Loyalists of Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the minister of information and culture, in Kwara state chapter of All Progressives Congress (APC), have defected to the Social Democratic Party (SDP).
The faction, which styled itself as ‘APC Loyal’, announced its defection at a news conference in Ilorin on Saturday.
A rift between Muhammed and AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq, Kwara governor, had torn the state’s chapter of APC into two factions.
The crisis reached a crescendo in 2021 when the two factions held parallel congresses in the state, but the the congress organised by governor’s faction was recognized by the NWC, leaving Mr. Mohammed in the cold.
Speaking at the defecting event, Rasak Alabi, Kwara-south senatorial chairman of the faction, claimed the group is defecting with “the 193 ward chairmen, 16 local governments chairmen, and all the working committee members,” NAN reported.
He added that “if the national leadership of the party does not believe that we are politically relevant in the state, we need to make them understand also that the man they queued behind is also a blown-out fuse not capable of leading the party to any victory in the state come 2023”.
He then accused the governor of trampling “on democratic principles which the party represents”.
“Consequent upon the wishes of our numerous supporters and the majority of Kwarans, we announce to you today the official defection and mass movement of supporters and party members from the APC to the Social Democratic Party (SDP),” he said.
“Seated here with us are the 193 ward chairmen, 16 local governments chairmen, and all the working committee members who have jointly decided with our numerous supporters, to announce to you today our defection to the SDP.”
Alabi added that the governance model of the Kwara governor “is nothing to write about when compared to the successes achieved in other APC states.”
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