The Joy of Kwara All Progressives Congress may soon divide the party into several parts as avoidable crises are brewing in the party, too early for a mention.
The lopsidedness in the composition of the 80 man transition committee by the Governor-Elect, Alhaji Abdulrahman has drawn criticism from some members of the party over its lopsidedness.
A group from the Oloje axis in a complaint made to our correspondent address as from concerned supporters, the group said: “There are eighty(80) members in the Kwara State 2019 Transition Committee set up by His Excellency Alh. Abdulrahman Abdulrasaq, the Gov-elect, out of which 18 members came from Ilorin West LGA.
“There are twelve(12) wards in this Local Government and that suggests that, at least, one member should come from each ward. Surprisingly, none came from Oloje ward. Going forward, Oloje ward is one of the wards that delivered her votes overwhelmingly in the last general elections. The said ward occupied 5th and 6th positions in terms of winning margin in the Presidential/NASS and Governorship/HoA elections respectively. This decision only indicates that Oloje ward has been neglected in the scheme of things and this had always been the case in the successive regimes and this administration might not be any different with the look of things, in spite of high expectations of our people.
It will definitely create a lot of bad blood among our members in the ward.
Furthermore, this development only means that a ward produces two members or more as the case may be. In view of this, we demand that this ugly trend be reversed with immediate effect.
In another vein, a foremost politician, Femi Ogunshola wrote, “That Ó tó gé may not become É gbá wá” meaning that the enough is enough movement may not in a short while begin another shout calling for rescue ‘E gba wa’.
In his words: “ ‘The eyes that will tarry till old age will not begin to emit mucus in the morning.’
The Ó tó gé revolution was a fallout of feelings of alienation, exhibition of nepotism, highhandedness, entitlement mentality among others.
“Everybody across board in Kwara state bought into it, it became a movement, no part of the state was left out. The result was a landslide victory in the February and March elections.
Now that our Moses has purportedly left Egypt, everyone must be treated with fairness, equity and justice in the spirit of Ó tó gé. The essence of sending Senator Bukola Saraki out of our political space is sequel to injustice and arrogance display of power. Now, the new leadership cannot afford to continue with the old order; hence, another movement dubbed ‘é gbá wá’ save us may spring up in no time.
Or how does one justifies the 80 man transition committee set up by the Governor-elect Mr Abdulrahman Abdulrasaq this week where Ilorin with just four Local Governments got 32 slot, while the 12 local governments are left to grapple with remaining 48?
“To think ilorin West alone got as much as 18 slot is an open invitation to a feeling of despondent and a brazen display of nepotism. We may be quick to talk of numerical strength, no one is contesting that, but fairness and justice should be the deciding factor, no one is an highland entire to himself. It is even worrisome that while other LGs got 6, 7, 5, 4 and 3 slots,
Kiama, Isin and Oke-ero LGs were left with just two (2). Isin LG is one of the early beginner of the struggle for Kwara liberation, courtesy of Iyiola Oyedepo Akogun, he did that with passion and sacrifice, the result of the election gave credence to it. Kiama LG was all out for the ó tó gé revolution, the outcome of APC victory was huge in that area.
“Though, Oke-ero LG voted the PDP in the Presidential and National Assembly election because of same perceived injustice as the LG has neither produced a Senator or House of Reps. prior, the opportunity extended via their son, the candidate of the PDP justified the victory in the area.
“But during the governorship and state house of assembly elections, the APC won. The feeling of being a victim in Kwara state may not have abated and could linger on with this perceived injustice or is this a shadow of things to come, which was one of the basis for which Saraki was punished? The only visible development in Kwara today is in Ilorin, while other parts of the state are at the receiving end, the Northern parts of the state are the worse for it. Now that a glimmer of what is to be expected is gradually manifesting, the struggle for “é gbá wá” may soon dot the landscape of the state of harmony.
It doesn’t end there, a group of women on Tuesday held a press conference to protest the harassment and threat to the victory of one of them by APC hierarchy in the state, Hajia Mariam Joy Adeniran.
Adeniran had alleged that she won at the primaries and also at the general elections into the state house of Assembly, having work as a grass root politician, who has been in the progressives race since her days at AC till date.
As a result of the win at the polls, she was given a certificate of return by the Independent Electoral Commission, INEC but some party stalwarts are threatening to take her ticket from her and hand it over to a male candidate.
According to her, the premise for her humiliation was that she was a Christian, despite being married to a Muslim and converted to Islam.
She also allege that the issue raised by those who gang up against her was that she is a wife in Offa and not an indigene asking if she is not an indigene by reason of her marriage.
The woman group said that despite that the matter was already in court, they are prepared to go all length to pursue her course to remain in the house because it is unheard of that out of thirty six officeholders elected in the state, the only female who fought to secure a place is being threatened again.
The group is composed of professional women associations such as; Nigeria Women Journalists, (NAWOJ) , Medical Women Association of Nigeria, (MWAN), Association of Professional Women Engineers of Nigeria, (APWEN), Women in Taxation, Women NLC, Women Pharmacists, Women Bag Makers, Women Bead Makers, International Women Communication Centre, (IWCC), FOMWAN and WOWICAN among others.
The group appealed for support for the only elected female member of the Kwara State House of Assembly, Hon. Mariam Joy Adeniran, to retain her mandate.
Spokesperson of the group, Mrs. Ayobola Olupinla, in her address said: “we are unhappy with the recent development in the attempt to shut out the feelings for adequate gender consideration in the scheme of governance as far as the state is concerned in the in the incoming political dispensation.
“Specifically, the outcome of the election for the Essa/Shawo/Igbodun Constituency of the Kwara State House of Assembly was keenly contested and won by Hon. Mariam Joy Adeniran to become the only female Member-Elect of the 24-member Assembly.
“She has been issued Certificate of Return by the Independent National Electoral Commission, (INEC) and returned elected. As one of us, we are proud of her for the courage, resilience and doggedness she took to participate in the poll.”
She further maintained that “with her victory at the poll, Hon. Adeniran’s success represents just 4.16 per cent of the membership strength as against the 20.14 per cent women-membership of the outgoing Assembly where five females are Honorable Members.
“You will agree with us that the percentage grossly negates the 35 per cent as recommended by the United Nations (UN) for women slot in elective and appointive positions in governments globally.
“In the just concluded elections in Kwara State, there is no single woman among the six elected members of the Federal House of Representatives; neither is there any female among the three Senators-Elect.
“Unlike Lagos, Anambra and Plateau States where females are considered to become Deputy Governors respectively, Kwara State is lagging behind in the area of putting the interest of females in political calculations.”
Olupinla however stressed that, “Our attention has been drawn to an attempt to cause injury on the women folk by struggling to use the court to snatch the mandate of Hon. Mariam Joy Adeniran thereby relegating us to the lowest ebb and allocating zero per cent to females in the incoming lawmaking process.
“While we reject the Appeal Court judgment of 5th April, 2019, we call on the National Leadership of the All Progressives Congress, (APC) as well as the State Working Committee of the Kwara APC, to prevail on the plaintiff in the suit seeking to remove the only female Member-Elect in the Kwara House of Assembly.
“We believe this is an arrangement possible within the All Progressives Congress, (APC) in a bid to seeing the current scenario beyond 2019.
“By this, we plead with the President and Commander-In-Chief of the Armed Forces, His Excellency, Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, Nigeria’s First Lady, Hajia Aisha Buhari, APC National Leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, APC National Chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomole, Kwara APC Chairman, Hon. Bashir Omolaja Bolarinwa, Kwara State Governor-Elect, Alhaji Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq and the APC National Women Leader, Hajia Salamatu Baiwa Umar-Eluma as well as all APC stakeholders across the country to swiftly intervene in this matter.
“Let it be placed on record that the roles of women in the electioneering in Nigeria and Kwara State, in particular, cannot be over emphasized especially in the O’Toge change mantra.
“We sadly feel the current development is like pushing the women to the background when it comes to elective and appointive positions. This would certainly not be the best way to reward our loyalty.”
“We therefore call on the entire political actors globally to intervene on our behalf in this matter and reverse every step aimed at removing or replacing Hon. Mariam Joy Adeniran as the Member-Elect for Essa/Shawo/Igbodun Constituency of Offa Local Government Area of Kwara State before May 29, 2019.
Leaders of the various women groups said that though they are not politicians and are not supporting Adeniran based on party interest but based on the requirements of the international convention securing the place of women on politics and government adding that they would not mind going any length to insist that the mandate of their comrade is secured.
The Chairman of the group Dr. Goroso, expressed her sadness that APC cannot manage her success as to allow such flimsy issue and any related issue threaten the mandate given the only female that could represent the interest of other women from among them.
They therefore called on President Muhamadu Buhari, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and all party elders state and national to wade into the matter because they are not ready to relinguish the mandate for any reason.