The ‘dissolved’ All Progressives Congress in Kwara State has dismissed the notice of dissolution of its party executives at ward, local government and state levels by the Adams Oshiomhole-led National Working Committee (NWC).
It described it as not only unlawful but also null and void.
The action of the APC leadership is believed to be aimed at hitting back at the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, who is seen as having subtly aided the defection of many of the party’s stalwarts and lawmakers in recent weeks.
Mr Saraki last week presided over the Senate where 14 senators, including the other two from Kwara, defected from the APC. Majority joined the Peoples Democratic Party.
Mr Saraki, a former Kwara governor, is a prominent backer of the dissolved Kwara executive who have pledged total loyalty to him.
The embattled executive issued a statement signed by its spokesperson, Sulyman Buhari, late on Monday:
“We confirm that there is no case of lacuna in the party leadership in Kwara State and there was no ground for the purported dissolution. Thus, the NWC erred in law. Furthermore, the purported dissolution is null and void.
“We recall that for many weeks, party members worked assiduously and painstakingly to elect party leadership at the ward, local government and state levels in Kwara State. The party structure was certified as duly elected by the National Working Committee of APC. The duly elected party structure in Kwara State cannot be overthrown or dissolved by an unlawful declaration from Abuja.
“Considering the inglorious role played by Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, he has lost the respect of the leadership and members of APC in the 16 local government areas and 193 wards of Kwara State. He has destroyed his human rights credentials. It is crystal clear the emerging dictator is always willing to trample on the rights of other party members whenever his personal interest is involved.
“While the party will exercise legal means to protect the constitutional mandates of the party leadership at the ward, local government and state levels, we wish to reaffirm that the Alhaji Ishola Balogun Fulani – led State Executive Committee (SEC) remains the only authentic and lawful leadership of APC in Kwara State.
“Despite the distraction from Abuja, the Alhaji Ishola Balogun Fulani – led State Executive Committee (SEC), the party leadership in the 16 local government and 193 wards of Kwara State shall continue to discharge constitutional functions. All members of the APC in Kwara State should remain calm as we devise legal measures to guarantee the protection of their rights.”
Premium Times on Monday reported the dissolution of the Kwara APC executive by the National Working Committee led by Mr Oshiomhole.
The NWC also appointed a caretaker committee to temporarily head the party in Kwara.
The expected legal challenge by the dissolved executive could further factionalise the troubled ruling party thus providing a legal basis for Mr Saraki to defect from the APC.
Mr Saraki is still officially a member of the ruling party but is expected to defect to the main opposition party, PDP, soon. By law, crisis of factions within a party is the only basis upon which a senator elected on the party’s platform can defect.