By Rotimi Ijikanmi
Ilorin, Feb. 16, 2021 A former Minister of Transport, Bio Ibrahim, has accused the Speaker of Kwara House of Assembly, Salisu Yakubu-Danladi, of hoarding materials meant for the conduct of the on-going APC registration and revalidation exercise in the state.
Ibrahim, also a former Speaker of Kwara House of Assembly, made the accusation in Ilorin while speaking with journalists
The former minister said he had arrived the state on Feb. 3 in preparation for the registration and revalidation exercise scheduled for Feb. 9.
“I went to Baruten for the exercise and after a few days the registration commenced; the materials for my ward and others were not delivered.
“I waited till Feb.10 and reported to the Area Commander of Police in Kosubosu and the Director, DSS, who is the head of the security service in Baruten and they swung into acton to find out why.
“The Director, DSS, confirmed to me that the materials for my ward were not delivered,” he said.
Ibrahim said he sent a message to Gov. AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq to complain that the materials for his ward was missing and the governor responded that he would investigate the issue.
The former minister said there was tension and apprehension among party members in the ward over the development although he kept assuring them to maintain the peace as he had reported the case to the appropriate authorities.
“At about 4 p.m., I received a call from the Speaker that he is the one holding on to the materials for my ward.
“When I asked him the reason for holding on to the materials, he said there is a security report that there is going to be crisis in the wards.
“I questioned him over that; that is if there is any security report, the person in the best position to get such security report is the governor and not the Speaker.
“I have been Speaker of the same House at a time and I cannot remember when security reports are delivered to my table,” he said.
The former minister said the materials were later released by the Speaker for the exercise to commence in the ward on Feb. 12.
He said apart from his ward, there were other wards that were yet to receive the registration materials as of Feb. 15 when he left the local government.
“There are wards that have not commenced registration because we do not know where the materials disappeared to up till when I left Baruten.
“There were some women who wanted to do registration and have to go through the four polling units in Okuta but they could not register.
“When they came back, they said in Okuta town, they were writing peoples’ names on notebooks because of absence of materials,” he said.
Ibrahim said the process had denied many people the opportunity to register their names and revalidate their membership of the party.
On his general assessment of the exercise, the former minister said: ” It is lopsided, cumbersome and problematic.
“I think the exercise is lopsided because I have done registration of party membership more than five times.
“This is the first experience I will be going through a cumbersome and problematic method of registration,
“I think the reason is because most of the political office holders are looking at the registration as a way to try to harvest and harness the delegates’ list.
“Anyone who wants to stand for election or return either as a senator or House of Representative member, House of Assembly or governor will be looking at the registration differently from the previous seamless ones,” he said
Ibrahim explained that the APC had adopted direct primaries and all the card carrying members were like delegates.
He said the direct primaries method was responsible for the “do-or-die” scenario created in the exercise.
“If it were to be like before where they did indirect primaries and the card carrying members did not really matter, I don’t think it will be as fierce as this
” The governors and other elected political office holders are looking at it from the point of view that if they have to return, they must ensure that only their loyalists are registered,” he said.
Giving his suggestions on the way out of the crisis, Ibrahim said the leadership of the party in the state must be ready to carry everybody along.
“Leadership is the act of carrying the bad and the good together.
“You do not say that one of your finger has withlow and you will cut it off; it is part of your body.
“When you are a leader of a party it is not everybody that will like you or toe your line, but it is incumbent on you to manage everybody accordingly,” he said.
He admonished the party’s leadership to come together in order to consolidate on the gains recorded in the 2019 elections through the Otoge movement.
“After victory, what we need is the management of the victory and we need men of courage, patriotism and big heart to manage it,” he said.
He specifically urged the governor to call every group to a roundtable and resolve the differences in order to move forward.
The Speaker has, however, denied hoarding APC registration materials in the state, insisting that all interested persons had access to registration materials at polling units in their wards.
Yakubu-Danladi, who spoke with Naija247news said: ” Ask anybody in the whole of Baruten Local Government, everybody registered in their polling unit.
” He(Ibrahim)registered and he registered on the second day of the (registration) exercise.”
The Speaker also said the former minister registered with other members of his family.