Kwara APC governorship candidate AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq on Monday said no threat of violence can suppress the resolve of the people to turn the page on the current political status quo in the state.
AbdulRazaq told a news briefing in the state capital Ilorin that Sunday’s attack was the fourth targeted at him since his convoy was attacked by gunmen last November in Kwara South when he led a campaign for the rerun ballot in irepodun/Isin/Oke Ero/Ekiti federal constitution which the APC won.
The briefing was attended by the APC’s Kwara Central senatorial candidate Ibrahim Oloriegbe; top APC chieftain Yahaya Seriki; and hundreds of other party stalwarts.
He said the second was the disruption — reportedly by loyalists of the senate president Bukola Saraki — of the Ilorin Emirate Descendant Progressive Union (IEDPU) programme when it was his turn to address the community gathering.
“You can’t impose your will on the people. What you have are a people clutching at straws. They are drowning men and they are on their way out. They have no answers to the agitation going on in the state,” AbdulRazaq said.
“Ilorin has changed. Kwara has changed. People are tired. There were major defections to our party just yesterday in Kaiama. People want a breath of fresh air and their response to that is violence. We won’t join them to encourage violence. We will keep on reporting them to the appropriate authorities because this is our town and we won’t destroy it. We know they are not from here and they don’t care whatever happens to our community.”
He also said people are tired of electing a governor who would always be at the mercy of their godfather, saying the incumbent cannot take any decision on Kwara except such decisions enjoy the backing of his godfather — a veiled reference the to mentor-mentee relationship of Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed and Saraki.
He added: “The last time they came, they brought Fatah Ahmed. But we know he’s not an executive governor. He couldn’t tar a single road in Ifelodun local government where he comes from. So, why do you expect the one they are bringing now to do any better? There is a lot of work to be done in Kwara. They asked them about the minimum wage and they said they will and even pay more. These are people who haven’t paid salary for many months. Mind you, people have not noticed that last year’s budget was N190b; this year’s budget is N150b. if you cannot pay salary with N190b, how can you pay salary with N150b? they are not here to do anything. They just want the perks of office. We have to get them out because enough is enough.”
Ibrahim Oloriegbe, for his part, said one APC member — AbdulRasheed Oloduowo — was shot dead while several others were injured as suspected PDP thugs attacked a rally of the APC at Ode Alfa Nda in the state capital. He said over 50 vehicles belonging to APC chieftains were destroyed in the area, including at Agbaji, the homestead of Saraki.
Identifying and calling for immediate arrest of thugs he claimed were working for the senate president, Oloriegbe recalled that similar violence was unleashed on Kwarans in 2003 during Saraki’s campaigns for the office of governor.