The crisis rocking the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Kwara State may not be over soon as the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed said the battle line has been drawn with Governor AbdulRahman Abdulrazaq.
Mohammed, who spoke at the launching of a factional secretariat of the party in Ilorin at the weekend, also disclosed that the party will hold a fresh registration/revalidation of members in the state.
The minister faulted the recently concluded registration exercise in the state, saying it did not capture every member of the party.
He said he and other aggrieved members of the party in the state have the assurance of the party’s National Caretaker Committee.
Mohammed said: “The recently concluded membership registration exercise conducted in the state is a charade as most members of the party were not given the opportunity to register as the registration documents were not made available to them.
“When we observed this, myself and two former governorship aspirants, Prof Oba AbdulRaheem and Alhaji Tajudeen Audu, went to the National Chairman of the party, Alhaji Mai Mala Buni, and he assured us that a fresh registration would be done for party members in Kwara.
“We didn’t know him (Abdulrazaq) before. He has no campaign office. The battle line is now drawn.
@Without you, members, there would be no APC in the state. I want to assure you all that no party congress will hold in Kwara State until the fresh registration/revalidation exercise is conducted for all APC members in Kwara State.”
Replying to the governor’s allegation that a cabal within the party received hundreds of millions of naira as donations for the Kwara struggle, but did not deliver a kobo to him, the minister said he did not receive donations from any minister or governor of the party as campaign funds for the 2019 general elections in the state.
“I never diverted APC 2019 general elections campaign funds for my personal use as alleged by Kwara State Governor, AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq.
“By the grace of God, I single handedly, with the support of friends and family, raised all the monies for the Oke-Ero/Isin/Ekiti/Irepodun Federal Constituency by-election of November 2019 that brought 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. I did that by the grace of God,” he said.
Mohammed noted that he distributed 500 motorcycles and 20 vehicles, with many of the beneficiaries in attendance to buttress his claim.
“There was the money from party leaders to mobilize and I have my witness. We distributed money, vehicles and motorcycles.
@Did he put a kobo down? How did he think we could win without mobilization? Before he became our candidate, we already knew we’ve made a big mistake. But God knew it was going to be that way. He (governor) was never a party member. We thought he was reliable.
He added: “I want them to explain to Nigerians what happened to the N70m that Mr. Olawuyi kept that the governor refused to give us during the by-election.
@But for the grace of God and some friends, there would have been no election in November 2018, because when we raised money, we gave them, but two days before the election, we could not reach them on their phones anymore.
“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.
“Without any fear of contradictions that the money raised from friends, colleagues and associates were used to finance the four elections and the party scored 100 per cent.
“I remember a governor calling me when we won the first election to ask if it was true we won the by-election. And I told him ‘yes sir.’
‘He said ‘I want to apologise to you, when you came to me for money, they told me not to give you money. They told me you are a Lagos politician and nobody could defeat Saraki.’
“But then, we did not know that God brings more wonder. That is how we won all the elections. But today, they have got there and forgotten the people that put them there. If we did not give money to the party, how did he think the party won?” he asked.