…say ‘minister never funded our elections, he mismanaged N82.5 million’
The perennial crisis rocking the Kwara State chapter of the ruling All Progressives Congress degenerated on Sunday as 24 members of the state House of Assembly accused the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, of lying about funding their elections.
Speaker of the Kwara State House of Assembly, Yakubu Danladi-Salihu, while speaking with newsmen in Ilorin, described claims by the Minister Mohammed that he funded elections of the current state lawmakers as baseless and unfounded.
The Assembly members said Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq, who was then APC governorship candidate, could claim to have offered them massive support during the election.
The lawmakers stated this while reacting to the Minister’s allegations against them, Governor AbdulRaman Abdulrazaq and member of the House of Representatives, AbdulRaheem Olawuyi.
The Kwara Assembly members also urged the APC National Secretariat to sanction Lai Mohammed over his comments on the forthcoming APC congresses in the state.
The minister had said the congresses would not hold in the state until all members of the party had been duly registered on Saturday.
But the lawmakers said Mohammed lacked the authority to speak on behalf of the party.
They stated, “His utterances amount to impersonation. He is not the spokesperson of the APC. He should focus his attention on speaking for the Federal Government.
“Therefore, congresses will commence from July 24th, this month from the Ward level.”
The House of Representatives members, Hon Olawuyi, on his part, said the allegation of diversion of N70 million in November 2018 for the Irepodun/Ekiti/Oko-Ero/Isin Federal constituency election campaign fund was baseless, frivolous and wild.
According to him, “The Minister is only being economical with the truth, petty and resorting to the politics of pull him down.
“A North Central Governor reached out to me on personal ground to donate to the 2018 by-election and when the minister got wind of the donation, he immediately reached out to me and asked me to bring the money.
“On my own, I personally gave Alhaji Lai Muhammed the sum of N32.5 million, with the full knowledge of the former party chairman, Bashiru Bolarinwa, for election purposes; the minister and Bashir Bolarinwa cannot deny this except there is no conscience left.
“Now, if anyone is to be accused of mismanaging the 2018 campaign fund, it should be nobody other than Lai Mohammed, who till date cannot give details of how the money was spent.
“It will also interest the public to know that one senior Federal Government official told Governor AbdulRazaq, who was then the candidate of our party, that Lai Mohammed reached out to him and claimed that there was no money for the bye-election campaign in Kwara.
“The official whose name I won’t mention here spoke and pleaded with our Governorship candidate (now the governor) and asked him to release N50 million to the Minister, which was released but the money was never accounted for nor used for campaign purposes as envisaged.
“Now, if anyone is to be accused of mismanaging the 2018 campaign fund, it should be nobody other than Lai Mohammed, who till date cannot give details of how the money was spent.”