Lai Mohammed, the Minister of Information and Culture, has retaliated against Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq of Kwara state after the governor accused him of ‘hiding’ monies given to his election campaign in 2019.
The Governor, who has been at odds with Lai Mohammed, made the assertion during an interview with ThisDay in which he refuted the Minister’s claim that he raised the lion’s share of funding for the state’s 2019 elections, which the APC won by a landslide.
Abdulrazaq stated that Mohammed “buried” N100 million contributed to his campaign by a south-eastern businessman, adding that Mohammed supported his campaign with his pals.
In response to this, Mohammed claimed in an interview with ThisDay that it is “very juvenile, foolish, and desperate” for a politician to expose the sources of campaign funding.
That, he claims, is why he has long maintained that the Kwara state governor is unable to serve as a councillor.
According to Lai Mohammed;
“Are you referring to me as a post office?” Doesn’t he know the guy who allegedly handed me the money? Did the gentleman state that he handed me money to present to him?
“As I have said, it is exceedingly childish, foolish, and desperate for a politician to begin discussing who contributed what to a political campaign.
“I mean, this is the pinnacle of desperation.” This is the pinnacle of irresponsibility. That is the height of immaturity, and precisely why I believe this gentleman should not be a councillor at all.
“I’m being serious. I gathered cash from friends and acquaintances to run for office in Kwara state in 2019. These monies were collected for elections at the governorship, national assembly, and presidential levels. It is on record that I got no monetary compensation from him for carrying out his own election.
“If he made a contribution, it was to his own wallet, not to my pool. That is what I am saying, and I am challenging him. Did he provide any funds to the party for election logistics?
“I’m going to send you a copy of the party’s news statement stating that Lai Mohammed was the sole person entrusted with logistics. I take him on.”
In response to Governor Abdulrazaq’s assertion of having no political influence, Lai Mohammed stated that he and several of his colleagues were responsible for the Kwara APC’s win in the 2019 election.
“However, as I already said, he accused me of having no electoral significance. To be honest, I claim that in every election, even when I was in opposition, I have always won my ward. And, once again, that interview did him a harm. If anybody was deceptive, I believe it was him.”
In response to charges that he does not own a home in Kwara state, Lai said;
“Even throughout my 2003 campaign, I had a residence in Ilorin. If I owned a home in Ilorin in 2003, how about in 2019? My home in Oro served as a Mecca for them all. How often did he visit my home in Oro after we won the by-election?”