Saraki’s loyalists insist they remain Kwara APC leaders

Bukola Saraki and Abdulfatah-Ahmed
Bukola Saraki and Abdulfatah-Ahmed

The dissolved state executive committee of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Kwara State loyal to Senate President Bukola Saraki has petitioned the State Commissioner of Police, Aminu Saleh, over the latter’s reception of the state caretaker committee of the party.

The caretaker committee headed by Bashir Bolarinwa last week paid a visit to Mr Saleh in his office in Ilorin.

Following the defection of Mr Saraki and Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed from the APC to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the National Working Committee of the APC dissolved the executive committees of the party at all levels in the state and established a state caretaker committee with Mr Bolarinwa as chairman.

The loyalists of Mr Saraki in the dissolved state executive led by Ishola Balogun-Fulani however refused to accept the party’s decision and is contesting it in court.

But Mr Bolarinwa has ignored their protests and last week visited the state police commissioner to formally introduce the new APC leadership in the state.

In the petition, which was made available to PREMIUM TIMES, Mr Saraki’s loyalists described Mr Bolarinwa’s visit to the police boss as misguided and unlawful, insisting Mr Bolagun-Fulani remains the authentic and legally elected chairman of the party in Kwara.

The petition referred Mr. Saleh to an Interim Order of Injunction from the Kwara State High Court restraining Mr Bolarinwa from showing off or parading himself as the caretaker chairman of the APC in the state.

The faction claimed the court on August 1 ordered Mr Bolarinwa and other members of the caretaker committee to stop parading themselves or perform any function or duty specified for members of the party’s state executive committee.

Mr Balogun-Fulani’s faction said the “Police Commissioner and his office are statutorily duty-bound to obey, respect and enforce the court order while it lasts, ” and must, therefore, desist from recognising Mr Bolarinwa as caretaker chairman of the party.

It said that Mr Bolarinwa’s continued display of himself as caretaker chairman of Kwara APC and his visit, which it believes was an attempt to drag the police commissioner into flouting the court order, was a disobedience of court order, and amounts to contempt of court.

He, therefore, urged the police commissioner to be guided in his future dealings with Mr Bolarinwa and “avoid any attempt to drag his office into supporting, assisting, encouraging and or aiding any form of disrespect or disobedience to lawful order of the court.”

Mr Balogun-Fulani stressed that he, Secretary of the party; Christopher Tunji Ayeni, and other state officers were properly and legally elected as executive members of the Kwara APC on May 19 and were consequently sworn into their respective offices for a period of four years and have been performing that function since their election.

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