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Kwara youths, Lai Mohammed trade words over arrest of APC members



Kwara youths, Lai Mohammed trade words over arrest of APC members

Youths from the All Progressive Congress (APC) in Kwara south senatorial district raised an alarm that seven of their members have been arrested on trumped-up charges allegedly on the orders of the Minister for Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed.

At a news conference in Ilorin, the state capital, the youths, under the aegis of Kwara South Youth Stakeholders, alleged that the development was based on the last ward congress of the party where Mohammed’s candidate had a poor showing, losing largely to another candidate supported by Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki.

Chairman of the group, Hon. Olasunkanmi Ereoye and Secretary, Hon. Tomiwa Kolawole argued that arresting their members to settle scores won’t force them to abandon their principal as they vowed to resist the development.

The Minister, however, denied the allegations. In a statement by his media aide, Segundo Adeyemi, the Minister said contrary to the insinuations the police was only doing its work without prompting from anyone.

Among those alleged to have been arrested as at the time of filing this report were Habeeb Adbulqaudri, chairman of the state’s Councillors Forum, Raheem Omoniyi, from Oro Ward 2 and the chairman of Ajase Ipo Ward 2.

Excerpt from the statement reads: “We the entire Kwara South Youth cry out to the general public on the activities of Alhaji Lai Muhammed and the Inspector General of Police to clamp down the vibrant Kwara youths to score political point which couldn’t be achieved on election grounds.

“We have it on good ground, the visitation of Alhaji Lai Muhammed to the residence of the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris on Monday 14th May 2018. His visitation, according to findings, was to conclude arrangements to hand pick and frame our vibrant youths who are connected to the political structure in Kwara.

“Arresting our youth in Kwara to settle scores won’t work and we shall use all rightful means to resist that. It’s worthy to note that the Minister of Information, Lai Muhammed, who came to Kwara for the last APC Ward Congress on Saturday 5th May 2018 couldn’t believe his overwhelming defeat which was an attestation to his total disconnect from his people. In his Oro Ward ll, Lai Muhammed only managed to score 36 votes as against the 453 block votes to the winner.

“Despite the physical presence of his security guards from Abuja, his disgraceful outing during the APC Ward Congress was the singular reason he couldn’t come home for the APC LG Congresses the following week.

“It’s also worthy to note that since after the condemnable robbery act at Offa on the 5th of April, 2018, the Police has been making arrest and non of our youth was on the watch list. Surprisingly, the narration changed after the visitation of the Information Minister to the IGP, Ibrahim Idris.

“We call on the entire world, civil society groups, local and international media, civil organizations on the ploy to frame anything Saraki in Kwara. As Nigerians, the constitution provides the room for freedom of lawful association, and we shall never be intimidated for pitching our tent with whosoever who so decided.

“Lawful APC family members, we call on our President, the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, to talk call to order the Inspector General of Police, and his Information Minister, Lai Muhammed not to cause trouble in Kwara as the State is known for peace and harmony.

“We rise up to resist, by lawful means, any attempt by the IGP to bring trouble to Kwara state like he has been doing in some other states of the federation.

“We shall write lawfully, to international communities, embassies, civil society organizations, international and local media houses on the ploy to cause fracas within the APC in Kwara State.”

Adeyemi’s statement exonerating the Minister reads:”The attention of the Honourable Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has been drawn to the accusation by the Kwara South Youths Stakeholders that he orchestrated the recent arrest by the police of some youths in the Kwara South.

“The Hon. Minister vehemently rejects this accusation. He has nothing to do with the arrest of the youths in Kwara South and believes -contrary to the allegation by the stakeholders – that the arrest has nothing to do with the Ward Congress in his hometown of Oro. Afterall, suspected cultists were also recently arrested and paraded by the police in Ilorin.

“The Hon. Minister wishes to state that the police, in the exercise of its constitutional responsibility, does not need to be goaded by anyone to carry out arrests where necessary.

“Concerning the outcome of the election in his Oro Ward 2, the Hon. Minister has made his observations on the conduct of the election known to the appropriate party authorities, in line with his strong belief in the rule of law.

“Suffice it to say, however, that the only credible Ward election was the one held by the genuine party members in Oro Ward 2. That explains why, after the election, there was a rally around Oro Town that eventually terminated in the country home of the Hon. Minister. He does not believe there is any linkage between the election and the arrests.”

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