By Abiodun Esan
Mr Bashir Bolarinwa, former caretaker chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Kwara, on Saturday emerged as Chairman of the party.
Bolarinwa, who was conspicuously absent at the APC delegates congress held at its secretariat on Reservation Road, was however elected in absentia.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Bolarinwa belonged to the group loyal to Alhaji Lai Mohammed, Minister of Information and Culture.
The group held its state congress peacefully attended by over 1,000 delegates from across the state.
NAN reports that before the election of the state executives, local government chairmen of the party were formally sworn-in by Mr Sarafa Ibrahim Esq., who administered the oath on them.
Bolarinwa, alongside 35 other new members of the executive, emerged through consensus arrangement and affirmative process.
Dr Bolaji Afolabi, who served as Returning Officer, said the new executive emerged by the wish of the majority members of the party and delegates at the congress.
Afolabi said Article 20, Section 1 (a) of APC Constitution provided for consensus arrangement affirmation by members of the delegates.
NAN reports that before the commencement of the elections, delegates were seen shouting the name of Bashir Bolarinwa as their preferred candidate for the post of state chairman of the party.
When the returning officer called his name as chairman, the venue erupted into ecstasy as delegates burst into songs and dance while affirming Bolarinwa as the chairman.
Other executives elected through affirmation were Chief Theophilus Oyebiyi as Vice Chairman; Issa Isiaka Agboji, Secretary; Abolaji Olaide Rahmat, Women Leader, and Joseph Ndanusa Tsado, Senatorial Chairman (North).
Others were AbdulRaheem Yusuf Akorede, Senatorial Chairman (Central); Mr Rasak Alabi (South) while Mr Sunkanmi Afolayan emerged as Youth Leader, among other, officials.
Speaking to journalists after the congress, the newly elected vice chairman (Oyebiyi) expressed satisfaction at the conduct of delegates at the congress.
“As you can see, over 1,000 delegates affirmed the new executive and we are ready to move the party forward through activities that will attract more people to the party,” he said.
He said that the group adequately informed the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and National Secretariat of the party of its congress, adding: “we hope to see them before leaving the venue”.
He, however, said that the new chairman (Bolarinwa) could not make it to the venue of the congress due to some reasons.
“BOB is absent for one reason or another, but as you can witness, people have clamoured for his return as chairman and that is the wish of the majority members of our party,” he said.
In attendance at the congress were Yaman Abdullahi, member, Federal Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission; Rep. Ganiyu Cook Olododo of the House of Representatives representing Ilorin East/South Cconstituency, and Mr Saheed Popoola of the State House Assembly.
Other chieftains were Dr Hezekiah Oyedepo, Mr Abdulkadir Abdulkareem, Dr Baki, Mr Abdulwaheed Nuhu and the 16 local government chairmen. (NAN)