Lai Mohammed, minister of information and culture, says it is “immature and reckless” on the part of Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq, governor of Kwara, to reveal sources of campaign funds.
In recent months, the minister and the governor have been at loggerheads, resulting in the emergence of factions in Kwara APC.
In July, the information minister had said the party entered “one chance” by supporting the candidacy of Abdulrazaq, adding that he contributed a major part of the funds for the 2019 elections in the state.
Reacting to the minister’s comment, the Kwara governor alleged that Mohammed “pocketed” N100 million donated for his campaign by a businessman in the south-east, adding that he funded his campaign alongside his friends.
The governor also said the minister has no political influence in his ward, while describing him as a “Lagos politician”.
Responding, the information minister, in an interview with THISDAY, said the governor’s disclosure of the funding of his campaign shows “inexperience and desperation”.
“Am I a post office? The businessman that he said gave me the money, doesn’t he know him? Did the man say he gave me money to go and give him?” the information minister queried.
“As I said, it’s extremely infantile, reckless and desperate for a politician to start talking about who gave what for a political campaign.
“I mean, it’s the height of desperation. It’s the height of recklessness. It’s the height of immaturity and that’s exactly why I say this guy ought not to even be a councillor.
“I’m serious. I raised funds from friends and associates to execute the 2019 campaign in Kwara state. These funds were raised for governorship, national assembly elections and presidential election. It’s on record that I received no penny from him to execute his own election.
“If he contributed, he contributed to his own pocket, not to my pool. I’m saying it and I challenge him. Did he give any money to the party for any logistics during the election?
“I’m going to give you a copy of the press release by the party, that the only person relied on for logistics was Lai Mohammed. I challenge him.”
Mohammed insisted that himself and some of his colleagues were responsible for the successes recorded by Kwara APC in the 2019 election, adding that he has never lost an election in his ward since 2003.
“But as I said, he accused me of zero electoral value. Well, I say that my records in every election, even in opposition, I have always won my ward. And again, that interview has done him a great disservice. If there is anybody who was fraudulent, I think it is him,” the minister added.
On the claim that he does not have a house in Kwara state, the minister said: “Even when I was campaigning in 2003, I had a house in Ilorin. If in 2003, I had a house in Ilorin, how about 2019? My house in Oro was a Mecca for all of them. How many times did he come to my house in Oro when we won the by-election.”
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