Lai Mohammed's loyalists dump APC for SDP in Kwara

Lai Mohammed

Lai Mohammed

By Abiodun Esan

All the 193 ward and 16 local governments chairpersons of a faction of Kwara All Progressives Congress, APC loyal to Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the Minister of Information and Culture, as well as Sen. Gbemisola Saraki, the Minister of State for Transportation on Saturday abandoned the party and defected to the Social Democratic Party, SDP.

The APC chieftains abandoned APC alongside and all their working committee members and supporters for SDP.

Mr Rasak Alabi, the Kwara South Senatorial Chairman of factional APC Loyal group, announced their defection to the SDP on Saturday in Ilorin at a news conference attended by members from the 16 local government areas of the state.

He blamed the defection on the failure of attempt to nip the crisis in the chapter of APC in the bud, according to Alabi.

Alabi said: “Consequent upon the wishes of our numerous supporters and the majority of Kwarans, we announce to you today the official defection and mass movement of supporters and party members from the APC to the SOCIAL DEMOCRATIC PARTY (SDP).

“Seated here with us are the 193 ward chairmen, 16 local governments chairmen, and all the working committee members who have jointly decided with our numerous supporters, to announce o you today our defection to the SDP.”

The spokesman of defectors thanked the people of Kwara for their courage and faith in the covenant with the APC loyal.

“In the past few months, Kwarans have become agitated about our continued stay in the party. This indeed is the beauty of democracy.

“Politics is a noble undertaking and a vehicle to serve the interest of the public and improve their lives.

“The delay in our response has been a product of a rather long and far-reaching consultations and dialogue with the majority of our leaders, elders and supporters across the state.

“Gentlemen, if the national leadership of the party does not believe that we are politically relevant in the state, we need to make them understand also that the man they queued behind is also a blown-out fuse not capable of leading the party to any victory in the state come 2023.

“This is a man that got to power through our collective efforts and the support of Kwarans and not his,’ he declared.

Alabi described Gov AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq as a poor manager of victory despite the fact that he was imposed on the party.

“Out of the four tendencies that coalesced to bring him to power, his was the weakest.

“The other three only decided to forgo their personal interests and ambition so that the party would win the 2019 general elections.

“If the primary election that was rigged in his favour was allowed to run its full course, he would have performed woefully.

“He is one man without political clout; a hit and run politician who only appears every election year and disappears without notice because of his poor understanding of politics.

“Even in running the affairs of his administration, the governor never demonstrated that he either knows his job or the enormity of his assignment considering the colour and quality of his cabinet.

“He has personalised governance and reduced it by promoting mediocrity over merit,” Alabi claimed.

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He said that the governor refused to consult with party leaders and elders, like the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed; Minister of State for Transportation, Sen. Gbemisola Saraki; Alhaji Hakeen Lawal; Alhaji Lukman Mustapha; Prof. Oba Abdulraheem, in the affairs of both the party and governance.

“Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq is really not pride to the APC.

“His governance model is nothing to write about when compared to the successes achieved in other APC states considering the quantum of financial resources at his disposal since he assumed office.

“Because of his limitations, the Governor is never comfortable in the midst of educated and competent people. That precisely explains his desire to deregister credible people from the party,” Alabi added.

According to him, the present party structure headed by the governor’s crony has helped in alienating thousands of members and prospective members because they did not allow for the revalidation of existing members.

This procedure, Alabi said, was an abuse of the extant rules of the party, adding that all they have succeeded in doing is to consider their members as no longer partners in the affairs of the party.

“Of major concern is that while the governor rebuffed all entreaties by our elders for an amicable solution of the crisis, the then National Caretaker Committee of the party under the leadership of the Governor of Yobe State, Mallam Mai Mala Buni, made matters worse.

“Despite series of communication between us and the national leadership of the party and the visitations made, it was a thing of regret that the national leadership neglected every bit of our complaints.

“On his part, the then-Senator Abdullahi Adamu (now the party’s national chairman), National Reconciliation Committee that was then hurriedly put in place to resolve the Kwara APC crisis did not also do a thorough job; instead came up with a conclusion that it has reconciled all warring parties in the state.”

Alabi said that by inference, the governor must have come into the state political arena with a well-scripted mindset, and added that his disrespect for the party did not start today.

“Conventionally, he is the leader of the party in the state, but that does not make him trample on democratic principles which the party represents.

“In less than two months into his administration, he started embarking on inexplicable desire to remove the party chairman and thereby demolishing the vehicle on which he rode to power,” he added.

Receiving the defected APC members, Amb. Rufus Aujenigba, SDP National Publicity Secretary, said he was happy to be in Kwara to receive the defectors because Kwara was his second home.

Aujenigba said he did not envy those in the APC, but have sympathy for them for allowing the multitude to leave the party.

He assured the new members that SDP would treat them as equal members, adding that they will also be allowed to actualise their political dreams.

Aujenigba described SDP as the best alternative party that would restore the lost glory of the country.

NAN also reports that the high point of the defection was the burning of brooms, the APC symbol, and the flag.

The secretariat of the APC loyal located on Reservation Road, GRA Ilorin, is now the state secretariat of the SDP.

The ruling APC and the State Government are yet to react to the development. (NAN) (

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