By Rotimi Ijikanmi
The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed has said he singly funded the run-off and 2019 elections in Kwara State in which the All Progressives Congress, APC recorded landslide victory.
The minister made the revelation while decrying what he called the non-inclusive administration being run by Kwara governor, AbdulRazaq AbduRahman on Saturday in Ilorin at the inauguration of a new state secretariat of the party.
While addressing APC members who thronged the new secretariat, the Minister said the action of the governor amounted to biting the fingers that fed him.
“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.
“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,’’ he said.
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.
Mohammed alleged that Hon. Tunji Ajuloopin, representing Ekiti/Irepodun/Isin/Okeero Federal Constituency embezzled N70 million campaign fund.
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 150 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 also said he has been given an 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 minister said the APC Caretaker Chairman and governor of Yobe, Mai-Mala Buni, gave him the assurance when he led a team of party leaders from Kwara to him.
“Let me assure you that there will be no congress in Kwara State until and when we are all registered and that is when such congress will be free and fair.
“About two weeks ago, myself, Prof. Oba Abdulraheem and Makama, went to the national chairman of the party and he assured us that Kwara State is a special state.
“He assured us that there will be no congress until we are all registered.
“I am therefore appealing to all of you to come out and register when they come,’’ he said.
The factional state chairman of APC in the state, Bashir Bolarinwa, said the minister led the campaigns that resulted in the overwhelming defeat of PDP in the last elections.
Bolarinwa also denied the allegation of diversion of party funds during the elections.
Other party leaders, who spoke at the event, were Hon. AbdulGaniyu Olododo representing Ilorin East and South in the House of Representatives, Prof. Oba Abdulraheem, a former Vice Chancellor of the University of Ilorin and Iyiola Oyedepo.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the high point of the event was the inauguration of the new secretariat by the minister.