Why Lai Mohammed Is In Trouble - Green White Green - gwg.ng


Why Lai Mohammed Is In Trouble



Lai Mohammed was the arrowhead of the Otoge Movement, the imaginative political insurgency that like a hurricane upturned Bukola Saraki’s grip on the politics of their native Kwara State.

However, even before the hurricane will settle for a close observation of the damage done to the outgoing Senate President, the once undisputed navigator of the revolution is now facing his own rebellion.

The outgoing minister of information and culture has been engulfed in a political acrimony coming from deep within the Otoge Movement that he led not too long ago.

Even more, the revolt against Mohammed is coming from within his Kwara South base, a region where Mohammed had in the past mostly played his politics even while he was based in Lagos.

As the Otoge Movement took root towards the end of last year, after the emergence of Abdulrhaman Abdulrazaq as All Progressives Congress, APC governorship candidate, Mohammed with his visibility as a minister and ranking in the party was the undisputed leader of the revolt against Saraki.

He played the role and put to history his earlier reconciliation and appeasement of Saraki that led to his easy confirmation by the Senate as a minister

However, few forget that the emergence of Abdulrazaq as the candidate was shadowed with much intrigues. The primary election was shifted till the very last opportunity because of the contentions of the different factions and interests.

After the primaries there was a bold attempt to forge unity with the constitution of a reconciliation committee led by Mr. Peter Olorunnisola last December. Though the committee claimed to have effected a reconciliation when President Muhammadu Buhari came to campaign in January the fault lines reared again as separate functions were held for the president’s visit.

Abdulrazaq: Kwara’s new governor wants new political structure in Kwara South

However, the fault lines were covered up in the dust generated by the Otoge Movement as all the tendencies focused on uprooting Saraki.

Once that feat was accomplished, the fault lines appeared, and this time harshly directed at the man who unarguably represented the face of the revolution.

A group of APC stakeholders from Irepodun Local Government Area in Kwara South had not too long ago passed a vote of confidence on Mohammed.

Last week, another group led by some of the South’s prominent personalities styled as Kwara South Elders Forum following a meeting in Ilorin issued a rebuttal of the confidence passed by the stakeholders from Irepodun.

In their communique, they asked that Mohammed should not be reappointed as minister noting that he had underperformed.

“We wish to note that Kwara South is made up of seven local government areas and it is obviously larger than Irepodun LGA which constitutes less than 10% of the Senatorial district. The LGAs are Ifelodun, Oyun, Offa, Isin, Oke-ero, Ekiti and Irepodun,” the elders deposed as they also rejected the claim that Mohammed was responsible for the victory in Kwara.

Mohammed was quick to get additional support when Omo Ibile Igbomina’, the apex Igbomina body endorsed him for reappointment.

GreenWhiteGreen, however, understands that beneath the struggle is the agitation for positioning in 2023.

There is strong perception in the camp of Abdulrazaq that Mohammed did not want him as the governorship candidate but was forced to accept him.

Abdulrazaq, a scion of the North’s first SAN, Alhaji Abdul Ganiyu Abdulrazaq, had his strong connections to Buhari. He was with Buhari in 2011 as the Kwara State candidate of the Congress for Progressive Change, CPC.

Saraki: Faced the united forces of Mohammed and Abdulrazaq

Even more, a junior brother who holds a very prominent position in the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC is also said to be buddies with a very, very prominent staff in the Presidential Staff.

So, whether Mohammed wanted him or not, Abdulrazaq and his camp felt that they had their strong loyalties with Buhari independent of the minister.

AA as the governor-elect is called, it was learnt, is through his deputy, Kayode Alabi trying to build his own independent political structure separate from that of Mohammed in Kwara South.

Kwara South is important in Kwara because it has the greatest number of wards, a situation that gives it the edge over other senatorial zones in determining who wins the governorship ticket of any party.

It is doubtful that at 67 presently, that Mohammed would contemplate a governorship run in 2023, after making some failed moves in the past. He passed over a run in 2019 to focus on his ministerial duties, though it has been said in some quarters that he would have contested if he knew that bringing down Saraki would have been as easy as it took Abdulrazaq.

With the daggers drawn, eyes are now looking forward to the constitution of Abdulrazaq’s government and what if any role Mohammed and his allies would get in it.

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