The minister of information, Lai Mohammed, has described the defection of some national assembly members from the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) as “the removal of stones from (the party’s) rice”.
Speaking in his country home of Oro, Kwara state, on Sunday, Mohammed spoke told party’s supporters who had come to welocme him, that the defection of the lawmakers in the national assembly had exposed the “faces of traitors” in the party’s fold.
“Today is a special day. God has answered our prayers by exposing our political traitors,” he said, adding that “God has removed stones from our rice and sands in our garri.”
He said the defection would have no significant negative effect on the party; instead, he said, it would offer an opportunity for its re-positioning.
“We are here today to assure that it is a new dispensation in Kwara APC politics. We are at home today to assure you that the party will be re-organised and re-positioned,” he said.
“By exposing the enemies and traitors in our fold, God has given us the opportunities that we have been looking for to re-position our party.
“These are people who had never given us peace and progress. Today, by the grace of God and with your support, APC will wax stronger in Kwara. What is in the offing is a mega party.”
Mohammed said they were prepared to take the party structure back and give it back to the people.
“The party belongs to you all. We therefore reassure you that God is with us and the people of Kwara are with us,” he said.
“Since the day they decamped, you can see those who have come to our camp are more than those who left.”
The minister appealed to the members and party supporters to give new entrants a chance.
Meanwhile, after the meeting of party faithfuls in Oro, home of the minister, Mohammed, issued a communique on behalf of the gathering, demanding the sack of the current executive.
The communique reads: “That the Balogun Fulani-led Kwara APC executive committee be immediately dissolved and a fresh congress that will include all Kwara APC members and those who are just coming into the party be held at the various levels to constitute a new executive.
“That all those who got appointments by deceit, hiding under the facade of being party men and women, should immediately resign such appointments or be fired.
“That the recent gale of defections has now put the APC in a position of true majority in the National Assembly, as those who remain are the ones who are truly committed to the ideals of our great Party
“That all members and supporters of our great party restate their unflinching support for President Muhammadu Buhari and assure him of a harvest of votes from Kwara State in the 2019 General Elections.
“That all members should remain calm because there is no cause for alarm”.
In reaction, the Publicity Secretary of the Kwara State chapter of the APC, Sulyman Buhari tackled the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed over the call for dissolution of its executives.
Buhari said Mohammed does not have the locus standi, adding that Mohammed easily forgot that Nigeria was running a democratic system.
This is contained in a press statement issued by Buhari to journalists in Ilorin, the state capital on Sunday.
“The Ishola Balogun-Fulani led State Executive Committee of the APC is a product of law and due process, the statement reads.
“It was an executive duly inaugurated by the NEC of the APC as the authentic and legitimate. It’s not a jankara executives that Lai Mohammed and his other irrelvant Abuja-based colleagues wanted unsuccessfully to foist on the party during the last congress.
“Alhaji Lai Mohammed lacks the locus to call for the dissolution of the lawfully elected members of the State Executive Committee of the APC in Kwara. He is neither a member of the State Executive Committee nor a member of the APC National Executive Committee.
“Worst still, he’s not recognised as a leader of the party even in his Oro ancestral home, how much more across Kwara State.
“A man that did not attend the last congresses of the APC nor vote during the process does not have the standing to call for the dissolution of the executives that lawfully emerged from thatprocess.
“The tragedy of a character like Lai Mohammed is that they forgot that we are in a democracy where the rule of law reigns supreme.
“No matter how much they try, the only lawfully recognised executives of the APC in Kwara State at the moment is the Balogun Fulani led executives. No amount of name calling and blackmail can change that”