Ilorin – Leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Kwara State have expressed their desire to leave the party.
They have asked Senate President Bukola Saraki, who is the leader of the party in the state, to lead them out of the party to a better one.
The leaders made their position known on Wednesday through the chairmen of the party in the three senatorial districts of the state.
The chairmen – Isiaka Oniwa (Kwara North), Jimoh Adesina (Kwara Central), and Jimoh Balogun (Kwara South) – said the APC has failed to meet their yearnings after labouring tirelessly for it in 2015.
Balogun, who spoke on behalf of the chairmen, said the expectations of the people had not been met since the tenure of President Muhammadu Buhari commenced, and that the APC has failed people in the state and beyond.
He said they were determined to quit the party if the wrongs were not corrected, “even if Senate President Bukola Saraki insists on staying in APC.”
Balogun, who alleged political victimisation of Saraki in APC, said their call on the Senate president was a warning signal to the APC hierarchy to make amends and right some perceived wrongs in the party.
He said, “Now that another election is on the way, Kwara has considered it fit to implore Saraki to take us to a formidable party that would address the plight of the people if the ruling APC refuses to redeem its campaign promises.
“The perpetual persecution, humiliation, and wanton destruction of the personality of the Senate president has been on the increase daily. This has almost made him lose focus on his good intentions for the country.
“Dr. Saraki had contributed immensely to the empowerment and well-being of the people of the state, yet he was recently accused of sponsoring a gang of robbers that robbed banks in Offa, Offa Local Government Area of the state. This is a calculated attempt to drag his name in the mud.
“The recent calculated attempt to disrupt the peace at the National Assembly is another eloquent testimony to destroy the person of the Senate president. This unwholesome treatment is unwarranted and uncalled for.
“The Senate president delivered the entire Kwara State to the APC. The three senators from the state at the National Assembly are APC members, the state government is controlled by APC, all members of the House of Representatives are APC, and the 16 local government chairmen, 24 members of the House of Assembly are APC, including the 193 councillors, apart from his contributions to other states of the federation won by the APC.”
The present political development is coming at a time when members of the New Peoples Democratic Party (nPDP), a formidable faction in the APC, is perfecting plans to return to the PDP.
The nPDP announced their exit from the party on Wednesday, ahead of their expected declaration for PDP.
The New PDP, or New APC – as they would now be called – has come full circle and is expected to create a major upset in the ruling party like it did in the runoff to the 2015 election which bolstered the electoral chances of the APC, then the major opposition.
Led by Abubakar Kawu Baraje, a former acting National Chairman of the PDP, the New PDP had broken out of the then ruling party in September 2013, over unresolved disagreements with the leadership.
It had within its fold former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, about 26 senators and seven governors. The parent party has yet to recover from the break-up.
The present agitation in the APC reared its head soon after the sharing of offices in the new government in 2015 but it climaxed recently when in May the APC power bloc complained of being sidelined in the party and by the government of President Muhammadu Buhari, despite their contributions to the APC victory at the 2015 general elections.
It called for a meeting with party leaders to address the complaints of its members.
The nPDP later met with the national executives of the APC to discuss their differences.
It was expected to meet President Muhammadu Buhari after the meeting with party leaders, but the presidency cancelled the meeting on the grounds that the grievances of the bloc were a party affair.
Nevertheless, the presidency had a second thought and announced the next day that it would meet the bloc in order to intervene in the smouldering conflict in the ruling APC.
The president was to meet Baraje’s men after they had met and discussed with Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.
It would seem that the various attempts to resolve the rift failed, intensified mainly by the outcome of the congresses and convention which further drove a wedge between the leadership and dissenting voices in the party.
Besides Bukola Saraki and Yakubu Dogara, the bloc includes former governors of Sokoto, Aliyu Wamakko; Kano, Rabiu Kwankwaso; Kwara, Abdulfatah Ahmed; Adamawa, Murtala Nyako.
Others are former governors of Kebbi, Adamu Aliero; Gombe, Danjuma Goje; Osun, Olagunsoye Oyinlola; ex-Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal, and former Vice President Atiku Abubakar.
Already, a faction of the APC in Kaduna, led by Senator Shehu Sani, has announced its intention to pull out of the party, ruling out the possibility of reconciliation.