The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed on Saturday in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital, took a swipe at Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq and his supporters over the recent leadership crisis rocking the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state.
The minister literarily drew the battle line with the governor when he openly criticised him and lamented that “We were warned about his choice then but failed to listen”.
Lai Mohammed who was in Ilorin to commission the new party 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 were we have to speak out. We have been pushed to the wall and we have no choice to come out and exposed there 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:
“Nothing of such happened. I single handedly by the grace of God with the support of friends, politicians and associates raised all the money for all the elections we had in Kwara during that period starting from the by-election that brought in Hon Raheem Olawoye (Ajulo Opin) as rep member.
“No body gave the party a dime for logistics apart from what I gave. I distributed 500 motorcycles and 200 vehicles and many of the beneficiaries are seated here today. I challenge them to explain to Nigerians and all of you what happened to the balance of the N70m that Ajulo-Opin refused to give us from the N150m that I facilitated to prosecute the elections.
“When it was time for the governorship election, we didn’t see him (the governor) and we could not wait. So we financed the election with the money raised. They got there today and forget those who worked hard to get them there but rather selling lies and dummies”, the minister added.
He said there will not be congress in Kwara state without the registration of the members who have not been able to do so.
“About two weeks ago, myself, Prof Shuaib Oba, Alhaji Tajudeen Audu met with the national chairman of the APC on the issue. He assured us that Kwara is a special state and there will be no Congress until we are all registered. When the officials are around, come out in your thousands for the exercise to let them know where the power lies”, he submitted.