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Lai Mohammed denies diverting Kwara APC campaign funds



Lai Mohammed: I didn’t divert Kwara APC campaign funds

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

Rather he revealed that he singlehandedly 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 said cabals within the party who received hundreds of millions of naira as donations for the Kwara election did not deliver a kobo to him.

The governor added that he was not involved in the composition of the campaign structure he was asked to fund. The minister said the last membership registration and revalidation in the state was a charade, saying no congress would take place in the state until all members are duly registered.

He said he got that assurance from the acting National Chairman of APC, Mai Mala Buni. The minister said this in Ilorin, the state capital while addressing members at the new state party secretariat in GRA.

He said: “I never diverted APC 2019 general elections for my personal use as alleged by Kwara state Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq. By the grace of God I singlehandedly, 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 2018 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 want them to explain to Nigerians about what happened to the N70 million 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.

“We thank God today that was the beginning of our success. When elections proper came we did not see our governorship candidate. We could not wait. I say without any fear of contradictions that by the grace of God with the money raised from friends, colleagues and associates, we financed the four elections and we scored 100 percent. I remember the governor called me after we won the first election to ask if it was true we won the by-election. And I told him ‘yes sir.’

“He said ‘I want to apologise to you that when you came to me for money they told me not to give you money. They told me you are a Lagos politician, that nobody can defeat Saraki.’ But then we did not know that God will bring more wonder. That is how we won all the elections. But they got there today and forget the people that put them there. They are now selling lies. They are selling dummies. It didn’t take me long to know we have entered one chance. If we did not give money to the party, how did he think the party won?”

“About two weeks ago myself in the company of for governorship aspirant Prof Shuaib AbdulRaheem and others went to meet with the chairman and he assured us that Kwara state is a special case and there will be no congress until we are all registered. And we believe him. When they come, please come out in your thousands and let them know where the power lies.

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Aregbesola boycotts Akande’s meeting with Osun APC elders’ caucus



Rauf Aregbesola

Mninister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola On Tuesday shunned a meeting held at the Ila country home of the ex-Interim National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, Chief Bisi Akande, to discuss party unity.

The gathering was a meeting of the Osun APC Elders’ Caucus designed to unite party members.

It was gathered that when one of the conveners of the meeting raised the issue Aregbesola’s absence, one of the conveners of the meeting, reportedly explained that the ex-governor was duly invited.

Although the meeting was held behind closed doors, it was learnt that the former Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Lasun Yusuf, said many party members were aggrieved as a result of the 2018 Osun APC Governorship primary. He appealed to the elder statesman to assist in reconciliatory efforts before the next cycle of elections.

Briefing newsmen after the meeting, Akande, said the elders met regularly to discuss party issues, until the advent of COVID-19 last year.

He said, “the meeting had always existed, but because of COVID-19, the meeting had not been held for a very long time. It is the beginning of elders’ activities to move the party forward in Osun.

“We are doing all our best to resolve every crisis. I can assure you that there will be no crisis within our party before the election. We come from different constituencies in Osun and we are going back to let our people know we have started to be more active than before.”

Asked who would be flagbearer of the party in the next year’s governorship poll in Osun, Akande said, “I don’t know who our candidate may be in the forthcoming guber election, but I can assure you that our candidate will win the election in 2022.”

On the issue of the zoning of the APC 2023 Presidential ticket, he said the South will square up with the North, and “whoever becomes our candidate will win the presidency.”

Those at the meeting include: Senator Iyiola Omisore, ex Osun Deputy Governor, Titi Laoye-Ponle, ex deputy Speaker, House of Representatives, Lasun Yusuff, Senate spokesperson, Ajibola Basiru, ex- Health Minister, Dr. Isaac Adewole, among others, commenced around 11:15 and ended around 1:30pm.

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I will become next Nigeria president come May 29, 2023 — Yahaya Bello



Yahaya Bello

Following calls to join the presidential race, Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello has said he has all the qualities needed to succeed President Muhammadu Buhari come May 29, 2023.

The governor made his intention known while featuring on Arise TV programme on Monday.

According to him, he is ready to take over from President Buhari considering his good track record in Kogi.

“By the grace of God when I would have [been] sworn in as the president and commander-in-chief taking over from Buhari on May 29, 2023, Nigeria will have a heave of relief,” he said.

When asked if he’s ready to listen to the calls of some young Nigerians calling him to contest for president come 2023, the Kogi governor answered; “When I assumed office in 2016, I inherited a state that was largely divided along ethnic, religious and tribal lines.

“I inherited a state faced with a lot of crimes and criminal activities. I was faced with a state begging for leadership. I inherited a state that required the binding of youths, women and all inclusive governance.

“But today, Kogi is more united than ever before. If what I was able to achieve in Kogi is desired at national level.

“If Nigerians across board; youth, women, leaders and followers seeing my leadership style, uniting the people, bringing in experts, adding value to governance, prudent and sincere way and manner of utilisation of our resources and getting the results, balancing the equation, which is most desired in the country today. If this multitude is yearning and calling me to come and serve this great nation in the year 2023 after president Muhammadu Buhari, I will say, yes I’m ready.

“Serving Nigeria in that greater capacity will serve the interest of the people of Kogi, Nigerians, Africa and even black race than I remaining the executive governor of Kogi.”

The Kogi governor, however, rejected calls for zoning and rotational presidency, adding that Nigeria needs a competent leader who can unite Nigerians and solve the problems facing the country.

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2023: 6 APC govs oppose Tinubu’s presidential ambition — Dayo Adeyeye



National Chairman, South-West Agenda for Bola Tinubu’s presidential ambition, codenamed (SWAGA) 2023, Mr. Dayo Adeyeye has disclosed that 16 All Progressives Congress (APC) governors are covertly supporting the presidential aspiration of the former Lagos State governor.

The party currently has 22 governors under its platform.

Adeyeye, a former Minister of Works (state), said this while inaugurating the factional executives belonging to SWAGA group across the 16 local government areas of Ekiti State.

The former minister said: “Bola Tinubu will be the next President of this country and one of us will become the governor in Ekiti State. I am happy that the new executives have passion for this group and this will lead to action and, eventually, victory for all of us.

“APC leaders and members across board are using their money to fund SWAGA. Members are not after money. Let me tell you this, 16 governors are now backing Tinubu for president and they are no longer afraid, after Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State openly supported us when we did the flag off in Lagos.”

On the new parallel executives inaugurated by SWAGA, the former Minister said: “Those that were inaugurated today (yesterday) are the authentic APC executives in Ekiti. The party at the national level brought out a guideline that people should come out and queue to vote for the ward and local government congresses, but these people didn’t come out.”  

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