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NASS Crisis: Group Condemns Threat To Lai Mohammed

By Niyi Adeyi – Following the ripples that broke out within the ruling APC over the outcome of last Tuesday NASS leadership election, a group, called the Kwara Concerned Citizens (KCC), has cautioned those threatening the the party’s National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed for writing against the election, to stop such unruly act.

In a statement it issued Sunday by its leaders, Dr Hezekiah Oyedepo and Engineer Umoru Sha’aba Lafiaji, the group said it was astonished that for carrying out his duties diligently, as he has always done, by articulating the position of his party, Alhaji Lai Mohammed has become a target of attacks and threats from some “perfidious persons” in his home state, Kwara.

“In order to put the issue in the proper perspective, we members of the Kwara Concerned Citizens have therefore decided to set the record straight by saying the opinion of that self-serving group does not reflect that of the majority of the good people of Kwara, while also acknowledging the courage, loyalty, decency and professionalism of Lai Mohammed in carrying out his duties as the voice of the APC.

“In the first instance, the opinions expressed by Lai Mohammed in his statements are not his own, but that of his party. Secondly, since he articulates the position of his party at many levels – including intra- and inter-party, national as well as international – he is expected, at all times, to put the interest of the party above his own personal interest, the group contended.

KCC argued that it was unfair, illogical and downright simplistic to conclude that Alhaji Mohammed’s statement conveying the immediate reaction of his party to the elections in the National Assembly indicated he was opposed to the election of his kinsman, Dr. Bukola Saraki, as the President of the Senate.

“What was he expected to do in the circumstances? Refuse to carry out his duty as the APC’s spokesman just because of the involvement of his kinsman in the Senate leadership election? Infuse his own feelings and opinion into his party’s statement so that he won’t be seen as opposing his kinsman? Or issue his own statement reflecting his personal opinion, as against that of his party?

“To the best of our knowledge, Lai Mohammed’s statement conveying his party’s reaction was not restricted to the election of Dr. Saraki alone, but also concerns that of Hon. Yakubu Dogara as the Speaker of the House of Representatives. We are not aware that to date, any group in Bauchi State, the home state of Hon. Dogara, has attacked or threatened Lai Mohammed for not supporting his emergence as Speaker” the group noted.

The organization recalled that Alhaji Mohammed’s antecedents in the performance of his duties as party spokesman speak volumes about his courage, party loyalty and ability to rise beyond situations that would get less-imbued persons bogged down in a quagmire.

Similarly, the group reminiscenced that despite his close relationship with the late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, dating back to their days in school, Alhaji Mohammed never for once shied away from conveying his opposition of his defunct Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) party’s views on Yar’Adua’s administration, adding that in most cases, such “views were scathing”, still, late President Yar’Adua never for once used that against him.

“We of the the Kwara Concerned Citizens are therefore alarmed that any individual or group will seek to extrapolate that because Lai Mohammed issued a statement reflecting his party’s stand on the National Assembly leadership’s elections, he is automatically against the emergence of his kinsman as Senate President and he must be pilloried.

“All through the ages, courage, loyalty, hard work and the ability to always rise beyond personal considerations for the benefit of higher interests have never constituted an albatross to anyone who exhibits such.

Alhaji Mohammed’s case, KCC stressed must not be different, therefore, implored those who have now turned bashing to a lucrative pastime, simply because he refused to subjugate his party’s interest to personal’s to desist from their disreputable ways.





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