Members of the Kwara South Unity Forum in Kwara State have initiated a recall process against the senator representing the Kwara South Senatorial District, Dr. Rafiu Ibrahim.
According to a photocopy of the acknowledged copy of the petition, made available to journalists in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital, on Sunday, the petition had been sent to the Independent National Electoral Commission and the office of the President of the Senate.
The letter, dated November 13, was received and acknowledged at INEC on November 14 and the office of the President of the Senate on November 17.
The public notification of the recall process, however, did not come without a drama.
While the group was about addressing journalists at Ofa on the recall process, hoodlums and thugs stormed the venue and disrupted the media briefing.
The General Secretary of the Kwara South Unity Forum, Mr. Ahmed Akorede, alleged that the invaders also made away with some valuables, adding that members of the group had been receiving threat messages, for discharging their “human right and constitutional” responsibility.
The President of the group, Mr. John Adegboye, while addressing journalists during a media briefing at Ijagbo in the Oyun Local Government Area of Kwara State, alleged poor representation by Ibrahim.
He also accused Ibrahim of disregarding members and elders of the senatorial district while taking directives from external personalities.
He further alleged that issues, critical to the growth and development of Kwara South, were allegedly being openly disregarded and dismissed by the senator.
Adegboroye also accused Ibrahim of abusing their democratic rights and intelligence and was not sufficiently addressing human capital development in the area.
He stated, “A situation whereby, a man we voted for, now comes out openly and with audacity, to state that he needs to consult ‘his boss’, who isn’t even from Kwara South, is nothing but a violation of our human and democratic rights.”
Adegboye said it was wrong for Ibrahim to kneel before the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki.
According to him, the Senate is a gathering of equals while the President of the Senate is simply the first among equals.
He said, “We find it demeaning, insulting and outrageous that our senator acted as an escort and body guard to the wife of the Senate President when she was arraigned in court on charges of money laundering by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.
“This unnecessary show of subservience has been interpreted to imply a situation in which we are not the people in control of our destinies. We cannot accept this anymore.
“It is therefore under these circumstances that the good people of Kwara South today decide to intimate the generality of Nigerians about our intention to recall Senator Rafiu Ibrahim from the 8th National Assembly.
“We affirm that the Kwara South Unity Forum has instituted recall proceedings against the senator representing Kwara South Senatorial District. The days of ‘shadow democracy and indirect rule,’ whereby a few individuals become more important than the entire electorate, are over.”
But a coalition of students, during another media briefing, passed a vote of confidence in Ibrahim.
The coalition comprises the National Association of Nigerian Students, Kwara State branch, and the National Association of Kwara State Students.
The students’ speech was jointly signed by the Chairman, NANS, Kwara, Abdulkadir Aliyu; President, NAKSS, Abdulafeez Oyedepo; and Director of Travelling and Exchange, NANS, Abdullahi Olawale.
Aliyu, who read the speech, said Ibrahim had made tremendous contributions towards infrastructural and human capital development in Kwara South.
He said, “Ibrahim’s unblemished reputation, leadership sagacity, hospitality, open door policy, philanthropic gesture, kind-heartedness, ‘articulacy’, listening ears and most importantly, his integrity, have given us hope that with his kind, there is a great hope for the Nigerian students.”
Stakeholders of the All Progressives Congress, led by Kazeem Adekanye, during the media briefing, urged the senator and the proponent of his recall to embrace dialogue.
Adekanye, a former Chairman, Transition Implementation Committee, Irepodun LGA, said there was unity in the party.
He said, “For some of us, we believe that we have leaders that we respect. Yes, we may have one or two things that may not be okay with us, we should employ better means of engaging them so as for us all to reap the benefits of democracy.
“We all know that as senators, their primary job is to legislate; the other aspect has to do with constituency project. I am aware he has brought a lot of constituency projects to Kwara South. He has also been reaching out to people as individuals and I am sure he has reached out to traditional rulers.
“We in Kwara South, we are under one leadership of Dr. Bukola Saraki. All of us, who are his disciples and followers, are united under that banner. There are no internal crises; there is no war between us.”