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I am not running for any office in 2019 – Lai Mohammed

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Lai Mohammed

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed says his mission as new All Progressives Congress (APC) leader in Kwara is not to contest any elective position in 2019 but to rescue the state from hawks.

The minister, who disclosed this on Thursday in Ilorin at a

meeting of Congress of Kwara Progressives, underscored the

need to take the state from those who had milked it dry.

He said the recent defection from APC by the President of the

Senate, Bukola Saraki and his followers had presented

auspicious opportunity for the people to liberate the state from

those who had held it to ransom.

“What an auspicious time for all of us! Never before, have we

had a great opportunity like we have now to take our state back

from the rapacious few, who have held the state by the jugular

and prevented it from meeting the hopes and aspirations of its

people.

“From my consultations with key stakeholders so far, I can say,

categorically, that Kwarans have all resolved to take their

destiny into their own hands and take back what rightly belongs

to them.

“This is unprecedented in the history of our state, and we must

not waste this opportunity.

“On my own part, I can say here, without equivocating, that I

won’t be running for any office during the forthcoming

elections.

“For me, it is not about any clamour for office. It is about

working with all like minds for the greater benefit of our people,”

he said.

The minister underscored the need for the people to be united

and shelve their personal ambition to rescue the state.

” I can tell you that if we all remain united, we can’t and we

won’t lose the looming battle for the survival of our dear state.

“All that is required is for us all to subordinate our individual

ambitions to the collective efforts to wrest our state from the

hegemony of one man and his cohorts,” he said.

The minister called the attention of the people to the fact that

the battle ahead would be tough because “one with power will

ever give it up easily”.

Mohammed, however, encouraged them that “the power of the

people supersedes all powers” and the mission to rescue

Kwara from grinding poverty and make it a better place for all,

is achievable.

“The fightback has already begun, in the form of blackmail and

fake news.

“They say I do not like Ilorin people. But what they do not know

is that no amount of cheap blackmail will deter us.

“The people of Ilorin should know who their friends are. I do not

hate the good people of Ilorin,” he said

To justify his claim, the minister recalled that in 2011, he

supported, on his platform, an indigene of Ilorin to run for the

governorship of the state.

“Even when my kinsmen were not happy with my decision, I

was undeterred.

“Even when the PDP sponsored someone from my own

constituency, I insisted on the Ilorin candidate as a matter of

principle, upon the conviction that that was what we needed to

do at the time to effect the necessary change,” he said.

Mohammed also recalled that as a minister, he was

instrumental to the appointment of an Ilorin man, Modibbo

Kawu as the Director-General of the National Broadcasting

Commission (NBC).

“In a related development, when Prof. Raheem Oba, an Ilorin

man, sought a second term at the Federal Character

Commission, we know those who worked against him.

“They will do this and many more acts of blackmail to divide

us, to driver a wedge between us. Don’t let us succumb to their

antics,’ he said.

The minister reassured the people that in the new dispensation,

every person in Kwara would have a voice and the resources of

the state would be used for the development of the state and

its people.

“Never again will our people be turned to panhandlers, never

again will our people be made to eat crumbs from the master’s

table.

“We must become the masters of our own destiny,” he said.

Earlier, Alhaji Ayodele Shittu, the convener of the meeting and a

former Deputy Speaker of the state House of Assembly said the

people of Kwara were tired of the Saraki’s political leadership

and yearning for change.

He reiterated the commitment of the stakeholders to support

the new leadership of Mohammed and rescue the state from

bondage.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports the meeting was

attended by Akogun Iyiola Oyedepo, the state’s APC Caretaker

Chairman, Bashir Bolarinwa, Labour Party Chairman, Mumuni

Onagu, former Nigerian Bar Association Chairman in the state,

Salman Jawando, among others.

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