The people of Kwara State have resolved to liberate themselves from years of political bondage and subjugation.
They made the resolution after a stakeholders meeting of the Congress of Kwara Progressives in Ilorin the capital of Kwara state on Thursday.
Nigeria’s Information and Culture Minister Mr Lai Mohammed who is also the leader of the governing All Progressives Congress, APC, described the political situation as ‘a great opportunity to take the state from those who prevented it from meeting the aspirations of the indigenes.’
Mohammed said there was need to bury any political ambition that would affect total liberation movement in Kwara State.
Against this backdrop, the minister clearly stated that he was not contesting any elective post but would focus on the liberation mission.
“What an auspicious time for all of us! We have never had a great opportunity like we have now to take our state back. From my consultations with key stakeholders so far, I can say categorically that the people of Kwara have all resolved to take their destiny into their own hands and take back what rightly belongs to them. This is unprecedented in the history of our state and we must not waste this opportunity,” Mohammed explained.
He urged all the stakeholders to all remain united as it was through unity that they would succeed without losing the looming battle for the political survival of the state.
“All that is required is for us all to subordinate our individual ambitions to the collective efforts to wrest our state from the authority of one man and his cohorts. 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,” Mohammed said.
He stated that; “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 mis-governance and the general state of funk that has enveloped it.”
The minister further said that the fight back has already begun, in the form of blackmail and fake news. He accused the opponents of misinforming the people with lies and blackmails in many forms.
“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 them; 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,’’ he stated.
The Minister told the gathering that he did the best he could in the area of empowerment, saying that one of his first duties as a Minister was to pick a candidate from each geo-political zones to head some of the agencies his 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 Professor 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 more acts of blackmail to divide us, to drive a wedge between us. Don’t let us succumb to their antics,” he advised the stakeholders.
“In this new dispensation, every indigene of Kwara state counts and has 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,” Mohammed said.
The meeting was attended by former Deputy Speaker Kwara House of Assembly; Ayodele Shittu, former Peoples’ Democratic Party, PDP chairman who defected to the APC, Mr Suleiman Kunle, Kwara caretaker chairman of APC, Mr Bashir Bolarinwa, Labour Party Chairman, Mumuni Onagu and Director General of the National Broadcasting Commission, Mallam Modibbo Kawu among others.
Kwara political battle
Political battle in Kwara State to the centre has been generating serious heat lately following the defections of the Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki, who was a former governor from the governing APC to the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP. Some others like the Governor of Kwara State, Abdulfatah Ahmed also defected from the APC to the main opposition PDP.