N1bn APC Campaign Fund: Mashood Mustapha sets record straight
Former House of Reps member and chairman of the All Progressives Congress, APC, campaign committee, during the 2019 general election in Kwara State, Hon. Mashood Mustapha has absolved Gov AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq of any blame in the recent allegation that he expropriated N1 billion of the campaign fund that was meant to usher the party into power two years ago.
Intra party strife in APC has seen tendencies in the ruling party lob accusations at each other, the latest being the allegation that the governor during his campaign period in 2019 seized money meant for the party for private use.
Spokesman, of the Bashir Bolarinwa Omolaja led faction of APC, Alhaji Abdul-Rahoof Bello had, in Ilorin on Tuesday, asked that Gov AbdulRazaq account for N1 billion he allegedly collected from the national headquarters of APC.
Bello made the remark in response to allegations by the governor, much earlier that Lai Mohammed, leader and backer of the BOB faction in the state, had expropriated N100 million money meant for his campaign without telling him as the party candidate at the time.
But attempting an explanation on the matter, Mustapha, popularly called ‘MM’, said that there was no basis to make such allegations against Gov. AbdulRazaq because the money in question which came from Abuja also came with a template for sharing it.
“The money was actually about N400 million in the first place and given the template given for sharing it, it was not possible for anybody to seize the money,” MM explained.
He said that after the primaries in 2019, BOB called him for a party at the Savannah Hotel in Ilorin were it was explained the money had arrived from Abuja.
As he recalled in press conference he granted to Journalists in Ilorin, himself, BOB and the AbdulRazaq who was a candidate at the time were at the hotel.
“We proceeded to the party secretariat at Fate to constitute a committee for the sharing of the money for the election.
“As directed by the APC national Secretariat, sharing committee consisted of BOB, the Governor and myself.
“Also included were the three senatorial candidates, three out of the six House Reps candidates of the party, the state secretary of the party, the party treasurer, a party leader and a national official who was Mr Lanre Onilu.
“As I clearly remember, nobody took custody of that money. It was shared according to guidelines sent by the party,” Mustapha said.
He, however, stated that the current rancour in the party though sad, should be expected given the process of APC formation.
He explained that the party was made up of different tendencies, “much like strange bedfellows,”.
“There were people among us who were used to opposition politics and naturally resorted to their natural instinct,” he said
Mustapha, however, implored the aggrieved APC members to retrace their steps, urging them to join hands with the governor in developing the state.
“The stakeholders should sheathe their swords. Let us come together; if there is any issue we are not cleared about, let us ask the governor for clarification. If he makes amend, fine, if he doesn’t listen to us, then we should wait to react at the appropriate time. This is the time for governance and not politics. Let’s allow the governor to concentrate on governance,” he said.