Thousands of aggrieved members of the Kwara State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) have dumped the party on Saturday, while vowing to form what they call a “Third Force” as the 2023 governorship election in the state gathers momentum.
The decamping exercise which took place at Offa Road in Ilorin, the state capital, saw thousands of APC card-carrying members burning scores of brooms, which is the symbol of the party.
It was gathered that many of decampees donned the T-Shirts of the Young Peoples Party (YPP), and were believed to be sponsored by a former gubernatorial aspirant, Yakubu Gobir.
Leading the decampees, the Kwara Central Senatorial Chairman, Alhaji Abdulfatai Abdulrahman, who addressed the gathering, said their “new party will soon be unveiled in due course”.
Blaming intra-party crisis in the state for their decision, Abdulrahman said:
“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 expectations 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.”
Abdulrahman further 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 added that the number of the decampees stood at over 20,000, including local government party chairmen, women leaders, youth leaders, wards chairmen as well as other APC party stalwarts across the 16 local government areas in the state.