The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed on Saturday in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital, took some verbal shots at Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq and his supporters over the recent leadership crisis rocking the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state.
Mohammed criticized the governor and lamented that “We were warned about his choice then but failed to listen”.
Lai Mohammed who was in Ilorin to commission the new secretariat of the Bashir Bolarinwa led faction of the party was making his first public statement on the protracted crisis.
According to him, “It has gotten to the point where we have to speak out. We have been pushed to the wall and we have no choice to come out and exposed their lies and pretensions.
“It was immediately after the Governor emerged as the party’s candidate for the election that it dawned on us that we have entered one chance.
“But despite all the warnings from concerned party leaders and others who had reservations about his choice, our reaction then was that no matter what, his choice was better than where we were coming from. But we were wrong”, he added.
On the call by the governor for the minister and other party leaders to account for the funds that accrued to the party during the campaign, the minister said:
“I never diverted All Progressives Congress (APC) 2019 general elections funds for my personal use as alleged by Kwara State Governor AbdulRahman Abdulrasaq.”
“By the grace of God, I single-handedly with the support of friends, politicians and family raised all the monies for the Oke-Ero/Isin/Ekiti/Irepodun Federal Constituency bye-election of November 2019 that brought Hon. Tunji Olawuyi to the House of Representatives.
“And I challenge anybody here to say he gave the party one penny apart from what I gave them. I challenge anybody here to say he gave logistics support to the party too. I did that by the grace of God and I distributed 500 motorcycles and 20 vehicles. And many of the beneficiaries are here today.”
“I want them to explain to Nigerians about what happened to the N70million that Hon Olawuyi released but the governor refused to give us during the bye-election.
“I had to go to friends to raise another N150 million to prosecute that election. I remember very well that there are 42 wards in that constituency. We thank God today that was the beginning of our success.”
“When elections proper came, we did not see our governorship candidate.
“We could not wait. I say without any fear of contradictions that by the grace of God, with the money raised from friends, colleagues and associates we financed the four elections and we scored 100 per cent.”
“I remember a governor when we won the first election calling me to ask if it was true we won the bye-election. And I told him ‘yes sir.’
He said “I want to apologise to you when you came to me for money, they advised me not to give you. They told me you are a Lagos politician, that nobody can defeat saraki.”
On the forthcoming state congresses nationwide, Alhaji Mohammed said that: “The Acting National Chairman of APC, Mai Mala Buni has assured us that no congress will take place in Kwara State until all our members are registered. And that the congress will be free and fair by the grace of God.”
“About two weeks ago, myself in the company of for governorship aspirant, Prof Shuaib AbdulRaheem and others went to meet with the chairman and he assured us that Kwara State is a special case and there will be no congress until we are all registered. And we believe him. When they come, please come out in your thousands and let them know where the power lies,” the minister said.