APC Suspends Kwara Commissioner for Agriculture

Intra-Party Feud in Kwara APC: A Path to Mutual Destruction

By – Chief Wole Oke

In the words of William Shakespeare, the English playwright, “Equality of two domestic powers breeds scrupulous factions”.

In Kwara State APC today, two rams are locking horns. The goings-on in the party today is, however, attributable to the weird circumstances that led to its birth. I want to believe that those at the helm of affairs of APC in Kwara State are not under any spell. I also hope that they are not victims of collective cultural amnesia, that is, if they know the partisan political history of the state these past forty years, which has proven conclusively the veracity of the sayings of the wise, that when two brothers fight over an inheritance, it is the stranger that makes away with such heritage. APC leaders should learn from history.

What really is happening? Has it got anything to do with protecting the greatest interests of the greatest number of the people? Is it just an ego-based interest of a few individuals who see themselves as those who should continue to determine the fate of the people of Kwara State? Could it be sheer pride and arrogance or lack of humility which should normally be the characteristic feature of those who see themselves as leaders? What is the casus belli? Individual personal/group interests?

One thing is however obvious: APC is an amalgamation of individuals and groups with diverse political background, amorphous personal interests and incompatible ideological orientation. The Party (APC) is a child of circumstance, a mere decent makeshift electoral arrangement, which luckily yielded the desired result in 2015. It should also be noted, in the case of Kwara State, that when the PDP in Kwara State migrated to APC in 2018, they came as a divided group, in two factions. That PDP character imported into APC is what has now become a major burden, an albatross, on APC in Kwara State. It has become the bane of the APC, in the State. Every emergent group wants to be in control of the machinery of the party and even of the government. But should we engage ourselves in a political game which is sure to do irreversible harm to the party? It should not be allowed to go beyond the limit that should be considered reasonable, otherwise, its consequence could be disastrous; not in the least, it can lead to mutual destruction.

Here, we may have to recall what happened in the State in the Second Republic when the National Party of Nigeria (NPN) was the first political Party, lucky enough to win the first democratically elected government in 1979. Alhaji Adamu was the Governor. Dr. Olusola Saraki was the Leader of the party. Before long, a crack emerged within the party; Governor versus Party leader. The intra-party feud went on until the 1983 election; Governor Adamu Atta on one side with his group known as “Salake” while Dr. Olusola Saraki held to his own stand. By the time the 1983 general election came, Atta emerged as the NPN candidate, running for a second term. Saraki did not support him. The two factions went their different ways.

At the end, the opposition party, the Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN) snatched the government from the NPN. A similar scenario played out in the relationship between Mohammed Lawal who was elected governor of the State on the platform of the APP, a party which was under the leadership of, again, Dr. Olusola Saraki. The intra-party conflict became unmanageable. Saraki abandoned the App, teamed up with the PDP, then, a lingering party in the State. The APP lost the election in the state. Any need for further story? The leadership of the APC in Kwara State should, therefore, learn from the lessons of history.

A relevant question worth attending to in this issue is “should the governor of Kwara State, Mallam Abdulrahman Abdurazaq continue to be under the directive/authority of the executive of the party or should he be allowed to decide on how to run his administration? How much influence and authority should the party wield in the administration of the governor? Should the party choose who should work with the governor when, as a matter of fact, in government, the buck stops on the governor’s table? He takes all the blames when anything goes wrong with his administration which of course has a link with the type of people working with him, including members of the State Executive Council and his ancillary/auxiliary staff.

On the other hand, however, in line with the rational thinking of some members of the party leaders, how does the governor appreciate members of the party who “worked hard to bring” the governor to power? It is argued that it is only the executive that can identify these “hardworking” party members during the elections, hence the need for the governor to capitulate to the authority, whims and caprices of the party’s executive and party leaders? At the end of the day, who is held accountable to the electorates, members of the executive or the governor? All said and done, it is advisable that the party chairman should recognize and respect the governor as the leader of the party in the state the same way the President of the country is the national leader of the Party. This does not imply that the Chairman of the party should be kowtowing to the governor.

At this point, it has become necessary to advise some leaders/members of the Party to stop laying proprietary claim to the victory of the Party in 2019. It is sheer arrogance; ungodly and self-servicing. They should cultivate the simple habit of modesty and restraint. They should stop seeing themselves as the Alpha and Omega in matters of the APC in Kwara State.

The Party Executive and Party leaders should respect the governor. It is impertinent, inglorious, and least expected of any Party member, no matter his status in the Party, to denigrate the governor or derogate his status with unsavoury remarks, juxtaposing Dr. Bukola Saraki versus Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq with the big oak tree versus the insignificant, miniature shrub.

Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq
The Executive Governor of Kwara State, His Excellency, AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq

As an aside, His Excellency, the governor, Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq should expand the level of his consultations with Party elders and leaders. He surely needs their opinions, albeit he is not under any obligation to accept/implement all or any of such opinions.

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As long as 2023 remains the main focus and target of each group in the intra-party conflict, meaningful settlement will be near impossibility, a mirage. Those who have their eyes on 2023 from Kwara Central Senatorial Zone, for instance, should be more circumspect and guarded. The incumbent Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq from Kwara Central zone has the opportunity and constitutional right to a second term. They should let Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq complete his two terms. With regard to the ambition of anybody from Kwara Central Zone, aspiring to the post in 2023, such aspiration should be considered unjustifiable and inconsiderate because Kwara North Senatorial District cannot continue to be spectators in the governance of our State, our common patrimony.

Such individual or individuals from Kwara Central thinking of succeeding Abdulrahman Abdurazaq in 2023, by whatever manipulation or connivance, will be indulging in sheer quixotism. Whereas, as at today, the Senatorial district has thus far had a thirteen-year hold on the State as Governor, and another Zone, Kwara South, has enjoyed an eight-year hold, Kwara North Senatorial District is yet to have even a “one-day Governor”. The people of Kwara North are not out here in the state just to sell Elubo, Yam or Okro! Whatever gimmicks or decoy anybody might want to employ to deny Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq the second term, a Kwara Central man cannot succeed him. Let Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq be. Let him complete his two terms. Let his performance decide whether he is qualified for a second term. Let his performance recommend him to the people for another term.

Just as it was in the old days of the NPN in the Second Republic in 1983 where the ruling party lost the election to the opposition UPN and the ruling APP lost to the PDP in 2003, nothing stops the history from repeating itself in Kwara State in 2023, should the leadership of the party decide to remain cocky, a feature which appears to be their current posture, and the potential aspirants from Kwara Central continue to divide the party, raising groups to advance their cause.

Chief Wole Oke
Jagunmolu of Shao,
Former Leader,
Kwara State House of Assembly,
Second Republic
Tel: 08033575040

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One thought on “Intra-Party Feud in Kwara APC: A Path to Mutual Destruction

  1. The bottom line is that Chief Wole Oke is warming up for a Northern Senatorial Governor. Which side of the divide did he belongs to and what happens to the electorate who laboured to bring the party and the government to power? What we expect from our politicians is development which should be even.

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