Kwara Third Force, a new political organisation, has emerged from the state chapter of the All Progressives Congress, following a protracted crisis that has rocked the party.
The former APC Chairman in Kwara Central, Alhaji Abdulrahman Abdulfatai, who spoke on behalf of the aggrieved members at a press conference held after the group’s launch in Ilorin on Saturday, said about 20,000 aggrieved party members in the state had forged a political alliance.
Abdulfatai said, “It is impossible to achieve the developmental goals we are aiming for Kwarans in the midst of the chaotic situation we find ourselves in Kwara APC.”
The aggrieved members, including ward chairmen, local government chairmen, women leaders, youth leaders and members across all 16 local government areas in the state, among others, accused Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq and his loyalists in the party of alleged disenfranchisement in the recent membership registration and revalidation exercise.
According to Abdulfatai, the group’s new party will be unveiled as soon as possible.
However, Chairman of APC Caretaker Committee in the state, Alhaji Abdullahi Samari, said, “Inasmuch as I don’t want people to leave the party, as few people are defecting, many people are coming into the APC and they are people of substance who are full of ideas.”
Samari, who said people were not prevented from joining the APC in the state or prevented from renewing their registrations during the recent registration/revalidation exercise, stated that he had received no complaint from anyone that he was not allowed to register.
The defectors, who tore their APC membership cards and burnt the party symbol of brooms, said the plot to allegedly marginalise them was all about 2023 political permutations.
Abdulfatai said, “As you are all aware, Kwara APC has been enmeshed in one crisis or the other almost immediately after the party’s governorship primary, stretching into the campaign period and lingering up to date.
“The crisis got to its peak with the recently concluded APC membership revalidation and registration exercise in the state that was flawed with deliberate policies and grand orchestrations to deregister and disenfranchise selected members of the party.
“The success of a political party is anchored on its popularity, intra-party membership cohesion, integrity and sincere commitment to the service of the masses. All these are glaringly diminishing in Kwara APC as it is now.’’
“A grand design that denied the majority of party members the opportunity to register and revalidate their membership across the state is a 2023 permutation agenda. We can never cross our fingers and watch the game from the sidelines.”
He described the “deliberate inaction” to address the lingering crisis in the party and “obvious agenda to deregister and refusal” to revalidate thousands of members across the state as a “grand plot that has the backing of the National Caretaker Committee of the party.”
Abdulfatai added, “From the above highlighted points, we, representing the hundreds of thousands disenfranchised card-carrying members of the APC, including state exco, local government party chairmen, local government women leaders, youth leaders, ward chairmen, as well as APC party stalwarts across the 16 LGAs in the state hereby denounce APC and form a Kwara Third Force of like mind across party lines.”
Addressing journalists, the former APC stalwart stated that the defectors had yet to move to any of the other registered political parties, saying they would wait and study the situation before joining a new party.
He denied that the former APC members were joining the Young Progressives Party, adding that their new platform would be unveiled in due course.