesterday that Governor AbdulRahaman AbdulRasak, Minister of Information Lai Mohammed, Minister of State Transportation Gbemisola Saraki, embattled former chairman Alhaji Bashiru Bolarinwa and the newly-appointed Chairman of the state Caretaker Committee, Alhaji Abdullahi Abubakar Samari, are expected at the meeting.
Also billed to attend the meeting are members of the state Elders’ Forum and other stakeholders.
The crisis rocking the party yesterday assumed a new dimension.
One group under the aegis of Ward Chairmen supported Governor AbdulRaman AbdulRazaq and hailed the appointment of Abdullahi Samari as the new state caretaker chairman.
Addressing reporters in Ilorin, the Chairman of the Ward Chairmen, Habib Lawal, said the removal of Bashir Bolarinwa “marks a new dawn for Kwara State APC and offers the party an opportunity to reunite and be focused to support the governor to sustain the delivery of dividends of good governance to the people of the state.”
Lawal, who claimed to speak on behalf of about 141 ward chairmen, said Samari would support the governor to move the state forward.
Said he: “Our resolve to avail ourselves for the continued service of APC and the governor is not negotiable, as we believe this collaboration is in the best interest of Kwarans.
“We hail Governor AbdulRazaq for upholding the integrity of the APC by delivering efficiently on the manifesto we promised Kwara people when we campaigned on the ‘otoge’ mantra.”
Another group, who spoke on behalf of Kwara APC Caretaker Chairmen, described Lawal as an impostor.
Spokesperson for the Caretaker Chairmen, Abubakar Kannike, said the position Lawal is claiming to occupy does not exist in the APC constitution.
He said: “We take this opportunity to state that we will never recognise anyone as state caretaker chairman of APC in Kwara State except Bolarinwa.
“We recognise Samari in the capacity of deputy caretaker chairman for which he was sworn into office by the same Bolarinwa.
“On this note, let us make it clear that the mandate given to us by the National Executive Council of the APC is clear. Thus, we will not tolerate any attempt to undermine or usurp our authorities anymore.
“The only body capable of effecting any change by the party’s constitution remains the party convention and as things stand, that body is yet to be constituted.”
Source: The Nation