By Dare Akogun
THE Minister of Information and Culture Lai Mohammed has said that the upcoming nationwide congress of the All Progressives Congress (APC) will not take place in Kwara State until all members of the party in the state are registered and validated.
Mohammed made this known in Ilorin on Saturday while addressing party faithful during the official commissioning of the new state secretariat of the party in the state capital.
The minister, who revealed that he met with the Chairman of the National Caretaker Committee of the APC Governor Mai Mala Buni in company of some party chieftains in the state two weeks ago, said Buni assured them that Kwara was a special case and as such the nationwide congress would not be held in the state.
Mohammed, who openly criticised the Kwara State governor while speaking on the leadership crisis rocking the party in the state, said he was warned against supporting him but he failed to listen.
According to him, “It was immediately after the governor emerged as the party’s candidate for the election that it dawned on us that we have entered one chance.
“But despite all the warnings from concerned party leaders and others who had reservations about his choice, our reaction then was that no matter what, his choice was better than where we were coming from. But we were wrong,” he stated.
Reacting to the allegations of diversion of campaign funds, he said he single-handedly raised funds from friends and politicians to the tune of N150 million to finance the 2019 gubernatorial election in Kwara State.
“No body gave the party a dime for logistics apart from what I gave. I distributed 500 motorcycles and 200 vehicles and many of the beneficiaries are seated here today.
“I challenge them to explain to Nigerians and all of you what happened to the balance of the N70m that Ajulo-Opin refused to give us from the N150m that I facilitated to prosecute the elections,” he said.
Other party members at the event included: member representing Ilorin South and East at the House of Representatives Ganiyu Cook Olododo; former governorship aspirants in the 2019 election Professor Abdulraheem Ọba and Tajudeen Audu; State Caretaker Chairman Bashir Omolaja Bolarinwa; Iyiola Oyedepo and Saheed Popoola, among others