Saraki’s aide tackles Lai over Offa robbery claim, tags him ‘guest politician’ in Kwara

Yusuph Olaniyonu, special adviser to Senate President Bukola Saraki on media, says the popularity of Lai Mohammed, minister of information and culture, in Kwara state is “non-existent”.

Olaniyonu made the remark in a statement released over a comment credited to the minister.

The minister had said Saraki’s claim that he offered N10 million for the care of the victims of the Offa robbery incident is false.

He had also accused Saraki of compelling a Kwara-based radio station to rebroadcast an altered version of the programme where he had announced the donation.

Reacting, Olaniyonu challenged the minister to prove his allegations and described him as a “guest politician” in Kwara.

He said: “After reading the laughable and entirely empty statement issued by the Minister today, we challenge him, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, to bring out the two recordings of the live transmission and the repeat broadcast to show the public where it is doctored.

“Mr. Mohammed should be well-aware that this interview was aired live, hence, his insinuation that certain sections were subsequently doctored puts the reputation of the 5 radio stations that aired the interview and the 4 that aired the repeat in jeopardy. This also includes Harmony FM, an FRCN station that is under the minister of information’s supervision.

“How possible can it be for something that was donated in Offa to be used in Ilorin? Additionally, while Lai Mohammed is trying to determine whether or not there is a speck in another person’s eye, he should do the public a favour and remove the speck in his own eye by telling the public what he has done or donated to alleviate the plight of the people of Offa at any time.

“If he is attacking Saraki for donating millions to the victims of a burnt market in Offa and not those who sustained injury during the robbery incident, what has he done at any time to help the people of that town since he became one of the ‘guest politicians’ in the state?

“Lai Mohammed keeps on grandstanding with false and baseless assertions of his entirely non-existent popularity. If he is as popular in Kwara as he claims, why and how did he perform so woefully in the 2003 polls as gubernatorial candidate? If he is indeed known and accepted in Kwara, why is it that his son is running for a house of assembly seat in Lagos — and not in Kwara?

“If Lai Mohammed has any contrary evidence, we challenge him to go to court or end this blatant disrespect and disregard for the memories of the victims lost in the Offa Robbery incident.”