By Demola Akinyemi—Ilorin
Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Caretaker Committee in Kwara State, Abdullahi Samari, has described as very embarrassing and shameful “the introduction of violence into the party’s stakeholders meeting on Wednesday by former Chairman, Bashir Omolaja Bolarinwa with the aide of his thugs through an authorized door, when he had been duly invited.”
However, Bolarinwa in a swift reaction denied the allegation, saying that the group of Governor Abdulrahman AbdulRasaq, which he alleged prepared the list, had already excluded some of his members from the list.
He also said that it was when one woman rushed at him at the entrance and held his clothes that the crisis erupted.
But Kwara APC caretaker committee Chairman, Samari, told journalists at the NUJ press centre, Ilorin, said: “BOB’s decision to disrupt the meeting that he was invited to as a leader of the party was unfortunate, in bad faith, and definitely contrary to the spirit of the meeting.
“BOB was willingly invited like others. Forcing himself through the unauthorised door with the aid of some thugs is an affirmation of the threat by some youths who had threatened violence if they do not have their way.
“Violence helps no one. We can disagree to agree. As I said above, whatever that is happening is within what is accommodated in a democracy.
”We were shocked at the level of barbarism on display. He was among the stakeholders invited for the meeting.
”Nobody could have prevented him from joining the meeting. His conducts left so much to be desired and we urge him and other leaders of the party to have deeper introspection as senior citizens.
“While party democracy is not without its challenges, introducing hooligalism to the mix is not acceptable.
“Our role as stakeholders is to support the committee led by distinguished Senator John Danboi to succeed in their assignment.
“The committee in its wisdom felt it was proper to properly brief all stakeholders in the party. The committee rightly generated a list of stakeholders that cut across all democratic tendencies within the party.
“Before proceeding, let me make it clear that there is nothing unusual about having tendencies within a party.
”Pluralism of opinion is healthy for democracy. What is not good is anyone resorting to self-help or insisting on being right all the time.
“Such domineering attitude can only breed unsavoury development.
“Against this background gentlemen of the press, we condemn in the strongest terms possible the show of shame by erstwhile party chairman and my brother, Bashir Omolaja Bolarinwa, and a few others who are clearly acting on the instruction of a particular minister.
“This does not make us enemies to one another. We call for decorum and civility even if and when we do not agree on every issue as human beings.
”We sincerely apologise to the Senator Danboi Committee, which witnessed the show of shame, and to the government which had given us access to the State Banquet Hall.
“We also apologise to other invitees that were already seated at the time of this show of shame.
“It is important to also state that the unfortunate incident does not define our party and we urge any aggrieved person to never resort to violence.
“We have since moved on. Importantly, we were able to flag off the party registration/revalidation exercise on Wednesday at the Adewole ward of His Excellency the Governor who was registered by the committee.
”The exercise will begin full blast on Tuesday.”
However, Bolarinwa denied the alleged involvement in the violent that broke out at the parry’s stakeholders meeting.
Bolarinwa said that “the event was planned to disallow our members from the meeting despite the committee that came from Abuja to coordinate the event sent message to me and other leaders of the party.
“Since the event was slated for government hall, the AA support leaders are those listing those that will come in.
“I informed the committee chairman of this issue and he said that there is no problem and that it would be sorted out
“But as I was coming to the main entrance of the hall, a woman supporter of the AA group just moved to me and roughed handle my shirt and started causing crisis and thereby generating reactions.”
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