By Emmanuel Mogbede
Some members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Kwara have called on the party’s leadership to expel members in the state engaged in anti-party activities.
Meanwhile, Malam Bolaji Abdullahi, the National Publicity Secretary of APC has dismissed speculations that he has resigned his membership of the party.
He told newsmen at the APC secretariat in Abuja on Tuesday that reports of his resignation trending in the media was not true.
He added that “there is no iota of truth in the report.”
The absence of the former Minister of Sports during the regular Monday meeting of the APC National Working Committee (NWC) fueled the speculations that he may have concluded arrangements to leave the party.
The anxiety over Abdullahi’s future with the ruling party was because of his closeness to the Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki, who announced his exit from the APC on Tuesday.
In his reaction to Saraki’s exit from the party, Abdullahi, however, said he was not considering leaving the party, stressing that “I came through the front door and will not go through the back door.”
Defending his absence at the NWC meeting, the APC spokesman said he actually notified the party’s national leadership of his absence from the meeting.
He said “it is not true that I have resigned and let me emphasis that there is no iota of truth in that report. I can understand where the speculation is coming from, perhaps because I was absent during the NWC meeting on Monday.
“However, the speculators didn’t know that I told my colleagues that I was away in Kwara State.
“I want to put it on record that I came through the front door and if I want to leave, I will leave through the front door.”
The stakeholders, calling for the expulsion of members engaged in anti-party activities, made the call when they staged a peaceful protest at the National Secretariat of the party on Tuesday in Abuja.
Spokesman of the group, Mr Tayo Awodiji, told newsmen that expelling the erring members, especially stalwarts, was critical for the repositioning of the party in the state.
He alleged that the party’s chieftains in Kwara had been working against its interest in their utterances and actions.
Awodiji added that such chieftains had also been casting aspersions on the party’s leadership, and that their activities had been aimed at frustrating government’s activities ahead of the 2019 general elections.
“You are not unaware of the development in the political scene where a number of legislators defected from APC to some other political parties.
“Kwara state is affected by this and as a result, we are not pleased and we wrote a letter to the national chairman and made some demands,” he said.
He commended the APC National Working Committee (NWC) for meeting their demand for the dissolution of the State Executive Committee.
This, he said, would pave the way for the proper repositioning of the party ahead the 2019 general elections.
Awodiji added that the dissolution of the executive committee of the party in the state led by Balogun Fulani was highly commendable and long awaited.
“Prior to this dissolution, a letter containing the demand for the dissolution of the executive in Kwara among other demands, was delivered to the national chairman.
“We are therefore delighted and full of praise for this laudable and bold decision.
‘It is our hope that our other demands, including
conducting a fresh membership registration, shall be attended to.
“To God be the glory, the national chairman has taken the bull by the horn by dissolving the state executive; we are here to show appreciation to the NWC for their response to our demand,” he said.
He noted that before the dissolution of the state executive by the NWC, the party was stagnated in Kwara because its leadership was directly under the control of some individuals.
The spokesman expressed optimism that with the dissolution of the state executive, the party would be repositioned very soon.
“Ordinarily, you should expect them to react, but that does not really matter; what matters is that what was done by the NWC is in accordance with the party’s Constitution,” he said.
Awodiji added that with the development, committed and genuine party members would take up its leadership in Kwara.
He further added that the fresh membership registration as demanded by the stakeholders would put real and genuine party members in charge of its affairs in the state.
He, however, congratulated Bashir Balarinwa on his appointment as the chairman Caretaker Committee of the party by the NWC.
Awodiji urged him to brace up for the herculean task of unifying all the elements and interest in the party in the state.
He assured him of the co-operation and support of the stakeholders in building the party and taking it to the next level.
“We also commend the efforts of our able leader, Alhaji Lai Mohammad, Minister of Information and Culture, in all of these; we look forward to him for necessary guidance,” he said.