From Layi Olanrewaju, Ilorin

Information and Culture Minister, Lai Mohammed, yesterday, denied allegation of diversion of the Kwara State 2019 All Progressives Congress (APC) general elections campaign funds.

He revealed that he single handedly raised all the funds for the prosecution of the elections in the state. Alhaji Mohammed was responding to Kwara State governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq’s recent allegation that cabals within the party who received hundreds of millions of naira as donations for the Kwara struggle from far and wide did not deliver a kobo to him. The governor also alleged non-involvement in the composition of the campaign structure he was asked to fund. The minister added that the last membership registration and revalidation in the state was a charade, saying no congress would take place in the state until all members were duly registered. He said he got that assurance from the acting National Chairman of APC, Mai Mala Buni.

The minister said this much in Ilorin, the state capital while addressing members at the new state party secretariat in GRA. Said he: “I never diverted All Progressives Congress (APC) 2019 general elections fund for my personal use as alleged by Kwara State governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq.

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“By the grace of God, I single handedly with the support of friends, politicians and family raised all the monies for the Oke-Ero/Isin/Ekiti/Irepodun Federal constituency by-election of November 2019 that brought Hon Tunji Olawuyi to the House of Representatives. And I challenge anybody here to say he gave the party one penny apart from what I gave them. I challenge anybody here to say he gave logistics support to the party. I did that by the grace of God. I distributed 500 motorcycles and 20 vehicles. And many of the beneficiaries are here today.

“I want them to explain to Nigerians about what happened to the N70million that Hon Olawuyi kept that the governor refused to give us during the by-election. But for the grace of God and some friends that would be no election in November 2018, because when we raised money we gave them but two days before election we could not reach them through their phones again.

“I had to go to friends to raise another N150 million to prosecute that election. I remember very well that there are 42 wards in that constituency. We thank God today that was the beginning of our success.