Monday, October 12, 2015 12:45 pm
By Stephen Olufemi Oni/Ilorin.
Youths, under the aegis of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Kwara South Senatorial District, have protested against the nomination of the party’s National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, for ministerial position to represent Kwara state in the cabinet of President Muhammadu Buhari.
Presenting a protest letter which was addressed to the National Chairman of the party through the Kwara state Chairman of APC, Ishola Balogun-Fulani, at the party secretariat in Ilorin, the state capital, their spokesman, Oyedun Segun, opined that “it is injustice when neo-colonialism is being introduced in the 21st century as a Lagosian is nominated to represent the people of Kwara State at the Federal Executive Council,” maintaining that the interest of each community is best represented by the people inhabiting that particular area.
He said: “Alhaji Lai Mohammed’s membership of APC is Lagos state and all his interests are in Lagos, while his political associates are all Lagosians. He is not in any community development association in Kwara state but he represents a lot of interests from Lagos state. His family is non-Kwaran and they are not associated with Kwara state.
“His PVC was registered and collected in Lagos State and all his contributions for the emergence of APC at the federal level were through Lagos state. He was not in Kwara state all through the electioneering and couldn’t influence our electoral successes at the polls. We are therefore baffled when newspapers indicate that he represents Kwara State in the nomination of ministerial list submitted by the President to the National Assembly for screening. “Our assumption was that two nominees have been taken from Lagos state in persons of Babatunde Raji Fashola (SAN) and Lai Mohammed.”
To the youth, confirming Lai Mohammed as minister to represent Kwara state is tantamount to robbing Peter to pay Paul and would deny the state of being represented at that level. “It will be justice denied, and a promotion of unfairness as well as political exclusion of Kwara state in the affairs of our country,” he added. They therefore urged the President to choose among other qualified individuals with impeccable character from the Kwara South comprising seven local government areas to represent the state in the federal cabinet.
Receiving the protest letter, Balogun-Fulani commended the youth for their peaceful protest, promising to deliver their letter to the National Chairman of the party, pointing out that neither the state governor nor the party was consulted before Lai Mohammed’s name was made public.
Reacting, the APC National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, while insisting that he deserved the ministerial nomination to represent Kwara state which nobody or group of persons could deny him, said, contrary to insinuation making the round, he and his family registered in Oro, his hometown, adding that he contributed in no small means to the development of the party in his local government and the success of the member of House of Representatives from that area and challenged the protesters to crosscheck these facts.
Mohammed, who was not in Kwara state during the elections, maintained that his national assignment as the party’s national spokesman during the period was more important than coming to cast a single vote in Kwara state.
He further said that since nobody could deny him of being a citizen of Kwara state, he reserved the right to stay in Lagos or any part of Nigeria and so he deserved the ministerial nomination. He also explained that the emergence of his son as a member of the Lagos State House of Assembly was his own political reward which they willingly gave him, and so had nothing to do with his own nomination as a minister