The Kwara State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) is not strange to crisis. It has been through tough task to bring its members together to work for a common goal. Once again, the party has returned to the trenches. This time, the issue at play is how the money sourced for the 2019 elections for the state from the donations raised for the prosecution of the 2019 elections was disbursed.
Reports had it that the Minister for Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed who was also the party’s highest ranking member from Kwara state then, had on behalf of the party in 2018 received donations from highly placed political office holders across the country for the prosecution of the election.
The allegations, which emanated last week from the Governor of Kwara State, Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq on diversion of donations sourced for the last general election have raised a lot of dust with some party stakeholders trying to clarify grey areas in the allegations of mismanaging the undisclosed amount meant for 2019 elections in Kwara state.
A member of the APC, who represents Ojomu/Balogun constituency in the Kwara State House of Assembly, Saheed Popoola, however, in a radio program on Tuesday confessed that the minister of information and culture, Lai Mohamned actually collected money from several high ranking party members across the state to prosecute the 2019 elections and spent same without the knowledge of the then party”s gubernatorial candidate, Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq.
It would be recalled that the then Chairman of the Kwara APC, Bashir Omolaja Bolarinwa had in an interview reacted that though, monies were sourced by the Minister, he as the Chairman did not receive or disburse any money.
Many APC members in the state have accused Lai Mohammed of collecting funds on behalf of the party and misappropriating such.
However, controversy over election money is not new to Lai Mohammed. In 2011, similar thing happened to Muhammed Dele Belgore, ACN Gubernatorial candidate over money sent by the then leadership of party to state chapters to assist in campaigns, which consequently were allegedly diverted by Mohammed.
The aggrieved APC members in Kwara are calling on the party’s national leadership, to ensure that the Minister did not go unpunished over the act, as it was unbecoming of a person of his calibre.
However, Saheed Popoola in his radio program also confessed his prodigal political relationship with the former President of the Senate, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki including collecting money in foreign currency, stressing that if the APC does not recognize him, and Saraki decides to call him for recognition accompanied with a gift, he would willingly oblige.
“This singular act of Popoola, has vindicated APC members in Kwara State over his alleged romance with the PDP. It simply means that he is romancing with the PDP,” said a party stalwart who prefers to remain anonymous.
“But the unfortunate thing is that we have been shouting all this while over his anti-party activities in the state, but the leadership seems not to be taking the accusation seriously. The man is not a committed APC members since he was unable to become the Speaker of the State Assembly, which is why he is not proud of the party and has be devaluing the government of Abdulrazaq, ” he added.