How I funded 2019 elections in Kwara: Lai Mohammed

…says APC congresses won’t hold in Kwara until full registration, revalidation

 The grassroots is solidly behind us – Olododo

Lai facilitating federal appointments to Kwara – Akogun

Stakeholders hail Lai, BOB’s effort during ‘Otoge’ struggle

The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, has revealed how he sourced money to finance the run-off and 2019 elections in Kwara state which the All Progressive Congress won landslide.

“By the grace of God, I single-handedly, with the support of friends, politicians and families raised all the money for the five elections. I challenge anybody here to say who gave the party one penny apart from what I gave them. The money paid to party agents and leaders to mobilise voters was raised by me,” Lai said on Saturday in Ilorin at the inauguration of a new state secretariat of the party.

“I challenge anybody here to say that he gave logistic support to the party, I did it by the grace of God. I distributed 500 motorcycles, 20 vehicles and many of the beneficiaries are here.”

The minister also refuted the allegations that he diverted campaign funds to personal use.

He said if he had not deployed the funds he raised judiciously, the party would not have been able to record the resounding success in the elections.

He alleged that during the re-run election in the constituency, the lawmaker could only account for N30 million out of the N100 million raised.

“They should explain what happened to the balance of N70 million that Ajulo kept and refused to give us during the election.

“I have to go to friends to raise another N150 million to prosecute that election which we won,” he said.

He stressed that it was unfortunate that after he laboured with other party leaders to win Kwara for APC, the governor and his cohorts were maligning him.

The minister said he met with the APC Caretaker Chairman and governor of Yobe, Mai-Mala Buni, who gave the assurance that there will be no APC congress in Kwara until all members of the party are duly registered and have revalidated their membership.

The state chairman of APC, Bashir Bolarinwa, said the minister led the campaigns that resulted in the overwhelming defeat of PDP in the last elections.

He also denied the allegation of diversion of party funds during the elections.

AbdulGaniyu Olododo representing Ilorin East and South in the House of Representatives hailed the minister’s effort during the otoge struggle that birth the current leadership in the state.

He said, “The Minister has said part of what I wanted to say, because today, I’m saying it before everybody that if there was no parallel congress in 2018, there would have been no APC today and our case would have been like that of Zamfara. The people at the parallel congress then are the people here today as well. Let it be known today that God is with us because the masses are with us.

“Those going to radio, where were they when we were holding the parallel congress then. Then, the dynasty we wanted to send parking was ready to sponsor both parties. Yinka Aluko and I told the Minister (Lai) then that if we don’t hold a parallel congress, there will be trouble because we know the dynasty too well. So it is very bad for somebody to now go against those of us that initiated the parallel congresses.

“This is not about talking, we understand Kwara election very well. Already the national chairman had told us that there will be no congress in Kwara until after every intending member is registered. We are more than them, they are just pretending. We own the grassroots. Some politicians, when election comes, they’ll be around sharing money, but once election n is gone, they’ll switch off their phone and go hidden. What we need to do now is to go to our ward, get our voters card and start work because we only have people but w don’t have money. We’ll deal with them!

“In 2019, no gubernatorial candidate gave me money. The only money I got was the one sourced by Lai Mohammed and it was distributed through the party. I said long ago that they have no dollar again. He started lying not now but before he won the election. Kwarans are getting wiser every day, go back and do your homework, don’t depend on party. We all have a campaign office in 2019, help us ask them where their campaign office was then. You don’t do hall programme if indeed you have enough people.”

The former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ilorin, Prof Oba AbdulRaheem, for his part urged Kwarans not to renege on their support for the party.

“We were somewhere before and in a better place today. Where we are today is more befitting. We thank Kwarans for your usual support. By God’s grace, we’ll come back here to jubilate,” he said.

Akogun Iyiola Oyedepo, who debunked insinuations that the governor is facilitating federal appointments for Kwarans, hailed the minister’s role in the struggle that birthed the new leadership in the state.

He said, “I’ll like to thank our leader for the notable work they are doing in Abuja. For those of us getting federal appointments, it is through Alhaji Lai Mohammed and not the governor. Secondly, the governor said we didn’t campaign for him, help us ask him, did he hold any campaign? Of the 16 local government areas in Kwara State, he only visited a few.

“Is that enough to make him win a governorship election? He now claims he owns the Otoge struggle. Where was he when we were during the struggle, someone that will get ticket today and run out of the country the following day? He only benefitted from the struggle but he was never part of it. Only God will judge.

“I urge everybody to support the minister. You should also take home the report that without registration of all intending members, there will be no congress in Kwara.”

Other party leaders, present at the event, were Tajuden Audu Makama, Chief Rex Olawoyin, Saheed Popoola among others.

The Informant247 News Nigeria

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