Information and Culture Minister, Lai Mohammed, does not appear to be working on the same page with his Kwara State wing of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
The minister’s seeming confrontational posturing has drawn the ire of leaders and elders of the party in the state. They are accusing him of allegedly denigrating Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq.
They came on the platform of Kwara APC Elders Caucus to respond to the disparaging comments allegedly made by the minister about the governor in a recent newspaper interview.
Spokesman of the elders, Ambassador Nurudeen Mohammed, said in Ilorin, the state capital, “for Lai Mohammed to denigrate Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq’s political status in Kwara State and his role in the funding of the 2019 electioneering campaigns and election proper is most unfortunate.”
He was flanked by other leaders of the group, including Kunle Sulyman, a lawyer, Senator Mohammed Ahmed, Chief Wole Oke and Chief James Ayeni.
Continuing, the elders claimed that the minister was never known in Kwara politics until 2002 when he surfaced in the state “apparently exported to the state from Lagos to come and take over governance just as his colleagues in other Yoruba states, who have, before then spent all their years in Lagos where they cut their political teeth and had held one political office or the other, elected or appointive before they were sent on loan to their home states to take over governance at the expense of the people (politicians) who had been on ground for decades and residing in their states since birth.”
While recalling that Mohammed was the chief of staff to a former Lagos State governor in the current Fourth Republic, the APC elders noted: “Of all his Lagos colleagues hitherto sent out from Lagos to contest governorship election in the current Republic, it’s only Lai Mohammed who has failed to win in his state where he contested in 2003.
“The question one would like to ask is why he failed in the election. The answer should be obvious. Lai Mohammed was never seen in Kwara in the Second Republic politics nor was he ever heard of in the political landscape of Kwara state politics of the Third Republic.
‘’He was an unknown quantity in those days. He has all along been a de facto Lagosian rather than being a Kwaran. For all that it is worth, when we talk of political pedigree and dynasty, Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq belongs to the most well known political lineage in Ilorin.”
On the funding of the 2019 elections in Kwara state, the elders noted with satisfaction that the governor and members of the National Assembly and state House of Assembly had denied receiving a dime from the minister.
As a way forward, they urged the minister “to rethink and modify his view as expressed in the interview where he asserted that reconciliation will be difficult. Nothing is difficult to achieve in this era of reintegration and reconciliation where there is the will to do so. Nothing is difficult in establishing friendly relationships when people have cultivated the spirit of love.”