A leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Kwara State and minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has said that he will not run for any office in 2019 general elections, calling on members of the party to subordinate individual ambitions to collective efforts.
Speaking at a political summit organized by the party in Ilorin on Thursday, Alhaji Lai Mohammed charged people of the state to resolve to take their destiny into their own hands and take back what rightly belongs to them.
“And 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 work to wrest our state from the hegemony of a set of people. 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.
“Make no mistake about it, the battle ahead will be tough. No one with power will ever give it up easily. But the power of the people supersedes all powers. That’s why I am delighted and indeed encouraged, that the good people of our state, whether from the North, South or Central, are all united in their singular determination to rescue their state from the grinding poverty, monumental misgovernance and the general state of funk that has enveloped it.
“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. Perhaps many of you have forgotten that in 2011, I supported, on my platform, an indigene of Ilorin to run for the governorship of this 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. For the blackmailers, it is convenient to forget that now.
“Also, one of my first duties as a Minister of the Federal Republic was to pick a candidate from each geopolitical zones to head some of the agencies under my ministry. For the North-Central, I was instrumental to the appointment of an Ilorin man 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 drive a wedge between us. Don’t let us succumb to their antics.
“In this new dispensation, every Kwaran counts and will have a voice. The resources of Kwara will 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”, Alhaji Lai Mohammed said.
Other speakers apart from Alhaji Lai Mohammed at the event also called on leaders of the party to find a measure to discourage disunity and acrimony that usually occur after party primaries by selecting qualified and winnable aspirants for 2019 general elections in the party.