Reactions have continued to trail the expose of Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq on what went down in the run-up to the 2019 elections in Kwara State.
At the launch of a book entitled, “O To Ge”, on Saturday, the governor had accused some of the party leaders, including Alhaji Lai Mohammed, Minister of Information and Culture, of frustrating him.
He said the crisis rocking the APC in the state began before he became the governor of the state.
Represented by his deputy, Kayode Alabi, AbdulRazaq said party officials were equally barred from campaigning with him until the presidential election had been won and the pendulum was swinging in his favour.
“I also need to set the record straight about the party crisis. It did not begin after the election or swearing-in. It is safe to say that those who claimed to own the party in the state at that time practically disowned me until after the President had won his election and the coast became clearer back home. Here is the story: Shortly after the primaries in October, the party told me they had set up a campaign structure. Nobody consulted me before doing that, even though I was the governorship candidate,” AbdulRazaq had said.
Some of the governor’s critics within the party however accused the governor of twisting narratives.
But on Monday, the State Secretary of the party, Alhaji Mustapha Isowo, confirmed that there were unilateral directives to party executives not to join the campaign train of the then-candidate.
In a statement sent to SaharaReporters, Isowo said the former state party chairman, Bashir Omolaja Bolarinwa, personally warned him (Isowo) against joining the campaign of AbdulRazaq “in line with the decision of the party, even though I cannot remember the state working committee ever sitting to take such a decision at any time.”
“There is not a single thing the Governor said that is not true. In fact, he was very modest in his statements. We went through hell in the hands of Bob (Bolarinwa). He acted with absolute impunity.
“Party decisions were never discussed. Decisions were taken only between himself and Lai Mohammed. I have read BOB’s purported response. It is all lies. His claim that the Governor nominated Kale Belgore to the campaign committee which he himself and the Minister had set up is a blatant lie.
“After they tried to shove their campaign structure down his throat, the Governor merely asked Belgore to interface for him to re-negotiate the composition and this never yielded any result. BOB took decisions like the appointment of Sunday Oyebiyi as campaign DG purely on his own without consulting with anyone, at least not to my knowledge as the party State Secretary,” Isowo said.
Isowos said, “A particular money that was sent to Kwara State after the presidential visit was received on behalf of the party by the candidate, as deliberately designed from Abuja, and its management was jointly decided at a meeting that BOB also attended with some elders. It will interest the public that the candidate was to be shut out from receiving the fund on behalf of the party if not for the insistence of the party headquarters in Abuja that they cannot mistreat the Kwara candidate, especially when this specific money sent to other states without APC governors was received by the candidates in those states.
“But other funds never came through the Governor and he, like many of us in the party excos, was never briefed. We only got to know after the election. One of our offences was to ask them to account for all the campaign funds. BOB told us (party executives) point-blank that he was not going to ask the Minister about the money. Nobody gave any account of how this money was spent.”
Isowo said Bolarinwa and Mohammed ran the party like it was their private property, insisting “they never consulted with us and yet they were making decisions in our names.”
Saharareporters, New York