Ajuloopin opens can of worms, says Lai is a liar

Following the allegation leveled against Hon Ajuloopin by the Minister of Information, Culture and Tourism, Alhaji Lai Mohammed over 70-million-Naira campaign fund, during the commissioning of a new faction APC Secretariat, in Ilorin on Saturday the representative representing, Ekiti, Irepodun, Isin, Oke-Ero Federal Constituency, AbdulRaheem Tunji Olawuyi Ajuloopin, has described the allegation as frivolous, baseless and wild.
Speaking exclusively on a telephone interview with our reporter on Saturday night, Ajulo said he was surprised that such statement could come from Lai Mohammed, saying that he was disappointed.
“I was not near the people of the party that will collect campaign fund. I was not part of the leaders of the party that will collect money. I was ordinary candidate. Since 2018, I have been running all my election by myself through friends and family support.
“During my by-election, not one Kobo from the party. Alhaji Lai Mohammed can’t stand in front of me and say he has given me money. Where is that money coming from?
“He is a lawyer, he would have sued me, the party could have taken me to court. Let’s leave that aside. If the money is meant for by-election, is it not for my by-election, has the election not been won? Where is the allegation of misappropriation of electoral fund?
“If he claimed he has been calling me, let the security agencies go to network provider and get the record of the call log.”
Meanwhile, at a press briefing in Ilorin yesterday, Ajuloopin said that such allegation only exists in the imagination of the minister, while accusing Mohammed of being economical with the truth, petty and resorting to politics of pull him down.
Giving explanation of what transpired, Ajuloopin stated that, a North Central State Governor reached out to him on personal ground to donate toward the 2018 by-election and when the minister got wind of the donation, he immediately reached out to him asking him to bring the money.
“However, I immediately contacted a few of our trusted party elders to intimate them of the development, but they counselled me against sending the money to the minister based on his antecedent with money.”
“Also, on my own, I personally gave Alhaji Lai Mohammed the sum of N32.5m, with the full knowledge of the former party chairman, Bashiru Bolarinwa, for election purposes; the minister and Bashir Bolarinwa cannot deny this except there is no conscience left.
He added that it would also interest the public to know that a senior Federal Government official told Governor AbdulRazaq who was then the candidate of the party that Lai Mohammed reached out to him and claimed that there was no money for the bye-election campaign in Kwara.
The lawmaker, who declined to name the official, said he pleaded with the governorship candidate (now the Governor) and asked him to release N50 million to the minister, which was released but the money was never accounted for nor used for campaign purposes as envisaged.
He stated that if anyone was to be accused of mismanaging campaign fund, it should be nobody other than Lai Mohammed.
Earlier on Saturday, Alhaji Lai Mohammed had during the commissioning of the party’s new Secretariat in Ilorin, reacted to the allegation by Governor AbdulRasaq on campaign fund, describing the allegation as the figment of the governor’s imagination, stressing that records are available as to how all campaign funds he personally led the solicitation drive were mobilised and utilised.
It would be recalled that Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq, had last week, at the launching of a book titled ‘Otoge’, alleged that the Minister of Information, Culture and Tourism, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the Chairman of the APC in the State, Hon. Bashir Omolaja Bolarinwa among other mismanaged campaign funds.
Mohammed said, “they said I embezzled money, whose money did we divert? The governor spoke and indicted himself that he never financed his own elections. When we had Ajulo election, we gathered N100m to prosecute his bye-election and the money was handed to him (Ajulo). Just few days to elections when we needed the money, which I know we only spent about N30m out of it. We called and called Ajulo over and over to give account of the remaining N70m, he refused giving account till date.
“All the elections we conducted, Gov. AbdulRazaq never contributed a kobo, I and other leaders ran to family, friends, acquaintances, etc just to raise money to prosecute the election.
“Ask the Governor how much he gave the party during the election. Where was his campaign office before and after getting the ticket? He had no single branded campaign vehicle, yet we spearheaded the campaigns and mobilisations.
“I distributed 500 motorcycles, 20 vehicles etc. We paid all the delegates logistics among others, all these from money we raised. What did he (the Governor) spend?”, he queried.
“Vehicles and motorcycles were given to party executives, Senatorial and House of representative candidates among other party stalwarts, courtesy of us.”
The Minister said further, Kwarans have entered one chance for supporting Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq adding that they were warned not to support the governor during the 2019 governorship election in the state.
According to him, “it has gotten to the point where we have to speak out. We have been pushed to the wall and we have no choice than to come out and expose their lies.”
“It was immediately after the governor emerged as the party’s candidate for the election that it dawned on us that we have entered one chance.”
“But despite all the warnings from concerned party leaders and others who had reservations about his choice, our reaction then was that no matter what, his choice was better than where we were coming from. But we were wrong.”

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