By Mosunmola Ayobami, Kwara
Members of the Kwara State House of Assembly on Sunday disputed claims by the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed that he funded the 2019 governorship and House of Assembly elections in the state.
21 out of the 24 members of the House signed a statement, which was read by the Deputy Speaker, Hon. Raphael Adetiba at a press briefing held at the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) press center, Ilorin.
The lawmakers said the minister did not give any support in any form to them during the campaign and election.
They said: “Our attention has been drawn to an odious lie recently told by the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, claiming that he supported and or financed the campaign and election of the 24 members into the Kwara State House of Assembly in the last general elections in 2019.
“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.
“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.
“Apart from the governorship candidate, 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.
“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?”
According to them, the minister’s vituperation may not be unconnected with Governor Abdulrazaq’s accusation of mismanagement the campaign fund donated for the 2019 elections by ‘friends of Kwara’.
They added that, the minister was clearly running away from being accountable while struggling to portray himself as the New Napoleon, noting that era is gone in Kwara State.