Thousands of aggrieved members of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), on Saturday in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital, dumped the party to form what they described as a “Third Force”.
This is coming just as political activities for the 2023 election gained momentum in the state.
The MM Event centre venue of the decamping exercise along Offa Road was full to capacity as thousands of APC card-carrying members burnt scores of brooms, which is the symbol of the party.
The Kwara Central Senatorial Chairman, Alhaji Abdulfatai Abdulrahman – flanked by other notables leaders – who addressed the gathering, said their “New party will soon be unveiled in due course”.
However, many of their supporters donned the paraphernalia of the Young Peoples Party (YPP) believed to be sponsored by a former gubernatorial aspirant, Yakubu Gobir.
According to the senatorial chairman,
“It is, however, disheartening, shameful and preposterous that Kwara APC cannot manage its success even at half time of its tenure in the saddle of governance in the state.
“The intra-party crisis has been on for long and unabated.
“The struggle for the soul of the party, which cannot be divorced from the 2023 political ambitions, has been the root cause of the lingering internal squabbles.
“The hopes and expectation of party members to reap the fruits of their collective labour have been dashed due to the self-inflicted and unwarranted crisis. This was not what Kwarans bargained for”, he added.
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He accused the Senator John Danboi-led team and National Secretariat of the party of doing nothing to address the “perfidious and glaring aberration process” of the registration/revalidation exercise, describing it as flawed with deliberate policies and grand orchestration to deregister and disenfranchise selected members of the party.
“The deliberate inaction to address the lingering crisis in Kwara APC has become obvious to all discerning minds that the agenda to deregister and refusal to revalidate thousands of members across the state was a grand plot that has the backing of the National Caretaker Committee.
“There is also evidence that the incumbent governor has concluded every arrangement to ensure all the elective positions from the wards to the state level work in his favour to ease his re-election bid as governorship flagbearer of the party”, he said.
Abdulrahman, who put the figures of the new decampees at twenty thousand, listed other members to include local government party chairmen, local government women leaders, youth leaders, wards chairmen as well as APC party stalwarts across the sixteen local government areas in the state.