By Abiodun Esan/Aliyu Usman
Senate President Dr Bukola Saraki and Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed are in serious battle for the soul of All Progressives Congress (APC) in Kwara, with both participating in parallel state congress in Ilorin on Saturday, to elect state executives.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that while the faction loyal to Saraki held its congress at the Banquet Hall opposite the Government House, the faction loyal to Lai Mohammed, held theirs at the Arca Santa Event Hall.
Gov. Abdulfatah Ahmed, APC National Publicity Secretary, Bolaji Abdullahi, Sen Shaaba Lafiaji and lawmakers representing the state at the National Assembly and state House of Assembly were present at the congress which had Saraki in attendance.
Saraki, while speaking at the congress commended members of the party for the peaceful conduct of the ward and local government congresses.
He said most of the executive members at the wards and local government level were youths, adding that “this was a sign of good things to come in 2019”.
The Senate President said: “In 2019, it will be a test for the youths to demonstrate their ability to take charge in the state,” he said.
Saraki, however, appealed to the delegates to comport themselves in an orderly and peaceful manner.
The party’s Chairman, Alhaji Ishola Balogun-Fulani, commended members for their conduct during the last two congresses of the party.
The congress held at Arca Santa Hall had Moshood Mustapha, a former Special Assistant to the Senate President on Special Duties and Inter-Parliamentary Affairs in attendance.
Alhaji Raheem Adedoyin, a former Commissioner for Information under the Saraki administration, was also in attendance.
Also present was a former Secretary to the State Government under the Saraki administration, Alhaji Ganiyu Cook-Olododo.
NAN reports that executive members of the two factions emerged through consensus arrangement.
While delegates at the Banquet Hall still cast their votes in spite of the fact that the candidates had no opponents, those at the Arca Santa Hall only affirmed the return of candidates.
Alhaji Moshood Bolarinwa emerged the State Chairman of the faction loyal to the minister, while Malam Abdullahi Samari was elected as the Deputy Chairman.
Others were Alhaji Abdulganiyu Saka (Secretary); Abegunde Goge (Assistant Secretary); Rahmat Abolaji (Women leader) and Samuel Isaac (Youth Leader).
Also included were Mr Olayemi Olabanji, Kwara South Senatorial Chairman; Sulyman Yahaya, Kwara Central Senatorial Chairman; and Raheem Usman, Kwara North Senatorial Chairman.
Kayode Oyin-Zubair emerged Publicity Secretary of the faction, while Abiola Nasir was elected as Financial Secretary.
Wahila Sakariyah emerged as the Organising Secretary.