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Address To Journalists At A Press Conference On The New Development Within The All Progressives Congress (APC) In Kwara State

It is our pleasure inviting you again to discuss new developments within our party, the All Progressives Party( APC)  in Kwara State in particular, and Nigeria as a whole.

Meanwhile, let me quickly commiserate with the immediate family and the good people of Kwara State on the death of our father, Late Justice Mustapha Akanbi.

Justice Akanbi lived for everything just, right and fair. He was integrity personified. He was the last man standing in his generation. May Allh grant him Aljanah Firdaus. Amin.

We call on the government of Kwara State  to immortalise this incorruptible jurist.

Gentlemen of the Press, as you are aware , the month of May 2018, was dedicated to our party congresses, starting from the ward on 5th May 2018, the local government on 12th May 2018 to the state congress which was held on 19th May 2018 at the Arca Santa Arena Ilorin.

There are a number of issues that arose even while we were preparing for the congresses.

We are aware that a few clique led by the outgoing National Publicity Secretary of the APC, Mallam  Bolaji Abdullahi serving the interest of the senate president, Dr. Bukola Saraki in the National Working Committee of the party has been pouring venom on party leaders because of the humiliation he and his godfather suffered on account of  the well-organized State congress at Arca Santa Arena, Ilorin.

Our congress was not only well attended , it had all relevant agencies of government saddled with the responsibility of overseeing party activities in attendance.

We must restate here, what led to the Arca Santa congress. We had a running battle with the Balogun-Fulani led executive committee during the ward congress when we were looking for nomination forms after we had successfully paid prescribed fees by the national secretariat into the designated banks.

In one day (May 4th 2018) and within 3 hours, two notices were issued -one announced the closure of purchase of forms by 12 noon and in another breath an extension was given till the midnight.

If not for high handedness, where in the party constitution or congress guidelines is such power given to a state executive committee of the party? What then is the role of the state congress committee set up to monitor Kwara congress by the national secretariat?

In the midst of these irregularities, a few of our members managed to get forms. We went into the congress the following day, even when it was clear the Saraki faction was not ready for a free and fair contest. They were fixated on hand picking would -be executive committee members.

We forced them to proper  congress in places like Oko-Erin ward, Baboko ward and other places. There was violent attack on our members in Budo-Egba ward of Asa local government area of Kwara State and some other places.

There and then, we decided that to prevent loss of lives,  having seen the desperate move of the Saraki faction, we did the local government of 12th May, 2018 separately across the state.

Our local government congress prepared ground for the state congress because it enjoyed wider acceptability amongst our teeming members who are opposed to the impunity that had festered for too long within the Kwara State chapter of APC.

We are equally surprised at the make-belief stories planted in some national newspapers and another local tabloid serving the interest of the Saraki faction. The author labored in vain to cast aspersion on certain personalities and reduce our well -organized and publicised congress to the charade they put together in the government house annex on Ahmadu Bello way Ilorin.

Bolaji Abdullahi has shown time and time that he serves only the interest of his godfather, Sen. Saraki.  Right there at the venue of the Saraki led faction of the state congress in the Banquet Hall of the Government House, he said to the world that no congress held elsewhere in Ilorin would be accepted except theirs'.

When Abdullahi was quoted in the media as ventilating the position of the National Working Committee (NWC), we knew the comedy had been taken to the next level.

The party guidelines for the congress was explicit that, "The election shall take place at the party's state headquarters of All Progressives Congress (APC). If, for any reason, such place becomes unsuitable, the SCC (State Congress Committee) shall identify a convenient and conducive venue for the state congress (provided it is not private residence or office)."

Is the Banquet Hall not an extension of Government House? Why did they fail to comply with party guidelines if they are law-abiding citizens and members of APC? When people eat and drink impunity, they will be deeply sleeping when it will consume them.

The so-called NWC meeting Abdullahi is promoting sat on Oyo State  and other chapters where parallel congresses held and gave political solution. What happened in Kwara that didn't happen in those places?

While we believe in the party and its ability to resolve all knotty issues, we are not closing our eyes to legal options which we know will right all wrongs perpetuated in Kwara State.

We encourage Mr. Bolaji Abdullahi to devote more energy to his gubernatorial pursuit as the only job left for him because his days are numbered at the national secretariat.

We want to emphatically inform our members that we remain determined like the rock of Gibraltar, nothing has changed and we are on top of the matter.

Our mission is to give the good people of Kwara State the better alternative needed through enduring internal democracy within our party and entrench the rule of law. We have reclaimed the party. We shall celebrate together soon.

Alhaji Samari Abdullahi
Deputy Chairman,
All Progressives Congress,
Kwara State chapter
Monday 4th May, 2018

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