Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq of Kwara State has accused some aggrieved APC leaders of embezzling hundreds of millions of naira during his campaign in 2019.
Speaking on Saturday at the launch of a book titled “O to ge”, the governor said the aggrieved party leaders received huge sums as donations for the “Kwara struggle” without delivering a kobo to him.
Naija News reports that the governor has been at loggerheads with some leaders of the party, including the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, and the Minister of State for Transportation, Senator Gbemisola Saraki.
AbdulRazaq said party officials were equally barred from campaigning with him until the presidential election had been won and the pendulum was clearly swinging in his favour.
Represented by his deputy, Kayode Alabi, the governor said Otoge, the struggle of Kwarans, did not necessarily start in 2019.
He said: “I need to set the record straight about the party crisis. It did not begin after the election or swearing-in. It is safe to say that those who claimed to own the party in the state at that time practically disowned me until after the President had won his election and the coast became clearer back home. Here is the story.
“Shortly after the primaries in October, the party told me they had set up a campaign structure. Nobody consulted me before doing that, even though I was the governorship candidate. They asked me to fund the campaign structure that I was not privy to. Of course I declined it.
“I would later lead my own small campaign team across the state. It is on record that the party officially boycotted my campaign tours. Party officials got the instruction not to attend my campaign. A few of them can testify to this. I went round the whole of Kwara North without the party.
“I am not aware of any decent democracy where a candidate would not be given the privilege of shaping the direction of his own campaign. It is even worse that my campaign was boycotted because I refused to be led by the nose.
“I have told these stories of the slogan and of the party issues to disabuse the mind of Kwarans or friends of Kwara who may not have had this information. In doing so, I am not claiming sole credit for the success of the struggle. Far from it. I have done so simply to clear the air, and this book launch offers the right platform to speak up.
“And for Ministers, Governors, party supporters and friends of Kwara who I later heard donated hundreds of millions of naira to support the Otoge struggle in Kwara, I want to say that I did not receive a kobo of that fund. But how that money was managed or stolen is a story for another day.”
The governor congratulated the author of the work, Tony Oyeyiola, describing it as a commendable effort and directing the purchase of 100 copies for the government.