Intra-party crisis within Kwara state chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) deepened Thursday as a faction of the party in Oke-Ero local government area of the state sworn-in a new party chairman, Comrade Ifabiyi Raphael.
This followed the purported removal of the party’s local government chairman on the grounds that he was not loyal to the state governor, Mallam AbdulRhman AbdulRasaq.
Speaking during the event in Ilofa, one of major stakeholders of the party in the area, Reverend Bunmi Olusona, said the essence of the event was to swear in a new party chairman and declare full loyalty to the leader of the party in the state, Governor AbdulRahaman AbdulRasaq.
Accordingly he said they needed a party chairman that would be loyal to the state governor, Mallam Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq.
“We are here with our new local government party chairman and all the 10 ward chairmen of APC in the Oke-Ero local government area, including major stakeholders of the party in the local and the state, as well as our state officers. We are here to tell his Excellency that he can depend on this local government 100 per cent.
“The deposed chairman has demonstrated that he is not loyal to Governor Abdulrazaq, and there is no tolerance for that in this local government area. We are only playing rules of politics.
“There are only three rules of politics. The first one is loyalty, the second one is loyalty and the third one is loyalty. If you are the party chairman of this local government, you must demonstrate your 100 per cent loyalty to his excellency and the former chairman failed in that regard”, he said.
The swearing in of the new chairman, Comrade Rapheal, who is from Idofin/Odo-Asin constituency ward, was witnessed by the deputy speaker of the Kwara state House of Assembly, Hon Raphael Adetiba.
Meanwhile, the state APC chairman, Hon Bashir Omolaja Bolarinwa, has dismissed the change saying there was no directive from the national leadership of the party to anyone to hold a congress.
“It is only the national leadership of the party, under Comrade Adams Oshiomhole that has constitutional right to issue directive for congress, which will lead to having a new set of executive at all levels, and since there is nothing like that at the moment, whatever that might have happened at anywhere, either in Oke-Ero or other local governments is effort in futility.
“Although, the happening within the party could be very disturbing but we are already looking into whatever that might have been causing it and I want to believe that it will soon be resolved”.
Also speaking the party Assistant Legal Adviser, Mr Raphael Sunday Asaolu, said: “The people gathering here today are loyalists of Governor AbdulRahaman AbdulRasaq. We are like minds that believe that the governor is our leader. We came together to show the whole world that Oke Ero local government is for the sitting governor.
“We are one as APC but it’s left to each member of the party to pick whoever they believe is their leader between the two gladiators. But for peace to reign it’s advisable for members to recognize Abdulrahman Abdulrasaq as the leader of the party and be loyal to him”.
In his acceptance speech, the new chairman, Comrade Ifabiyi Raphael, said with the support of the party members in Oke-Ero local government, he would run an all inclusive government and promised to always consult widely with the party leaders before taking any critical decision.
“My advice to party faithful is that they should be loyal and honest to governor AbdulRahman Abdulrazaq”.