The embattled APC Caretaker Committee Chairman in Kwara State, Alhaji Bashir Omolaja Bolarinwa yesterday revisited the events leading to the emergence of incumbent governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq as candidate of the party in the 2019 elections.
Speaking at the grand finale of the empowerment programme by the Saliu Mustapha Foundation yesterday, Bolarinwa said powerful people in Abuja mandated him to ensure Mallam Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq emerge the flag bearer of the APC in Kwara.
“When the time comes for the primary election, the tension was high. Meanwhile, those that own us in Abuja mandated and gave me instruction that whatever we do, we must ensure that a particular aspirant emerge. I told them their wish is my command. I only warn them we must be wary of our people at grassroot level.
“So after the directive, the aspirant came to me and said he is the one they instructed me to ensure that he emerge. I am saying this on record and in the open. I told the aspirant we don’t have option than to carry out the wish or our Ogas. He asked me what I wanted but I replied him that I don’t want anything rather than friendship. I said this because I knew I was going to disappoint about 11 other aspirants who might likely see me as enemy after everything.
“As God will have it, we were able to install him but see what is happening today. Mallam Saliu Mustapha was among those we used force to silence that time,” Bolarinwa said.
“He (Saliu Mustapha) told me one day that he was actually fasting the day I sent him out of our meeting in Abuja and that he was angry to the extent that he broke his fast. I was shocked. I apologized to him and we got along very well. Saliu Mustapha is naturally a good man,” Bolarinwa explained.
Given further insight, the APC Chairman said Saliu Mustapha was angry with what happened in the days leading to the primaries of the party in Kwara in 2019. He said he explained to him (Mustapha) and fortunately “he was privileged to have gotten true information of what happened. I let him know that it wasn’t my doing but just following instruction from above as a loyal party man.”
Bolarinwa said the empowerment programme through which Saliu Mustapha empowered 402 beneficiaries with over N40m again testify to his kindness.
According to him, “What is happening today (the empowerment programme) is a testimony to how humble, kind and reasonable he (Mustapha) is…”
The APC in Kwara has recently been enmeshed in internal crisis bothering on the party leadership. It was alleged that the State governor, Mallam Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq pushed for the removal of Bolarinwa as party Chairman in Kwara State, preferring his deputy, Abdullahi Samari to take over in acting capacity pending the Congress slated for June.
Bolarinwa, however, insisted that he remains the chairman. The situation has created two factions in Kwara APC, with some section loyal to Samari having the blessing of governor; while the Bolarinwa faction is believed to have the support and backing of the two ministers representing Kwara State in the federal cabinet, Lai Mohammed and Gbemi Saraki.
Kabir Olanrewaju Ishowo is a Kwara-Born, a community developer, An Online Media Practioner and the CEO/Publisher of Gistmeblog247.