Layi Olanrewaju, Ilorin
The crisis rocking the Kwara State chapter of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) deepened on Tuesday with state chairman Bashir Bolarinwa and other members of the state party executive committee were attacked by suspected thugs at Shao town in Moro Local Government Area.
During the attack, the party bus that convened the party executive committee was smashed by the hoodlums, leading people at the venue to run for dear lives.
The incident according happened during the Thank You tour by the state party executive committee to thank the members of the party for their support during the last general elections and to seek more support for the administration and to sustain the support.
This new development in the party, according to our investigation, might not be unconnected with the internal crisis that had rocked the party shortly after the party electoral victory during the last year general elections.
The crisis, it was gathered, has caused factions within the party in the state to the extent that it has snowballed into the festering squabbles between the governor, Alhaji Abdulrahman Abdulrasaq, and other top APC leaders in the state.
However, on Tuesday, some group said to be loyal to the state governor Alhaji Abdulrasaq Abdulrahman under the aegis of ‘AA Support group’ with some youths invaded the venue of the meeting of the Thank You tour of the state executive council committee at Shao town and prevented the party chairman and members of his team from holding the planned meeting, attackING the bus that conveyed them to the venue.
Eyewitness account says that the windscreen of the bus was shattered by the attackers who were said to have also threatened to inflict bodily harm to the party chairman and his team.
Confirming the development, the state Vice Chairman of the party, Sunday Oyebiyi, described the attack as unfortunate, saying it could lead to the disintegration of the party in the state.
He said that a police permit was sought and gotten on the planned tour of the 16 local government areas of the state, particularly when some members of the party loyal to the governor stood against it.
Oyebiyi, who is also zonal chairman, (Kwara North) of the party, was among the entourage of the party chairman to Shao, saying that members of the party are eagerly awaiting the outcome of the intervention being done by elders of the party into the crisis.
He called on members of the party to remain calm and embrace peace and love in their dealings.
In reaction to the violence, Governor Abdulrasaq has condemned the attack on party chairman and his entourage to Shao, calling on the police command to fish out all the perpetrators and prosecute them.
In the statement issued by the governor’s Chief Press Secretary, Mr Rafiu Ajakaye, the governor described the attack as disturbing.
“We condemn in strongest terms possible the alleged attack on the state chairman of the APC Bashiru Omolaja Bolarinwa allegedly by some hoodlums in Moro Local Government. This is very disturbing. The Governor is very proud of the peaceful atmosphere in the state and seriously frowns at any action that might heat up the polity under whatever guise.
“He calls on the security agencies to not just fish out those behind the attack but to also make sure they face the full weight of the law. For the record, the state faces many developmental issues and the Governor has no time for anything that does not add value to the lives of the people he’s been elected to govern,” the statement reads.