The ongoing rift between the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed and the Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq on what controls Kwara State politics, has taken another dimension as members of the Kwara State House of Assembly have accused the minister of creating division in the state, and attempting to impose himself as a godfather.
Lai Mohammed during an inauguration of the secretariat of a faction of the APC in Kwara, said the party regrets supporting Abdulrazaq, who he claimed was ungrateful.
However, the minister’s words led to a press briefing at the NUJ Press Centre in Ilorin, the state capital, on Sunday, as the Deputy Speaker of the House, Hon. Raphael Olanrewaju Adetiba on behalf of the Speaker of the House, Rt. Hon. Engr. Yakubu Danladi-Salihu, said the Minister did not in any form support the then APC House of Assembly candidates during the campaigns and election.
At the briefing jointly held on behalf of 21 of the 24 members of the Assembly whom he said were “convinced that Kwara can no longer be brought under any godfather or slave driver”, he said:
“We ordinarily should have ignored the Minister and took it as another lie from Lai Mohammed but for the unsuspecting members of the public and posterity, the record needs to be set straight,” he said, flanked by several members of the Assembly.
“Lai Mohammed did not give any support in any form to members of the 9th legislature during the campaign and election; if he did, he should name who and what he gave out. Could the Minister be mixing things up on account of his old age?.
“For God knows reason, Lai Mohammed did not participate in any of our campaigns and did not also contribute financially to it. It was the then Governorship candidate of our party, the APC, who supported our campaigns all through. For the records, all the twenty-four members of the House of Assembly received financial support from His Excellency Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq for the purpose of prosecuting the House of Assembly election, so Lai Mohammed should please stop telling lie to the people.
“Apart from the governorship candidate (His Excellency Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq), the other support was the sum of N500,000 each that we received from the national headquarters of our party, APC. Other than that, it was the Governor who funded our expenses including logistics, souvenirs, posters and other campaign materials. Even so, at no time did the Governor go about telling anyone that he funded our campaign.
“It is also laughable that Lai Mohammed could claim to have personally raised money to finance the 2019 general elections in Kwara State. The question that would readily come to mind is: What is Lai’s contribution to his own Ward, Local Government, District and Kwara in general to have earned him respect and reputation for people to trust him and donate money to him,” he said.
The lawmakers advised the Minister not to drag them into any controversy, adding that, the governor remains the leader of the state.