By Abdulrasheed Akogun
The Kwara North Stakeholders Consultative Forum, the coordinating umbrella for the actualization of power shift to the Kwara North Senatorial District has suffered a setback, as one of its ranking members have pulled out of the grouping, citing greed and deceit as his reasons.
This much was contained in a press release titled KWARA NORTH CONSULTATIVE FORUM LACKS THE SINCERITY OF PURPOSE AND GENUINE INTENTION TO SECURE GOVERNORSHIP FOR THE DISTRICT IN 2023 and signed by Alh. Mohammed Shafiyi, a former Kwara State Organizing Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Shafiyi, the Edu born politician while decrying hijack of the group for “selfish political agenda”, announced his resignation from the group’s membership, stressing that the group is being clandestinely tele-guided.
Shafiyi said “As a founding member of the Kwara North Consultative Forum (KNCF), I joined the forum with the belief that we can use the platform to mobilize our people towards achieving our collective interest of producing a Governor of Kwara North extraction in 2023. In the beginning, there were good signals to believe that what we were doing was for the greater good, and that our objective would be attained judging by our perceived resolve to stay focused on our mission and be transparent in our dealings.
“Although I have had my concerns and reservations since I observed the cladestine moves of key figures of the Forum, the so-called World Press Conference conveyed by the group on Wednesday, November 10, further confirmed my suspicions that we are being teleguided by some individuals with vested interests outside the declared interest of Kwara North.
“It is obvious that the ordinary people of Kwara North and some of our key stakeholders can also see through the deceit. This is why apart from the so-called “aspirants”, no other serious stakeholder from the zone attended the press conference. Not a single woman turned up from Edu, Patigi, Kiama and Baruten. As in the case of the prayers convened earlier in the year, majority of the attendees came from Moro, especially those who live in Ilorin and supporters of some of the aspirants from Ilorin and Kwara South.
“I believe that there are one or two people in the Forum who are genuinely committed to the cause. But majority are agents of particular aspirants.
The truth is that our people have been lukewarm about the agitation because they can see that it is not about the people but about the personal ambition of some individuals who have held important positions in the past but did not do anything for them or for Kwara North.
“For a group that wants to stand for a purpose and demand for specific rights, one will expect that such a group will be funded squarely by the members in order to retain their independence and be able to pursue their demands with required single-mindedness without any distractions from anyone. But the Kwara North Consultative Forum is now being funded by individuals that are not known to majority of members and stakeholders of the Forum. As a member of the group, I and a few other members find it quite embarrassing to read media reports with allegations that our activities are being funded by some individuals with ulterior motives of causing disharmony within the PDP.
“Even if this allegation is not true, how can we defend ourselves when our own communique says we will support any party that gives governor to Kwara North. As a loyal party member, I find this very strange. Some of the aspirants just decamped to PDP. Are they saying that if the APC decides to zone governorship to the North, they will return to APC? Or, are they saying that if any of the smaller parties zones it governorship to Kwara North, we will work for that party? How then do we expect the PDP, which in reality remains our best vehicle to power in 2023 to take us seriously?
“I feel sad to see that a struggle that started so well, has now been hijacked. Several of the prominent stakeholders who started it now barely know what is happening behind closed doors and what transactions some individuals are using our collective struggle to negotiate.
“Before it’s too late, I wish to state categorically that I have lost total confidence in the ability of Kwara North Stakeholders Forum to prosecute and spearhead the struggle for Kwara North governorship in 2023. Without sincerity and genuine intentions on the part of everyone involved in the struggle for Kwara North political emancipation, this struggle would not deliver any result.
“I believe in our mantra of equity, justice and fairness. I also believe that Kwara North has the right to govern the state like others, but I don’t want anybody to use my name to promote their selfish ambitions, by exploiting the collective aspirations of our people.
“Some of us have seen through the smokescreen and we have a duty to speak up and tell our people what’s happening.
“In my knowledge of all struggles to attain political objective, I have never seen where people will be working to achieve collective aspiration and still be battling to fulfil individual ambitions. General good and individual agenda can never work together. Our decision at the time we commenced the struggle for the Kwara North governorship in 2023 was for all stakeholders to bury individual ambitions and pursue the collective interest of Kwara North. But this is not what is happening.
“Key politicians from Kwara North, with the instigation and inducements of their colleagues from other parts of the State, have now reduced the genuine struggle for Kwara North political emancipation to negotiating individual ambitions and interests. Everyone is playing behind the scene games that are sabotaging our public efforts towards attaining the objective we set for ourselves. We cannot in all honesty expect the rest of the State to take us serious if we cannot even genuinely unite to pursue our common goal with dedication and sincerity.
“I believe what we need in Kwara North, especially among the stakeholders, is deep reflection and soul-searching. We can hold hundreds of press conferences and make public noise, but without sincerity it will be difficult to achieve our objective for Kwara North in 2023 or at any other time in the future” he added