Will Tinubu’s reconciliatory move rescue Kwara APC?




Ahmed Tinubu

The Kwara state chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) is noticeably divided and this development is painting the government in the state in bad light. However, there are reconciliatory moves going on. Will the initiative salvage the situation? TOPE SUNDAY writes.

The crisis rocking the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in Kwara state is festering on a daily basis as its members are divided and queued behind either the governor,  Malam Abdulrahman AbdulRasaq or the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed.

Also, with the development, its members now bear allegiance to either the state governor, or the minister. The last party congresses held in the state made the crisis within the party noticeable as parallel congresses were held. Resultantly, the governor’s camp has Chief Sunday Fagbemi as its chairman; while the minister’s camp is led by a former House of Representatives’ member, Bashir Bolarinwa.

Opposition within

This reporter reliably gathered that both the loyalists of the governor and the ministers have social media platforms where they are promoting the interest of their bosses and at the same time, attacking their perceived enemies. Also, the said platforms are now serving as tools for the opposition to attacking the APC led government in the state.

A recent interview granted exclusively to ThisDay by the governor and a counter one by the minister shown that there are cracks within the party. In the said interview, the governor accused the minister of dehumanising him, alleged that he could not account for the 2019 campaign funds and lastly described him as a political paper weight.

“For example, a few months ago we had some peace meeting with Lai Mohammed at the governor of Niger state house. It was the first time Lai Mohammed would meet the speaker of the Kwara state House of Assembly. Is that the kind of person who is making noise about politics and governance in Kwara and you want me to waste my time responding? Lai cannot win an election in his ward. They’re good with social media noise,” Gov. Abdulrasak had said.

But reacting in another interview, the minister called the governor “a deeply troubled soul, who should not be elected into a public office.”

He said, “I see the governor as a deeply troubled soul. Honestly, because it takes a deeply troubled soul to make the kind of statements he is making. One, he said he is a person that can stay in a place for 10 days, without talking to anybody, which means a person like that has no business being in politics. A person like that should not be elected to any office at all, talk more of being a governor.”

Reconciliation

The governor gave a hint in his interview with ThisDay, on how the National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, had asked him not to further engage Alhaji Mohammed in any further public accusations. To many, it is a sign that the former governor of Lagos state is interested in resolving all the in-fighting within the Kwara APC.

Barely less than a month when the interview was published a photo surfaced online showing Asiwaju and Chief Sunday Fagbemi, a factional chairman and some of his allies. Though, no official statement was issued on the photo, it is gathered that the former governor of Lagos state had a meeting with them in his Abuja home.

Also, about a week or thereabout to his meeting with Fagbemi’s meeting, Asiwaju held another meeting with a faction loyal to the minister and led by Hon. Bashir Bolarinwa in his Abuja home.

Kwara APC stakeholders present at the meeting included a member representing Ojomu/Balogun constituency at the Kwara state House of Assembly, Saheed Popoola; former Gubernatorial Aspirants; Professor Shuaib Oba Abdulraheem, Mr. Shuaib Yamman Abdullahi, Mr. Lukman Mustapha, Mr. Hakeem Lawal and Mr. Tajudeen Audu, among others.

Though, there was also no official statement to explain what transpired at the meeting, this medium reliably gathered that it last for three hours. It was further learnt that the peace meeting allowed the group to tell the former governor of Lagos state what led to the crisis shortly after the electoral victory of the APC during the 2019 general elections in the state.

However, a source told this medium that Tinubu asked the both parties to maintain peace and resolve all their differences for the interest of the ahead of the 2023. He was also qouted to have debunked the media reports that he was in support of either of the factions.

The ripples

Since the pictures taken at the latest meeting convened by Tinubu with Bolarinwa faction of the Kwara  APC surfaced online, many stories which claimed sources at the said meeting had emerged. The stories are divided into two. One claims that Tinubu lampooned the governor for the crisis, the other says, it praised the governor for his performance. The two dissenting stories have also aggravated the hostility in the party.

While some of the governor’s supporters flayed the former governor, the minister’s loyalists saw it as the best way to nail the governor.

A social media user, Famous Olushola, wondering why Tinubu would be interested in resolving the crisis in Kwara APC when, according to him, there are issues in the APC in his home state, Lagos.

Also another user, Usman Garba, faulted the statement credited to Tinubu, and said he believed that as an elder he would not address a sitting governor in such language.

But another user, Bamidele Kabiru, knocked the governor, alleging that he was responsible for the crisis within the party and urged him to allow peace to reign.

Way forward

However, as the former governor of Lagos state initiated the reconciliatory move between the two factions in the state, a social media user, Akintade Job, called on Tinubu to also convene a general meeting that will have all the gladiators in the crisis in the party including the governor and the minister in attendance. This, he said, will bring about a lasting peace in the party.

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