By Omeiza Ajayi, Abuja
The ruling All Progressives Congress APC has said it is examining the recent outburst made by the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed against the Kwara state Governor, Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq, with a view to punishing the minister.
Chairman, Caretaker Committee of the party in Kwara state, Abdullahi Samari Abubakar disclosed this in an interview Wednesday in Abuja.
He said the party may apply disciplinary measures according to its constitution.
The minister had recently claimed that he singlehandedly bankrolled the election of the governor in 2019, accusing Mr Abdulrazaq of biting the fingers that fed him.
However, Samari said: “I still see the Minister as a member of our party. Because he has not formally told us that he is moving out of the party which I doubt if he will go. He is a Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria where the APC as a ruling party is running the administration of government.
So I would not think he will want to move out, but from those utterances he made, the party, APC as a structure has guidelines over issues. If we feel that what he said publicly amounts to disrespect or causing acrimony within the party, honestly, we are going to make sure the rules of the party are applied against him and any other person.”
Asked whether the minister will be suspended or expelled from the APC, the Kwara party Chairman said: “Well, there are guidelines like I told you. If the offence is commensurate with suspending him, or any other, definitely the rules of the party are going to apply because nobody is too big to be sanctioned. We want to have sanity in the party.”
The sanction, Samari said will take place “very soon”.
“There are steps according to the party. It has to start from the particular Ward of that fellow. Then, come down to the Local Government than to the state. So, whatever decision is taken at the Ward, to Local government then to state, it will then be forwarded to the national level for ratification.”
The APC chieftain also confirmed that Lai Mohammed had earlier revalidated his membership of the APC in the state.
“There are certain facts that some of you do not know. When the appeal committee came to Kwara, we met with them. There was this allegation that some people were not allowed to register, but mind you, that was wrong.
If you come in then, the rooms were open. It was just that some people were discouraging others not to come out and register. For whatever reason, we may not know. Let me tell you categorically that Alhaji Lai Muhammed as a minister registered. Quote me anywhere. I can show the date he registered.
“He registered at his ward at Oro, Kwara state. You can confirm that from me. The extension of registration is not a new thing. It is not that the Alhaji Lai group or camp has won anything.
Remember that I also authorized a document that the APC national secretariat should extend the registration in Kwara state for at least one week because a lot of people came into the party. And, we just have to allow them as members of the party whereby they will have the equal rights to take part in whatever is going on during the congresses.
“I authored a paper signed under the leadership of the governor who is the leader of the party in Kwara state, that is Governor Abdulrahman urging the national secretariat to please extend the registration exercise for at least a week in Kwara.
If they are now extending it to two weeks, it is not glory to anyone who wants to claim because we requested for that, and I think the national leadership only acted in recognition of our letter.”