Protracted crisis plaguing Kwara All Progressives Congress (APC) worsened on Sunday with 24 members of the Assembly accusing Minister of Information and Culture Lai Mohammed of lying about funding their elections.
Kwara Speaker Yakubu Danladi-Salihu told reporters in Ilorin that claim by the Minister that he funded elections of members of the 9th Assembly was baseless and unfounded.
The lawmakers said the only individual who could claim to offering them massive support during the election was Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq, then APC governorship candidate.
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They were reacting to the Minister’s sundry allegations against them, Governor AbdulRaman Abdulrazaq and member of the House of Representatives AbdulRaheem Olawuyi.
The lawmakers also called on national secretariat of the party to sanction the Minister over his comments on the forthcoming APC congresses in the state.
Mohammed said the congresses would not hold in the state until all members of the party are duly registered on Saturday.
But the lawmakers said Mohammed does not have the authority to speak on behalf of the party.
According to them: “His utterances amount to impersonation. He is not the spokesperson of the APC. He should focus his attention on speaking for the Federal Government.
“Therefore, congresses will commence from July 24th, this month from the Ward level.”
On his part, Hon Olawuyi described allegation of diversion of N70 million November 2018 Irepidun/Ekiti/Oko-Ero/Isin Federal constituency election campaign fund as baseless, frivolous and wild.
According to him: “The Minister is only being economical with the truth, petty and resorting to the politics of pull him down.
“A North Central Governor reached out to me on personal ground to donate to the 2018 by-election and when the minister got wind of the donation, he immediately reached out to me and asked me to bring the money.
“On my own, I personally gave Alhaji Lai Muhammed the sum of N32.5 million, with the full knowledge of the former party chairman, Bashiru Bolarinwa, for election purposes; the minister and Bashir Bolarinwa cannot deny this except there is no conscience left.
“Now, if anyone is to be accused of mismanaging the 2018 campaign fund, it should be nobody other than Lai Mohammed, who till date cannot give details of how the money was spent.
“It will also interest the public to know that one senior Federal Government official told Governor AbdulRazaq who was then the candidate of our party that Lai Mohammed reached out to him and claimed that there was no money for the bye-election campaign in Kwara.
“The official whose name I won’t mention here spoke and pleaded with our Governorship candidate (now the governor) and asked him to release N50 million to the Minister, which was released but the money was never accounted for nor used for campaign purposes as envisaged.
“Now, if anyone is to be accused of mismanaging the 2018 campaign fund, it should be nobody other than Lai Mohammed, who till date cannot give details of how the money was spent.”