The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, yesterday ordered all the members of the Reformed All Progressives Congress (R-APC) in Kwara State, who are in the camp of the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, currently occupying boards of parastatals at the federal level to resign with immediate effect or risk being sacked.
Also, the minister has expressed the intention of the federal government to dissolve the state working committee of APC led by Alhaji Isola Balogun Fulani, and conduct new congresses for the wards, local governments and state levels.
But in a swift reaction, Fulani said yesterday that he remains the authentic chairman of the party in the state, adding that the party’s state executive committee was duly elected as APC state executive committee for period of your years.
The minister’s threat might not be unconnected with last week’s defection of six members of House of Representatives and two senators from Kwara State that were loyal to Saraki to the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Mohammed, who made the position of the federal government known yesterday at a press conference in his country home, Oro in Irepodun Local Government Area (LGA) of the state, said: “Already, the national leadership of the APC has been directed to compile the list of the affected federal appointees loyal to Saraki in various boards and parastatals in the country while the National Chairman of APC, Adams Oshiomhole, has adopted the dissolution of the state working committee of APC in Kwara State.” The minister said the new development was as a result of the wide consultations with all the stakeholders in the state since last Friday, which climaxed yesterday.
Mohammed explained that there would be another congress from the ward, to the state, that would produce another leadership in the state, saying that the Bashir Bolarinwa’s leadership would hold sway in the state, pending the elections.
The minister stressed that it is unacceptable that members of the party who refused to desert the party would not benefit from the government, while those who have decamped to other political parties would still hold on to the political appointment of a party they have dumped.
He therefore, cautioned that if they fail to resign from the appointments as directed, the federal government would sack all of them unannounced.
The minister, who said the consultation’s that led to the directives in Kwara State was with the knowledge of Oshiomhole, urged members of the party in the state to remain calm.
He, however, noted that the doors of the party are widely open to members who are willing to return to the party.
The minister also exuded confidence that the ruling APC would win the gubernatorial election in the state in 2019 election, adding that the electorate would also vote overwhelmingly for the re-election of President Muhammad Buhari and his Vice, Professor Yemi Osinbajo.
He added that the resolution of the party would be made known to the national leadership of the party, who would also decide the date of new convention for the leadership in the state.
According to him, “For the six members of the House of Representatives to defect from APC in Kwara State to other political parties, we don’t need a rocket science to know that all of them are no longer with us.
“They cannot continue to enjoy the political appointment of a party they have dumped, while those who are our genuine members, still in the party don’t have such benefits.”
But reacting to the minister’s threat, Fulani stated that he is the authentic chairman of APC in the state, adding that it was “only last Wednesday, I attended a meeting of APC States chairmen forum in Abuja.”
According to him, “We were not aware of any APC stakeholders meeting in Oro, as neither myself as the state party chairman nor our Kwara South senatorial district Chairman, Alhaji Jimoh Balogun, convened or attended the meeting.”