By Abiodun Esan
A group of eminent leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Kwara has rejected the Membership Registration Committee sent to the state by the National Secretariat of the party.
The leaders, operating under the aegis of APC Integrity Group, declared that the seven-member committee headed by Sen. John Damboyi is unfit for the registration exercise because of its bias.
They spoke on Friday in Ilorin at a media briefing on Wednesday’s violence that disrupted an APC stakeholders’ meeting held at the Banquet Hall in Ilorin.
The Chairman of the group and Wakilin Lafiaji, Umaru Shaaba, who addressed newsmen, said his members were concerned and embarrassed by the festering crisis in the party.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the briefing was attended by members of the group including Akogun Iyiola Oyedepo, Alhaji Niyi Adefila and Alhaji Isiaka Adio.
Others were Ibrahim Sharafadeen, Alhaji M.T. Manna, Hon. Ismaila Alale and Hon. Fatai Akorede.
Shaaba, who questioned the membership of the registration committee, said it could not deliver on the assignment given to it.
“ We want to state that from his operations thus far, Senator John Danboi and his members are unfit to do any meaningful party registration and revalidation in the state. We therefore reject the committee in its entirety,” Shaaba said.
Shaaba, who accused the committee of dealing only with the governor’s group, said there were four blocs within the party in the state.
According to him, the four tendencies in Kwara APC are those of Information and Culture Minister, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, Iyiola Oyedepo, Minister of State for Transportation, Sen. Gbemisola Saraki as well as the Fagbemi group to which the governor belongs.
“He has allowed the governor’s group to nominate and set up registration committees among his group in the 16 Local Government Areas of the state and 193 wards of the state.
“Even all the people that will register as members in all the polling centres are from his very minute group. That has been approved by Senator Danboyi Committee,” he said.
Shaaba also dismissed claims in some quarters that the caretaker chairman, Bashir Bolarinwa, came to the venue of the meeting with thugs.
“We consider the crisis as unnecessary as it is unreasonable.
“That is why all men of good conscience should come out to condemn the violence that the crisis engendered at the venue of the stakeholders meeting convened by the chairman and members of the registration and revalidation committee,” he added.
Shaaba, however, called on all members of the party in the three groups to go to their polling booths to register, adding that they should not be discouraged because of the ongoing crisis.