The minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has said that he has no plan to run for any elective office during the 2019 general elections. Mohammed, however urged members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in his home state, Kwara to subordinate individual ambitions to collective efforts. The minister spoke at a political summit organised by the party in Ilorin, the state capital yesterday. Mohammed, a leader of APC in the state charged people of the state to resolve to take their destiny into their own hands during the coming elections.
“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 geo-political 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”, he said. Other speakers at the event called on leaders of the party to find measures to discourage disunity and acrimony that usually occur after party primaries by selecting qualified and winnable aspirants for 2019 general elections.
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